A friend sent me a link to the new Samsung summer collection site the other day and I have gone through the site a few times trying to write this post because I have been struggling with what to write because my initial impressions have changed the more I used the site.
The overall site has a clean and minimal style that shows off the new cell phones Samsung is going to release overseas. The home page is a large black page with small photos of the six phones. Click on them triggers a video of a female mannequin dancing to different styles of music that looks like an old demo video for the 3D animation program Poser. The first time it plays it takes you by surprise with the motion and sound but with each additional play it gets more confusing about why it is there, what dictates the style of music and why doesn’t it carry over through the rest of the site.
The design of the page for each phone is clean and almost feels a little Apple like with the use of icons and minimal content. You can click on a series of icons that will let you explore the key features of the phone. You can also explore the physical design of the phone by sliding a circle along crazy straw looking line. It is an interesting organic interface but, like the video transition from the home page, after the first use you look at it and wonder how this design fits in with the overall style or concept.
The high production value, use of video and animation make the site an engaging experience but the site struggles to be more than a mash up of those executional designs and concepts. I feel that it is a huge problem that I see a lot more often than I would like when designers mistake cool interfaces and production techniques for concepts. In this case I am missing that connective issue of the concept that binds all this together so the designs are interesting when viewed individually but have trouble when they need to make a cohesive whole.