Every week we take a look at a new website and analyze the design. We’ll point out both the areas that are done well in addition to those that could use some work. Finally, we’ll finish by asking you to provide your own feedback.
Today’s site is Gadget-O, a site all about fun gadgets!
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Gadget-O is a site featuring inspiring and creative design. There are five sections to browse through, tech, living space, wearables, transports and sports, all with tons of great ideas, inventions and designs. No matter what you’re into, you can’t help but appreciate the amazing ingenuity on display here.
To be honest, it took me forever to write this critique because I kept getting distracted by all of the cool stuff that’s on the site! A bowl that keeps your milk and cereal separate, a bag that makes your sandwich look moldy so no one will steal it, a bike that folds into a backpack; the amazingness never ends.
Here is a screenshot of the homepage:
Horizontal Scrolling? Is that Ever Good?
The Gadget-O homepage is extremely simple. There’s a navigation bar and logo on the left and a feed of images on the right.
The site scrolls horizontally and contains nice, large previews of each of the products. Side-scrolling sites are really hard to pull off but this one does it fairly well. The trick is that you can always see a sneak peek of the next product in the line. This makes it immediately evident that the site scrolls to the side and eliminates the awkward “figuring out” stage.
Lots of designers will tell you never to do a horizontal scroll, but I don’t like to make such sweeping judgments. This site looks and feels great with this format and I applaud the effort at a unique feel.
That being said, I would like to see an alternate grid-view. This would not only satisfy anyone not crazy about the horizontal scroll, it would make for a great way to browse lots of the content quickly of you’re not in a “one at a time” mood.
The sidebar/navigation on the left of the site is super simple, which keeps everything nice and easy to use. I really like the thin, uppercase, and compressed typography for the menu and the letterpress illusion on the separating lines.
I think the designer did a great job with the logo too. It’s both memorable and friendly and really gives the site a personality.
Notice how all of the social info fits perfectly with the overall theme of the site. Too often designers just throw in social logos as an afterthought, creating unsightly eyesores on an otherwise great looking page. This designer took the time to make the social icons both prominent and attractive.
Each gadget is represented by a large box containing only a preview image, the title, a Facebook button and a date/tag section. The overall effect is quite minimal and attractive.
Each thumbnail is actually an image slider and will give you multiple previews of the gadget if you click the little arrows. This is a fantastic feature as you can’t always get a solid idea of what something is in the first picture.
The color palette is one of my favorite things about the site. For the most part, it’s a very neutral palette with really nice complementary khaki/oatmeal-ish tones.
The last color shown above of course throws a wrench in the theme, but I think it’s in a good way. That intense green in the logo helps it stand apart from the rest of the page and grab your attention. However, it provides a nice focal point to the palette instead of just a jarring change that your eyes can’t handle.
When you click on a project, you see a dedicated product page like the one above. Like the rest of the site, this looks great… at first. It’s laid out nicely and has plenty of useful information and other products to check out.
I was all ready to give it a big thumbs up but then I went to scroll down and nothing happened. There is extra content that is obviously cut off, but I can’t get to it. There are no scroll bars and the scrolling action seems to be disabled (I checked in Safari and Firefox on a Mac). Even if you resize your browser window to be tiny, no scroll bars ever appear.
It’s likely the case that the designer created the page on a large screen and simply never checked it on a smaller one (I’m on a 13″ MacBook), but given the prevalence of notebooks in recent years this is a pretty bug issue.
I would definitely recommend taking a look at this page and fixing this as soon as possible. To be fair, 99% of the content can be seen just fine on my screen, but having this bug is a nasty blemish on a nearly perfect site.
I really love the Gadget-O site. The content is amazing, even to the point of addicting, and I can tell a lot of thought was put into designing the site to really highlight the products well. I love it when designers think about content first and create a design that’s focused around showcasing it well. It simply works so much better than trying to cram content into a pre-formed visual theme.
This simple, beautiful site scores a near perfect in my book. The product pages definitely need to be fixed as soon as possible and as I mentioned before I’d love an optional gird view on the homepage, but otherwise I can only say keep up the good work!
Now that you’ve read my comments, pitch in and help out by giving the designer some further advice. Let us know what you think is great about the design and what you think could be stronger. As always, we ask that you also be respectful of the site’s designer and offer clear constructive advice void of any harsh insults.