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[News] Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web siteANN.lu
Posted on 28-Jun-2000 18:44 GMT by Henrik Mikael Kristensen8 comments
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Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site. Different menus, but are they prettier?
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 1 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by the man in the shadows on 27-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
They do indeed look very pretty, however, the coding is a lot worse. They removed the preloading of the original javascript images. If they add the preload to cache command structuring, it would look like a fairly professional site.
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 7 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 28-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (Pete Wason):
Thanks for the compliment. That's what sleep deprivation does to me :)
[Funny that I get flamed for the Security posting and nobody minds that I posted what seems like 10k of comment, heheh.]
To whoever wanted to ditch the "Communist" color scheme... I'm going to have to say "nyet," unless the main Amiga site redesigns to look more like Amigadev.net. Of course, I have odd tastes- I do tend to walk around with green hair and a CCCP shirt on occassion, as a matter of fact- so take what I say with a grain of salt... but red is attention-getting, it's a color that has always been used by revolutionaries (to take a cue from the president/CEO/whoever he is of /Red/ Hat), and I think it's actually sort of clever- if the color scheme is reminding you of Communism, it's reminding you of Reagan-era computing, SDI, Wargames and Weird Science- the era when home computing was still fun :) Of course, I'm a child of the 80s, so I might have more nostalgia for the period than most.
Shifting the site design over to blue wouldn't work out too well for other reasons, since blue is one of the Generic Eye-Pleasing Colors that webdesign tends to overuse. (It's harder to create a site that uses red or yellow successfully, which is why Amiga.com and Devicetop.com look a bit unique; unique is good.) At best, it'd make people think wannabe-IBM.
I do hope Amiga redesigns for the end-user product launch, though. The portal setup is useful right now because everyone's hungry for news and press releases, but when product is out, it should be displayed up front (preferrably with the option of seeing an annoying yet cool-looking Flash animated site or similar, for the Windows folk...), and the corporate-news portal should become a slightly less important element of design.
Okay, enough simple ranting on my part, I'm promising myself not to post anything but real news for at least a day or two. :)
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 5 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by Pete Wason on 28-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Joe "Floid" Kanowitz):
Joe - brilliant vision! Hope they pick it up ;)
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 6 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by Colin Wilson on 28-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
advertising suggestion (while I remember !!!)
Remember the old horror film where a ball bounces down the stairs... (the haunting / the changling ???)
Make it a BOING BALL with a snappy line - and maybe for the first few showings, simply show the ball bouncing down to catch attention, and leave the audience guessing :-)
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 2 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 28-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 1 (the man in the shadows):
Time to get petty.. although if these are the people designing our new interface, we'd best criticize now lest we lose out later.
Namely, having the extra options up front is nice, but the decision to make the text exactly the same for the section headings and the other links, and the lack of any indenting/spacing between them makes it look a bit messy to my eye. The tiny Amiga.com heading is redundant, as well. I was vaguely partial to the old icons, compared to this (and I usually hate icons, but they added some visual interest to the sidebar and made it look like someone was making a design effort)...
This doesn't really look any more professional to my eye- instead, it gets rid of some visual elements that tell a viewer, "our design is making an effort to look professional and unique," and replaced it with something that looks generic. I can't really explain the distinction, but compare some serious corporate webdesign (even if it's not necessarily navigable) - IBM.com, Apple.com, Microsoft.com - to a generic ecommerce site like Buy.com. The first three project a brand image, while the latter just sort of shows that they exist. I'm not saying Buy.com isn't professional, but their left-side navbar is a good example of "usable enough" design.
Quick fixes:
-Ditch the redundant "Amiga.com" pic. We know where we browsed to, and the company name is up in (professional-looking) lights at the top of the page anyway. Trying hard to make a dotcom brand impression there isn't a good idea, anyway- Amiga is supposed to be more than a dotcom startup, so don't make potential investors think that way. It dilutes brand image. Replacing it with something verby like "Go:" or "Navigate:" might work, if it could be incorporated nicely into the design, simply because it leaves a positive impression in a reader's mind.
-Space out the sections a bit more, and give some emphasis to the section heading links. Ideally, the heading links' text should extend a few pixels above and below the tilted squares to alleviate the visual problem addressed below. (Giving the sections some separation would be the biggest, easiest navigability improvement.)
