On first landing I was pleasantly surprised by this site. I had a quick and apprehensive look and was relieved by what I found. ‘Apprehensive’ because I have had to look at insurance, credit card and air mile sites recently and was expecting something similarly hectic and brash. ‘Relieved’ because that isn’t the case at all with this site and the opening image of a beautiful, autumnal road I’d love to drive down was perfect.

The appearance/presentation

As aforementioned I think that the opening images are very well-chosen. In my case they immediately brought to mind weekend road trips and, even if someone is on the site for another reason, I believe that they will engender plenty of ideas of that nature.
It is necessary however that even visitors to the site with more practical needs feel that they are in the right place. To this end I would alter some of the colours. The red-brown colour of the title and the heading of the sidebar could be changed to a darkish grey, for example, or blue. The images provide ample leisure connotations, sobering the colour would add a more professional context and only enhance the effect of the images. The playful font of the title would prevent the grey or blue from making the page too severe. If the red-brown is to be retained, I would try and reduce the amount of different colours on the page – red-brown text, blue text, black text, white text, grey lines, light blue borders – this should be tidied up.

The content

Most of the content seems very professional with clear explanations and no flowery language: It is matter-of-fact and not annoying to read which is unusual and a big plus. However, I felt as though I had to skim a lot to find the answers to the most basic questions. It is OK to have paragraphs of text that people choose to read if they want more detail on specific topics but the more basic questions, I feel, need shorter, more easily found, answers. The text itself is fine but it’s not concise enough. With a little editing it could be a lot better.

Then there are the other pages that are still awaiting correction I think (?) as there was quite a difference between the language on them compared to the first and other pages. From the client’s instructions I understand that they have not yet been edited. However I will just say that they obviously need to cohere, visually and linguistically, with the first page which is not always the case at present. If the other pages are the earlier version then the site, in my opinion, is moving in the right direction.

Copyright Flavin Media 2010