Would you be wooed by Boo?

The designers who built Europe's flashiest e-commerce flop put themselves up for hire.


Janelle Brown
May 26, 2000 10:52PM (UTC)

For sale to highest bidder: One highly skilled design team, known best for its participation in the biggest e-commerce flop of the year. Fond of Flash geegaws and other stylish digital time-wasters; certain to build you the most-talked-about and maybe least-utilitarian site on the Web.

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You've got to hand it to Boo -- the site is going down in style. If you can measure the legacy of a failed Web site by the number of parodies it leaves behind, then Boo.com is already guaranteed a place in Web history.

Earlier this week, the entire design team of Boo.com reemerged with a kind of risumi writ large: A Web site, fittingly called Postboo.com. The new site lists names and titles of the entire 17-person Boo.com design team, showcases their most sparkling work and gets straight to the point: "We are interested in bringing our knowledge, expertise and energy to an e-consultancy, advertising agency or design agency that has a need for a few well-designed ideas."

Pretty ballsy stuff, especially when you consider that many observers blamed overly hip design for the demise of Boo.com -- between the cartoon sales help and virtual dressing rooms, the site made shopping so difficult and time consuming, that people had a hard time actually buying anything.

This point isn't being lost on the Boo.com parodies, which are popping up across the Web to gleefully laugh at the demise of Europe's first Net disaster. One, mercilessly entitled Schadenfreude.com, mocks the annoying front door of Boo.com, while pointing out, "Boo.com has been shut down for being the biggest bunch of marketing-led content-free morons in European e-commerce. Nothing happens on this page. Not much happens on any of the other pages either, except for rotating shoes and annoying 'helper' applications."

Another Boo.com parody is called Caboom.com, and offers "street & sportswear, five for a pound ... Come in and see our empassioned plea for hard cash."

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While this may not be exactly what Boo.com's designers were trying to convey with Postboo.com, the impression on visitors is not so far off. But hey, it's a hot market -- surely they'll find work anyway.


Janelle Brown

Janelle Brown is a contributing writer for Salon.

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