Everyone loves a good gripe…
The Weekly Gripe website offers a platform for discussion about problems, complaints and ‘gripes’. It offers that place to just ‘publicly’ get it off your chest, without having to stand up and do it.
Form and Function
Upon landing on the main page of The Weekly Gripe, it reminded me of a newspaper since the first place my eye was drawn was to the logo. While I do not feel that the logo relays the idea behind the purpose of the site, I WAS drawn to it and was not turned off. It is just ok for me.
My eye passed the logo and went immediately to the navigation. That is good (tell me where I am, and show me the way to go) – I give high marks for clear navigation – ‘my gripe’ would be that Sitemap and Home should be at the end of the list, moving Your Gripe and Browse to the first two slots. For usability it makes more sense to get users right into either posting or looking.
The h1 tag used as the lead in, styled as it is, should either have the underline removed or be linked to the ‘your gripe’ page, since underlines to most users means links, and especially set at that size. I personally would link it, as it just adds another entrance to the purpose – to post a gripe.
The layout of the site I found very usable, easy and effortless. Good job to the designer in that. However, I am a real stickler for web standards, and this one is not compliant. I was actually disapointed to see that.
Aesthetically, I am not fond of the comment graphics – too much shadow for my liking, and I dislike the comment submission button. It does not match the style of the rest of the site (bevel and font).
This site has a great deal of potential if restructured a bit, especially since my PR checker says Google is it’s friend. That should be really looked at… I consider a switch to standards, add in some of the social-networking tools available to give it more “passibility”.