Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

The new cons (look and feel)

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Sad but true: the list of nits to pick with the new is too long for a single post. Here then is the first instalment, my complaints about the site’s overall look and feel.

  • Way too busy: sensory overload.
  • The layout elements (banner ads, pictures, menu names, element titles, etc.) are too big, take up far too much real estate. It may look good on a tablet but it’s lousy on a desktop monitor, even a fairly high pixel-count monitor like mine (1920 x 1080).
  • The reduce text option does only that – reduces the text size but not the size of the graphics and major titles, which is what one really wants to shrink.
  • The sizes of the various layout elements are disproportionate. When I use CTRL-minus to reduce the graphics, menu names and element titles to a reasonable size, one that lets me see most of the page without scrolling, one that doesn’t force me to look side to side to take it all in, the product details become too small to read easily, a problem compounded by their being printed in grey, not black.
  • The home page banner animation is on by default: you have to click the pause button each time to stop the distraction. What’s more, the animation’s a continuous loop. Don’t know about you, but the first thing I do when returning to the home page is rush to hit Pause.
  • The banner animation is too fast. You don’t always have time to take in the content before the next banner is displayed.
  • Oh, the dumbing down! Too much eye candy at the expense of useful information.
  • Too much redundancy. For example, the front page currently has four links to the food pairing engine: “Tips and Pairings” at the top of the page; “So happy together” under the Tchin Tchin graphic; “Wine and food pairings” the first  of the so-called practical tools; and “Wine and food pairings” under the Tips and Pairings menu at the the bottom of the page.
  • Seldom used links (e.g. the “practical tools”) are far too prominent.
  • Irrelevant links (e.g. “our suggestions”) are too prominent.
  • The site looks horrible on small-screen (e.g. smartphone) browsers. As Thomas commented yesterday, the lack of a dedicated mobile site is a major fail.
  • People who visit the site on tablets complain that it’s hard to scroll without inadvertently selecting a link.
  • As will be detailed in coming posts, the new site increases the amount of clicking, scrolling and general mousing required of users. If anything, it should have done the opposite.

Written by carswell

February 14, 2013 at 11:40

Posted in Commentary

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