Web Design

Oh no! Another web page has gone over to the enemy. The home page of The Royal Danish Library has a new design. They have thrown away their old beautiful design in order to do as other libraries and public institutions in Denmark have done: to put all information on the front page.
Before they had a simple design with an image from their collection of prints and about five of six clear main headlines that would lead you to more information. And now they have killed it! I really liked being welcomed by a new image every time I went there. Not a lot, just one. Now they had a jumble of text and images that makes me dizzy.

I think they do it in order to make the page more user friendly. You don’t have to peel your way into a labyrinth of pages, instead you try to find your way on the frontpage.
And I hate it. Way too much text crawling the surface, making it hard to get a quick overview.

It is an almost impossible task for a graphic designer to make it look pretty and simple when large institutions like The Royal Library want to put all their knowledge and information on one page. And even if they fill it with text it’s an illusion because you will still be led to other pages behind the front page.
The result is a collection of boxes that would make any five-year-old Lego collector envious. And a collection of boxes? Well, boxes are boxes, and it makes all the pages look rather alike.
On the top of the page they seem to like a band where all the not so sexy stuff (which you will find in the boxes) is listed. Listed and made into fold-down menus, that open and cover the boxes and makes even more visual mess.

Here are a couple of pages I use a lot but hate the look of: Library of Frederiksberg, The Royal Danish Theatre (when they went online with this I was really annoyed…but now, compared to the rest, it looks much better in my eyes. Sad, sad), All About Copenhagen. And now The Royal Library too. *Sniff*

Just in order to keep up the cosmic balance – here are some examples of beautiful and user friendly web pages: Glyptoteket, Apple, Louvre, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Call me old-fashioned…they just work for me.


January 29, 2007. In the library, Rants.

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