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WEBSITE REVIEW April 9, 2008

Posted by wetalkhablamos in Kazakhstan, team astana.


On our 21st century digital superhighway, the design of the new website is an oddity. Much like now uber-cool Trabant motor car, it gets you from A to B, albeit clunkily. But really, you don’t want your mates to see you in it.

I suspect part of the answer to my discomfort is found at the website for Belgian designers, sEVen Software. I don’t see a portfolio of web design, they seem to be IT specialists. So is that why the drop-down menu on News & Features obscures text below? No web designer I know would do that.

sEVen Software has taken inspiration from the website of Astana City, and the repeat use of Kazakh graphics is nice. It reinforces a link with the city and says this is a team from Kazakhstan.

However, even the Kazakhs don’t subject us to an onslaught of dark blue, where the full reversed-out text is very tiring.

It’s a pity. The aqua and gold of the team kit are lively, contemporary colours and work well onscreen.

But no, we’re subjected to colour blobs and drop-shadows. We soooo did that already … in the 90s.

I feel most horrified, though, at the team photos. Were the cyclists lined up in a concrete room with only car headlamps for lighting? Did they superglue their shoulders to the wall in Albuquerque? They are quite horrid.

As a copywriter, I have to believe that content can triumph over form. Let’s hope that Cathy can put her indignation aside for a moment to write her usual wonderful and interesting features.

I don’t like harking back to the old days, but we’re used to something better.

Nicky, Edinburgh

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1. cg - April 9, 2008

Thank goodness it’s not as bad as High Road’s website (go George!), but I agree that it’s pretty weak right now.
At least your version in the pic above comes up with the results to the right — my computer shows that at the bottom of the screen even in full screen mode which is even worse!

2. cg - April 9, 2008

I agree that the High Road look is better but most of the time I can’t get beyond the first page. I have difficulty selecting the Astana drop downs, too. (If the technical stuff isn’t a given, it’s very distracting.)
CSC is good, but since I don’t really follow them… :)
Slipstream’s website is pretty good, if for no other reason than that they update it constantly. And also I like that you can access stories by rider.
H/T to podiumcafe for picking out the cutest team website: http://www.equipe-cofidis.com/gb/

3. Rebecca - April 9, 2008

Perhaps the guys were lined up in front of a firing squad…?

Last year I thought the Saunier Duval website deserved the booby prize for team photos. The guys all looked like slobs–unclean, with bad hair, bad posture, shadows. Ick. Not a nice place to visit. It’s marginally better this year.

Astana’s team photos are definitely in the running for booby-prize. While they don’t look unwashed, many of them are uncombed.The overall look is sterile and grim, even scary.

Poor Jani! Poor Gusev! These guys are truly scintillating on the bike, and this is arguably the best team in the world. Why is there no sparkle in their photos? If I had to judge by the pictures alone, I would guess that the gamut of personalities runs from cruel to repressed to nerdly. I’m glad I already know how good they are, because I’m not sure I’d stick around to investigae if I were a newcomer.

Didn’t we learn all we need to know about photo sessions from elementary school? Wash, comb your hair, relax and SMILE. And if you need to, don’t be embarassed to SHAVE.

I miss Liz Kreutz.


4. Anikó Szász - April 10, 2008

Well, I don’t have so mny problems with the site, maybe because I’m not an expert! But those photos are really terrible, also missing the work of Liz! And what I also miss, is a little info about the DSs! OK, thr old Disco fans know Eki and Sean quite well, but we know nearly nothing about Alain and the Kazakh DSs!

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