INTERACTIVE: Interactive Gallery

Interactive Gallery reviewed By Ajaz Ahmed

Interactive Gallery reviewed By Ajaz Ahmed



Boots



Clicking a little blue dot gets you inside the Boots site. Once through,

you’re presented with a whole series of other blue dots which explain

how to navigate around the five major sections, which are all about

health-related matters. These come under the generic titles ‘Your

Family’, ‘Your Looks’, ‘Your Health’, ‘What’s New’ and ‘Your Summer’.

Within each of these there are some good ideas. In many of the areas,

for example, a discussion group gives top tips about things like vitamin

intake and nappies. There’s also an ‘Ask the Pharmacist’ section,

together with other material such as how to deal with minor cuts and

grazes. But the content varies depending on where you go. There is also

an optional registration process, but there is no incentive to register

except that you get e-mailed when the site has changed.



Client Beth Porter, producer, Boots the Chemist

Brief Create the definitive healthcare site on the Web, offering advice

on all areas of healthcare. To appeal to women, include advice on

family-related medical matters

Created by Online Magic and Billco Multimedia

Address www.boots.co.uk



Barking Frog



Anyone looking for a decent-looking personal home page on the cheap need

look no further than this well-constructed site. Simply choose the mood

you’re in from the options available: peace, energy, fun or frisky, then

add the kind of person you are, be it a ‘techno Tracy’, ‘hot hunk’ or

‘sizzling babe’. Insert the missing details, such as your age and e-mail

address, then click ‘submit’. And there you have it - an instant home

page. But alas, there’s no such thing as a free home page and even with

this one, there’s a small, but probably worthwhile, price to pay. Your

page acts as a mating call to all the other visitors who also access the

site. There’s plenty of other stuff to keep you on the hop too - a

questionnaire which checks how much of a Barking Frog you are and a

competition that’s badly in need of an update.



Client Fabian Partigliani, brand manager, Allied Domecq

Brief Create a site that is maverick in approach, creates a tool for

generating dialogue with the consumer, and works with offline brand

development

Created by CHBi

Designers Emily Booth and Ben Gladwyn

Address www.whereitsat.com/barkingfrog



Wall Street Journal



A big question for publishers trying to make sense of the economics of

the Web has been answered. Charge for good content. And that’s exactly

what the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition is doing. The Wall

Street Journal hasn’t just taken the words from its newspaper and put

them online. Instead, the WSJIE gives news coverage 24 hours a day,

seven days a week and customises it for you. Is it worth it? Well, if

you like the Wall Street Journal’s editorial style and want to be kept

updated, absolutely. However, if it’s just customised stocks and shares

data you’re after, you can get that for nothing from other sources all

over the Net. If you’re still not sure, the WSJIE has another good idea:

a free trial.



Client Stefanie Miller, Wall Street Journal

Brief N/A

Created by Dow Jones staff, consultants from EDS, Oracle, IDD, Netscape

and others

Designers Internal team, led by Jennifer Edson

Address www.wsj.com



Guinness



While not everything in black and white makes sense, here’s a site that

does. Featuring three major sections, it’s everything the Guinness fan

needs except for the pint itself. Not being thirsty, I decide to educate

myself on the workings of a brewery and my visit to the online St

James’s Gate provides just that. For the browsers that support it,

there’s an animated ShockWave version. It’s also possible to download

goodies such as screen backgrounds and talk with Leonard the barman down

‘the local’. This is good fun, because Leonard seems to understand

grown-up words and throws me out the minute I get rowdy. There’s also a

well-designed section on Guinness-sponsored events. Only one question,

though: where’s the screensaver?



Clients Carl Lyons and Steve Day, Guinness Brewing Worldwide

Brief Create an engaging factual site (‘St James’s Gate’); create a

virtual pub (‘the local’)

Created by David Gamble and Steve Labbett, Ogilvy and Mather

Programming Webfactory

Address www.guinness.ie



Marks and Spencer



Just when you thought that annual reports were last year’s online

fashion, along comes the UK’s most respected retailer and puts its on

the Internet. In the report, which looks just as well designed as the

rest of the site, you’ll discover that the trading picture is rosy.

Equally as famous for its customer service as its financial stability,

M&S also adorns the site with a couple of forms through which it’s

possible to comment electronically on the site and on products and

services. The best idea on the site, the customer services form, is the

one you are least likely to use unless you have a major grumble.

However, the Website questionnaire, which asks things like, ‘Would you

be happy to buy goods online?’, gives a few clues to the retailer’s

longer term strategy.



Client Tomi Davis, project manager, Marks and Spencer

Brief Target students and journalists in the first stage of a phased

launch

Design Brian Wright, 1/2/1 Interactive Media

Address www.marks-and-spencer.co.uk



Ajaz Ahmed is managing partner of the communications company AKQA



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