Friday, February 13, 2004

Design Poorly Like a Hurricane

If you're designing a professional website for an amusement attraction of some sort, it really helps to do two things: 1) Present important information such as operating hours and prices in concise language in an easily-accessible location of the site and 2) Make the website easy to load and navigate. If your information can be readily gleaned by people who aren't full of rage over the fact that your site took two hours to load and then failed to provide them with useful facts, they might actually come and give you money. Maybe lots of it.

The website for the Hurricane roller coaster in Dania Beach, Florida, offers an interesting contrast in its effectiveness at tackling both of these points. As far as presenting important information, we're all set. Visitors can locate prices, special deals, and operating hours right there on the front page. Now, as for the "easy to load and navigate" part...uh......

Can we suggest that amusement parks stop hiring web designers who like to put every single trick on the front page, making it all sparkly and bright and wacky at the expense of legibility and functionality? Why does the front page of this website need all those pictures, animated files, rotating letters, and even a random sound clip? It's full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

All the excess party tricks and trinkets on this website make it our Site O' the Weak, but since one can actually find useful information amongst all this mess (unlike, say, that atrocious Six Flags website), it's only going to end up having the dubious honor for a few days.