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!

15 comments on “Norm’s Site Relaunched

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  • It is quite bad really. You have the large desktop background as John says, so you’re expecting a large number of bigger screens to view it, and then you have a virtical scroll, I mean why when you have all that space?? Personally looking at the aspect of the design, it’s been done for a laptop, or been made on 15″ laptop. This simply won’t do!

    You can email the site Admin directly.

  • The site obviously been made with 1024×768 – which is fair enough to a certain extent as it’s by far the most used resolution at the moment, but when you completely ignore all other resolutions you know you’re doing something wrong.

    > as John says


    > You can email the site Admin directly.

    I’m not keen to do this, really for reasons that should be relatively self evident…

    In fact, it should be mentioned that these are my honest opinions of the site and not some blind attack on Norm and whoever does his site.

  • Hokay, now I have to go see for myself.

    One moment.

    First things first–I for one think that font is ugly as sin. Also, since I’m only on 1024×768, it doesn’t tile but there’s a ton of space wasted with that picture of Norm on the left so everything else is shoved into a tiny little tiny square of content.

    Speaking of wasting space–check out Norm’s page on Red Dwarf. I dunno if it does this for you folks with other resolutions, but for me the content does possibly one of the more annoying things I’ve ever encountered on a computer–since whoever designed the site was so in love with that picture of Norm that they didn’t dare let disappear to, y’know, actually use all the space on the page, not only do you have to scroll up and down, you have an almost entirely pointless left-and-right-scroll! Seriously, it moves the whole page from side to side for about the width of a toenail clipping. just think–without that picture they’d have been able to fit all that content onto the screen without making you fiddle with a scroll just so you don’t miss the last two or three letters of the last word of each line. And the only reason it’s there is because we absolutely must have the picture of Norm on every page. I guess that way we don’t forget we’re browsing a site called

  • I’ve just seen that! Now that really is awful, which is a shame. The image is nice, but it’s not THAT nice…

  • And there’s more…

    If you click on any of the images in the Red Dwarf page, it opens a new browser window/tab with a “click to go back” link – which goes back to a different page and leaves you with umpteen redundant copies of the site open. Oops!

    Also (and I’m sure this is just an honest typo, ahem), the merchandise page proclaims Norman as “THE star of Red Dwarf”. Really?! I must have been watching it from the wrong perspective all these years…

  • > as John says


    Sorry love, I didn’t mean to steal your thunder :)

    I would still email Adim, there is nothing wrong with constructive debate, and it can be improved 100% with just a few simple alterations. Your review isn’t an attack on anyone. It’s very useful pointing these failures out.

  • Not to detract from the horribleness, but two really good improvements to the site were made and not detailed above:

    * When the Fat Lady Sings has its own page with each of the videos embedded in order. Much better than the previous method of linking, which I think was along the lines of “Go to youtube and type things randomly into the search box until you find them.”

    * Complete second episode of I, Lovett up for viewing. Haven’t seen it yet as I’m at work, but it’s great that he’s got it up.

  • Oh, wait. You did mention that. Kind of…

    >The new video section is ok, I suppose.

    Even so, I’ll leave my comment. I think it’s worth the additional nod.

  • > but it?s great that he?s got it up.

    Yeah, unfortunately the same can’t be said for all blokes his age.

  • Red Dwarf Movie part-

    “Red Dwarf Film

    I don’t know what is happening at the moment but I will let you know as soon as I know anything. Honest.
    In the meantime, your best place for information on any up-to-date Dwarf news would be the official Red Dwarf site at

    Hmm, much more restrained than he’s been in the past.

  • I’ve just put that through my English > Norman converter. And it came up with this.

    “I don’t know what is happening at the moment. Please, No more questions about it. it’s not fair. They’re holding back. Go to

  • Having watched I, Lovett now for the first time (that I can remember anyway) I have to say that I like it. The humour isn’t exactly hard hitting but the show has a charm due to writing and Norman’s performance.

  • Well, full marks to the Merchandise section, anyway, as I got my DVD today. Nice and fast service.

    I suppose I better get on with that review I’ve been meaning to do for months, now.

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