Whoa, man. This site is my favorite site out there. I mean, maybe there are more sites out there I haven’t found that I would like but…anyway, this site is amazing. I almost feel as though I don’t have to go to the places they showcase because I’m already there with the sounds, images, and feeling I’m given from the site.
So, basically, the site is about the National Parks around the country. They lure in the viewer with their use of heavily textured, moving images (gifs), their short clips of nature, such as birds flying, with the sound of their wings flapping in slow motion over the calming music, their slight movement from the reds of the earth to the greens of the forest, to the movement of the ocean above us. They use all sorts of perspectives to show the beauty of Earth just from a short preview of what you’re about to explore on the page. Because this content of the homepage stands out, I didn’t even see the navigation and footer bars, which have tiny tiny font compared to the dead center title of “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks,” in white over the video. The only option you have on this homepage is to click “Start Exploring” in blue, tempting.
I gave in and clicked the “Start Exploring,” and easy way to get the point of the site, which is to gain interest in visiting and traveling through these many national parks. Already, there is a huge usability factor because of this. There is contrast between the large white title dead center of the page over the movement of the video behind it.
After clicking that blue button, there is a small intro with a park ranger talking over the clips of the “hidden worlds,” asking you to explore the national parks. After the intro, there is an image split into 5 columns of different parts of the world. It’s easy to tell which is which because of the colors and textures used in the image behind the white title of “Dry Tortugas,” which has a haze of green and blue, clearly underwater. The one to the left of it is in reds and oranges, called the “Bryce Canon”. “Carlsbad Taverns” has browns behind the white title, when “Hawai’i Volcanoes” have an image of dark blue volcanoes with a vein of orange behind it. Finally, the image all the way on the left column is “Kenai Fjords,” which looks like a textured image of ice water with textured ice capsules floating around. Who wouldn’t want to click to see what the hubub is about?