NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) is the only public broadcaster in the country. Each household that owns a television pays a fee that is used to finance the company. When I look at NHK’s English Web site, my eyes hurt. It’s kind of like the way a scene of Pokemon on EDTV made more than 700 people (mostly kids), vomit and suffer from convulsions. “Gotta’ catch them all!”
Hand clap for NHK for even having an English-language Web site. We, Americans, think that everything is suppose to be in English nowadays, but that is just not the case. However, I do think that news outlets, depending on their size, should have an English version of their Web site for international users. I also think that in the United States that news outlets should provide something in Spanish for Hispanics. Anyway, back to NHK’s Web site.
The site is best viewed in Internet Explorer and in a reduced size screen. When you try to make the screen full-sized all of the content ends up looking squished to the left. The first thing I notice is the scrolling news bar on the top. I find this to be really distracting because there already is enough text on the page. The font for the scrolling news bar is larger than the font for the other news features. Plus the bar goes way too fast. At least, they give me the option to pause it. The next thing I notice is how small all the font is. It’s hard to read any of the content. Also there really shouldn’t be two features with scrollbars right next to each other. It looks too confusing. It would have been better if they just limited the number of content under “Features” and then let the users click on a link to see more features. They have a lot of different programs and specials, but maybe not all of them should be featured on the home page. It makes the page look overwhelming with all of those colorful bars. I also don’t like that when I click on one of these bars or sections that there is nothing else to click on after that. It is normally just text giving a summary of the program and the schedule. One of the analogies that I like that my professor uses is that a news Web site should be like one of those “choose-your-own-adventure” books. An online editor wants the user to keep clicking throughout the site and explore more and more content.
I’m not a bad guy. It’s not like there aren’t some things that I like about the site. I like the way they incorporated their radio programs and how they provide videos for most of their stories. I would change the way they allow the user to choose how they want the videos displayed. They should let the user set their video preference as soon as they come to the page or try to click on a video. That preference should be saved so that the user doesn’t have to choose it again. Doing this and other little minor things would help make the Web site not such an eye sore.
Am I being too hard on NHK? Take a look and let me know.