Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Walter Burley Griffin Society Web Site

On 14 November the Walter Burley Griffin Society launched its new web site. This has information on the work of both Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin. The Griffins are best known for the design of the city of Canberra, but also undertook other town planning, architecture, and landscape design work in Australia, the USA and India.

From a web design point of view, the new web site for the society is a workman like effort, but not very exciting. It passed a Level 1 automated Web Accessibility Guideline test . It failed level 2 and 3 tests, but with only a few minor issues.

The web site gives a brief overview of the Griffin's life and work and the activities of the Walter Burley Griffin Society. The major, and most interesting, content is the Gallery, which has an extensive database of the Griffins work in Australia, the USA and India. Unfortunately the gallery has a very clumsy interface, making it difficult to navigate the extensive information.

But the major failing of the site is that it does not emphasize the first priority of any membership based organisation: signing up new members. The membership form is hidden away at the bottom of the web page on the "About Us" page, where almost no one will be able to find it. The society does not accept on-line applications, or even by fax, and requires the form to be printed out and sent by mail (that is PAPER mail). It almost appears that the society does not want any new members.

The WBG Society have created a good database about the Griffins work and an okay web site, but perhaps suffer from a lack of business skill which also plagued the Griffins.

ps: Back in July I tried to auction the chairs from the Griffin designed Capitol Theatre in Melbourne. It is a long story.

No comments: