Saturday, September 16, 2006


Thanks to a tip from Dartanjal, I'm proud to introduce you to, the suspiciously unofficial web site for the East Orange New Jersey Police Department and a bona fide interactive design masterpiece. But before you click that link, you might want to read on to prepare your soul for what you are about to witness.

We begin with the obligatory Flash intro (pictured above), a Clockwork Orange-like visual onslaught of internet symbology including ones, zeros, "radar", Gabocorp 1997-esque floating 3-D balls, and a blaringly loud rendition of "The Halls of Montezuma." This eventually lands us on a page with a "critial" typo and (since this is a web site devoted to a police department) an obligatory image of a white woman in serious peril placed underneath the ominous digits "9-1-1."

But wait, there's more!

Clicking "skip intro" (which you can't do until you've actually watched the intro) brings you to the site's real content. Immediately we are presented with no less than 36 navigational choices in the site's top-level nav bar! That's 36 choices within the first 312 rows of pixels, an astoundingly high ratio of user confusion-to-screen real estate. The first six links at the very top of the screen immediately present a conundrum since four of them include the traditional text link underline, but the first two don't -- one is simply an icon of a house (okay, this links to the home page, I get it) and the second link to "maps and directions" isn't underlined. Obviously this designer just picked up a copy of Web Site Navigation Made Easier Through Inconsistency (2006 Edition).

But wait, there's even more!

Click on "Chief of Police." Just do it. You've got more 1997-era graphics and an embedded midi file of the Law & Order theme! Homina homina homina! I'm afraid to click anywhere else on this site for fear that I'll still be writing this post three hours from now!


Blogger Gene K. said...

OK, OK... I finally screwed up my courage and visited the site.

Wow. I've gotta say, JohnEats, that you must be TOTALLY wrong about this site. Why, just look at all the awards it's won - 128 of 'em, spread over six gorgeously besparkled pages!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Psychictoad said...

Excellent point, Gene K. Who knew that every police department in the world actually has a committee that judges websites each year. I'm sure 911 dispatch has time between calls to browse the web in Littlefield and places elsewhere. Hell even the Federal Police of Vienna (Austria) are checking the internets for good design.

But let's not overlook the most prestigious awards on there including the Nice Site Award and the sparkling rose award. Wow, that looks like at tough one to get, what with the sparkling and all.

12:19 PM  

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