INTERACTIVE: Interactive gallery

Interactive gallery reviewed by russell davies

Interactive gallery reviewed by russell davies

Sky Sites

You’ve a problem. You’re selling Sky TV in-store and you have to explain

your channel - ideally without relying on the courteous and

knowledgeable staff electrical retailers typically employ.

‘Sky sites’ - interactive units that let punters explore the Sky offer

on their own - are the solution. They’re a laudable demonstration of the

use of appropriate technology rather than the latest whizzy silicone


The genius of these machines is that they use Philips’ massively

unfashionable CDi technology. This unsexy system nevertheless delivers

tons of full-motion video, is simple to operate and reliable. None of

the 500 units out there have ever failed - could you expect that of 500

multimedia PCs?

Client Gary Houfe, marketing projects manager, BSkyB

Brief Create a new channel to promote Sky to customers in-store

Created by The Design Clinic

Graphic designers Mark Whitehouse and Jon Wainwright, the Design Clinic

Systems design Pentactive


Mediatel has been quick to spot the opportunity of using the Net to

deliver information to the advertising industry. It’s also realised that

the more information suppliers it works with the tighter its grip on

this discrete but lucrative market will be.

It’s worked with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to build

the official IPA site and made a splendid job of it. It’s a model of

effective, low-key information delivery - simple menus, uncluttered

graphics and speedy delivery. There’s free stuff for the unwashed and

private areas for IPA members. The site is slightly reminiscent of a new

shopping centre - there are a lot of empty units - but it promises to

become less Tobacco Dock and more Lakeside Thurrock.

Client Lynne Robinson, research director, IPA

Brief Create a Website that will provide information to IPA members and

communicate with the general public

Created by Mediatel Web Consultancy

Designer Duncan Wilson


The Sporting Life

It’s clear why the Sporting Life has gone online. Cash. This

uncomplicated motivation gives it an admirable strategic focus.

The basic Website is a fairly straight reproduction of the paper -

nicely done but nothing special. However, the element that should see it

romping home in the online exploitation stakes is its comprehensive

racing database. Formsters can buy all the British and Irish form for

1995 and up to the start of the 1996 Flat Season for a little over

pounds 400 - and update the database daily via the Internet.

Now I’ve no idea whether there are enough punters out there to make this

profitable - but it has to be a good bet.

Clients Cornell Riklin, general manager, Mirror Group, David Annet,

general manager, the Sporting Life

Brief Investigate technical advancement for Mirror titles and brands

Created by Mirror New Media


Virgin Radio

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Websites. And I like the Virgin

Radio offer. It’s a splendid example of art. It’s just that sometimes

you have to wonder what exactly Websites are for. This, again, is a good


I’m sure Virgin would say it acts as a shop window to the industry, or

it’s a way of experimenting with consumer-demanded entertainment

retrieval, or even that it’s splendid for telling people about their

various frequencies. All this is true, but don’t you suspect Virgin got

a Website because all their mates have got one?

Maybe I’m being harsh - because Virgin has obviously put a lot of

thought into the pages. The design reflects the station’s character -

there are some really nice touches and lots of Real Audio. And you have

to admire its commitment to being pioneering. There’s just no real sense

of why it’s there.

Client David Campbell, chief executive, Virgin Radio

Brief Create the best Internet site for a radio station in the world

Created by Ajaz Ahmed and Hester Bloch, AKQA

Graphic designers Mike Redpath, James Hilton

Systems designers Dan Norris-Jones, Doug Anarino



The UnZip CD-Rom won the top prize at MILIA (the Multimedia equivalent

of Cannes), so it creeps into this review despite being quite an old


Unzip illustrates the ups and downs of CD-Rom publishing. Once you get

it running it’s a lovely piece - an imaginative interface, bags of funky

content and a lot of very pleasant young people’s-type music. You can

see why multimedia professionals would shower it with virtual laurels.

On the other hand, CD-Roms are about the most ‘consumer antagonistic’

products there are. They never work, they demand a lot from your PC and

they tend to be really boring. UnZip isn’t boring because of the effort

that’s gone into it - but creating an interesting CD-Rom is a challenge

most in the industry haven’t cracked.

Clients Ken Frakes at Zone UK, Colin Tough at IPC

Brief UnZip is an interactive style magazine available on CD-Rom

Created by Ken Frakes, Zone UK

Designers Raj Choudhury and Kirk Goble at Zone, and two other design

companies: Lush and Persuaders

Russell Davies is the interactive marketing director of Leo Burnett

Images captured by Automatic Television Tel: 0171-240 2073