Not that I would link to or visit MTV.com that often, but their recent website redesign is very noteworthy my opinion, because it departed from the bells and whistles of a flash site and was changed to a pure XHTML/CSS site. With my design philosophy and for the type of site I like to read (one where I don’t wince upon arrival), I give MTV a BIG kudos for this. I really enjoy seeing a huge usability improvement like this on such a high profile site and on one of the sites I would have least expected it from.
Here is some of what they said on MTV Labs:
…about nine months ago, we went all Flash with our Web site. It was a technical marvel and it was indeed flashy. But, it was also something of a headache for a lot of users, so we were told.
Luckily, we’re also good listeners, and that’s why a few months ago we started toying with a new and improved HTML version of the MTV site. Anyone watching the live beta site has been witness to substantial evolution, from the overall look of the pages to simplified navigation, a new video player and a vastly improved internal search mechanism.
The site still has some pizazz though, thanks to the MTV HATS project. The HATS (Header Art Treatments) show a random, artistic background each time you visit the site (just refresh your browser repeatedly to see all the different HATS). These backgrounds are appropriate for the MTV audience, but at the same time the content presentation stays consistent, loads fast and is very readable.
I am impressed MTV. Maybe I’ll actually be back for another visit.