Live Blues World is… Live

A website called that I worked on nearly a year ago when i was in India has finally gone ‘live’ today. After around 10 months of development I’m pleased to see that it has finally been launched.

The website is a mega-portal for all things in the Blues music genre. My input was to create the original mockups, offer advice and recommendations on the features and to create the programming requirements document. I completed my work on the project around February of this year and let the programmers get on with it.

My first impressions when I saw the site for the first time since I left the project was: “oh dear”.

Unfortunately they have not followed my original mockup layouts and the whole site looks scruffy and confused (although maybe that’s the idea – who knows?). The design is just…wrong.

There is no definition, no borders, nothing to define that one bit of content starts –here– and another bit starts –here–. There is no focus on what the main content is and what is ‘extra’ stuff around it. There is nothing that particularly draws your eye to any part of the website.

The main criticism that I have about this site is the design and layout. I’ve not gone too indepth with the programming and features side of things, but I know if they closely followed my recommendations they will have a good foundation on which to start.

As I look around the site, I fail to see quite how it took 10 months from start to finish…Hmm…OK, that’s a bit of a lie, I know exactly why it took so long: the project was too big and everything got muddled up. There were delays in getting feedback from the client.

I’ve talked before on this blog about outsourcing disasters and why you should absolutely avoid doing big projects without having someone on hand every day to manage the project for you. I think the LBW website suffered from the same problem, too much too soon.

It would have been better if they started off with getting the blog part created and then created each section in turn. That way they could have got the site up and running right away and continuously made adjustments and improvements to the site. Instead they now have a brand new website complete with bugs and will have to start the unenviable task of bug hunting and writing bug reports.

Hopefully they can get the design sorted out soon too 😉

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