18 Mar 2010

When an upgrade is a downgrade

So the Trinidad Express decides to do an ‘upgrade’ to its website. Ideally, this is long overdue, and sorely needed.

The manner of the ‘upgrade’ has left this reader wondering whether or not the owners/managers of the newspaper were ‘sold’ some propaganda by the webmaster/designer and fell for a load of crap.

There is an unwritten series of ‘rules’ when it comes to website design, and the designer seems to have broken every one of them in this case. Any halfway decent website designer would be aware that extensive use of flash slows down a website. The ads (which I have blocked with Adblock) overwhelm the pages.

The text has grown a hell of a lot smaller, so reading is difficult. The Express also claims real-time news updates and commenting forums, but I have yet to see evidence of this. The use of red on the site is a nightmare gone bad, if that is possible.

All in all, this ‘upgrade’ is an antiquated, retroactive step that will cost the Express dearly in terms of online readership. It seems to me the purpose is solely to ‘show off’ doubtful ‘skills’ of the webmaster/designer. I have already vowed I will not be visiting there.