Monday, December 21, 2009

Mini review of the new "Swim Network" site!

Great content; I will get to that later, but I am astonished how ugly and how hard the site is to look at. Swim Network would have been better off buying a template for $60 at Template Monster rather than going with the design team they used.

Three major issues I have with the homepage:
  1. The background image distracts from the content in the foreground. They should have gone with something more muted or opaque so that the user's eye would not vibrate back and forth while trying to read.
  2. The italicized headlines in white on top of the splash-images are hard to read and disrupt the composition. They should have used captions
  3. The content is boxed asymmetrically with no consistency in the sizes or space or width for that matter. They should have used a strict grid system.

The content rocks. For instance: They mentioned Joel of The 17th Man blog and his blueseventy goggle post which was really cool! Don't expect to see me mentioned ;-) but the article by Mike Gustafson is coherent and informative.

The video section is "clunky" but the videos are accessible. The gallery therein features photos from Getty Images which must cost a fortune and they all are very good

As for the media experience and presentation, Universal Sports does it so such better; Swim Network is laughable in comparison. The user experience was so bad for me that I would prefer they go back to the old site design or even reload TimedFinals.


Glenn said...

One of the things that struck me WAS the background image. Accuracy is important, even when trying to stage things... which is why I'm not really sure what race they were trying to stage. They've got one guy going fly, and two others doing backstroke. Trying not to get TOO picky though, but this IS the official non-official site of USA Swimming.

EricT said...

A little overly-critical, I agree about the background though. I think the site is usable but definitely not perfect.

Your review reminded me of this comic though:

Tony Austin said...

Hi Eric. Funny, That comic happened to me last month with MetLife. If you like I can send you the before/afters?

They really screwed it the design up. Personally I don't feel USA Swimming jumped in on this. Like Glenn said, the BG image is really weird.