I am in the process of buying a new house so I have been shopping for a new barbecue grill so I can cook out this summer. While doing some research I found this site from Char-Broil where they have decided that make all the site content video. Deciding to use all video content can be a good thing and lead to an engaging experience like the recent site from Firstborn Multimedia for Microsoft Forefront. But in the case of this Char-Broil site the experience and my perception of their brand and their products is brought to its knees by the fact that their servers can’t handle serving video. When you click on any of the menu items you find that a 1 minute long clip takes at least 5 minutes to load (To be fair before I wrote this I tried the site at different times of day and on connections ranging from my home DSL to my studios corporate high speed network and always got the same results.) This simple technical detail completely destroys the experience and we all know that users are not going to wait that long for content of un-known quality when they can get what they are looking for somewhere else. So the lesson to be learned is that if you are going to invest the time and money to create a site with large amounts of video content make sure you also invest in a back end that will let your users see your content or all you have created is a huge dead end.
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