-The old icons weren't perfect, but replacing the tilted-square with something that looks a little more inspired might help. The square is part of the Amiga logo and all, but unfortunately it also looks generic. Fuzzying up the edges slightly might help, but care would have to be taken to make it look artistic instead of just blurry. Again, that sounds insanely subtle, but the fact is that the text is slightly fuzzy and the squares just aren't. The tilt also has the unfortunate side effect of leading your eyes upwards instead of to the right (which adds to the need for more obvious spacing)... we need to get some Amiga-branded shapes that're more suited to being webpage design elements. :) (I'm really amazed that they were able to integrate the Boing Ball in a professional way...)
Okay, that's a lot of critique for a #($*#$ navbar! Good design isn't easy, though, and these sort of things make a big difference in terms of brand perception. Think of how much effort has gone into promoting the Nike swoosh, for instance. Amiga's website should be making viewers think positively about the Boing Ball and the Amiga brand as a whole, but the redesign tends to eliminate some elements that would make the casual viewer remember the experience, or at least remember it as something positive and different.
There are some advantages to the redesign, of course- spelling out Amiga World and returning the Executive Update section...
[Digression: Other companies have slogans like "Moving at the speed of business," and catchphrases like "Yahoooooo!" I just saw a Prozac ad on TV (I kid ye not) which said "Welcome back." Amiga has "So the world may know," and "Boing!" You're never going to get rid of "Boing!," but "So the world may know" isn't quite perfect, considering it'd make a better slogan for The New York Times or CNN. "Keep the momentum going!" is the closest we have to something that conveys a real sense of positive action, and even that sounds backhanded- Amiga as a company has never had much momentum. The Amiga marketeers are going to have to get to work on the brand image pretty soon- we need a slogan that better screams "Back with a vengeance!" and the Boing Ball needs to be used to convey a sense of energy.
Fade into one of those television advertizing dream sequences Amigans often have...
We fade in on a black screen. Lighting warms up on a black box just above the middle of the screen (the classic branding spot, if you've watched enough ads). The box is rendered to exactly match the appearance of the tilted square in the Amiga logo. We hear a metallic *thunk* and a trapdoor slides open in the bottom of the box, a Boing Ball speedily falls to the bottom of the screen. When it reaches 3/4 of the way down, the viewpoint pans down to follow it, where it collides with text: "They said it couldn't be done." The text is arranged such that the ball falls to land at the top of the i, which is dotless. The ball spins there for a second as a narrator speaks the words. Then it launches across to the right, and the camera zooms in quickly as it pans, moving the viewer through the ball. Now we watch the text "They said we were crazy." zoom up from a single white dot in the center of the screen and get narrated. During the speech, the ball appears from the lower right hand corner of the screen, bouncing out and through the "a" in "crazy." It continues off into the background until it collides with the left side of the screen, and bounces upwards at an angle. The camera follows. Narrator: "We beg to differ." The box appears again, moving to its familiar position. The ball smoothly shoots into the left hand side. Fade in the AMIGA logo text around the box and fade/morph the box into 2D and the red color. Fade in text below the Amiga logo: "Changing your world" Fade in below: "Again" Narrator: "Wouldn't you like to do the impossible?" *everything on screen compresses to a single white dot, which winks out silently*
Okay, that's not a perfect concept, but it's an example of brand-building design (you'll note that it doesn't even mention the product- that's one of the tricks of brand building advertising, since it attempts to convince people that they should already know about the product or business.), and it's that brand identity that Amiga needs to rebuild. Microsoft built theirs through prevalence, Apple built their current identity as being the supposed better alternative, and IBM built theirs through being the guys in suits who'll have it done by 5, no questions asked. The new Amiga branding should point out what it will do, and always has done- enable people, through superior technology.
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 4 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by PNarcisse on 28-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Joe "Floid" Kanowitz):
Bill Fleecy I hope your taking notes and do as this guy says because it would really help us the community if you guys had a better design web page that showed the professionalism of Amiga. I don't think that is to much to ask for.
WEll done exsample well done.
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 3 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 28-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
I really do hope that they'll ge rid of that 'communist red' and strong black borders...In summertime cool blue would be nicer....Damn it's hot! ;)
Amiga Inc. slightly altered their web site : Comment 8 of 8ANN.lu
Posted by Dirk Baeyens on 30-Jun-2000 22:00 GMT
Is this the webmaster?
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