Balls Away, Balls Away, Time to Put the Balls Away

At the start of Oliver’s Kindermusik classes there’s a short time of free play with squnchy inflated balls. The end of this period is signified by the singing of the song “Balls Away,” the words to which are as above. It is Oliver’s favourite song (before I took him to Kindermusik myself, I was convinced that he wrote it himself) and is flexible enough to be used for many tasks (“Toys Away,” “Dishes Away,” and so on). Earlier this week I transcribed the melody into GarageBand and emailed the result to my mother; by now I’m sure she’s built a symphony around it.

All of which is a tangential route into a pointer to the newly-redesigned Province of PEI website. This is the first iteration of that site since 1994 that doesn’t bear my design stamp (you can take an archeological dig through earlier designs here, back to 1996).

I feel like a father whose son has gone off to college for the first time: part of me wants to go fetch him right back home; part of me realizes he’s got to fly on his own.

We had a good nine-year run working with the Province, and left the project on good terms (my old YMCA leader Bill Difrancesco told us to “always stop the game when everybody’s still having fun”); the project is now in the hands of a great team working inside Government, and I wish them well as the new design evolves and matures. Having gone through this same process five or six times, I know what a Herculean task it is to redesign such a large and complex site; it’s like repainting an ocean liner while it’s sailing across the Atlantic.

Balls away, Balls Away, Time to Put the Balls Away.

Comments

Cody Swanson's picture
Cody Swanson on March 27, 2004 - 23:46

I’m the first to admit that everything I know about graphic design could be put in a thimble and thrown away, but I much prefer the previous design. The old front page was both visually pleasing and very functional. The new site, although functional is quite bland looking.

Mark's picture
Mark on March 28, 2004 - 01:18

I do agree with Cody..the site well,doesnt have the same feel to it..Not to mention that tis rather ugly..However I am sure it will improve with time..i hope

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on March 28, 2004 - 01:46

Some quick comments:
It’s time the website was split into two products:
peiplay.com for visitor information, and
gov.pe.ca for the official view of the government.
That way, they could use beautiful scenery, Flash(tm)y multimedia, etc. to attract the visitors, and give those of us who just want government info a more utilitarian site.
Compare gov.pe.ca/visitorsguide with novascotia.com (the NS visitors site). I’m afraid the NS site, particularly the opening page, wins hands down for aesthetics and the ability to make someone want to visit the province.

Cut to the official government sites, www.gov.pe.ca and gov.ns.ca:
(1) note that you cannot get to the PEI site with the url gov.pe.ca, but you can get to the NS site with gov.ns.ca. You need the www prefix for the PEI site. God knows how many people this has inadvertently kept away. As well, they should have gov.pei.ca and www.gov.pei.ca going there too.
Note that you can also get there with both princeedwardisland.com and www.princeedwardisland.com.
PEI.com takes you to a computer company.
(2) the NS site is much flashier, with icons for each of the menu items. The PEI site is more spartan. Even an offical government site needs some pizzaz!
(3) No button or link to the home page, except for the PEI logo. I know that clicking on the Prince Edward Island logo will take you back to the main page. Research shows, however, that many people are not aware of this convention.

Bill Harris's picture
Bill Harris on April 3, 2004 - 22:29

I just want some travel info ie: maps,hotels, interesting sights

Bill Harris's picture
Bill Harris on April 3, 2004 - 22:33

I didn’t say it’s PEI CAN. I’m intrested in. We plan to travel there in June 2004.

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