UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 156 April 16, 2007

Microsoft ForeFront Web Site

Check out this impressively designed web site for a Microsoft security product called ForeFront. Is it me or is this an unbelievable expensive and long way to go for potential buyers to learn about this product? Extraordinary flash without a satisfying payoff. Another example of “Make it edgy… but don’t offend anyone.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

User Profile

Howard Mann is the founder of Brickyard Partners, a business strategy agency based in Portland, OR. Prior to founding Brickyard Partners in 2001, Mann owned a premier international logistics company with over 140 Million in revenue, six U.S. offices and a global network of over 40 agents worldwide.

As that business came under severe pressure from the previous economic downturn and industry consolidation, Howard lead the company out from those treacherous times by returning to the basics that make every business great and completing 6 acquisitions that re-imagined the business so it was highly attractive to buyers. Finding that “secret sauce” did not come easily but has fueled his purpose to help other business leaders to never have to go through what he endured. 

Through real world experience and those hard times in the “trenches” of business he has learned that it is not following the latest fad, copying competitors or adding complexity that makes a business truly great. His pragmatic approach and knowing what it feels like to sit in the CEO/Owner chair is what makes his work so different and effective.

In addition to his strategy, marketing and communications work, Mann coaches a select group of entrepreneurs, CEO's and business owners. His highly focused workshops and keynotes help executive teams take aggressive action to unlock the true potential of their organizations and build remarkable businesses that endure. In good times and bad. Online and off.

Howard is a sought after speaker both in the U.S. and around the world. He writes frequently on his blog about the importance of the basics and reconnecting to the passion that too often gets lost as businesses mature.

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Comments

31
26

What’s so great about it? They used an intro movie in 2007 for cryin’ out loud.

34
34

Oh come on! Give them some credit! As a promotional site this was executed nicely.

32
31

Bryan: I agree, for some reason people always need to criticize Microsoft even when it’s not deserve. The site is well designed and executed.

32
31

My main glitch with this really well designed website is the tone. Seems like the punchline isn’t really that funny, it’s all a bit to obvious and condescending. While the concept could have been pretty hilarious (ninjas are hilarious, aliens are hilarious, missing pirates and Chuck Norris), you get a feeling that it was watered down — distilled through numerous corporate filters. It ain’t the Subservient Chicken — not even close.

24
29

I wasn’t trying to come off as Microsoft-bashing, it actually wasn’t my intention. I guess I have a negative reaction to “skip intro” movies. They just seem so dated to me. Does anyone else get that impression?

32
29

Christian, This is your work right? How are making judegements on techniques you do not seem qualified to judge? Who cares what brand it is. The site is nice

Link to your work below:
http://www.christianready.com/i/highgear_full.jpg

30
34

I happen to think its a real breakthrough in technology and the way high definition video is handled on the web.

This site represents a new standard in video quality. It was designed to convey a message through empowering the IT professional using funny vignettes to get the point across.

I admit the fact that I was the interactive producer on this project makes me biased but knowing all the hard work that went into this i can tell you from an insider point of view that it really is impressive in its execution from the inside out.

Plus a lot of time was put into the video shoot, the design (it is localized in almost every country) and the backend.

28
30

Craig, I totally agree. As I said in the initial post the site is extremely impressive and well executed.

The point of my post is that the experience was superb but I did not leave the site with a good understanding of the product or a desire to buy it.

29
30

I’m still chuckling from Julien’s remarks. Indeed the pot calling the kettle black. Spot on!

33
28

this is by no means a breakthrough, in fact the whole intro was as pointless as the sub menus within that section.
Host driven websites and “little people” integrated thru rudimentary keying techniques are no substitute for a compelling sales/education driven experience. far too much wipe on/wipe off, stop/start here. these “funny vignettes” wouldnt cut it on tv, hell -> not even on youtube, but people seem to make far too many allowances simply because it is online.

the fact that it launches seperate webpages, and even clears the page to resize is a particular bugbear of mine.

amount of time spent, or territories covered is irrelevant to a sites quality. success is measured by target audience educated and sales converted, however simple or mind bogglingly complex a site is…

27
37

About as pointless as:

“That extracts soul
That redefines
That transcends lines
That challenges minds
That lingers inside”

That’s what I call polishing the turd, and a typographic disaster.

28
32

jelousy folks, green jealousy is what it is…

30
36

jelousy folks, green jealousy is what it is…

28
27

About as pointless as:

“That extracts soul
That redefines
That transcends lines
That challenges minds
That lingers inside”

That’s what I call polishing the turd, and a typographic disaster.

31
35

this is by no means a breakthrough, in fact the whole intro was as pointless as the sub menus within that section.
Host driven websites and “little people” integrated thru rudimentary keying techniques are no substitute for a compelling sales/education driven experience. far too much wipe on/wipe off, stop/start here. these “funny vignettes” wouldnt cut it on tv, hell -> not even on youtube, but people seem to make far too many allowances simply because it is online.

the fact that it launches seperate webpages, and even clears the page to resize is a particular bugbear of mine.

amount of time spent, or territories covered is irrelevant to a sites quality. success is measured by target audience educated and sales converted, however simple or mind bogglingly complex a site is…

30
36

I’m still chuckling from Julien’s remarks. Indeed the pot calling the kettle black. Spot on!

33
36

Craig, I totally agree. As I said in the initial post the site is extremely impressive and well executed.

The point of my post is that the experience was superb but I did not leave the site with a good understanding of the product or a desire to buy it.

25
29

I happen to think its a real breakthrough in technology and the way high definition video is handled on the web.

This site represents a new standard in video quality. It was designed to convey a message through empowering the IT professional using funny vignettes to get the point across.

I admit the fact that I was the interactive producer on this project makes me biased but knowing all the hard work that went into this i can tell you from an insider point of view that it really is impressive in its execution from the inside out.

Plus a lot of time was put into the video shoot, the design (it is localized in almost every country) and the backend.

29
34

Christian, This is your work right? How are making judegements on techniques you do not seem qualified to judge? Who cares what brand it is. The site is nice

Link to your work below:
http://www.christianready.com/i/highgear_full.jpg

34
27

I wasn’t trying to come off as Microsoft-bashing, it actually wasn’t my intention. I guess I have a negative reaction to “skip intro” movies. They just seem so dated to me. Does anyone else get that impression?

24
35

My main glitch with this really well designed website is the tone. Seems like the punchline isn’t really that funny, it’s all a bit to obvious and condescending. While the concept could have been pretty hilarious (ninjas are hilarious, aliens are hilarious, missing pirates and Chuck Norris), you get a feeling that it was watered down — distilled through numerous corporate filters. It ain’t the Subservient Chicken — not even close.

26
32

Bryan: I agree, for some reason people always need to criticize Microsoft even when it’s not deserve. The site is well designed and executed.

35
32

Oh come on! Give them some credit! As a promotional site this was executed nicely.

25
31

What’s so great about it? They used an intro movie in 2007 for cryin’ out loud.