I’m a car guy. I love to drive a great car and I love a great car design. The new Chevy Camero intrigued me in that ‘it’s a cool design but still won’t buy an American car’ kind of way and so I checked out the site. I was in the photo gallery and found one of those things about the site that is like the American car industry itself – a nice design idea badly merchandised and probably lost on most everyone. In this case you go to the photo gallery and the obvious move would be to go to the ‘view all photos’ tab at the bottom of the page that reveals the standard long line of tiny thumbnails that you can randomly click across to reveal the true content of the photo that looked like nothing but an amorphous blog in the thumbnail. After you select the previously mentioned amorphous blog the main photo changes along with two smaller photos on the right hand side. If you are paying attention you will realize that two smaller photos are actually the photos directly before and after the large photo on the left hand side. If you are really, really paying attention and curious to rollover those smaller photos you will find that they are also navigation that lets you move from photo to photo without the need for the standard interface at the bottom of the page. It’s a really nice elegant solution to this kind of content and surprisingly something I had never seen before. That being said my reaction to the good execution is quickly drowned by the anger generated from the realization that most people will never know it is there. If they just would have taken the time to develop the short term memory loss needed to see that what they have created is too much design and not enough usability. So all of your designers out there please take the time to look at your work with fresh eyes or show it to your mom, your dog or whoever you need to be able to see if your solution is as genius in the real world as you think it is in your head.
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