...

View Full Version : The time has come my friends... the review is upon me



canadianjameson
09-26-2004, 03:57 AM
Hello all my pretties!

after a summer of feverish question-asking and code-debunking by the good people on this forum, it looks like my site is 95% done. the 5% left are either projects for another time or little tidbits of loose ends that are in the process of being tied up with the help of people in the javascript forum. these include

preventing multiple form submissions when users double click the "Submit" button
Showing a message only to the users with JS disabled indicating that they need it enabled


So now it is time to release my baby to the hounds! heh, however i do have some fine print before you guys tear it apart :D

this site is being used mainly by users over 40 years old who, if informed of the existence of an entity called Firefox or Mozilla, would probably tell you to get a fire-extinguisher to help said fox, and that new movies should not be based on old classics. :D :D

point being, the clientel will not be computer savy and will be using internet explorer, or at a stretch, netscape. i know you think its unfair to assume my clientel will be on one browser... but the reality is the about a quarter of these people dont even have e-mail addresses. the clientel are plant managers and paper-pushing engineers with very little computer experience. please keep this in mind when evaluating.

this site is used to show what products are avaliable through enviromark, and to get people to a)get / print info, and b) submit a quote request.

Have fun
...
..
.
GO!

(hehehe)

mindlessLemming
09-26-2004, 04:17 AM
HAHAHAAAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!

nice one noob :p ;)

Willy Duitt
09-26-2004, 04:35 AM
In all fairness, he did provide a hint: enviromark (http://www.enviromark.ca) :D


this site is used to show what products are avaliable through enviromark

.....Willy

canadianjameson
09-26-2004, 04:38 AM
www.enviromark.ca

woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

canadianjameson
09-27-2004, 06:47 PM
hehe willy, tis' true.

Willy knows the page well, he helped me with a ton of the page functionality. and for that i publically thank him (and others like lemming as well :))

so, anyone, anything? any ideas as to how to improve it?

mcdougals4all
09-27-2004, 09:23 PM
point being, the clientel will not be computer savy and will be using internet explorer, or at a stretch, netscape...

...the clientel are plant managers and paper-pushing engineers with very little computer experience. please keep this in mind when evaluating.

I like the basic layout, and the functionality on the product search is nice. The navigation is a good concept but it's not especially user friendly. When a particular page loads the corresponding image reinforces where the user is in the site. But when mousing over and then off the box images, the menu doesn't give any context which page you're viewing. Same thing happens if you keep your mouse in the same place when loading a new page, mouse off the box images and you lose the context.

Altering the associated javascript to display the image for the current page when mousing off the menu would be a good start. Otherwise you'll be entering the world of mystery meat navigation (http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/mysterymeatnavigation.html). A secondary navigation would be even better, maybe a breadcrumb trail or a <select> drop down.

The content pages themselves are laid out well and easy enough to understand, but a little bare. Some more pics perhaps. Is the header supposed to be empty? Even if the site targets specific clientele, they need a reason to go deeper into the site. Some links from the mission statement to the mentioned products might be a good way to draw visitors in deeper. The navigation not's helping though in my opinion.

canadianjameson
09-27-2004, 11:04 PM
regarding the navigation.

perhaps it's too subtle, but the name of the link you click on is the name of the page (not the title)... but most people miss it

i think i'll have the little blue rectangle change color when people click on it so they know where they are. with respect to the 6 links

jamescover
09-27-2004, 11:59 PM
this site is being used mainly by users over 40 years old who, if informed of the existence of an entity called Firefox or Mozilla, would probably tell you to get a fire-extinguisher to help said fox, and that new movies should not be based on old classics.


First, I'll be 46 in January. Nevertheless...


By my count, you have over 100k of images on the "splash/entrance" page, the top image alone is nearly 60k, and of poor quality to boot. Perhaps, you've heard it said, "just because you can, doesn't mean that you should." I recommend ditching the rollovers altogether. In fact, simple text links would do. Then recompress the main image or, again, use text. You are using graphics of text...why?


