Design & Publishing Center  /  WebDesign & Review  /  WebDesign Critique department

Web Design and Review - reviews your website

Stickman Murder Mystery Games

... gets a thumbs up review

In the original review request of Stickman Murder Mystery Games, the author commented: Interactive cartoon games in which players become homicide detectives in the city of "Stickville". These games are free and use an uncomplicated point'n'click interface.
Reviewed by: Karen Cardinal
 
First I must tell you that I thought the Stickman Murder Mysteries were great!
      The images were fun and even though the mysteries aren't all that difficult, there are enough hidden goodies to have kept me occupied for awhile. :)
Minor suggestions
Saying that, I think there are a few things you could do to tighten up your pages and make the visitors experience more enjoyable.
      Descriptions? On your intro page your graphic links to the games are the beginning of your page, but the descriptions are buried under advertisements. I also need to say that the way you have the text for your descriptions they look like links (red underlined text) and worse yet, since they are so far away from the game links, they only look like something put on your page for the search engines to read and not for your viewers. (I'm sure you are not trying to cheat the search engines like this.)
      If you simply move your descriptions up by your game links and make them standard text (black text, no underlining) you can eliminate the confusion and suspicion.
Sponsors
I understand the importance of putting sponsor links on your site when you're offering free content, but I wouldn't click on one of your sponsor links because it isn't obvious who your sponsors are.
      I would suggest putting your sponsors together on one page linked by something like "Keep these Games Free".
Navigation
(I seem to say this a lot) you need to have a standard navigation bar on all your pages. You could do something simple that integrates the look of your logo with the red border and your stick figure men. You could place it at the bottom of your pages which would give your pages a good anchor and a consitant look. If you put your navigation on every page and keep it looking the same and in the same place, your visitors will be more likely to visit all your pages.
      My conclusion: You have a great idea here with some unique games. Now all you need to do is tighten things up to keep 'em begging for more. If you would like to see what I mean by tightening up your page, I have an example of your homepage redesigned at http://cardinalart.com/stickman_clean.jpg
 
Karen Cardinal
CardinalArt.com
 
Editor Notes:
Great work Karen! I'd like to make a comment here -- and perhaps shed a little different light on the issue of SPONSORS.
      It's very difficult to orchestrate advertising along with sincere content. Many, many site owners let themselves be intimidated or pushed around by advertisers out of fear that they won't buy ads. Yes, I'm against ads, as are many people, however I also understand the necessity.
      With that said, let's consider that if advertising is a necessary evil -- is there some way we can integrate it into the site so that the advertisers get their anticipated 'views' yet the ads don't detract from your content. There is a balance that can be achieved where both elements can coexist.
      Back up and take a look at your site. Is there a way to present the ads, along with content, in a position that doesn't monopolize the overall visual gulp? How about to the far right?
      I'm afraid Karen's suggestion of a separate advertising page won't fly with 99% of the advertisers. They need to be next to content or they won't fly. You can, however, set the requirements for ads, and allow sizes -- such as the 125 x 125 "button" style -- which can coexist nicely with the content and keep everyone happy. You can also disallow the use of animated or rich media ads. This will also take the sting out of advertising.
      Thanks again to Karen Cardinal of CardinalArt.com for another great review.
 
Posted: 4/2/2003

Return to the Critique Department Index   |   Or: Select a reader site to review!


Design & Publishing   /   WebDesign & Review   /   See the current newsletter

Submit your web site for review... by using the Website Input Form.
 
Become a WebDesign reviewer! ...become a regular, and be promoted by The Design Center. Just review some sites that have been sent in by readers. Post your reviews individually to our REVIEWS page, where you'll find everything you need. If you'd like to publish your articles, hints, tips or tricks in the pages of WebDesign & Review then read our "Readers Guidelines."


Thank you for visiting WebDesign & Review at http://www.graphic-design.com/web/
Notes: The screen shots herein represent the copyrighted works of their respective owners, and are used here for editorial demonstration purposes. Permission has been granted to display and review all sites in WebDesign & Review by the website owners. Please read and be aware of our Legal Properties & Disclaimers document.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Showker Graphic Arts, for the The Design & Publishing Center.   WebDesign & Review, Pixelsmith, WebEye are all trademarks for The Design & Publishing Center. WebDesign & Review is a wholly owned publication of Showker Graphic Arts & Design, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. Other products mentioned in these pages are the registered trademarks of their respective owners.