The baobab tree is a website promoting a story about an african beetle that sets out on a long journey in search of a seed. The design of the site is clean and simple. There is minimal graphics except a beetle that crawls everywhere on in the flash pages.
The website is very simple with minimal content. The layout is straight forward as well and I do think that the use of flash is an overkill for this purpose. It looks like the author is trying to use the site as a lead in to sell the kindle version of the story in amazon.
Form and Function
The tree on the top right looks like a gif and I think much improvement can be made to the headers. Even though the header is consistent, it is quite boring. With the small amount of content in the site, I think scrolling can be made unnecessary if empty spaces can be better utilised.
The text is quite small on the home page but the text under “about us” appears to be bigger in size. In fact, the size and color of the text appears to be quite different in all pages – so we do have a consistency issue here.
I hope there can be more exciting content and graphics. The only interesting thing about the site at the moment is the beetle that crawls around the pages – actually, I find that a bit annoying as well when I am reading. I like to see more graphics on the characters page (fig 1). Perhaps the book doesn’t come with images but it is still interesting to have some images of the characters. People relate better to images than to text.
The footer is also quite boring (see fig 2). At the moment, there is no way for me to know the company or author a bit more. The “contact us” page doesn’t provide any extra information as well. People like to know about the author. A short bio on the author or even a pic would be great.
No matter how good a product is, it needs some sort of packaging. If thebaobabtree.co.za is the packaging, then a lot more work is needed to bring in sales or to even make visitors stay longer. The author needs to consider adding stronger graphics and relook at the layout and content. Since the site is using flash, then I would love to see more animation.