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This has to be one of the most unusual sites I’ve ever seen. The design is very bare bones, with images of strange little sketches being the dominant feature below the green banner. Looking around, I instantly see the description of what this site is.
This site allows you to make little sketches and it saves and uploads them to a community. It’s like an online doodle pad that you can share with the world.
Inside the banner there is a little tool that looks like it will allow you to sketch inside it.
I give it a go. Wow. It works kind of well, though I really don’t have the artistic capability to make my mouse do pretty things.
When I first touched the pencil to the pretend paper, it made a username and password field appear, which then wobbled every time I put the pencil back to the paper. This encouragement to log in is neat and useful, but got a little distracting after a while.
I clicked on save and it had me register my username and password. When I had done that, though, I was sad to see that my carefully drawn and artistically brilliant sketch had vanished. I don’t feel like doing it over, so if I wasn’t here for a higher purpose I would probably have exited the site.
The internal workings of the site are almost exactly the same as if you aren’t logged in, but of course you have a place to see recent sketches that you have created. You also have a profile sketch that it looks like you can work on if you so choose.
I logout so that I can get a standard view of the site. On the front page we have recent sketches, and below a section of sketches tagged with something random. It looks like this tag changes every time you visit the site to allow you to see new sketches. I click on popular to see what sketches people think are awesome.
Um, these are the popular sketches? Wow. I’m distinctly unimpressed. Their criteria must not be very high. Love the whale though, super cute.
Clicking on artists takes me to a page of empty profile pictures in alphanumerical order. So it’s basically an entire page of this:
Even better are the “adverts” on the left side, all of which are stretched.
I do like the fact that the little drawing box is still at the top of every page, though.
Clicking on groups leads me to a better selection of drawings that people have given more thought to.
At the footer, I click on the Sketchplanet blog. No updates for a long time and only one article. Why have it?
Clicking on the sitemap, this is just a list of poorly organized links.
The contact form is just a link to an email.
So this site has a great concept. It’s a really neat idea and the sketching interface works pretty well. Unfortunately, the rest of the site is a let down. It feels incomplete and unfinished. I feel like with a little effort, this could be a really fantastic site, but it needs an overhaul.
- Strengthen your brand
- Save sketches that people do initially before they have logged in .
- Have a more accurate way of determining popular sketches
- Identify users with a sketch they’ve done, rather than a blank profile picture.
- Update your blog
- Fix the stretching of Artist Adverts
- Make the sitemap look designed, not just a list of links.
- Implement an actual contact form, not just an email address