The New homepage is a pile of shit

Posted on 27th October 2010

Firstly, let me say that I know what a challenge it is to build large, content hungry sites, with masses of features, and that's not on a scale even close to what's involved with, so my criticism isn't blind. Having said that...

What the fuck Microsoft? On a brand so important as Xbox, when you have the opportunity to refresh your website, why oh why did you let the work experience kid have final say on the homepage, the most important page of the entire site? (Argue what you want about that, but if the homepage is shit, I'm less likely to expore.)

I'm not bashing the idea, or the content here - the page follows a fairly standard big-ass image rotator (I like these) and lesser calls to action for other product features - but fuck me, the attention to detail is almost non-existant. Look at the horizontal spacing. Look at the calls to action below the 4 sub-sections. Look at the main navigation. Once you've finished throwing up, and have brushed your teeth, think about who designed and built this thing, and the power they weild. This is fucking Microsoft (and yes, I'm well aware of Windows ME) - by this point in time, they should be launching products that stand up to the finest scrutiny, especially with something as easy to fix as this.

Not being a complete waste of space, I decided to try and fix these problems one lunch hour, purely from a design point of view on the homepage. Take a look at my lunchtime refresh. Now take a look at the current (archived here). Which is better, from a design point of view?

I don't toot my own horn very much (I don't want to remove that 4th rib), but I think even a dead horse would be able to say that mine is a step up visually, and offers some clearer calls to action. The fact that I did this in about an hour, and could code it up (without resorting to Silverlight - seriously, just let it die) in another couple of hours should make the head of web for Microsoft hang his head in shame.

I was hoping that the oddities of the design would iron themselves out, but 2 weeks after launch, and it's still the same. That's a massive shame, because while I might have used the old from time to time, to add friends and schedule downloads, I don't see myself using this version unless I really really have to.

If anyone at Microsoft wants to pay me to clean up their mess, I can bring my own mop.

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