Instant Case Study: visitnc.com, or a review of the color Orange.
At the Travel 2.0 blog, Mo and I love new design. A chance to look at, review and imagine why certain choices were made is always a fantastic interactive marketing exercise. And, low and behold, our friends in North Carolina decided it was time for an update.
For our loyal readers, you know the drill, read the comments and let us know what you think.
Read the our thoughts and then let us know what you think. (Email or RSS readers, can’t see the poll? Visit the Travel 2.0 blog to vote.)
Thoughts// This site is a paradox. On one hand, I love the clean look, simple design and use of color…very Apple.com, but on the other hand, I can’t help but think that we have lost the feeling, sense and emotion of North Carolina, even with the large image opening the homepage.
While the site looks to have undergone a major revamp at first glance, you can still see evidence of the previous occupant here and there…the 3 column layout, footer, etc. Even the large image at the top reflects a certain homage to the previous image background on the old site.
As for the major additions to the homepage, I love the image search scroll-bar thing. Interested to see what the response, via analytics, to that new feature. The top 5 list and calendar of events search are both nice additions and executions as well. And I really love the map feature on the homepage. Click the ‘by map’ tab below the large image. Although it is not a Google map, kudos for keeping the map simple and effective. The tag cloud feature (after you click on the magnifying glass) is another nice feature, although I am unsure if that option is explained thoroughly enough…and I wonder how those categories are scored.
The primary interior pages are driven by that image search scroll-bar thing as the navigational element and contain a ton of info about each subject. The consolidation of content, video, images, etc. is a nice feature, however I am a little overwhelmed by the layout of the pages with so much content presented at one time.
Which ties into one of my dislikes about the new site, the 3-column layout at the bottom of each page. Not a bad design element, but with so much information presented in a list style, it is difficult to read quickly. Of course, part of that might be the primary call to action color for the website, the color orange.
Now, as you can plainly tell by the Travel 2.0 blog, we like the color orange as a link or focus color. But in this execution it feels overused. Because everything ‘important’ is orange, it becomes challenging to determine what is most important, kind of important and not that important. A hierarchy of information is critical to leading the eye to the locations within the site that are most important. Otherwise links, banners and buttons begin to cancel each other out.
Of course, that is just our initial thought. I am sure that North Carolina put some time into researching the correct colors for the site and determined there was just too much controversy using Carolina Blue for all the links.
So, what do you think? Clean and simple or boring and plain? The new visitnc.com, love it or hate it? Vote and let us know what you think about the site by using the comments section.