Gucci’s redesign, and passing the ‘Skip Intro’ torch

With great power comes great responsibility… ;-)

I just read Ajaxian’s review of the new Gucci website, which is using script.aculo.us to build out a very slick, ‘Flash-esque’ user experience. Great job, too. I like what they’ve done with the site, it’s very aesthetically pleasing but also easy to navigate and browse.

But I have to chuckle a bit as I read the ‘skip intro’ barb in the first comment on Ajaxian – a portend of hauntings to come with script.aculo.us and other visual widgets realized in Javascript? Although Flash took many direct punches on the chin over the ‘skip intro’ sites, back then Flash was also the only real game in town for rich, interactive online experiences (as well as gratuitous animation). Now that Javascript can be abused with equal ease and aplomb for visual experiences, can we finally just agree as a community that it’s *designers and engineers* who are responsible the decisions to weigh down an experience with excessive visual flair/cruft/elements, and not the underlying technologies that enable them?

I suspect you won’t hear that ‘Javascript/Ajax is 99% Bad’ anytime soon, alas. Personally I think that any technology, if abused or overused, can become ‘99% bad’. But that’s just me (and my biased opinion)… and given Javascript’s recent emergence in this arena, I suspect there’s a lot more to be said on the subject in coming months and years.

Welcome to the ‘skip intro’ club, script.aculo.us! ;-)

3 Responses to Gucci’s redesign, and passing the ‘Skip Intro’ torch

  1. David says:

    The problem I have with these “emulate flash using only javascript” things, where they try to do animation, fades, etc using JS, is that it’s very heavy on the CPU. The Gucci site for example, takes something like 80% of my CPU, and that’s just to scroll an image across the screen.

  2. Jarek says:

    Congrats on a work well overdone. The whole site is so unpolished, that it doesn’t feel high-end at all. Every slide is almost linear (there are easings, but hardly precise) and animation tends to skip even on a recent machine (3gHz Athlon 64).That said – there are advantages of this 500lbs JS gorilla – mainly urls to pass/bookmark, search engines accesibility and scrollbars… all of which I can fake in flash, with the exception of search engines of course.

  3. Rodney Green says:

    Two things that got my attention on the Gucci site:First, there are purses that are priced at 20,000 dollars!! We are in the wrong business:-)Second, the shopping cart does not work! I’m using Firefox on a MacPro. Too funny.