Website Review: Glo at MSN.com

What: Glo.msn.com — do we really need another style/beauty/living/relationship website? Angela does some clicking around to find out.

The Lowdown: Launched this month, MSN calls “Glo” an “innovative new site” that gives women style, beauty and lifestyle information with the look and feel of a “beautiful magazine.” This means they’re still trying to bridge that “print to website” gap that no one but those in publishing/news media are really concerned about — a magazine is a magazine, a website is a website. The point? You can create a fabulous high-quality website or a fabulous high-quality magazine, but when you try to make a website into a magazine, that’s where something gets lost in the translation.

What does this mean for Glo? The site looks less like a “beautiful magazine” than it should, given that’s how it’s being billed. And that part about that functioning like a beautiful magazine? Not really. We love us a nice photo gallery, but when every feature is a click-through with one page per image, that cyber-surfing impatience starts to set in. Flipping through a magazine, for example, gives us a lot more per page and with even less flipping through. As a website, the user-friendliness is less than optimal — as I wandered around, I found that the pages scrolled strangely, perhaps due to the “handy” flash image-keyed menu down the left side of the page. Lots of flipping, jerky scrolling — sooooo not like a beautiful magazine — sorry MSN.

And what about the content? What about it, indeed. Celebrity beauty pics? Check. Cute handbags for spring? Check. Nine fun facts about kissing? Er, check. Basically you can get all this stuff elsewhere already. And as for any fun functionality options — you can save things you like to a scrapbook, which sounded kinda great until I clicked on it and realized I have to access through my Facebook log-in. For some this might be a convenient meshing of platforms but for me, personally, I hate leaving the possibility open to oversharing some inane personal items with every single person who has had the misfortune to friend me on Facebook (and I certainly don’t want to tip someone off to that super cute and cheap handbag at Old Navy before I’ve had a chance to scoop it up …).

The Verdict: Yet another way to kill some time in the last 10 minutes of your lunch hour perhaps, or while you’re stuck on the train, but other than that? Nothing new here.