launches redesign, and fails

Visit today and receive a shocking surprise of a look that resembles more of a junk pile of web trends, then the website of an industry leader in digital design products. The purpose behind the redesign was to put more emphasis on the content rather than the UI, and work better on wider screens. Unfortunately, I believe the UI is so disgracefully designed it hinders the readability and usefulness of the content and becomes the primary focus.

Flash video headers engulf most of my 15” screen and I can’t see the content. On a 7 Mbps connection, the site slows down so much that the drop down menus are useless, until the center flash video has completely loaded and played. When I hover over the dropdown menus, I interact — unintentionally — with the flash content beneath the dropdown menu. I have such a hard time getting past the navigation, I can barely get to the content and I find myself closing the window rather than surfing any farther.

Coming back later, with the navigation cached, I get to the community pages for designers. My eyes are continually drawn to the empty gray space on the right and top. I have a hard time focusing on the article summaries squished to the left in a 783 pixel wide box, further confined into three columns, each 150 pixels wide. How in the world does this work better for wider screens? I can’t take the claustrophobia any longer and close the window again.

For a site that should be showcasing the best use of its own products, it fails miserably. Content can only emerge when the user interface is so well designed, it works silently without intruding rough edges or poorly aligned spaces into the experience.

posted by Emmy Southworth on Friday, Dec 07, 2007
tagged with design, ui, adobe, user