Aardvark Daily
Xtra launches new-look site
Copyright © 1997 to Bruce Simpson
ASB Bank
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1 Sept 1997

When Xtra launched their Internet service last year, its Web site came in for a huge amount of criticism - in fact during the first week, Aardvark had to provide a back-door to allow users of older browsers to get past the huge 135Kbyte opening graphic.

Subsequently the site has been greatly improved - but much of the improvement has gone unnoticed by the majority of Web surfers, many of who were put-off by their initial encounter and never bothered to return. The labarynth-like design of the old site also contributed to a lack of public awareness with much of the better content being hidden away, out of site and out of mind.

Well Xtra has now (to use talkshow terminology) given their site a "makover" and created a whole new swept-up image.

The huge Xville graphic hasn't quite disappeared but it has been put on a stringent diet and now takes up only part of the home page, surrounded by links and buttons.

Following the lead many other Net publishers who realise that TV is possibly their largest competitor for users' time, the new site is "channel-oriented", these channels encompassing areas such as news, sport, entertainment, etc. There are also plans to deliver this content using the push capabilities of new browsers such as MSIE 4 when it is released at the end of the month.

Bob Smith, General Manager for Xtra says "essentially all the changes are to make XTRA even simpler to use. XTRA content is displayed in a similar fashion to television channels which means it will be easier to find and enter each site."

Aardvark will be reviewing the site in next week's edition of Aardvark Weekly.


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