Usability frogs
April 15, 2006 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Frog Review - Talking frogs review websites.
posted by carter (18 comments total)
This is it!! Best of the web!! Shows over!!
posted by wheelieman at 9:32 AM on April 15, 2006

I agree. Time to move on. Do you suppose there's such a thing as "Best of the biotechnology?"
posted by davejay at 9:39 AM on April 15, 2006

I hate the brown frog.
posted by cilantro at 9:49 AM on April 15, 2006

If only it was possible for the frogs to be funny.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:29 AM on April 15, 2006

The brown frog giggles constantly, as if the other frog is saying something funny. Puzzling.
posted by found missing at 10:34 AM on April 15, 2006

I sincerely doubt that those frogs are doing the talking. Also, the brown frog has something of a weird nervous laughter problem. Reminds me of that high school chem teacher who would laugh inappropriately when you messed up a stochiometric problem in class. "Oho ho ho ho! Two O2 molecules can't possibly reduce 2 Fe2+!" He was also the guy who referred to esoteric concepts as "obvious" and framed blatantly obvious things as if they were the riddle of the sphinx.

Whoa, sorry, flashback there.

As someone who uses websites, I echo some of their critique. Were I someone who designs websites, would I find this useful? No, I don't think so. Would I find it entertaining? Maybe. It's sort of like a "This Old House" or the like (what I call "grandpa shows") of useability.
posted by Eideteker at 10:46 AM on April 15, 2006

I need the little hammer that makes the brown frog die.

posted by bigmusic at 10:48 AM on April 15, 2006

Who exactly is the audience here? It's too simple for web designers, too "who cares" for other people. There's exactly one point made in each animation, and half of the total running time is occupied by one guy laughing at the one point made. Ugh. Most Effort For Least Return Award 2006.
posted by user92371 at 10:56 AM on April 15, 2006

The brown frog giggles constantly, as if the other frog is saying something funny. Puzzling.

This is true, but on the few occasions the brown frog crosses over from giggling into fits of hysterics, for apparently next to no reason, it becomes quite amusing.

I agree with user92371 - they could go into a lot more detail to really appeal to the design geeks that are going to be interested in this stuff... they should keep going because I am sure they could make those sites look more ridiculous than they have already.
posted by nthdegx at 11:11 AM on April 15, 2006

If only there were some way to combine these frogs with the Samurai Kitty link from earlier, we truly could have the best of the web.

i for one would pay money to see the brown frog undergo a mushroom furtality.

But maybe that's just me.
posted by quin at 11:49 AM on April 15, 2006

I love this, though I do have to tune out the goofy nervous laughter. I hope they make more.

It's aimed at other designers, to demonstrate how designs can get messed up between the photoshop phase and the final site. Marketing and engineering have a way of adding hurdles that don't make sense.

I'm in total agreement with them on the Home Depot site, though the search engine is probably even worse. I couldn't find information at Lowes on a shed I had just seen at their store, using the exact title of the product and all variations of the title.
posted by mathowie at 12:15 PM on April 15, 2006

Lame, not funny, not particularly usefule either. If it is meant to be helpful why not provide some commentary on fixing the problem?

Oh no, better to just make junior high level "jokes".
posted by oddman at 12:26 PM on April 15, 2006

If it is meant to be helpful why not provide some commentary on fixing the problem?

I thought it was pretty obvious, but they do actually say what should be done:

Ticketmaster: they say very plainly if Ticketmaster knows it is sold out, why do they even offer a 'buy tickets' button? Why not just say 'sold out' on the page?

Home Depot: they make jokes about the search engine results but it's pretty obvious what needs to happen -- real french doors should come up before refrigerators.

CBS Sportsline: they entire piece is about how hard it is to find the on-demand video and how confusing the signup form is. They say several times the equivalent of why isn't that video link larger, more prominent, and easier to find.
posted by mathowie at 1:04 PM on April 15, 2006

But matt, while an excellent summary, you left out the laughter! The laughter! The 20 seconds later laughter!

This becomes cool if there is some sort of algo on the frogs to do movement based on height of the audio waves... but I doubt it. Good critiques tho..
posted by cavalier at 1:14 PM on April 15, 2006

That's a nice summing up, Matt. Note also that the Home Depot results are partly an unintended consequence of weird metadata. The fridge that came up is described by the manufacturer as a 'french door' model - so the item-level description includes the phrase 'french door,' when in fact it is a fridge.

There's plenty of other usability stuff out there - e.g Jakob Nielsen's site - however I just thought that this was a particularly nice example of the "bantering frog" genre.
posted by carter at 1:16 PM on April 15, 2006

But those instances of bad design - useless searches, useful info being hidden away, out of date info - these are the norm for the commercial web, and it's easy for us to forget that because we visit groovy webpages that load quickly, are accessible and tell us what we want. Those sites are what your Mum experiences when she looks at the internet. It's good that sites like this are getting the kick up the behind they deserve - I just think it could do with being three to four times harder, with a pointier shoe.
posted by nthdegx at 3:37 PM on April 15, 2006

Here is a summary:

nanoscale sized HAHAHAHAHOHO
posted by jenovus at 4:41 PM on April 15, 2006

i thought it was kind of funny.
posted by Latersbra at 8:36 AM on April 16, 2006

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