Magical Website

tata.com
This site proudly proclaims itself to be India’s largest business house, and uses an
animated GIF to give other relevant statistics about India’s mega conglomerate. You click
on the animated GIF, and then get led to the actual home page. From here, you can access
company news, get data on Tata Enterprises, and refer the site map.
One interesting feature about this site is the very innovative usage of animated GIFs,
though, unfortunately, they are not always very properly aligned. Not that such frills
really matter-you can check out virtually everything that the Tatas are into, and that is
what really matters. When you are a nearly $ 10-billion US corporation, you can be
forgiven a few things once in a while, right?

ril.com
Reliance’s web site has a decent amount of graphics which take some time to load, but the
text comes in first, and so it isn’t all that hard for power users to surf around. You get
complete details of the company in one shot, including the company’s vision and the
Chairman’s address. There is also a column dedicated to news flash.

The color combination is not
what one would call excellent-it uses a white background, and unlike the Mac, the Windows
operating platform has an excuse for the color white instead of a soft appealing shade of
that color. It would have been ideal if this company had stuck to the standard Yahoo!
gray.

ciol.com
Cyber India Online contains information about information technology in India. The moment
you log on, red graphic bars guide you to various pages like jobs online, news releases,
IT events etc. This site supports IE 4’s Active Channel, and, besides IT, also offers you
news headlines both from India and from the rest of the world.

A major value-add offered by
this site is the availability of online versions of popular Indian IT publications like
DATAQUEST, PC Quest, Voice&Data etc. You also get to access databases pertaining to
the DQ Top 20, the PCQ Products database, and V&D 100 from this page.

dbsindia.com
The site opens up with a large GIF image, which forces you to patiently wait for a while,
or follow the text link for new jobs. We decided on the former, and our patience was
rewarded by the visual above. This site is owned by the Rs 250 crore DBS Group in India.
Besides an Internet presence, the DBS Group also provides intranet solutions, and is
currently doing projects for companies like Indian Oil and Bajaj Auto, Pune.

The site involves itself with
web designing, web hosting, and content provision. The Group also hosts the Indian mirror
site of CricInfo , claimed to be the third most popular sports site
on the web. DBS also provides content in the form of web sites pertaining to business,
travel, and entertainment. The NSE-ANMI site provides news and
member details of the National Stock Exchange of India.

123india.com
123india.com, a search engine on India, first reminds you about Yahoo!-may be the various
categories are responsible for the same. Unfortunately, with perhaps misplaced patriotism,
the designers have gone about adopting the colors of the national flag as their
background, which does nothing to improve readability.

Click on a link, however, and
the tricolor background is replaced with a ghastly yellow background which makes the eyes
water, and a page which gives you further sub categories. Overall, a well-designed site in
terms of content, though one wishes that the designers had paid more attention to
usability and easy viewability, and refrained from using garish colors.

indiaworld.com
The indiaworld site hosts online information about India on the web. The data on this site
ranges from politics (elections) to Filmfare awards. The site loads reasonably fast, and
the main graphic on the home page is well designed, though somewhat marred by the poor
color combination of associated page elements.

The data on this site is well
organized under headings like investments, elections etc. The history section, which at
the time of writing detailed BharatRatna awardees, a profile of Subhas Chandra Bose, and
the administration structure during the reign of the Guptas is particularly interesting.

naukri.com
The site appears garish, with a bright yellow background which has probably been designed
by somebody who is evidently color blind-had I come here looking for a job, I would have
disappeared pronto after facing the colorful assault on the eyes. We braved the first
screen and entered the site, only to find that the background remained the same
throughout.

You have various options like
placing your CV online, check placed CVs, checking for jobs online etc. The site is good
with links to other career sites, both Indian and international. Budding freshers will
also find information on tips on interviews, CVs and group discussions very helpful.

timesofindia.com
The TOI site, which hosts The Times Of India national newspaper, is well designed to a
fault. Simple yet elegant, it has links to all the major features of the paper-stocks,
business, editorial page, sports etc. The moment you login, you get the latest paper
online. You can also browse through archives with a very helpful icon located at the
top-left hand corner of the home page.

