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WebDesign & Critique

Banners spoil the site?

  Today, our web travels take us to the South Bronx, where the "Power Dominion" hosts their "Heavenly, Hip-Hop" Christian group. The web is a good place to spread ones ministry, regardless of creed, (And heaven knows, the web needs it!), however, it's also a very good place to turn people off by using visual chaos, and unrelated visual cliches. These dedicated young people have a good story to tell and have put a lot of work into this web presence. I commend them. However I also know they'd be much better served (particularly in asking for donations) with a few revisions to this splash page.

Information overload?
To begin, we have to report that this is way, way too much information for one page. Period. It reads on and on and on -- with a scrolling barrage of seemingly disrelated visual images and content points -- 8 screens worth!

The only thing here which seems to tie things together is that background, and by the time the fourth screen scrolls by we're beginning to feel a bit like that background. Each time the viewer scrolls, the page painfully jumps and redraws. There was a strange shaking to the redraw too, which we couldn't explain until reaching the bottom of the page(s). We'll get to that later.

The page seems a bit wide as well... 640 pixels, with information actually continuing beyond the right frame border in places. While not all together bad, this makes for excruciatingly wide text line lengths... poor readability, and further loss of readership.

With some clean-up, organization and prioritizing of content, PAD could qualify and channel readers toward content wells much more easily. Hopefully, long before they become weary of scrolling... or make it to the bottom


The initial navigation device once you get over that ad banner, is composed of red, 12 point html italicized text -- another reader deterrent on the green background. These unusually long lines of link-text are totally useless except for readers who really want to work in order to find the link to click.

The links serve to jump us up and down the page in a helter-skelter fashion, with no means of return, causing all this visual stuff to redraw and gyrate on the screen, again and again.At the bottom of the seemingly endless page we find the sin of web sins... no less than four ad banners... from four different Banner Exchange providers... and guess what... two were of questionable nature (how about those "Samurai Girls!) -- one didn't come down at all. All were in poor taste, not to mention of potential insult to a large percentage of viewers' sensibilities. Adding pain to insult is an "Under Construction" sign at the bottom. One would think if they "constructed" anything else the page will be a total disaster.

Interested in having your web page critiqued? Send email to: reviews@graphic-design.com

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