Posted by: bellebelle | September 29, 2008

Exabytes Contest

i cross my fingers that i do not miss the URL submission for this competition.

what i’m s’posed to do with is to preview the beta version of the new website & write my thoughts about it. although i do not think i stand a high chance in winning… since i am fresh in web design (be it critique or designing). but it was a pleasant surprise for me to receive the email notification even though i tried registering right before the deadline.

but after the recent PC & emotions crash… more importantly is for me to get a grip of myself, be disciplined & reassemble my PC. hence, the email from Exabytes has been flagged & starred in my mailbox, the submission page is bookmarked & the writing is tucked in my to-do list, but i have never get it right & got it done.

the preview beta version

the current version

however, i am really really relieved that i am not too late to sign up. even without having a chance to win, i will be contented that i cross this task in my to-do list & that my writing would benefit my personal readers :)

i will divide my comments of the new website into 2 distinct parts which i think will be more effective…

(A) Visual & Main Navigation

undeniably, the 1st look usually dictates everything.

users usually do not read, they scan. if the overall layout of the new website is interesting, very likely the visitor will appreciate the content.

the new website is changing along by adopting a clean theme (white & the logo identity colours). it is now centralized, and easier for the eyes. i have checked with different browsers, and it runs well. so far, with… I.Explorer, M.Firefox & Google Chrome ;)

PLUS

1. compared to the current layout, the new navigation bar caught my eyes, looking much brilliant. forsaking the traditional way of pale background (negative) with strong coloured text (positive), the good use of blue background (positive) and white text (negative) appeared to be much catchy.

2. navigation is less complicated by having the drop down menu.
again, the highlighted link appeared to be interesting & click-able… as it matches the consistency of the mentioned navigation bar.

MINUS

1. even though there are options to be chosen from the drop down menu, it seems to me that the navigation bar is click-able. perhaps the designer have to look into this… my suggestion to it would be, having to create a sub page to navigate each general option.
such as…
http://www.exabytes.com.my/webhosting/
it is not necessary, but it will be cool to have a brief info (overview) for the visitors to have a glance of what services you have to offer. it serves sort of like a catalog, and as they click the branches, they are able to discover the specific details.

PLUS

3. with just one look, i can identify the services offered & also look into things that will most probably interests me. (for e.g. services, promotions & offers)

4. overall, i like the way it is arranged in rounded corner boxes, neat & simple. the grids & gaps are neatly arranged, & the round corners of each navigation serves a consistency to the thorough website. too much of shapes will only distract the visitors.

(B) Usability

after all, is the usability which determine the success or failure of a website.

as i have mentioned, the navigation is neat & it makes me easy to find my way around it, so very likely i will interact & use the website.

1. i personally enjoyed exploring the website & discovering Exabyte’s services. it provides an overview of services & and clear features for each query.

2. not like many webhosting companies, Exabytes provide a deeper explainations to the features, it allows young hosts to have deeper understanding regarding features like… MYSQL, email protocols.
as for the interface, the new explanation engine runs in a much tidy form, featured in nice neat tables & aligned mouse-over icons.

this is the current version with the same approach but a slightly different colour scheme & mouse-over icons that is all over the place.

Simplified Web Forms

it seems to me the web forms is maintained the same as the current version, other than concerning about the consistency & overall look for the website, i think the user experience is tolerable.

since my navigation is limited to certain pages. i would like to drop a little comment on the new About Us page. congratulations on the new write-up! it is much shorter & not that burdensome to read.

but seriosuly speaking, it is not until i get really interested of the company, or really needed the services… most probably i will skip reading these pages. with a bulk amount of text, it is hard for visitors to focus their attention.

Impression

after browsing through the website, yes it does have a professional look; but even with the .my extension, it appeal to me to be more “international” than a “local” web hosting company. other than top right corner that mentioned about “We’re No. 1 In Malaysia!“, the Malaysia profile doesn’t stands out as much.

my primary suggestion would be adding in some fresh local faces among the pages. apart from having clean interface, i think it is alright to add-on some interesting element. compared to the current version, the new layout has lesser dynamic content. interfaces such as images, motions, animations, flash…

secondly, it is possible to be adding certain elements that vividly represents Malaysia, perhaps… add-on a wavery national flag. well, i’m kinda traditional & patriotic :P

after all, i look forward for the launching of the new website & fresh user experience.

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Responses

  1. I also receive the same email notification about the contest. Without much thinking I have sent it to my trash. haha…

    Wow… you really have a great talent in writing review. If you are interested, I can introduce you to earn some money (consistent income) by writing reviews. I believe the company would love your writing (I did). =)

  2. come on my dear!!! believe you can do it..

    just give a try and see where God can bring you so far and I believe God will definately bring in Suprise!!

    ^^

  3. Hey, you Annie Lim who got married and went to Singapore? Her husband is looking for someone to do a simple 5 pages static website. Not sure already found someone or not. If you want, I can help you to inform them.


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