The UEFA has a great website and I use it a lot. Last year, they posted video highlights of all Champions League games online. They also offered live commentary. These things aren’t unusual for the big sporting leagues but very nice for a fan who lives in North America where soccer is still nowhere on the radar screen.
I just found out today that the UEFA is also posting videos of entire champions league games online this year! Sure, it’s 90 minutes after the game and it costs $39US/year but that’s definitely worth it! It’s about time somebody clued in how to deal with sporting events online. There’s a real user need for live broadcasts of games. By delaying the broadcasts, TV revenues are protected and extra revenue is generated from subscriptions. Win/win. Can’t wait for tomorrow when Ajax plays Club Brugge.
The panel of speakers was also very good. The topic of discussion was Intersecting Experiences: Defining and Defying Common Language. The panel pointed out that User Experience is still in it’s infancy. The User Experience also has to be viewed in a larger context outside of the screen environment. The experience doesn’t start there and it doesn’t stop there either. It’s only part of it. Couldn’t agree more. The panel offered some great insights in the value of involving user in the development process, the importance of building teams consisting of the right people who care about the project, and some innovative methodologies to get the job done.
If you consider yourself a User Advocate and User Experience professional, the next meeting will be October 23 at the newmic.
While waiting for the bus last Friday, I read an article on the front page of the National Post. I had to laugh out loud, because the article is very, very funny. It makes fun of CNN’s reporting of the Hurricane Isabel. The best line by far is:
Jeff Veen is a smart guy. His new essay makes some exellent arguments why web standard matter.
To get the full scoop, read Jeffrey Zeldmans Designing With Web Standards. And after you’re done, pass it on to your graphic designers, engineers, web managers and user experience professionals.
I absolutely can’t stand most online advertising but I can relate to this article. I installed the Google toolbar which blocks all pop-ups and pop-unders. It works very nice and I love the other features as well. But without pop-unders, I feel that I’m missing out on the Orbitz ads. But now I have a link to oversized versions so I can still play when I choose to.
Creative Director Mark Rattin of Otherwise Inc. makes some intelligent comments:
So I did some Googling to find out more about Markieboy. Found some interesting metrics about the Orbitz ads and a weblog from Matthew Mercer, a designer who worked on the Orbitz ads. But I also found out that they’re responsible for the invention of the over-the-top intrusive “kick through” ads (where a rollover is enough to open up the website). And Mark defends the strategy as well. To bad, thumbs down for Mark after all.
People ask me often what the best travel/tourism website is. The answer is “it depends”. A website is a success when it is relevant to it’s users and meets the objectives of the person or organization who produces it. But there are definitely best practices out there.
So the first best practice is New Zealand for visual design/branding. New Zealand’s PureNZ brand is very well represented on their website. The site looks pure, has stunning visuals and great content. I’ve spend a lot of time on this website over the last few years and New Zealand made it on my list of places to visit after my first or second visit. The recently launched new homepage gives me a headache though, I like the old one better.
So I started my “design live” project last night. I’ve modified some of the default template and started working on the stylesheet. I’ve removed the time a new entry was posted. I’ve kept the link to the archive for bookmarking (the four dots next to the headline). I also changed the default colours and fonts. I chose Verdana for my default font because it’s the most legible font for screen reading and it’s supported by most operating systems. I changed the default body color to a dark gray (#666) to create a more friendly appearance. The blue headlines are probably temporary. Hopefully I’ll have some time to do some major decorating soon.
eMarketer has an interesting article today about the continuing change in behaviour of travelers because of the Internet. It’s includes demographic data and an interview with David Turnbull from Nurun.