Friday, August 21, 2009

Weird Design: Hotels on Weather Sites

I like It always loads quickly, and I like that with two clicks I can get to a radar map of my area. This can be really useful information for planning things like: should I leave now or wait until a really bad storm passes? Should I mow the lawn or can I wait until later? Etc.

But I cannot figure out why, on’s interactive radar map, Hampton Inn sponsors a little location finder (a little button you can click to show where the Hampton Inns are in the area). Think about it: why would someone come to this place on If I’m looking for local radar weather, on the web, what possible reason would I have for knowing where there are Hampton Inns? To get out of the rain? To seek shelter from a tornado? What? I just don’t get it.

Now, I’m all for advertising and sponsorship – it’s why can provide cool tools like this – I just can’t figure out why someone at Hampton Inn thought “now this would be a good placement opportunity.” It just strikes me as weird, by which I mean: not necessarily well-designed.

(Of course, it did get me talking about Hampton Inn, didn’t it? Maybe not so weird. Nah, still weird.)

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