A banner, with a slideshow, flanked by the words “Here to help you through”. This is the first thingyou’ll see in the official website of Academy Funeral Services, one of the many funeral directors in Sydney, operating in 10 Jane Street, Blacktown NSW 2148. Easy to know thanks to the fact that the business’s address is located directly below the banner.
The site, fittingly enough, doesn’t have much fluff to it. It gets straight to the point with the things it wishes to convey; it’s utilitarian, and minimalistic, though a bit too much. We’ll get to that in a bit. The first thing you’ll see, before the header, is the main menu, with two links for Google+ and Facebook above it. The menu bar has links to Home, About Us, and the like, which is pretty much expected from a site.
Followed by that is the banner, which we’ve described at the start of this critique. Now, here’s something worth noting, which is part of the overly minimalistic point that was also mentioned before this paragraph. The banner is just a slideshow, flanked by the quote, and then, below that, is a link that leads to the ‘Contact Us’ page. The images themselves aren’t links, clicking the arrows on the sides of the banner won’t change the text and the link.
The pages themselves are plain white background with dark grey text. No fluff, no superfluous material. Now, this would normally be a good thing, as it means you don’t have to go through walls of text or visual media that don’t really have what you’re there for. And the text itself is straightforward and solemn, addressing the topic that funeral directors in Sydney talk about, with the proper level of solemnity.
But like we’ve mentioned before, the problem is that the site embraces minimalism too much. The home page itself features only one picture throughout the long wall of text addressed to the visitors, before ending at the collective that the Academy Funeral Services is part of; Heaven Address.
That’s it. Grey text on white background, with little imagery, if any at all. Don’t get it wrong, the very straightforward design is good, but it could be better. Emotions are key to a funeral, and grey text on white background doesn’t evoke much emotion. Ultimately, the site should use a bit more visual media, and add some color to help it really stand out.