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American Design Awards

may be a bit overplayed

In the original review request of American Design Awards, the author commented: We know the importance of eye catching design pieces, and more importantly the people and companies behind them. The American Design Awards was establish to review and reward outstanding design potential by graphic designers, whether just getting started or seasoned professionals.
Reviewed by: Bennie C. Taylor
ADA is a business that sponsors monthly and annual contests for designers.
      A fee is required to enter the annual contests, but anyone may enter a website or online portfolio in a monthly contest without payment. About 15% of the entries win monthly prizes.
      I looked at some of the award winners, and here is what I found: a large number of these sites have relegated usability to a very low level of priority. See ADA 1st and 3rd place annual award winners: Jones Design and Graphic Wise
Creativity and innovation are desirable
Some of these designs are very appealing. I enjoyed looking at them and wish I could create something of this sort. But at this point in time the average Internet visitor does not have the equipment needed to appreciate these new design trends. The main ADA banner is very attractive and provides enough color to decorate the entire page.
  • Remove any graphics that are not necessary to support the main content of the site.
  • Allocate more space for the text.
  • Use a larger font to let visitors read without squinting.
Entertainment or distraction?
There are three animations on the ADA home page; each draws the visitor's eye away from the textual content and vies with the other two animations for our attention. Are any of these needed?
      With about 30 images on the home page the load time at 28.8k is approximately 49 seconds. How many visitors will wait to view this site?
In later years I think we will look back at the designs emerging today and realize that the really great designers were those who could create new and exciting web pages that worked within the limits of existing browser capabilities and internet connection speeds.
Editor Notes:
Good observations. I suspect the owners of this site don't care how slow it loads -- and assume anyone coming here have the leading edge computers and fast internet or T1s.
      Well known name in the Design Cafe, Mike Swope also reviews this site this month. Let's see what he has to say...
Posted: 5/1/2003

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