– Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I’m sorry to any Twilight fans, and actually, I swear this has nothing to do with the fact that Stephenie Meyer wrote those much-loved-but-much-hated books or that her name has a weird spelling (Steven-ee? Mee-er?), but I just don’t like her website. It’s unfortunate, but it’s not really her fault—unless she designed it.
I dislike her website because of its design inconsistencies and the butt-ugly “Click to order Bree Tanner” button on this page. Indeed, that page is probably the worst on the site. The lone book cover at the top, next to that ugly button, looks out of place; the mouseover does nothing for it. The iframe of Stephenie’s Amazon store has an unnecessary scroll bar. The “Choose a Book” section is segregated, not to mention redundant and clumsy (click the book title to see an ugly pop-up, featuring yet another picture of the book covers for each of her books; click the covers to buy them from Barnes & Noble, which, okay, is valid because it’s different than Amazon, but still…). Once you’ve got a book chosen and its pop-up opened, each one has a title—except the last one. Oh, and the first book? Yeah, that link goes to Amazon, not Barnes & Noble, and did I mention there’s no ugly pop-up for this one?
Moving on, I find that the horizontal and vertical menus on the site are fighting each other for attention, particularly because there isn’t a vertical menu on the home page, so that just looks awkward. Additionally, the background pictures at the top of the page are inconsistent from page to page (tab to tab). Furthermore, I think that the text lines of the pages with large chunks of text (e.g., the blog-styled home page, the bio page, etc.) are far too wide. The reader has to follow each line almost all the way across the computer screen (at least on my 15.4″ MacBook Pro), which is tedious, and it therefore discourages the reading process. I’d rather read War and Peace all the way through—in one sitting—than read each page of Stephenie Meyer’s website, or any of the pages.
The final straw is that, as per the site’s CSS file and my eyeballs, the site is set in Arial with Helvetica as a backup and the generic sans-serif specification as a fallback; I’d love to know what that generic sans-serif font would be and look like because these (Arial and Helvetica) are ugly fonts!
Is this too harsh? I’m wondering if it’s more fun or just more productive to highlight things we dislike/hate rather than things we do like. I suppose we’ll find out in the next blog, when I discuss a writer’s site that I actually like.
And again, I’m not saying this is Stephenie Meyer’s (or Twilight’s) fault, even though some might agree that I have every right to blame them just because the books exist and because Meyer is a terrible writer, from a line level (even my friends who are Twilight fans—you know who you are—agree).
No, I won’t go that far—not today.
*NOTE: This blog entry is syndicated from a blog I had to start for my Electronic Publishing class at U.B. this semester. I may or may not delete the extraneous blog when the class is over, but I thought I would at least give my readers the opportunity to read the contents of that blog indefinitely.