Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy’s website, www.pixeleis.de, is not timid. Much like their skating, their site is flashy and eye-catching. On the splash page, there are three options—the flash-driven site can stretch the limits of slow connections.
I have satellite Internet, so options are essential: high-speed for sunny days, bare bones for stormy ones. Once a selection is made, the logo explodes and the pixels recompose into a clever design—a two-dimensional rendition of an arena. Watch a recent video on the Jumbotron, check out the ads around the boards, or choose a lettered seating area to access the divisions of the site.
The menu options on the main page are only available in German, so exploring the site can be a bit of an adventure. Once inside, English and Russian translation options are available—look for the flags on the right sidebar. The translations are a bit buggy, though. Some words translate but not others. Menu options opened as new tabs in my browser.
Still, a little extra exploration is worthwhile. The site’s best features are the photo gallery (Bilder), which dates back to 2006, and the video gallery, which includes clips of competitions, shows and interviews, as well as a real gem—coach Ingo Steuer at 1984 Junior Worlds, dressed from neck to boot covers in a flattering shade of goldenrod.
The flashy media is smooth, but as a tradeoff, the site is very commercial. It is produced by a German media company, so along with ads on the home page and a sponsorship page, a store is also incorporated into the website.
At first, I was a little put off by this, but if it’s off-setting the cost of the high quality, then it’s understandable. And where else would I be able to find an Ingo Steuer coffee mug?
Originally published in February 2011