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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Top Notch Design

Wednesday
February 23, 2005

I have to hand it to my brother Matt, he's done an amazing job with the design of the all-new KargBoys.com website. They're a band out of Nashville lead by Richard and Andy Karg, two guys who Matt and I have been friends with since we were little kids. If you like acoustic and/or country music at all, you really should check out their site. They have six songs (as of this writing) available for free download. In particular you really should listen to "The Goodbye Song", which is tremendous. But they're all strong songs.

But my amazement is how good of a job Matt did with the website layout. I've been doing this website design stuff for about ten years, so I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about it by now. My approach has always been content first. Content, content, content. Try to make it aestheatically appealing, but make sure there's content there.

Matt's approach with the Karg Boys site was different. He made their website visually outstanding. My bro has always had a flair for the artistic side, and he put that approach into the web design. In my website work my mindset has always been to make it as accessible as possible, so I've limited the graphics so it will load quickly for people with slow internet connections. But this is 2005, not 1995, and broadband and high-speed internet is big business. And Matt definitely designed the site with broadband users in mind.

The logo is inspired, with the name made to look like a neon sign. With a name like "Karg Boys", you have to be careful in how you present it, lest you alienate the male audience. I know they'd prefer to be thought of in terms of the Oak Ridge Boys versus the Backstreet Boys, but still there's a right way and a wrong way to do it, and Matt definitely has taken the right route with it.

The site uses black-and-white and color in contrast very effectively. When done properly, that effect can be amazing. The U.S. version of the Radiohead video High and Dry (one of my all-time favorite videos) uses black-and-white and a freeze to signal that it's about to show a flashback scene. The movie Memento uses black-and-white to differentiate the phone call scenes between the backward pasted plot scenes (if that makes no sense, then just watch the movie -- trust me on this one). With the webpage, there's no moving video, but the use of color in particular when dragging the mouse over the members of the band is extraordinarily effective.

I've found myself playing ESPN College Basketball 2K5 on the PS2 again. Unfortunately when I started my initial "legacy mode" I failed to choose the customize schedule option, which inexplicably defaults to off. Not wanting to play the exact same schedule every season, I had to start over from scratch. But that has allowed me to play as Lipscomb, which has been fun. The only downer is that the game for some reason thinks Lipscomb is located in Knoxville. It recognizes the home arena as being in Nashville, but when it comes to the big list and for recruiting it thinks I'm in Knoxville. Strange. But for next season I'm going to put MTSU, Memphis, Evansville, Birmingham-Southern, etc. on the schedule (Vanderbilt I added for season one, even though they trounced me). Belmont is in my conference already, so I get them twice...


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