A comprehensive review of site design&useability mistake

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#5
Christina,

This is a Must Read for anyone designing web pages.

I have JN's useit.com bookmarked, but I must admit, I haven't visited all his pages.

Thank you for re-confirming some of my cherished beliefs about web page design.

Howard
 
#7
chrisooc said:
Unlike that Sites that Suck site, this is a less inflammatory exposé .
I looked at Sites that Suck and the author should have listed his own !

I vigorously disagree with a couple items mentioned in both and when I get around to it I'll submit these and explain why they are way off base. I would do it now except it's 3:10 am here.
 
#8
style sheets

A friend from Australia http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourke has convinced me to redo my pages using style sheets, so when I redo the pages (there are a lot of them) I want to incorporate as many good elements of web design as possible and get rid of the "bad" ones I have used. Is there a particularly good set of do's and don'ts out there especially for style sheets?

This fluid thing sounds good: pages and fonts. I think my fonts are set, as font names and numbers are used. I've been opening up new windows for image enlargements, which was a fairly recent change made perhaps 4 months ago, and maybe that should be undone during this revamp.

I heartily disagree with thumbnails and find them to be irritating. Granted it lets the page come up quickly, but then what do you have? No thumbnail is up in good enough form to enjoy that image without enlarging it. I may have gone too far in the opposite direction. I have a photographic site and every image is up in big enough form to be able to enjoy it without enlargement and to be able to make informed decisions about which images to take the time to enlarge. Having said this, although my rankings are reasonably good, (I think they're okay), traffic to my site is not heavy. The content is on the odd side, so that plays some part, and the content is NOT going to change, it is out there for a reason. Style things, though, I can be flexible with.

Here is the link, if anyone wants to pass along any viewing peeves, feel free, but please do it kindly because I'm already cringing at the thought:
http://www.public.asu.edu/~starlite The worst thing would be to redo the site and leave in some whopping errors.

Thanks in advance for feedback from one or more of you.

sierpinski
 
#9
sierpinski said:
A friend from Australia http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourke has convinced me to redo my pages using style sheets, so when I redo the pages (there are a lot of them) I want to incorporate as many good elements of web design as possible and get rid of the "bad" ones I have used. Is there a particularly good set of do's and don'ts out there especially for style sheets?
Ah, style sheets! From what I've seen of your site, it looks like CSS would fit very well. Fortunately, you've pretty much stuck with a similar theme across all of your pages... when I started with CSS, I practically had a different style for each page! Now that I'm working on a site redesign of my own, I'm getting everything worked down to just a few styles...

This fluid thing sounds good: pages and fonts. I think my fonts are set, as font names and numbers are used. I've been opening up new windows for image enlargements, which was a fairly recent change made perhaps 4 months ago, and maybe that should be undone during this revamp.
I don't think the image-enlargement in a separate window (or tab, in my case) is all that bad, so that may be personal preference. If you have it open in the same window, I'd suggest some back-navigation, so you'd have to put the enlarged image on a page. This would also give you the benefit of being able to track those enlargements using StatCounter.

I heartily disagree with thumbnails and find them to be irritating. Granted it lets the page come up quickly, but then what do you have? No thumbnail is up in good enough form to enjoy that image without enlarging it. I may have gone too far in the opposite direction. I have a photographic site and every image is up in big enough form to be able to enjoy it without enlargement and to be able to make informed decisions about which images to take the time to enlarge. Having said this, although my rankings are reasonably good, (I think they're okay), traffic to my site is not heavy. The content is on the odd side, so that plays some part, and the content is NOT going to change, it is out there for a reason. Style things, though, I can be flexible with.
I agree with your large-thumbnail styling, I have long used 200x150 large thumbnails for many of my pictures, though my recent use of an album generator has started my use of smaller 100x75 thumbnails. In my case, I think there may be a clear case for using both; in your case, the larger format definitely suits the "odd content".

Here is the link, if anyone wants to pass along any viewing peeves, feel free, but please do it kindly because I'm already cringing at the thought:
http://www.public.asu.edu/~starlite The worst thing would be to redo the site and leave in some whopping errors.

Thanks in advance for feedback from one or more of you.

sierpinski
I didn't do anything fancy, like run parts of the site through a validator or anything... I'll leave that for you to do. I like your navigation, though it is somewhat non-conventional, but I've always been a fan of bottom-of-page navigation as well, the very least of which would be a "Back to top". It's always been somewhat of a peeve of mine, to get all the way down to the bottom of a page -- especially a long one -- and then have nowhere to go without retracing my steps, or using the "back" button on the browser.

Well, have fun, you've got a little task ahead of you. Just remember to start small and check things as you go along!
 
#10
Bottom of page pull-down menu

Hi Mark,

Thanks so much for all your comments, and for taking the time to look at the pages.

I will look up validator in Google, haven't heard of that.

The navigation bar, yes, I have long wondered if it should be at the bottom of the page, and/or have a Back to Top button as you mention. I will incorporate that during the changes. I, too, hate to get to the bottom of a long page and have to scroll back up in order to navigate. My friend from Australia has buttons both top and bottom. But what holds me back is that my menu is so cumbersome, whereas his is very neat and concise, mine might swallow visitors up and my site is probably about 1/25th as big as his. You didn't give a web address for yourself. Might I take a look at your pages?

It was funny, after saying in my post that I hated thumbnails, the first visit from Statcounter was to the one page on my site with ...thumbnails! I use them as a navigation tool for the slide notes of one of the web presentations, as a way to find one's place in a voluminous set of notes from outside of it, in case they don't work inside. But in this situation, I don't want anyone to be able to see the presentation without downloading it, so thumbnails are small enough to act as a guide while not big enough to see what's there.

I'm definitely going to include some kind of navigation tool at the bottom of the pages.

sierpinski
 
#11
The World Wide Web Consortium (w3c) has validators for both CSS and HTML, their site is:
www.w3.org
Look under "W3C A to Z", in the left column.

My site address should have shown up in my signature. Regardless, it is:
www.fuzzyworld3.com
Go through the "Pictures" section to see some of my recent styles, while the "Bicycling" section has the newest ("v3") page styles and CSS.

(Actually, I hope it works for you, I haven't been able to get into my site for most of the morning, nor that of my host, though my StatCounter logs have picked up some hits... and all this after my cell-phone being down most of yesterday due to network problems... sigh...)
 
#12
thumbnails

Hi Fuzzy,

Since your pictures tend to have a main focus, i.e. one big item like a train, they look very nice in thumbnail form. I'll have to give thumbnails a chance again. They must have turned me off at some point. I looked at quite a number of pages. My definite favorites were the trains, and of those the trains in snow, but they were all nice that I saw.

Congratulations on your upcoming first anniversary!

sierpinski
 
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