Certain connotations will always be associated with the term “downtown.” At least, that’s how it seems to us. The hustle and bustle of a bustling city center, with mid- and high-rise skyscrapers rising up in every direction from the ground. When 24-7 traffic tones are confined in roadways that have long ago been designated as “true wind tunnels,” the result is a cacophony of noise that cannot be avoided.
If we apply that concept of downtown to Downtown Bingo, it is possible that the establishment is the polar opposite of its own name. As opposed to imagery that conjures up images of steaming manhole covers and the chaos of 21st Century life at its most raw, but also decadent, desperate, disparate and yet also united, we are instead presented with the city equivalent of a level in the video game Super Mario World, which is a disappointment. That doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world until you realize that none of the artistry that made SMW so bloody playable in the first place is there in this version. Instead, all that is present is a sky blue background, which presumably represents just that – the sky – a few clouds, presumably not the toxic kind that is currently afflicting everyone from London to Beijing, and a small logo containing the website name- Downtown Bingo, in case that wasn’t clear already- and the vague outline of a non-descript skyline, which is presumably meant to represent a city. It’s not really inspirational, even by the most desperate stretch of the imagination.
Still, who are we to bemoan the situation? We did not create this, and presumably if we were capable at creating bingo websites, we would not be repurposing someone else’s work. Taken into consideration, and hopefully understood, let’s take a deeper look under the surface to see precisely what this one is doing right and what it is so plainly getting wrong..
Who Is to Blame for This?
The first thing that will undoubtedly impress you about Downtown Bingo is that the whole establishment seems to be a complete jumble of chaos. It is clear what we are talking about if you scroll down the first landing page. When we tested the website, it was only a few days before International Women’s Day, and this was prominently displayed across the page in not one, not two, but three identical box outs.
Call us perplexed or whatever you want, but this is about as professional as having a fight with your wife in the midst of a presentation to possible investors in your new firm when it comes to design. It seems to be ludicrous. To be sure, the perception is that bingo sites cater to a mostly female audience, but if you’re going to show support for a day dedicated to empowering the less fortunate sexe, wouldn’t it be a good idea to treat them with enough courtesy so they can notice a link that can be clicked? More importantly, enough respect to provide them a real product that is up to date, or at the very least one that does not seem to have been improved upon in the last six years.
It just gets worse.
It seems that this website was created by an 18-year-old in the late 1990s who intended to experiment with predetermined layouts and templates as we go farther down the site’s navigational hierarchy. If you are not currently a member, or if you are not seriously contemplating joining, the information that you are first presented with is mostly inconsequential to your decision to continue. They take you through the numerous seasonal bonuses and discounts that are available, and it is only at the very bottom of the website that you will find any mention of the real games that are available. And this is in a straightforward box with a summary of the various components of the gaming area. This page does not include any images or visuals; in fact, when it comes to the actual body text, there isn’t even a change in font size or style from its beginning to its conclusion. Do you still want to participate? I didn’t think so.
Are you certain you really really want to persevere?!
We admire you for being a person who is both stronger and more patient than we are. To cut to the point, while this is primarily a bingo website, it does have other sections. Let’s take them one at a time and examine them. First and foremost, there is the game of bingo itself. Although the caliber and variety of games available are rather good, we can’t get over the impression that this was a website that was either hurried or that was ill-conceived and badly put together in the first place. The overall effect is one of cheapness and ugliness, as if someone had forgotten all that was ever conceivable with HTML.