Main Biography Journal Resources

Website Reviews

Best of Breed

Apple iTunes

Review by Garth Brown
June 7, 2011

Based on my experience with the internet, the Apple website is very close to the state of the art. Within the Apple website, the iTunes page presents an exemplar for the entire site. The color palette is subdued with emphasis on black, white, and gray. You'll notice that Apple uses several of devices to suggest a three dimensional space within the page: shadows, folds, and reflections. Notice the "iTunes 10.3 Free download" tag on the left side of the page. Shadows around that tag elevate the message of the page. On that same tag, also notice the upper left corner where it appears the tag folds around to the back of the page behind, which creates the illusion that there is space between two separate objects. If you look to the right at the images of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple laptop computer, you'll notice subtle reflections below each of those images. Those reflections suggest depth of field to the viewer.

What is the effect of this illusion of three dimensions on the viewer? The viewer is psychologically persuaded that the objects within the space he is viewing are part of the real world. He is transported from the symbolic realm of two dimensions into the quasi-real realm of three dimensions. Apple's commitment to giving their customer's the highest quality in their products is conveyed in this use of three dimensional representation. The images appear almost as real as the objects themselves. What better way to stir the desires of the technology consumer?

Worst of Breed

Rent My Chest

Review by Garth Brown
June 7, 2011

The Rent My Chest website was listed in an article in PC World recently. (This critique occurs after reading the list of worst websites but before reading the magazine's critique.) This website is just plain lame.

The idea behind this website is that you pick a word or phrase, submit it to Rent My Chest, and that word will appear on their webpage "forevermore" with a link to your website. You have the distinct honor and privilege of "owning" a word in this space and in this space only.

There is nothing about this page that would bring me back to it unless compelled under duress. The page has a flat medium brown background. The viewer is presented with a wall of words that are distinguished from one another only by spelling, color, bolding, and underlining. Click the word "Free" and you're taken to another flat boring website whose hook is the chance to get something for nothing. The standard for creating both the "Free" website and the Rent My Chest website was free and easy. Well, you get what you give: little or nothing. There is no MEANING here. There is nothing that is emotionally, visually, or intellectually attractive here. It is a wasteland.