Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shark Sandwich

Q: Why is MediaStorm so damn hard to use?

A: First, go to a casino. Walk around a bit, maybe play some slots, maybe play some poker, maybe not gamble at all. Then, at the end of the night, get to the door nearest to where you parked your car without circling the casino again at least once. Chances are, you won't be able to do it, unless you have an incredible sense of direction. I realize I just compared a website to a casino. In the same way, MediaStorm puts its own little Vegas syndrome on us in order to keep its grips on us for as long as it can. First, we are bombarded with no less than five stories on the same page, activated by simply hovering our mouse over the boxes in which the stories reside. The menu is hidden from view until you realize that clicking the menu button will provide you with a whole host of options. Following the inevitable clickery that occurs after your discovery, you are either brought to a page with a video and a brief description or a page of text that bombards you with further information. All the while, you're wondering, "Where can I get off this ride?" and "When will I have enough information to be satisfied?" It's almost a tease, really.

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