We were a little surprised to see how simple, attractive, and well-designed Frontend 2011’s new website is. While you expect for a web conference to have a pretty stunning website, this one is still a pleasant surprise. The website looks like it has been created from black ink line drawings on a simple white media, with occasional pops of color to add emphasis.
Website Reviewed: Frontend 2011
Website UR: http://www.frontend2011.com/
Most of the writing is in a font that appears to be handwritten until you look very closely, which is a clever way of giving the website a homespun feeling. In addition, the pages on the Frontend 2011 website are lined with a drawing of a curtain and an audience, to give the feeling that you are seated in a movie theater. The information is placed where the movie screen normally would be, while the navigation bar is just above in the curtain. This gives the entire website a finished and uniform feeling while making it easy to find the information that you seek.
Capital lettering in a modern font with serifs is used to call attention to certain parts of the text. As we mentioned before, color is also used very effectively because the simple white and black makes just about any hue stand out. The website is simple, but easy to navigate and friendly in feeling. It makes the event being promoted seem like it will be easy and fun as well. After all, if a group cannot manage to put together a working website, how will a convention with thousands of people be run? This website avoids this question by getting it right.
Creativity: 5 stars. We like the line drawings and the bespoke font; both go well with the other elements. They create a clean feeling while making it easy to draw attention to key bits of information. While black and white can feel a little austere, the cartoonish quality of this website lends a friendlier feeling.
Ease of use: 4 stars. It is easy to find what you need thanks to a navigation bar that is placed at the top of every page. Unfortunately, the names of the headings are a little confusing at first; hotel information is included under the heading ‘Practical’ while the heading ‘Sponsors’ has no list of sponsors.
Functionality: 4 stars. There are social networking links inside brightly colored balloons on the home page (balloons that disappear when you scroll over them, in fact). This is a fun addition, but email addresses are very difficult to locate, in tiny print at the end of a rather long page.
Content: 3 stars. The content is clever and written to appeal to a youthful market, but there are numerous spelling and grammar errors. We realize that this is a Norwegian conference, but why put a website in English if you are not going to translate it correctly?
Appropriateness: 5 stars. All content is appropriate for the audience.
Overall: 4.2 out of 5 stars.