(source: laszlo-photo) This is a continuation of yesterday's blog post - reviewing travel sites. Today we're going to look at some travel sites that need a little help. Viking River Cruises to Contiki. The problems, however, are many: endless lists, seizure-inducing color combinations and an excessive number of sections leaves the user feeling dizzied. There are a couple of hidden diamonds in the rough elements (for example, their phone number and hours are found on the top of every page - excellent!), but the feelings of claustrophobia are practically unavoidable when trying to navigate this labyrinth of a website. It's amazing that you can browse tours, cruises, river cruises and resorts, but the way it's laid out is overwhelming! Layout/Navigation: Everything is everywhere. The home page contains multiple links to the same sections, which can be confusing and it also adds to the clutter. Bold red text is sprinkled liberally throughout the site, meant to grab the user's attention. It ultimately backfires, however, because it's overused. The point, of course, of using highlighting styles is to make only certain elements stand out. When overused it defeats the point. The navigation suffers from the same problem that the entire layout suffers from - the choice paralysis. When the user is confronted with too many choices, paradoxically, the user is more likely to just give up and go elsewhere without choosing. There needs to be some serious simplification. Colors: Not only are way too many colors needed, almost none of them are nice colors. Furthermore, they don't work well together. Orange and green and dark blue and lighter blue and neon blue . . . it's all too much. Deciding on a sensible color palette is a very important step in design which doesn't seem to have been taken with this site. Photography: The only photographs that seem to be present (and not taken from featured outside sites) are tiny employee profile pictures with a 90s-tastic background gradient. There's just way too much text.
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