If you have read this site long enough you know that rarely is there an original idea on the web anymore. Instead what you get are sites that either take an idea and make it better or just give you the idea with some fanciness behind it. Best Party Ever is a party planning site and I’m not sure about any others that exist, but I hope that they focus more on the functionality of ease of use of the site over sticking as many AJAX effects on it.
What I Don’t Like
When you go to the site for the first time you are presented with a video. Videos can be a great way to introduce your users to your service, but rarely is anyone willing to sit down for a 6 minute video that at best is unprofessional. The video just doesn’t have enough polish to it and could easily be shortened to just show the essentials of the service. At most I would like to see a 1-2 minute clip here. Even better is give me a homepage with no video and after I signup send me to a page on how to use the service and keep that video readily available at anytime.
Signing up is easy and you don’t even have to wait for the confirmation email to arrive before logging in. However, when you do login you are sent to your profile page that allows you to edit your details. This page is essentially empty and I would think that the purpose of the service is to enter my party details, not edit my profile so I think the Party Planner screen would be a more appropriate place to send people after they login.
Now as I just mentioned the purpose of the site is to create parties/events so you would expect the party planning page overview to give you that option. There is an “Add description” button on the side and an event tab, but neither one of them hint at the ability to create a new party. Give me that option front and center and then you have a page users can work with. Why put the work on them to figure the system out when one small change will take care of everything?
Once you figure out how to get to the create new event page you are presented with a simple looking form. Unfortunately almost everything is a text box so you aren’t sure how you are supposed to input the time, location or anything else. To save all the information you just randomly typed into the form you have to scroll back up and click on the “Save your event” button on the leftside of the screen. Why not also give me a button at the bottom of the form since that is where I plan on being after filling it out?
After clicking on the Save your event button you are presented with a AJAX loading screen overlay and then brought back to the form with no indication that it really saved anything. Basically every other page works in the same fashion where you are left wondering how to work the form. No wonder they give you the video at the beginning.
When trying to set the budget for my cool 9rules party I wasn’t sure how to add vendors so I took a chance going to the Vendor directory to see what I could find. I didn’t recognize any of the vendors that they were showing and then realized all of them were in the state of Washington. Being in Florida this didn’t really help me out that much, but at least they used a nice add button to make things easy. Even worse I wasn’t given the option to change the zip code to even check to see if there were vendors in my area.
Oh well, I added my good friends over at Evergreen Speedway located in nearby Monroe, Washington and headed on back to my budget planner page. I set my party budget for $500 and then filled in the form saying that Evergreen took $600 off my money and therefore I went over budget and the system didn’t even warn me. Apparently it thought I wouldn’t mind going over budget and it just kept on ticking. This is where I kind of just gave up.
I won’t bother going into little graphical details (real rounded corners please) that seemed to have also gone overlooked.
What I Do Like
Writing this review.
There is only so much AJAX and bubbly design will get you. I’m not even going to finish this paragraph because my mind can’t comprehend how a service like this could feel that they are even ready to show the public. I would include screenshots, but there is no need to make them feel any worse.
This review is brought to you by the Letters R, V , X, Y and ReviewMe.
Originally posted on January 16, 2007 @ 11:02 pm