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Does this website score high with you on Usability?

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#1 bwelford


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Posted 03 September 2005 - 03:57 PM

What do you think about this website?

<later>Oops - just realized that you've got to look at this with Internet Explorer. In Firefox, it really doesn't work too well. It's OK in Opera however.

How can a major agency get it wrong?

#2 Renee


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Posted 03 September 2005 - 06:17 PM

What I found to be really obnoxious about the Leo Burnett site was the "Feeling Lost?" and the line at the bottom: Navigation for Linear Thinkers.

The visitor gets blamed for not being as clever or having the same needs as the designers. Yikes, what arrogance, this "I'm the center of YOUR universe" attitude on their part.

"Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance." - Sam Brown :(

#3 DCrx


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Posted 03 September 2005 - 06:28 PM

Leo Burnett, the jowly genius of the heartland subconscious, is the man most responsible for the blizzard of visual imagery that assaults us today.

Truth in advertising, if you ask me. Seems like the site delivers about what a potential client is likely to get. ...Which is why many copywriters who actually try to sell stuff used to work in agencies.

The big agencies are out to win awards. Hiring them is largely a mark of prestige for the client. Much of this is driven by the mindset that products are largely interchangeable commodities, and so are consumers. Unfortunately the mindset produces brands as fairytales companies tell themselves.

#4 kensplace


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Posted 03 September 2005 - 09:29 PM

I love flash sites like this, as it keeps the people who are making them happy, and also keeps them away from good search engine ratings, repeat visitors, and generally makes sure they will never make any impact on the net whatsoever apart from amongst those they are trying to impress. The rest of the world can get on with looking at normal sites, with actual real content, that are navigatable, friendly, well designed etc.

These types of sites are usually done by people who are good in art, or have money to throw at a flash designer, they usually hide the lack of content with the "flashiness" of the site, and thats fine by me, it saves me navigating round a normal site to find the content is not up to scratch. I can see immediately its a flash site, and gimmicky, and thats enough to save me wasting any further time.

I applaud designers for making sites so easy to avoid, it does save me a lot of time......

#5 bwelford


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Posted 04 September 2005 - 10:59 AM

It struck me that the problem that is being seen with this new Leo Burnett website (just launched on August 29, 2005) was the same that I pointed out in a post on the Microsoft Great Plains Video Demo. The Video Demo is also a Flash file and ends up in the same horizontal band in the top 25% of the screen when using Mozilla Firefox. The Microsoft Demo also "breaks" in Opera too.

I'm not sure whether you would describe this as a Firefox bug, perhaps it is and is similar to one I ran into recently and described in another thread. However it struck me that someone here might be able to figure out how to help Leo Burnett get it right.

The Leo Burnett web page includes the following object, which tries to set the height at 100%.

<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,0,0" name="lbca" width="100%" height="100%" align="middle" id="lbca">
<param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" />
<param name="movie" value="lbca.swf" />
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="scale" value="noscale" />
<param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" />
<param name="loop" value="false" />

<embed src="lbca.swf" width="100%" height="100%" loop="false" align="middle" quality="high" scale="noscale" bgcolor="#ffffff" name="lbca" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />

The Microsoft Video Demo includes the following object, which tries to set the height at 535 pixels.

<OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,0,0" width="794" height="535">
<param name=movie value="uiLoader.swf">
<param name=quality value=high>
<embed src="uiLoader.swf" quality=high type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"> width="794" height="535">

If anyone can figure out the solution to make it work in Firefox too, I'm sure Leo Burnett would be most interested. I give a few more details on this in a blog posting today.

#6 Webnauts


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Posted 05 September 2005 - 11:23 AM

Leo Burnett code:

"...allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" ..."

The "allowScriptAccess" attribute is not valid for the "embed" element. Some valid attributes for this element are: "align", "alt", "autoplay", "autostart", "base", "bgcolor", "border", "class", "contenteditable", "controls", "frameborder", "height", "hidden", "hidefocus", "hspace", "id", "logo", "loop", "menu", "name", "onactivate", "onbeforecopy", "onbeforecut", "onbeforepaste", "onblur", "onclick", "oncontextmenu", "oncopy", "oncut", "ondblclick", "ondeactivate", "ondrag", "ondragend", "ondragenter", "ondragleave", "ondragover", "ondragstart", "ondrop", "onfilterchange", "onfocus", "onfocusin", "onfocusout", "onhelp", "onkeydown", "onkeypress", "onkeyup", "onmousedown", "onmouseenter", "onmouseleave", "onmousemove", "onmouseout", "onmouseover", "onmouseup", "onmousewheel", "onmove", "onmoveend", "onmovestart", "onpaste", "onpropertychange", "onselectstart", "palette", "play", "pluginspage", "progress", "quality", "salign", "scale", "song", "src", "style", "swliveconnect", "swremote", "swstretchhalign", "swstretchstyle", "swstretchvalign", "title", "type", "units", "unselectable", "volume", "vspace", "width", "wmode", and "xml:space".

Microsoft code:

I found the character '>' with no previous character '<' to open the tag.
".../getflashplayer"> width="794"..."

The character '<' must appear before each '>' to open a tag. If you actually want to use this character in the text portion of your document, then use the character entity reference "&". Note, however, that using this reference is not technically necessary according to the HTML specification (but it is highly recommended that you use it).

And after all: <embed> is not approved by W3C !!!

