Some editions ago we reviewed Jordan’s Elvis World and caused some commotion. One of the reactions on the Alt.Elvis.King newsgroup was from the webmaster of The King’s Realm. He said he’d be redesigning his website quickly before we came around and gave him a bad review. A posting like that triggered us so we kept the site in our thoughts. The fact that the webmaster (Brian Harnish) volunteered to have his site reviewed by our reviewteam also shows great courage. It seems The King’s Realm is finished, time for us to determine the verdict.
Visiting The King’s Realm you are surprised by the futuristic lay-out of the site. A lay-out like that is not often found on an Elvis Presley website. The "newest" things we see in Elvis-webdesign are "modern-styled websites", like the Norwegian Flaming Star website.
Like stated above, the webmaster has really tried to make his site look different from other Elvis-sites. When you click on one of the menubuttons a new page is loaded so you always have one big page in front of you. The complete menu is also reloaded so navigation throughout the site is easy. Even following a link outside the menu brings you to a page with the menu. Sometimes a page is loaded in a new window offering detail-information (e.g. jumpsuits worn by Elvis for specific concerts). A nice detail is the button in (almost) each new window to close it.
It’s a pity the great design of the menu isn’t completely visible on every page. For instants on the frontpage the menu is pushed downwards because of that vote button. We understand the goal of this button, but why don’t include it in the table below the introducing text? Also a few ‘empty’ paragraphs above and below the banner are pushing it downwards. It ain’t no big thing, but it’s a sin…
A big plus is that throughout the entire site, including the pop-up windows the same lay-out is used, this really makes the site look coherent.
What does The King’s Realm offer us ? An overview of Gold- and Platinumrecords, lists of official and importreleases, including their tracklistings. A lot of RealAudio (complete CD’s, both import and official releases) and very interesting RealVideo-material. For the "Real"-content also this webmaster is claiming copyrights. We still think it’s a strange idea: claiming the copyrights for illegal material. Finally this site offers a links-page and an online shop (Amazon).
The most important parts of the site are the RealAudio/ RealVideo sections. They offer the visitor some great and for some people hard to find Elvisrecordings and video’s. The material is presented in a nice way allowing the visitor to find everything easily.
A con on this page, and this is something that goes for most webmasters offering audio and video, there is no review or extra information added to the presented audio and video. Adding this information could really improve the content of the site and it could help the visitor making a choice from the offered material. Now only a well-informed Elvisfan can easily select the relevant information.
The advice we’d like to give Brian is:
Try to add extra information to the lists. Just lists of titles with a link to tracklistings aren’t very informative we think. Maybe recordcovers (smaller version) and/or a reviews, even a small one, help visitors to find what they are looking for more easily. The same goes for the linkspage.
Build your site around the menu. It really deserves more than it gets now, because even in 1024x768-resolution it isn’t completely visible.
We guess the fact we don’t have too much advice shows this is a well designed, interesting page.
The webmaster reserved space in his menu for his awards, we’re glad to offer the 3 Star Award to fill some space on that page.