May 25, 1998
Seiko USA's brand new Web site is the Internet equivalent of the fully-loaded, button-covered, decible-driven electronics equipment coveted by young American men. In fact, the site's marketing messages are entirely geared toward this population - the new generation of consumers who are tired of the ordinary.
As users browse through the Java-based site, nostalgic and amusing scenarios flash across the top of the screen. The time is 6:01, the place is St. Luke's Church, the Seiko watch wearer's getting married. "Ten minutes of being single left," warns the screen. With Seiko watches on their wrists, other scenario stars interview for their first job, have babies, go on blind dates and escape on a spontaneous vacation during a sick day.
Besides the clever entertainment, the site organizes its products by category on screens that scroll themselves and includes an exceptional toy: a Quicktime image of a watch that, once loaded, can be "spun around" with the mouse cursor for examination from every angle. The site makes frequent use of pop-open windows, such as its "locator" section that produces a map and list of nearby stores according to users' addresses. Look for Shockwave movies and clickable images - there are so many layers, users could play here for hours.
Technically speaking: Beware, you with slow computers and old browsers! The site is entirely Java-based. You'll only be able to view it with Netscape Navigator 3.0 or later, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 or later. Even if you have these software programs, navigating the site may eat up a lot of memory on your computer. Surf at your own risk.
- by Stacey King