I find lots of “designer product” websites really hard to use
They seem to have pointless “title” pages, lots of swimming pictures, no easy way to find what you want, what it might cost or at least where to get it.
I’ve found a few that seem to have been written with game software and you work a maze and can never get back to something you’ve seen earlier.
One person I told this to said it’s probably not intentional but maybe they simply start by putting their pictures on Macs and then look for Mac software to display them. And thus they have to use non-standard templates. He says mainstream software designers only code for PCs, so Macs get the older and odder software packages to start with. Title pages were the norm on Mac classic software twenty years ago, when html was mainly used to create documents with keyword hyperlinks.
Whatever. I just wish they were more normal so I could see what they have and find something again without having to work and struggle and fuss.
These are just the examples I ran into today, I know I’ve seen more of what I’m talking about so I’ll rummage my old links for more.
Edited because that second link is dead. You have to spell out www first because it’s an old style site. Another of the poor practices. http://www.novembre.it
Splash pages were the norm for everything 15 years ago, or whenever it was that Flash and Shockwave and Java and ActiveX were being developed. Everyone was being dazzled by all of the new design toys being developed, and not too many people exercised much restraint in using them.
Nothing Mac- or PC-specific to lousy design.
As much as I’d love to pin this on Macs I can’t. Splash pages and flash based animations are just one of those annoying designs that took a foothold and haven’t yet be eradicated. Flash provides a certain expensive look and feel that HTML doesn’t at the expense of usability. In the case of high end brands this is a trade-off they are willing to make. Their websites aren’t intended to provide information or facilitate sales directly, they are there to further the image. And a website with lots of motion, sound and pretty integrated fonts and animations will do that better than a static HTML/CSS page.
This reminds me of my inverse utility theory of websites for commercial products: The more closely affiliated a website is with a particular product, the less likely the website actually provides any useful information about said product.
I don’t have any problem with splash pages as long as they have key information on that page, like what website you’re actually on, and something like contact information, and a clear link into the first page of actual content. Then clear consistent navigation thereafter.
If it doesn’t have that, and it’s just a bizarre twisty anonymous mess of surrealism, then it should be eliminated. Especially if it takes a minute to load what is essentially pointless.