The first thing that strikes you about HardKaurWorld is that this website is unbelievably heavy. The load times are huge, both initially, and when changing sections.
I suspect anyone with a slower internet connection than me would quickly give up. Viewing the site over a mobile device would probably be impossible. A site like this might be feasible in countries with fast broadband, but it feels a little disrespectful of the viewer’s time to use this layout in India, especially when it doesn’t add that much to the information.
Navigation is awkward. There is a school of thought that people ‘want to explore’ a website and ‘discover’ things. I disagree. The purpose of a website is to communicate information. This can be one-way (simply broadcasting the same information to everyone), or two-way (with some level of interaction that either provides feedback, or modifies the information being broadcast according to the viewer’s interests/location etc).
Fulfilling one of these options should be easy – the viewer shouldn’t have to search the screen for different elements, and then figure out what each element means in the navigational system.
This isn’t to say that the navigation system has to be boring or basic. A better example of a ‘fun’ website is www.mtvplay.in
Some of the social media links at the bottom of the page – linkedin, myspace etc just point back to the homepage.
There is a link to a blog page which is completely unfinished – the sample wordpress Blogpost, Comment, and About text are all still there and the sidebar hasn’t been setup with widgets yet
The link to the Hard Kaur Shop (to buy her merchandise) leads to a coming soon page
There s a Downloads page which has a few options on it (wallpapers in different sizes etc) but some sections such as ringtones and itunes, are “coming soon”.
The Bio page is truly awful. Its sad, because I really admire the work that Hard Kaur has put in to drive her career to this point, and she clearly has some serious life experience from which to draw inspiration and strength. This bio, however, is just blah blah blah. It lacks the two things that make for a great bio: a narrative and informative data. This section should have started in narrative form with her back story and finished with filmography, discography etc in a simple table format. She should really get a professional to write this.
There are a few other bits and pieces – some photos and videos. There are lots of spelling mistakes and typos scattered around.
I think the overall feeling you probably get from all this is: the website obviously isn’t finished – why is Chris complaining?
Because I was sent a paid promotional email for this website. So there are two possibilities:
- There was a mistake in sending the email. Someone scheduled it for the wrong date and it sent a couple of weeks early. Or,
- Someone thought that the website was ready to start promoting, which is a little bit scary.
- The other thing that struck me was – I don’t understand the point of this website. What is it for? Who is it targeting? That is completely unclear. As an informative site, it is too much work to find information. As a fansite, it is too static – no one is going to keep coming back and searching the site to see if anything changed. The feel of the site is too ME! ME! ME! (as if a design agency pitched “why don’t we make a site all about you”.
What would I have done?
- Personally, I would have made the homepage dynamic – built around a blog – so that every time someone visits there is new information. The blog could be a daily update of: Hard Kaur’s own thoughts, news about her work and performances, links to other media articles. By pushing out lots of interesting updates you encourage repeat visits and can drive email subscriptions. This makes it less mememememe and a bit more youyouyouyou.
- I don’t see the need to host photo galleries and videos on the site – all these things can be hosted more effectively on youtube, flickr etc etc with connecting links.
- All the dead links and “coming soon” pages need to go. Including these on a live website is very lazy design and drives away readers.
- Much lighter/faster design. Minimal or no flash.
Anyway, that’s just my thoughts. Would love to hear other people’s opinions?