3 Design Likes / 3 Design Dislikes
Like: Google Music
I love how much Google has cleaned up the interfaces across its products. Everything is clean and easy to understand, and I really enjoy the hamburger menus. One thing that is great about Google’s ecosystem is how the UI designs work across different devices. They all remain the same, yet work extremely well. It’s not always easy to make sure the details you wanted for a mobile experience translate to a computer or even a tablet. For exmple, Microsoft famously dropped the ball on that with Windows 8.
The website for the online music publication XLR8R has some cool design aspects. When you first access the site, you aren’t bombarded with ads, which is always a plus, and when ads to show up, they are in locations that fit the overall design of the site. I’m also a fan of the menu bar that drops down if you scroll down the page. The scrolling features image on the top of the home page isn’t anything new, but XLR8R does make sure that the images are all edited to fit the visual feel of the site, and when you scroll over, the image darkens before you click. The organization of the posts is also fairly clever and clean, with newer stories larger on the far left and older stories in a smaller center column.
I think the Adobe website does a great job of showcasing the creative association with its programs right off the bat. The large images that dominate the space on landing are very pleasing, and the simplicity of the menu bars fits perfectly.
Accessing Adobe’s menu slides down a darkened overlay with site options and link icons. The icons are great and match the site extremely well.
Facebook is rough. There is way too much going on when you first access your feed, and in the image I posted, the sidebar is even turned off. When that thing is on, watch out. The layout of Facebook, along with its design aesthetics, remind me of early 2000’s webpages. It just looks like a bunch of lists and links, and since everything in Facebook is essentially its own page, the site navigates exactly how it looks. The stuff on the far left is barely used by anyone, so it should be tucked away inside of a slide-in menu, in my opinion. There’s also too much information going on inside of each white box used to delineate content. It’s like Facebook tried to make things look modern and clean but then crammed so much stuff into those spaces, it just became distracting.
Dislike: Chicago Sun-Times
Yikes. What is even going on here? This looks like a landing page for Senator Kirk, first of all. And even after moving past the giant ad, can anyone figure out where one story ends and another begins? There are too many different images on this page, and none of them are separated appropriately. Everything on the page is static outside of the center column, and that just looks weird when trying to scroll through stories. For whatever reason, it also really irritates me that some of the categories across the top menu bar have drop-downs and some don’t. I just want some consistency. This is the site for a major newspaper in a major city, yet it looks like it is some teenagers first blog. There’s no flow or enjoyment.
Dislike: ESPN Fantasy Hockey
ESPN’s Fantasy Hockey page not only looks clumsy, it practically hides the main reason someone visits it, which is to play fantasy hockey. The first time I tried to access my team info, I seriously felt like I had to scour the site to find the link. It’s just a small little box smashed between ads. The site also doesn’t adhere to any style guidelines. The very top ESPN menu is clean, but the rest of the site is extremely dated. I think the actual fantasy team access should be moved to the left side of the page, and it wouldn’t hurt to show some quick details or actions about your team underneath that. I realize that in the picture above, I am actually not signed in, but trust me, it doesn’t look much different when you are.