The archives, unfortunately,
are sorted by date, and there does not appear to be any convenient way to search through
them, which is a very glaring defect. However, the site helpfully points out that
microfilms are available dated back to November 3, 1838, which may not be always very
useful. There are also links to associated sites like The Economic Times, Filmfare, and
Femina.

planetasia.com
planetasia’s site is a heavily graphics-intensive one, with a red ruler to the left, a
light blue left-hand side and a right hand side that is primarily red, with very little of
the characters readable. Most links lead to other pages, which are graphics-intensive, and
worse still, are frame based.

The site claims that the
Internet is a religion of sorts, but the design suggests that it has more to do with
fanaticism than any form of religion we know about. There is, fortunately, enough
information on this site, covering mantras like web strategy to keep the web-illiterate
feeling secure in a gossamer cage.

kingfisherworld.com
The kingfisher world site is graphic to a fault, but a little patience, and you will be
easily rewarded-the animated GIF depicting a mug of beer overflowing really makes this a
site for sore eyes. There are interesting links to tourism, puzzles, and cool gear, which
the web potato will find reasonably interesting.

Some very interesting links
include the Kingfisher Accessories, where you can get many items like Kingfisher goggles,
keychains, caps, T-shirts etc. Another page visiting on this site is the freebies page,
where you can send animated greeting, or pick up a Kingfisher screensaver. Overall, a good
site-as good as the bubbly beer UB makes!

icici.com
The ICICI site, which has been designed by Tata Interactive Systems and hosted by
IndiaWorld, requires that you possess a Java/JavaScript-enabled browser to view the
contents. This site is simply, though tastefully, designed, with small icons that allow
you to determine what’s new on the site, view shareholder news, scan financial
information, or read some recent press releases. You can also get to view the CEO’s open
letter to visitors, and alternatively, also pay a visit to ICICI Bank’s home page, which
offers Internet banking services. A very interesting page is the advisory services page,
which has detailed information on the types of consultancy services offered by ICICI.

saregama.com
Saregama is the online site of the Gramophone Company of India, aka HMV. The main graphic
on the homepage portrays the who’s who of India’s playback singers. The first button, very
sensibly, is about newly arrived titles. Unlike most sites, this one has a rich history
page, but then again, unlike most newbie startups, HMV has a glorious past to fall back
upon.

The history page details how
the company was founded as ‘The Gramophone and Typewriter Ltd’ in 1901, and how the very
first Indian recording was produced on November 5, 1902. The rest of the history reads
virtually like the history of Indian cinema, or, at least, about those movies which became
famous for their melodious music. If you are a music buff, visit this site!

globaltrustbank.com
GTB’s site uses a rather irritating background GIF image, but otherwise seems well
designed. The icons on the home page, which highlight new things about the bank, details
about the bank, its various offices etc., are well organized and very useful. The ‘What’s
New’ page gives details of financial highlights, half-year ended December 31, 1997, and
also talks about newly opened branches.

On the home page, the right
hand side of the screen is dedicated to products and services like personal banking,
corporate banking, NRI banking, and investment banking. The linked screens give you
complete details on the services offered-you no longer need to sit in front of some
grouchy clerk and painfully weedle out information on how to open your account!

rediff.com
Rediff on the Net is one of India’s most popular sites, and is fairly well-designed,
though a trifle cluttered. But once you get used to having so much data popping at you
from your monitor, you begin to appreciate the site instantaneously. You can get
information about anything-and we mean anything-at one shot. At the time of writing, there
were detailed links to general news, data on elections, and information relating to
cricket, business, travel, infotech etc. According to information available on the site,
it registered 25 million hits in December 1997, which makes it pretty popular by most
standards.

winjobs.com
Winjobs is a career site, and a pretty well-designed one by the looks of it. Unlike most
other career sites, which at most accept your CV and allow you to browse through existing
ones, Winjobs is designed more like a mini online publication. The homepage, at the time
of writing, had a cover story on the hottest skillsets in 1998, an interview with Andhra
Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, and tips on writing CVs.

This sort of value-add makes
this an ideal site, worth becoming a member of. There is also a preview feature, which,
much like shareware, lets you do a ‘try-before-you-buy’ on it. Indeed, it was this feature
that we used to preview this site for this review. Overall, a very well-designed site for
anybody looking for a job-and who isn’t these days?

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