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Well, this is not what I expected to see, or watch, or have my browser crash from.  

Restarting browser…

The exploratory site was pretty presentable. Not much to it, but for what it was, I thought the designers did a perfectly acceptable job with it. I’m pretty sure these are not the same designers. This review could get wordy, I fear, so I’ll be mindful of the pile-on mentality of design critiques on blogs and keep it concise.

When I pull up the page my eyes go to the less than inspired Rudy logo and then to the unflattering screen capture of our candidate in mid explanation. Under his image I then read “A Time For Leadership”. That flow was all intentional and it worked just fine. Now what? Behind that inspirational tagline are my options to send an email, turn up the volume and scroll through something, I think. I honestly don’t know, and I do this for a living (I tried to click through and got an error). Awkwardly placed to the left is the button to play the video. While I appreciate that the video doesn’t start automatically, this navigation is just unnecessary in its overall size here. I would have thought that all of this could have been neatly placed under the screen.

Author’s note: At first glance I was sure that this video section layout was an html error, but I am leaning toward the designers again.

Clicking on any of the navigation for the video section, I soon learn, is a browser killer and after I make that mistake a few times, I get control of my OCD and bypass it altogether, instead moving right to the (wait for it) Action Items. Incorporating the highly sophisticated 1,2,3 numerological approach, I am invited to (1) Join, (2) Contribute and finally (3) Get Involved. The Get Involved section really commands my attention with the red on blue seizure-inducing palette. Can you feel the excitement?  The most pleasing design element is the link to the RudyStore (beveled edges though? Really?). Sadly, when I click on the link, my browser refuses me and eventually freezes.

Restarting browser …

Beneath all of this excitement are nestled Special Features and something referred to as Live Feed.

It appears that Special Features for now would be more correctly named Feature. And the feature today is a Photo Album. The designers just had real estate to fill here and they all know it. It happens. They’ll do something creative going forward I trust. The drop shadow on the photos was an unnecessarily homey touch. The Live Feed, it turns out, is really blog entries and press releases. I don’t really understand why there wouldn’t be a section called Blog, and one called Press Releases here, but maybe I’m still goofy from the seizure a few paragraphs back.

The oddest thing about this homepage is the layout. For some reason the page is falling out of the right hand side. All content is within the internal boundary of the site except the action items and the store, which appear to be forced outside by bad coding, but (as noted above) is actually intended. This is such an odd presentation that I have to think it was pushed out the door just a bit before it was ready. Low marks for the Rudy2008 design at this point.


About the Author
Tom McCormick
Tom McCormick is the head of the Brick Factory's design department, overseeing all of the company's creative work. In that role, Tom consults with clients to design websites that are beautiful and functional. He only writes blog posts that have something to do with football, probably because he is a Redskins fan and needs some kind of catharsis after they lose every week.