Norm’s Site Relaunched News Erm… oh dear. Looks like we missed this one, but TOS has updated today with news that Norman Lovett’s official site has been relaunched. Now, the old one wasn’t hugely spectacular but I never had massive amounts of problems with it. Sure, it needed a proper news system to allow for archives and the marchandise section was run purely by post. News of a relaunch is definitely welcome. However… The Good: The Merchandise section is now linked in with PayPal, so there’s no more need for faffing about sending cheques to Norman in exchange for his goods. The result of this is that I’ve now ordered a copy of his DVD in 1 minute, which is something I’ve been putting off for months. Sales should rise nicely. I like the font used for the logo. The new video section is ok, I suppose. The Bad: The implementation of the new design is complete bobbins. The background image is nice enough, but when viewed in a high desktop resolution (1280×1024 – which is quickly becoming more and more popular) it tiles round the edges. It looks horribly messy. The news ‘system’ is EXACTLY the same as the old site’s. In that, it’s just one page with an arbitrary number of news items listed before being dumped off the page for all eternity. It even has the same headers as the old site. The relaunch was a perfect opportunity to set this right and at least implement some rudimentary archives. If this was done by the same company who created the last site (Green Fish Media) then shame on them for being LAZY and if it was someone new then shame on them for being LAZY and CRIMINALLY UNIMAGINATIVE. All the bloody content is squashed into a tiny, scrollable area in the middle of screen. Obviously an ugly, tiled background image is far more deserving of the screen space than actual words. Using images as navigation and page headers is just plain wrong in this day and age. Yes, your new font is very nice, but if you absolutely INSIST on using it everywhere, then add some alt text in there to at least give the impression you care about accessibility, even a little bit. To be fair, though, it’s certainly not as abominable as Robert’s site, which has been a Flash monstrosity for what feels like decades, now. It’s a small consolation, though, as this relaunch could’ve been handled so much better – it’s an utter waste. Still, I’ll look forward to receiving my DVD!