An Analysis of SUTORAIKUanime

SUTORAIKUanime is more of a blog that reviews anime (Japanese animation) episodes as well as introducing Japanese culture, but it uses a design that I think is both simple and effective.

The navigation bar.

At the top is the standard banner that any website uses to identify itself to the world. The navigation bar is located below the banner and is of the horizontal drop-down design. The major sections of the site are on the main navigation bar, and when you hover on some buttons, they will drop down to reveal the sub-sections of that area of the site. This design helps remove the clutter that will result if all possible links are simply placed on a single navigation menu. Additionally the buttons are nicely spaced and have clear highlights, letting the user know where the cursor currently points at.

One frame of the highlights slide show.

The top of the content section of the site contains a slide show that displays all the latest news in each category. This allows users to see at a glance all the newest posts without having to scroll through the page or clicking through each category. The only problem I see is that there is no navigation within the slide show itself, the way some other sites have that allows users to quickly look through the slides. In this case, you would have to wait for the slide you just missed to come back after a full cycle.

The contents aren’t anything special, and are arranged the same way most blogs are, from the latest to the oldest. However, the choice of font style and color makes it easy to tell at a glance the boundary between individual posts. Titles are large and blue, a high contrast color against the grayish-white background. Each post is followed by a lighter-colored box that displays details such as the name of  the poster, post labels, and links to share the post on a number of social networks and services.

The special box.

The more unique part of the website is in the highlight box on the right of the main posts. This part is divided into three tabs. The first is where a brief introduction and major updates regarding the site’s activities are posted. The second tab is a compact list of the latest posts on the site without the clutter of content, only showing a short excerpt from the beginning of the post. This makes it easier to see what the latest posts are without having to scroll through the main posts. Finally, if you already know what you are looking for you can simply type it in the search box that is in the last tab.

This site clearly shows that you don’t have to be flashy in order to look nice or be effective. There is no over-utilization of Javascript or Flash effects, and embodies the general trend now that many websites are once again moving towards minimalism and elegance.


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