Welcome back! After a brief dip into the ocean of the Internet, we’re back – this time, taking on two categories: 1) Media and Journalism and 2) Marketing and Advertising.
Now first, let me explain that our “Marketing and Advertising” list is not the same as Bestweb’s. If you look at the Bestweb.lk winners for that category, you’ll realize all of those are e-commerce websites. Fashionbug.lk in marketing and advertising? Seriously? We, on the other hand, will be looking to companies like Leo Burnett, which provide advertising solutions, AND throwing those into the grinder with the tons of web design sites out there (after all, the two fields are intricately tied together in this day and age). With that understanding, let us charge.
MEDIA AND JOURNALISM
It seems that a given few Sri Lankan news websites can actually maintain a good layout. Jarring amounts of text, flashing advertisements abound. In the light of this, I must say, we’re tempted to give ourselves the #1 spot. But as judges, we’ve cut ourselves off from the competition, so here’s the silver winner.
Hiru has a very good website. Even if all the scrolling isn’t to our personal tastes, it gets the job done brilliantly. Every space is utilized and you’re able to find key information at a glance. The advertisements, while there, aren’t the jarring eyesores that we see on other websites.
Itn.lk? It’s functional, though not up to Hirutv’s standards. That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing to keep the eye engaged, unless the eye happens to be a few decades older than the rest of the world.
A rare gem among the .lk news sites, the Sunday Leader stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s one of the few media sites that doesn’t look like a car accident. Very easy on the eyes, emphasizing text and articles over all else while keeping the typography clean and pleasing.
Never heard of it? Not your fault: ada is a niche newspaper. But what a site! Despite the fact that it’s not HD-ready, ada.lk is a masterpiece of web page ninjutsu compared to the other sites facing us today. Go to the page and read the full print paper by flipping the pages. It works great on a tab. Drag and let go to flip the page, double-tap to zoom in and start reading. The tech behind these visuals is actually pretty common – but ada appears to be the first media site to bring it to the masses.
Everlasting.lk is so similar to some of the WordPress themes out there that it’s nauseating. Also, the content seems completely irrelevant to music – “Dogs used as early warning systems for diabetics?” This is where we crack bad jokes. What’s the relationship between a diabetic, a dog and house music? They all show up on everlasting.lk.
www.techwire.lk – This up-and-coming tech site has a great deal going for it, not the least it’s very user-friendly, AD-FREE design and intelligent content. However, it needs a lot more content to be recognized as the tour-de-force it is.
www.adaderana.lk – Not an eyesore, but expect advertisements.
MARKETING, WEB DESIGN AND ADVERTISING
Now this time, we hope, we won’t have to dig through weeds to find the roses. Advertising agencies know the value of a good first impression – well, most of them do: the rest are out of business. To that end, they tend to employ talented digital artists and designers. Let’s see what they have to offer.
Our Pick: www.promobrands.lk
Bestweb.lk pick: none
Promobrands oozes class. In fact, it may just be one of the most gorgeous Sri Lankan websites we’ve ever visited. The only way to describe it is “go see for yourself.” No wonder Toyota hired them – heck, I would.
JWT is one of the most welcoming websites. It’s also several steps ahead than the standard pull-down menus and blogroll sites. Essentially a lovely interactive Flash experience, browsing the JWT site is a pleasure: you start clicking stuff just to figure out what’s beneath. Be warned – it’s a bit heavy on bandwidth. Nothing ADSL or a dongle can’t handle.
Once again, we’re mystified as to Bestweb’s picks, not to mention their categorization – especially since Promobrands was one of the contestants in this category.
It’s a surprising fact that many web design companies have shitty websites. Or they’re based around standard templates, which we abhor. Webdesign.lk is a refreshingly good website with a entirely different – and more importantly, a completely Sri Lankan look and feel. Minor irritants keep this site from climbing higher up the ladder.
Bestweb’s picks? A website for finding tuition teachers, an ebay for gadgets, and a classifieds site. Okay. Nothing to do here.
www.grantgroup.lk – A bit simplistic compared to the others, and a tad too similar to a blog template to make it into the top list – but it’s a great site all the same.
www.splendor.lk – Splendor’s front page is meh, but that about us page could have taught us a thing or two.
*WINNERS RECEIVE PERMISSION TO USE THE README BESTWEB 2013 AWARD GRAPHIC ON THEIR WEBSITE. It’s no big deal, you can grab it off the top of the article. Didn’t win? Talk to us and we’ll let you have that shiny badge.