Site needs KISS of life.

Through the Internet maze with Richard Griffiths.

Many years ago amateur publishers produced magazines about their
favourite subject, be it local football, Star Trek or horror movies. These
fanzines were usually terribly laid out and full of spelling mistakes but
that didn't matter because they were a labour of love. Now the ease of
publishing on the web means the world of fanzines has flourished on the
Internet and there is even a site for the insurance industry. I hate to
review this site because clearly a lot of work has been put into it.


But, as is so often with fan-produced sites, the most important Internet
acronym has been totally ignored making the site a bewildering mess. KISS
(Keep It Simple Stupid) is in every Internet bible for a reason. The
motivation behind this site is (I quote) "a commented guide to the
insurance market on the WWW containing about 25,000 words on more than 200
web pages".


On the front page I got an error message "insufficient memory for image
graphics content" which was a new one on me. So I restarted my browser
with more memory allocated to it and realised the designer had used the
sophisticated cross-platform programming language Java to create the
site's menu. This takes up half the screen because some of the options are
so long, pushing the main window into a narrow box. It is completely
unnecessary.


However, there is an option for people without widescreen displays to view
the site's content in its own window. Some professional sites do this
because the designers cannot bear to see their stunning graphics squeezed
into a regular computer screen. Here, the main window is just ordinary so
the question is why bother? These severe layout problems get in the way of
any interesting content that may exist. There is probably a good idea
somewhere hidden in the depths of this web site but the current jumble
obscures it completely. It needs a thorough redesign before people will
bother using it as a resource.


http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/grego ry walker/


Graphics: Messy layout and amateur styling.


Sound: None.


Ease of Use: The menu logic works well.


Content: A lot of this is under construction and you are unlikely to find
out anything new.


Gimmicks: None.


Overall: If this site has a future then it all needs simplifying.
Greatly.


Mark: 3/10


E-mail rgriffit.dircon.co.uk to submit your web site for review.
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