The ARRL new website perhaps replaces an outdated webpage style, but at a cost – blatant commercialization.
The useful portion of the ARRL homepage has gone down, and now it is tarted-up but with a result of being blah, busy and overloaded with “sales focused web features.”
Lets look at the new website, first as it appears when you land on it.
Not very pretty – almost monotone with the largest space being a scrolling set of links with graphics. Peculiar with webpages becoming more an more Landscape in format this new webpage is the first lift of a very tall portrait layout.
Let’s mask out the ARRL content and show the space wasted to Ads and deadspace carrying a watermark:
Perhaps 55-60% of the initial screen is ARRL and that is at least half-wasted in graphics.
Let’s do a single Page-Down:
Is this the ARRL hompage or a page from a vendor? Let’s reverse the the masking and show the ARRL content (I didn’t bother to the shade the wasted watermark area):
At best 1/3 of the first page-down display is actual content, and that again is diluted by over-stylization.
Dropping to the bottom:
Here we find all the useful links, in clusters of very small fonts. Guess they are less important? Let’s do the masking again (again skipping the watermark areas):
Perhaps a bit closer to 40% of the two-apges down display is useful.
YMMV but I find the new webpage cold (the dark colors and tones accent that impression), biased to present a lot of sizzle & fluff to sell things, and low on content.
That over 1/2 of the webpage is set aside for sales is a disappointment.
I don’t want to clink to read even a basic summary.
On the spectrum of things I am personally more prone to appreciate well organized websites (example http://www.useit.com/ ) than over fancy web-bloat.
YMMV and you may like the new webpage, but I’ve dropped back to reading the ARRL news items as an RSS Feed and have dropped my daily look-see of the boring new website. If my reaction is common, this doesn’t bode well for ad revenue from all the space allocated for sales on our organization’s homepage.
Perhaps this is just an interim web design, whether the ARRL realizes that yet or not…..