If I was use, I would not use splash pages. See here for some examples, why I would't do that: http://www.netmechan.../promo_no13.htm

I hope above help.

#7 kensplace


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Posted 05 September 2005 - 04:28 PM

Even if the technical problem is fixed, the original question remains, do users find it useable...........

I would hazzard a guess that a lot dont.

#8 Webnauts


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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:35 PM

Splash pages are not usable. Period.

#9 BillSlawski


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Posted 05 September 2005 - 09:49 PM

The big agencies are out to win awards. Hiring them is largely a mark of prestige for the client. Much of this is driven by the mindset that products are largely interchangeable commodities, and so are consumers. Unfortunately the mindset produces brands as fairytales companies tell themselves.

I'm sure that there are people out there who are patting themselves on the back for working with this company, and are getting everything that they want and deserve. I'm appreciative of their approach, and hope that all the CEOs and board members who want to work with these folks do.

It levels the playing fields for folks who have great ideas, and more perspiration and inspiration than they do money to waste. I like the idea that firms exist that think that the web should be a broadcast medium like television, and whose idea of meaningful interaction with potential clients is to give them a chance to scribble around on the screen with a pencil, and try to figure out how to watch TV commercials on their site.

Splash pages are not usable. Period.

I can think of a couple of instances where splash pages could be a positive and meaningful way to give visitors the latest information and a very nice experience.

For instance a band site that shows snippets of their concerts, and other fresh material that might appeal to their fans, and upcoming schedule, which changes weekly.

Or an animation studio which cranks out new material at such a pace that they can use it to draw attention to their site and skills.

In both of those instances, Flash can give people a chance to experience firsthand some of the excitement that is tied directly to what the site owner does.

There are probably more, but without having fresh material displayed on a regular basis, I think that most folks should stay away from splash pages.

#10 bwelford


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Posted 06 September 2005 - 04:00 PM

Well my hats off to those Big Pencils at Leo Burnett Canada. I started this thread in pointing out that the new Leo Burnett Canada website, "Big Ideas Come Out Of Big Pencils", was "broken" when viewed in Firefox. Perhaps they saw that thread or my blog post on the same subject because two days later, I now see they've "mended" it. If you want to see those Big Ideas, then you can look at them in Firefox too.

It looks as though it was only an oversight, since the code of the body of the page does not seem to have changed. All that was added was the following code in the Head of the web page.

< style type="text / css" >
< ! --
html { height:100%;}
body { margin: 0 ;
            padding: 0px;
            height:100%; }
# container { height:100%;}
-- >
< / style>
Note - spaces inserted to disable bbcode

Very well done, Leo Burnett Canada, even if you should have spotted this before the website was launched.

Now the only thing I can't figure out is why the #container line was included. It doesn't seem to be used anywhere in the body of the web page. Can anyone see what I'm missing?

Also could their fix work for the Microsoft Great Plains Video Demo web page, that has a similar problem?

#11 Feydakin


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Posted 09 September 2005 - 12:09 PM

Is the site usable for 99% of the internet's users?? Probably not..

Is it cool as hell?? I think so.. As much as it's not usable, these types of sites show some glimmer of genius and potential by taking the mundane tools that most of us use every day and explore new territiry.. I don't think these site are about being usable at all.. And I don't think it's intended to be that at all.. I think it's intended to be a look at me site.. And I like it..


#12 dragonusthei


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Posted 13 September 2005 - 09:16 AM

thats a crap site lol

-1000 good flash development but if you cannot find anything then whats the point

#13 jamboy


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Posted 15 September 2005 - 05:16 AM

This is a great site!

All you bashing on about 'it's not usable, it's not accessible, look at that dodgy code, it won't be high up on google etc...' are completely missing the point!

User centred design is about understanding your user and the context of the site (user, context, content...) Who are the target users of this site? Prospective clients. What do prospective clients want to see from a 'CREATIVE' agency like this before they hand over the contract? Creativity, past work and an essence of what the company is about! This does all that with style and panache, it will be remembered by the client and leave them feeling that they must talk to these guys if they want something creative and cutting edge.

So overall it does a good job.

Good Design isn't about following guidelines it's about finding a great solution for a problem.

#14 bwelford


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Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:04 AM

You bring out a good point, jamboy.

Now that they corrected the Firefox viewing problem (and it only took them two days after launch to spot that and correct it ..mm), I can look at the website more on its merits.

It really is very impressive, somewhat like an incredible circus act. I felt as though I was wandering - no .. floating - in an huge 3 D maze where none of the ways to move around were clear. That stupid pencil trace was irritating too, until I spotted at the bottom a button to click on to 'put down the big pencil'. Even then I didn't know how to move around and I didn't want to chicken out by clicking on that 'Feeling Lost?' button that you spot at the bottom if you're observant. Hey I'm a man. I don't ask for directions. :)

All in all it didn't work for me. If I was a Marketing VP trying to persuade my tough, bottom-line focused CEO that this was the right agency to do our work, I'm not sure I would ever let him know this website existed.

Even though it may knock the socks off some of the potential clients, it's too risky for, I would guess, the majority of potential clients. .. and if the agency would take such a risk for itself, might it be suggesting in its advice to me that my company should be equally risky.

My reaction would be "Don't call us, we may call you." and move on to the next agency on my short list.

#15 budbandit


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Posted 06 October 2005 - 01:40 PM

dragonusthei nailed it. that was an enraging experience

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