SMTOWN is a website I like to visit once in a while to get the latest information on popular pop music currently being played in South Korea. At first, I realized that it was kind of hard to define what the company was because they are involved in so many aspects within Korean media include acting, music, and modeling. Overall, SM can be defined in the most general sense as an entertainment company. I didn’t realize it before but their website is designed in a way that focuses on drawing their fans in and spending as much time as possible on the website until everything is explored.
When I first logged onto the website, I thought that everything looked incredibly simple and organized to the point where little to no graphic design choices were used. However, the combination of subtlety and strategic image placement made me realize that more was being packed into less. For example, the website uses contrast on the main headlines section. The section is designed in a way where after a preset amount of time passes, one headline is replaced with another. The headline that is being displayed in the center is presented in flashy and bright colors while other headlines are displayed in black and white in a continuous cycle. This technique helps feed the user with constant information and stories without feeling overwhelmed.
Another technique that the website uses to draw users in can be found in the Audition section. SMTOWN openly invites visitors to consider and try out for the company. In the Audition section of the website, the broken border technique is used combining audition information such as locations and photos of current idols or groups already in SM. I would argue that this technique is used so that the visitor will unconsciously create a mental connection between them auditioning for the company and them becoming one of the idols that they currently see.
Ethos & Logos
In terms of Ethos, the website establishes credibility by creating an experience that is simply to navigate but also visually pleasing for the user. For example, the main page of the website has perfectly aligned sections that separate different aspects of what the company offers. An article from printwand mentions how misalignment can make things look disorganized and visually illogical Even though the website is originally in Korean without translation, a user will have a fairly easy time differentiating between sections such as music videos, albums, and main headlines.
Another way in which SM establishes credibility on its website is by the choice of fonts used. The font types aren’t particularly elaborate or complex. I would argue that the text itself is actually supposed to be used to guide. Logically, it is more practical for the images of idols or artists themselves to what grabs a user’s attention rather than text. Two text colors are used to further enhance the organization by making it easy to differentiate between the types of information displayed. Pink is used to display the date in which a song or album was released while black is used to display the name of the artist as well as the song or album.
Overall, SMTOWN is a website that I very much admire. It is very simple and minimalistic in terms of design yet full of content to the point where users can spend hours just going through everything. It is very inviting by being aesthetically pleasing but also incredibly organized where finding different sections or types of media is easy to find even without translations. One criticism I do have for the website is the combination of English and Korean used within text. At times, the combination of different languages can make navigation unnecessarily confusing. However, in the end SMTOWN did a great job in creating a website that makes a user want to stay and eventually buy something.