Fred Showker catches a line from a Pete Seeger classic, “Where have all the flowers gone?” His flowers are the web designers that he thinks are going extinct. He laments on the seeming “decay” in the art of web designing and says gone are the designers who made a difference in the making of web designs and who provided quality sites for the people to visit.
Showker argues that he has seen a decline in the quality of web sites basing from reviews he made of several sites. From his statements, I can see that he is well-versed in making analyses of web sites and is a credible source of information. Many sites came under his meticulous scrutiny and not one was spared.
Some of the sites that he revisited were dead and others that are still up failed to meet the expected standards. The changes he saw came as a shock since he did not expect many of them to go down the drain.
Riddler.com was one site that Showker said proved to be a disappointment as it took out of consideration the reading pleasure of the reader and instead took on a much commercialized look. Webshaker.com is similar as well.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream was another site that was axe by Showker. Indeed, I was surprise to see content in the site about the Black History month with Martin Luther King Jr.’s picture in it. I have to agree with Fred on this one as I see no relevance of the content in promoting B&J’s ice cream. Perhaps there is an underlying purpose for that but I honestly don’t see its bearing here.
Of course there are web sites that met Showker’s scrutiny like Hallmark, Camobell Soups and Smuckers. These sites provided a good site for browsing and had a good visual offering for the visitor.
Fred Showker’s main thesis in his review is the importance of the reader as an element in the creation of web sites. The site must be tailor-made for the reader for it to reap the fullest benefits. The content must be of relevance to the reader and not just provide a stiff approach to giving out information.
He further adds that a site may come up short on the design aspect but it still should follow this basic concept, "The reader is the most important element in the equation." Style gives way to message, and content is STILL king.