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Entertainment Website Genre Analysis 5 May 2010

Posted by ssglazer in Competitive Analysis, Design, Entertainment, Websites.
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Entertainment Websites are probably the most essential websites for incorporating the latest Web 2.0 and even 3.0 capabilities. Most entertainment sites have video, slideshows and other animations that can’t be affected by slow streams or heavy coding not allowing for the website to appear seamless.

Nikon Festival WebsiteThe Nikon Festival site has a great design that really accents the Nikon brand. From a marketing perspective, the Nikon yellow gives a great branding color as well as a great accent to the black background and black text. The contrast of those two colors give a boldness to the text and the videos, especially the color and vibrancy of the quality of the videos themselves. This is important when displaying videos trying to portray the brand that shoots those videos. The downside with these videos is that they loose quality when viewing them fullscreen. The once gorgeous and crisp videos turn slightly pixelated and definitely lower resolution. I was surprised to see this loss of quality coming from a huge brand like Nikon but then again, they are pretty new to the Video frontier. This could be remedied for the next years festival. If I were submitting my video, I would want to make sure that the quality came through in fullscreen because that is the whole point of this site. To show the impeccable quality of these DSLR cameras that can shoot video as well as still.

The Nikon Festival site is actually surprisingly similar to the HULU website, which I will also be analyzing. Their javascript slideshow could be identical twins separated at birth, and probably the same javascript plugin. Why not use what works though? Most design elements on the web are taken from some other source and adapted to fit the design style of their site. Art imitates life, which imitates art which imitates someone else’s art. The only difference about the home page slideshow is that it doesn’t automatically rotate after a few minutes. This is important because sometimes the audience doesn’t realize that there is an action to the slideshow. The forward buttons are quite small and it does not really suggest a call to action. When the slideshow rotates automatically, it teaches the viewer that there is an action supplied with this slideshow.

Hulu WebsiteHULU website has built a solid site for themselves, all with the ease of the usability and design blending seamlessly. The constant transition and update of the latest videos engages the repeated visitor each time that they return. The slideshow on each page reminds the visitor of how to use the site. There is repetitiveness which is important when trying to attract a variety of users from all sorts of technology acclimations. Tagging and navigation of this site has far exceeded any other site that I will be analyzing. There are the similar videos bar below each show that you watch, and even tags that can help search through the numerous videos available. Although, the tagging system could use some help. Still it is a constant engagement site for the viewer. Each page offers the viewer another direction to proceed that keep them on the site longer and have their page views be higher. This is great analytic strategy.

HBO websiteHBO has recently re-vamped their site to make entertainment the way it should be: Fullscreen. The home page starts off with the site having each series or program having a full page screen shot. This to me is an excellent design choice. High quality images of the show not only displays the quality of the channel, HBO, but also gets the viewer excited to actually watch the upcoming show, and even purchase the channel.

Pandora WebsitePandora. What a great concept when music became mostly digital. For an avid music lover, pandora was a great invention for musicians, music fans and even people wanting a variety of music playing in the background whilst at their office. Fantastic. And it doesn’t even bother me that I am only allowed to forward through a certain a number of songs. The design of this site is lacking. Being half blind myself, I always find myself squinting at the text and the small icons. Why must the player be so small? The advertisements take up half the space of the website. That to me sounds like crazy talk. The light grey font and size doesn’t give any contrast to the absolute white page and boxes of the site. My eye is searching for a place to go and nothing seems to bring my eyesight to that direction. There is not even an option for making the player larger or perhaps showing a larger image of the album cover. This to me would be a simple javascript solution to the player that could engage the viewer further and perhaps not be so annoyed by the amount of advertisements that are taking up realty of the website.

SOCIAL MEDIA In all sites, social media should be a huge part of the website. It should be recognizable, easy to find and above all an option to share and ping to the visitors own social media pages. Below are a few examples of each website that I have analyzed above. Most of them integrate social media but not in a way that makes my life easier to share this information. Nikon Festival had very little integration even though their tag line was 140 characters or less. The only space for the social media icons were all the way on the bottom with the footer. Not really noticeable. They had a streaming of festival tweets that are incorporated on each page of the site but overall not really as engaging in social medial Pandora had a share button that opened up to twitter, facebook and email links but I was unsuccessful in sharing. Apparently I have some strict pop up blockers that was limiting me to share songs on facebook. But why is it that I am able to use the share button successfully on all other sites? This would be an issue for me…. As far as HBO and HULU, well there is no social media integration. I imagine that is for protection and copyright issues of the programs themselves. But why wouldn’t they want to be promoted on other internet portals?

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