While major professional sports teams get most of the press, most people are intensely loyal to one or a few local high school teams. However, few websites have been created to capitalize on this hometown advantage. A Better Play is a website where people can share their love of local teams, supporting their favorites by submitting and voting on the best plays.
The concept is easy. You pick your area, view videos of some great plays in local high school sports, and then vote on your favorites. Awards are given to the best plays and the all-around best schools just like award-winning logo design awards. The site is bright and inviting, and the front page allows access to the most popular areas.
Website Reviewed: abetterplay.com
The first thing that caught our eye when we opened the landing page of this website design was the Michelin man wearing high school football garb. This was an immediate turn-off—until we read further and realized that Michelin dealers in the areas involved are the main sponsors of this website. It would be immensely advantageous for this detail to be made clear from the very beginning. Burying a Michelin logo at the bottom of the home page is simply not enough.
However, the process is explained well on the front page, and the buttons to take you to your home area are front and center. One of the things that we really liked about the general design is the way somewhat dirty football images have been included in an otherwise clean design theme. The white background and negative space actually compliment that grass and dirt, allowing the website to feel minimalist and usable while maintaining relevance to the topic at hand.
This clean feeling makes it easy to find what you want and access it quickly. It also builds a somewhat clean brand for the tire maker. People tend to think of tire stores as greasy and cluttered, and this website builds a very different brand for Michelin—one that will set it apart from the competition.
Creativity: 4 stars. While we like the way a white color scheme has been made to fit the subject, the Michelin man in football pads is a little much. Surely a less obvious and more interesting subject could have been used.
Ease of use: 5 stars. Every aspect of the website is accessible from the front page, with graphics that make them very easy to find.
Functionality: 2 stars. There are no links to the Michelin store near the teams, or even a link to a corporate website or social networking page. These are immense oversights considering that this website is a marketing effort of this tire company. Further, there is no ‘call to action’, making it easy for people to enjoy the website without feeling the need to buy from the brand.
Content: 5 stars. The content makes it easy to understand the purpose of the website and the way the contests function.
Appropriateness: 4 stars. The website is very appropriate for its function, but not so much for the tire company backing it.
Overall: 4.0 out of 5 stars.