A One-Way Ticket to Excellence

Barrys Tickets provides premium and hard-to-get tickets for all major worldwide, national and local events. It looks like a comprehensive site as there’s a lot to take in on the front page, with sports, concert and theatre tickets. Considering the amount of information on the site, it’s organised very well and the design implies reliability, stability and a company you’d feel comfortable doing business with.

Form

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fig 1. The shop looks as good as the rest of the site.

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fig 2. Even the ads are nice to look at!

I was impressed with the general web design of the site, which is well organised, has nice colours and an appealing look. Branding is good enough to be memorable (this site definitely looks more memorable than others), navigation is reliable and it looks like someone put a lot of work into making sure everything was proofread and checked. A professional effort. I’m also really glad that the designer had the good taste to keep carousel effects and so on as the occasional addition to the content.

The three column layout is standard but recognised by customers and helps to create familiarisation. Small touches, like neat logos, a nice phone wingding (top right) and the right blend of colours for text and links make the site easy on the eye – this helps a lot (as well as good organisation) when readers absorb a lot of content. All of the standard navigational links are in their correct places and all links appear to work.

Function

The purpose of the site is obviously to sell tickets. This much is obvious immediately, therefore the content clearly communicates its message before customers commit to search or buy. I’m sure the site statistician will be able to see exactly how many people accidently landed on the page and how much repeat traffic they receive from analysing timeframes and pages visited.

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fig 3. Whether or not you find what you are looking for..you can contact the company easily.

Coding is a mix of html, css, javascript etc., as is usual for CMS these days. The loading time is a little slow (as with a lot of CMS) but considering the volume of content, I believe the web designer took time to make sure all elements had minimal loading times without compromising quality.

Conclusion

Barrys Tickets is a pleasant website to visit and shop from and the company is not shy about posting contact details, which is the main concern to customers when dealing over the internet. Based on the design and functionality of the website (which communicates well with its audience), Barrys Tickets gives the impression of reliability, accountability and trust – qualities the company is no doubt trying to achieve. If I wanted tickets, I would buy from this website. Well done to the person (or team) who have created and edited this site!


Sitecritic.net award

* We like to congratulate barrytickets for creating a functional site that exceeds all expectations. www.barrystickets.com definitely sets a benchmark for all e-commerce sites out there.

A Cool Dance Website

Introduction

Dance Responsibly is a website sponsored by HI NRG (a new Vodka and Energy drink) that encourages using their energy drink to “dance responsibly”. The entire website is designed in flash and broadband is needed to have a decent navigation experience.

Form

With a variety of bright colours and aesthetic and appropriate graphics, Dance Responsibly has excellent design and is attractive to the intended audience of 18-30yo partygoers. Small detail has been well placed, such as the grey background pattern on black and the black silhouetted crowd at the bottom. Throughout the site, the “Dance Policewomen” (ie sexy looking female cops) feature with the logo and walk around in Flash animation waving their fingers in a “naughty naughty” gesture.

The entrance page contains a location and birthday selection in order to enter the site. This removes the responsibility of being of age onto the reader, but since there is no porn on the site, only information about behaviour, it is a good precaution and suitable for the purpose.

Design on the main part of the website is interesting and well thought out. The HI NRG and the Dance Party logos were excellent and a fine example of logo design. Since there were so many colours used to make this website exciting, having the logo coloured differently to the page design was not a problem. I particularly liked the red music bar down the bottom.

There was a fair bit of multimedia on the site which was also well executed in design, from pop up registration and download windows to a video player and music. All of this added to an entertaining web experience.

The loading graphic of the HI NRG drink is attractive and an ideal loading screen (using a small graphic) although at one point clicking between “Home” and “Videos” the black loading screen covered a bit more window than was needed. This was the only design issue discovered during the visit.

Function

The navigation for “Dance Responsibly” is simple and makes the most of promotion of competitions by having less pages and more links. All links from the home page worked and so did the video player, Flash animations and music. Too bad for dialup users.

The concept of “dancing responsibly” is a noble one and HI NRG have tried hard to sell the idea with an interesting and appealing website. While it is always going to be a bit contentious that an alcoholic beverage manufacturer is telling youngsters to “dance responsibly” it is preferable to do this than do nothing, especially as you can see HI NRG have put a lot more than a token effort in.

Using the concept of not dancing responsibly as being a “violation” of the law (further promoted by the Flash policewomen) is a grey area – while being a good idea it may or may not appeal to drinkers in this age group. However, the sex is selling this idea so it will probably work.

My other concern was the use of the policewomen in the site. As sex objects, the policewomen don’t do much generally for women who might want to visit the site. I am not sure if HI NRG know their intended audience to be males or bisexual females but to cover all bases, a sexy policeman might be needed to even up the gender issue.

