This time we went to the land of the Rising Sun, Japan. For one of the oldest and most active Elvis pages on the Net. On the entrance the webmaster tries to hypnotise you with two magic balls and a figure whose golden suit look familiar. When you can resist the hypnotising balls and regain consciousness you’ll find out that in the mean time the page loaded three huge pictures…. At least when you are smart enough to scroll down instead of pressing "enter" immediately.
After pressing "Enter" you’ll find an enormous menu, often disturbed by strange characters, probably Japanese, but not viewable with the worldwide standard (English). Disregarding these strange characters the rest of the site gives a messy impression too: different text- and table-styles, poor images regarding quality (but not quantity).
The enormous menu makes it difficult to find your way. And once you found it, there’s no way back. You’ll always have to use your browser buttons to navigate on this site. This might be a specific choice of the webmaster, but it is not very user-friendly. Neither are the indexes to the pictures: you’ll get a plain directory view of the galleries. True, it works, it is fast, but it looks unfinished and again, it’s very user unfriendly.
Where "Elvis Is Still Active in Norway" proved a simple design can be effective and even pretty attractive, this site shows the minors of the choice for a basic text orientated lay-out. Using notepad (or something like it) is fine as long as you take care of a consequent, basic lay-out, with at least a decent navigation structure.
Most annoying is the irritating animated background, which is really very disturbing when you are reading something.
In opposition to the comments we have regarding design, we are very positive about the content.
There is a lot of detailed information on all Elvis albums, Japanese as well as US-releases. Almost every album, video, laserdisk, DVD or CDRom has a coverpicture. Also all remarkable things on albums (stereo/mono, live, bonustracks and so on) are mentioned. There is too much info to mention, just have a look yourself. Beside all this information there are also a lot of picture-galleries, spanning all decades of Elvis’ life, special galleries for pictures with other celebrities and some family-pictures. Also there is a real-audio/ video section and pretty special are the pages with animated gifs (unfortunately in poor quality) and the Java-applets, with Elvis as subject.
On top of all this information and these gadgets the most important of Elvis World Japan is that it’s very up-to-date. Anything regarding Elvis, even when it’s only slightly, is mentioned on this page within hours. We are very grateful for this source of up-to-date information.
It looks like the webmaster puts all his energy in the content, loosing sight of the presentation. We fully agree with the importance of content, but a bad presentation derogates it and that’s a shame.
We’d like to see the webmaster to present his great work better. First things that come in mind are a consequent lay-out, a navigation structure and separate sections for English and Japanese content.