The Felt Source Peer Review – Kids Don’t Have Credit Cards

    July 18, 2003

Browser Compatibility.
The page works nicely in Explorer, Mozilla, and Opera. It passed my first hurdle.

The overall layout could stand some tightening. It was a little difficult to figure out what you were supposed to do. There is a certain element of “discovery” involved, and that’s good. But the designers must draw the fine distinction between random and disorganization. Granted, that is in the eye of the reader, but the designer has to do all he or she can to direct them.

There are too many gratuitous graphics. Decorations are nice for party rooms, but they only detract from a web page. The “Pre Cut” logo only needed to appear once per page. The “Big Blue Ball” just didn’t seem to add anything but made the page more confusing.

Occasional use of fun elements like the squiggly jump rope adds some lightness, but they must be used sparingly. Just because you have them isn’t reason enough to use them.

I understand that the page is addressing Sunday School, home school, pre school, and elementary teachers. But it is important not to get confused between talking to kids and talking to teachers who talk to kids. Kids don’t have credit cards.

The list of links on the left further convinced me that this is a Bible page.

Lists that long require clarification.

The Big Red Ball overwhelmed the medium blue text and made the list hard to read.

I would present the educational and play material first, then put the Bible material on a subsequent page. There’s a lot of neat stuff offered, and as a grandfather I will likely make some purchases. But I had to work too hard to find things that interested me. I had to study the page and analyze the photos to realize that this isn’t exclusively a Bible study tool source.

Bible studies may be the mission of the company, but it block further exploration by non-Christians and people who are precluded from presenting a Christian agenda. Public schools and publicly funded pre-schools won’t allow teachers to teach their religion, so public school teachers will feel there is no value in going further. By making the page more secular won’t cause them to lose loyalty from the Sunday School and home school sector, and they will appeal to a much larger segment of the population.

More should be made of the value of felts. Flannelboards are a great learning tool. They incorporate many of the proven learning tools: color, tactile, movement, kinesthetic, and hand-eye coordination.

Overall I would say this is a good page. With a few concessions to the World it should succeed.

John Young
Grapevine Communications

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