Conclusion
“Dance Responsibly” is an interesting and efficiently executed website with outstanding design and good use of media. It was especially good to see fast loading times and less page code with well-thought out navigation and functionality. I expect HI NRG’s audience to be suitable impressed when visiting the website and that an awareness of dancing responsibly is promoted well by this website.

Comments From Reviewer 2:
danceresponsibly.com.au is a website well planned and executed. Thumbs up to the company that designs it – Kojo Interactive. There are a few subtle elements in it that is worth mentioning, the random policewomen moving in and out of screen, vibrating speakers, animating logo…etc. Though I would like to see more, I reminded myself that there might also be a danger of the website becoming too “dynamic”. The layout and concept of the site is obviously targeting at youngsters… perhaps youngsters don’t mind more movement?

Though I would love to see more content but Overall, I think the site deserves recognition in terms of design and concept. I love to know how many people actually revisited the site because I couldn’t find any good reason to other than the free competition and cool animation. Or, is it because of my age and preferences? Perhaps that next task would be how to retain its traffic and market the site?


Sitecritic.net award

www.danceresponsibly.com.au.1
fig 1. The cool “Dance Party” logo

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fig 2. One of the pop-up registration windows

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fig 3. One of the videos

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fig 4. A sexy policewoman

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fig 5. The loading screen

Web Design Company Knows Design

Introduction

Upon first landing on the home page for TwoSpots Web Design, one thing immediately went through my mind: “This is a website for a web and graphics design company. I really hope it measures up to standard.” Well…it did! TwoSpots definitely “gets it” when it comes to building a good website.

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It was easy to settle in spend some time here. Right away, I felt this would be a clean and friendly experience. Their logo is simple, catchy, and says exactly what they do. Branding is strong, as they have a common header placing their logo at the top left of every page, and their content is meaningful and well written. The picture in the header changes with each page, and placement is consistent. The site images are relevant to the content throughout. Everything is well organized and follows a standard from one page to the next. The font choices are simple and not a strain on the eye. This creates and easy, pleasant read. The random articles at the bottom left of the home page are a nice touch.

After exploring the site for some time, I was relieved to find that the pleasantries of the first few pages did indeed extend to the rest of the site. More consistency; more information; yet never an undue regurgitation of the same-old/same-old like so many other websites. I just didn’t get bored looking around here. Navigation is simple and clean – like everything else here – and is controlled through a vertical main menu system at the top right, a topic-specific submenu running horizontally just below it, and various links in the content itself that take you right where you need to go next. There is also a site search available on every page just under the menus, and I found no broken links on the site during my visit.

Function

TwoSpots offers web and graphic design, as well as a number of other related services such as photography, business printing, website hosting, and Internet marketing. In each case, they offer examples of their work, so it’s easy to feel comfortable and trusting towards this company with your web design needs.

Conclusion

This is a nice, clean website. What they do, they do well. I was impressed with everything I saw on the site, and I actually enjoyed the time I spent there. A lot of websites could learn a thing or two from twospots.com.

B & Q – diy.com Website

Introduction

Located in the UK, hospital B&Q is a DIY (do-it-yourself) home improvement and garden store. The B&Q website is a good example of what a retailer should strive for on the Internet.

Form

The B & Q brand is exceptional. It is evident that this company has taken a great deal of time to create an effective color scheme and image for, case not only the company, but the website as well. Overall, this type of branding works well for the home improvement and do-it-yourself retailer.

The design of diy.com is very clean and effective. Categories are nicely placed with complimenting design elements and separated into respective areas. (fig. 1) The color scheme, predominantly shades of orange and white, is enhanced by the addition of color such as green and blue. These color additions bring in and attract interest to a variety of products and areas throughout the website.

The three-column design of this website works well and divides information in a way that the user can easily navigate beyond the home page. In general, the form of this design gives the user the image of professionalism and comfort needed in an online environment.

Function

The navigation of this website is very clean and concise. At first glance, I was impressed at the amount of navigational options presented. The tactful use of multiple navigational elements caters to many different types of users. These elements display products and links in many different ways to attain user interest, whether the user migrates naturally to the search area, the left or top navigation, or straight to the body. (fig. 2)

In addition to the multiple options, the navigational categories are also divided up into sections – those relevant to products and services, and those relevant to the company. This makes it extremely easy for the user to find his or her way around without having to hunt down what is needed.

The advertisements and promotions on this website are definitely noticeable and, above all, they are not offensive. Tactfully, diy.com has placed most advertising elements in the right hand column while various color deviations bring the offers the attention they need. (fig. 3)

The top navigation also includes a “Special Offers” section that leads to a page dedicated to discounted merchandise, making it convenient for the user to view current deals. (fig. 4)

Conclusion

Overall, this website has been well planned and organized. B&Q has successfully given the user an easy to use and aesthetically pleasing interface. As an online presence, diy.com shows strong branding, design – both layout and navigational, and really knows how to indulge the user.