Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Similies, metaphors, and analogies.

I'm sorry about the similes, etc. I start writing them when I am angry, usually. This time, I'm angry about this:


http://www.food2.com

Can somebody please tell me what is going on here?

A whooshing Flash interface, loud colors, strange text blocks, blog format, and content that sounds like a sarcastic, inarticulate, bore of a tween trying to impress some college students. It looks like Food Network (its parent/family company, which is also a hot mess of web design) got too drunk with MTV at a party, and had this... this... thing.

Or maybe it's more like Food Network noticed her sagging breasts and crow's feet and decided she could squeeze into her daughter's clubbing clothes. People are averting their eyes and whispering behind her back.

Or maybe it's Food Network completely missing the mark in making its web content - which is openly recycled and credits its own kitchens instead of trying to hide it behind a blog-face - more accessible and hip to America's youth. The sans-serif type, the clashing colors, the raw layout...

Oh Food Network, did you eat Look At This Fucking Hipster with your dinner of internet marketing keywords and then throw it up onto the internet?

I'm sorry, I think you meant to do this:
http://www.nycgo.com/

See how the crazy colors are limited to just two? See how it's confined to only the most important information? The drop down menus go horizontally to preserve visibility of content. The text is easy to read. The text is enjoyable to read because they have contributing writers, not regurgitating monkeys. The spacing of the paragraphs is easy to scroll through. Images do not interrupt important flow of information (as in recipe instructions). If you're going to have images/illustrations, please integrate them at the side of the text; it's more clear that way anyway. Images for punctuation are okay, but you haven't done that.

You don't even have very much web-exclusive content.

There are about 10 sentences per blog post and the rest of it is clunky photos and solicitations for comments. Who's going to comment on your post when you haven't even said anything!? The recipes are straight recycling, and they haven't been edited for more accessibility (e.g., more detailed instruction, diagrams, definitions).

So let's recap. Food2 website: It's ugly. It's annoying to navigate/look at. There's not much original content. The content is bad. The content is not really any more fun or hip than original Food Network content. The content is not at all geared toward beginners. I'm sorry, Food2. Your attempts at being hip and accessible have failed with me. You are not hip, you are a giant eyesore. You are not accessible, because I do not desire to access whatever bad content you have hidden in those stripey, neon lines. I guess I could watch one of the videos, but... that's what your tv channel is for.

Rule: Please, people. When you re-brand to appeal to a younger or newer audience, do your research into the demographic. Then spend a lot of money on good design. The web is your new medium. Please do not poop on it.
- Make it visually-stimulating, not messy.
- It can be raw, but not unpolished.
- Keep the content original, not lingo-heavy.
- Be witty and endearing, not goofy and disconcerting.

It's hard, but it looks like you have wads of cash to spend. Feel free to toss some of that my way.

1 comment:

Limequat said...

Also, feel free to do some reading of Communication Arts, ID, Smashing Magazine, and other design pubs.