Three good websites, possibly to do with theatre / the arts in London
January 27, 2008 7:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm working on a job application to work at a theatre and events company in the UK. It asks me for three websites I admire and to give the reasons why. What sites should I put down?

I'm a bit stuck. It's an web assistant / marketing / admin role, so I'm guessing one of my responsibilities would be to update the listings on the company's website.

I'm tempted to put down as I've used its listings to find cool stuff to do for ages. Other than that, I'm not really sure what they'd want me to put on the application? I can't exactly put Facebook, Gmail and Youtube, can I? Or even Ticketmaster, Shakespeare's Wikipedia page and the Barbican's listings page?

Can someone help me bluff my way through this?
posted by tapeguy to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In terms of usability, lots of people point to Amazon as the standard.
posted by clh at 7:58 PM on January 27, 2008

Best answer: They don't care what websites you like, they care about your knowledge of what's out there, you eye for detail and your ability to recognize and talk about useful and attractive features from a user's point of view. They may also be interested in your familiarity with the different programs/ technologies involved, knowledge of compatability issues, etc etc.

I would be honest and put your favourite three websites, concentrating on the things that make them standouts to you. For bonus points I'd suggest how an improvement could be made here and there and perhaps include a brief comparison to a similar but less-good site.
posted by fshgrl at 7:59 PM on January 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

i would pick three sites you like and say why. they don't have to pertain to the job--they just want to know what you look at. so if there's a site that has an interesting design, or a particularly unusual/helpful user interface, that's worth mentioning. even something not flashy but that just works perfectly is a good choice (even if it's just your blah old online banking site or whatever). you could totally mention wikipedia or craigslist if you use them all the time. just be sure that you comment on some aspect of the site beyond the content.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:59 PM on January 27, 2008

Clearly, ask.mefi helps you problem solve.
posted by glibhamdreck at 9:30 PM on January 27, 2008

seconding ask.mefi!
posted by avocet at 9:36 PM on January 27, 2008

I think they're after your explanation rather than your actual list. I would put sites you think work great, do what they're supposed to do, kill the category. Not a Wikipedia page about your favorite thing, but maybe Wikipedia, the whole thing. I would put, if that's what you like. Youtube, maybe. You'd better have a good explanation for why you like it, other than it has funny videos.

What I'm saying is, they're not interested in the content of the sites you list. They're interested in the design ideas you admire and might want to use for them. And that you're familiar with more than the templates they taught you in school.
posted by ctmf at 10:10 PM on January 27, 2008

The few times I've been asked questions like this in interviews (and agonized over them), what the interviewer was really interested in was less my responses per se than my reasoning and justification for picking them.

Short of picking Goatse, Tubgirl, and, you can probably get away with just about anything you want. I'd pick sites that you really do enjoy and respect, so you'll be able to talk comfortably and candidly about them, and why you like them.

Don't pick something just because you think it's the answer you're looking for. Inevitably they'll ask you "why'd you pick that?" and then you'll be stuck trying to think of something other than "well, because it's what I thought you wanted to hear..."
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:12 PM on January 27, 2008

Don't pick something just because you think it's the answer you're they're looking for.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:13 PM on January 27, 2008

Yeah, it's all about the explanation, so pick sites you can eloquently make a case for. Nowadays, anyone suitable for that kind of role should be able to easily talk about the web and rattle off examples and opinions. Show your expertise and enthusiasm instead of trying to find the 'correct' answers.
posted by malevolent at 12:24 AM on January 28, 2008

go tp, they are meant to be the masters of web useability. See what they are developing.

The 37signals website is also full of good resources
posted by mattoxic at 2:44 AM on January 28, 2008

Why can't you put Facebook down? It's a usable website that's somehow managed to get mass user participation in the UK to the point when companies and arts organisations are starting to market their events through it. Plus, us web professionals may sneer at it but most "civillians" are still impressed by it.
posted by electriccynic at 3:29 AM on January 28, 2008

Turn it around in your mind-- what makes a bad website? What don't you like about websites--too much flash that it takes 3 days to load; bad links; poor format so you can't figure out how to buy something off the page, spelling errors, etc. (For really, really bad pages, look at some of the mom 'n pop real estate pages...they put in everything but the kitchen sink and the pages are generally horrible.) Now that you know what ticks you off about bad pages, you can really focus on what makes a good page-- clean graphics, easy to figure out and maneuver, etc. I'm with the others here-- they don't really care which pages you choose, they are looking for reasons why you picked those pages. Make sure those reasons align with what you anticipate their concerns to be about their own customer base and you have your answers. Good luck!
posted by 45moore45 at 6:32 AM on January 28, 2008

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