This website about the Serengeti lion from National Geographic, presents a new and unique way to look at the work National Geographic does. All of the story material is about lions, but what’s great about the website is it’s not just photos.
What I like most about the website is the ease of use for the user. It’s simple in terms of how to navigate to the different chapters. Once you click the main “explore” button, all you need to do is use the arrow keys to navigate to each different part. Once you select a chapter, you can see photos, video, text and even audio for some parts. Each part of the site covers a different aspect of life for the lions, making for a noticeable difference from chapter to chapter.
The audio sometimes goes along with the video. It also presents a new story to the listener. You can play the video about the lions, yet listen to a story about their hunting, etc., which complement the photos and video nicely. You can also pull out or hide each photos caption, adding to another part of the story. While the photos are the main part of the design, I think National Geographic does a good job at finding subtle ways to incorporate the other mediums to tell the story.
The website combines these different types of media to effectively place the viewer there with the lions. Audio commentary is optional for the viewer, which I think is a good because the sound quality of the video of the lions is so good, sometimes I just wanted to listen to that. The main storytelling element here is photos, as it usually is for the magazine. But I also like how they employed video into the production. Each chapter has a video at the top, but you can also scroll down and look at other photos.
The topic of the site is clear. The visual element, the photos, give it away immediately. What I like most about the site is how it uses the full screen with the photos and/or video. There’s no need for the viewer to click a full screen button and wait for that to load. I think the site’s simple design is good because it doesn’t distract from the content. When someone visits National Geographic, they most likely want to see photos. National Geographic uses these as the main design element, with only minor additions in order for the user to navigate. This doesn’t distract the viewer and makes for an overall pleasant experience.