As already stated, the navigation is poor at best. No one should have to mouse over a link to find out where it leads.

The overall design is bland, yes, even to someone 40+. Add some window dressing: color, bullets, images, depth, and contrasting elements.


Good luck.





-james

Nightfire
09-28-2004, 12:09 AM
Takes too long for the images to load on 56k. Didn't realise the splash page had two entrances, just clicked around the enter box till I got somewhere. The navigation on the main site isn't very userfriendly either. Most people who aren't internet savvy wouldn't even think to mouseover those boxes. They'd be used to normal underlined text links or buttons with words on them. Nice design though

mindlessLemming
09-28-2004, 12:57 AM
Glad you took my joke the right way canadianbacon :thumbsup:
We've got some problems though man....

*Standard Note of Caution: If my reviews sound harsh I'm sorry. I rarely have time to go into detail about both what I do and don't like. Saying what I don't like is more constructive. Understandee? Thought so :)

1. Splash Page!!! Nooo. Think of the children! The poor children on their little dial-up boxes waiting patiently by the glow of their CRT's to see your content; only to be greeted by 100k of text as images - truly Santa forgot them this year. What I'm really saying is this - dump the splash page all together, open the site in whatever language the client feels represents the majority of their user base and provide the second language as an easily accessed alternative. An example of this is http://dafont.com/

2. The code - Come on mate, you've been here long enough to know what this paragraph is all about ;)
34 minor errors, and incomplete doctype, no characterset declared, and the language isn't declared either.

3. Navigation - Serious 'mystery meat'. Text rocks. Use it please. :D

4. Branding? Does this company have a logo? why isn't their name in the page banner?

gsnedders
09-28-2004, 01:03 AM
Think of the children!Us 12 year olds don't understand splash pages... even on 512K


*Standard Note of Caution: If my reviews sound harsh I'm sorry. I rarely have time to go into detail about both what I do and don't like. Saying what I don't like is more constructive. Understandee? Thought so :)Like Comic Sans MS - there's something you hate. :D

Andrew, I've put "Comic Sans MS" in Comic Sans MS, that's why the :D is there... seeming you don't see the font ;)

rmedek
09-28-2004, 02:24 AM
I have to disagree about the splash page... although usually I'm not a fan of splash pages I'm not a fan of dafont.com's method, either. I do agree though, that if you're going to use one you should use text instead of pictures of text, just to keep the load time down.

Nightfire had a point, too, about not making the choices in the splash page clear. Also, for some reason I don't get the hand cursor when trying to select the "English" option (I actually thought it was broken and tried the French version first). I would throw in a nice logo, a static language choice, and then clean up the nav in the site.

Other than that, I love the clean layout and overall feel...

canadianjameson
09-28-2004, 02:53 AM
k, lemme fix the splash screen & navigation over the next day or so (i'm sick right now so bleh) and i'll re-open the thread to comments afterwards.

thx for the feedback

Single Paradox
05-27-2005, 12:19 AM
Ooh, I love the bluish image at the top! What did you use and how did you make it? That is my worst part.... images.... I try but I can't make a good image.

canadianjameson
05-27-2005, 01:26 AM
gotta love free templates :P

there are a ton of tutorials for photoshop on how to do those... just goodle "photoshop tutorial"

nice site, but you're getting a JS error

Single Paradox
05-27-2005, 03:52 AM
Oh really... what does the error say? <strike>Oh and where can I find a decent tutorial do you think?</strike>


Oops didn't read your whole thread... I'm gunna google =)

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-27-2005, 05:33 AM
mindless said most of it, but the fact that you only catered to IE bugs me. Your splash page doesn't work in FF. :( I had to fire up IE just to see your page. I would try centering your layout of course using css to center uses margin:auto; but it won't work in IE without a valid doctype so yeah. Your navigation could do with some words on it. At least its not as bad as xbox360.com's navigation, which is like a puzzle that can't be put together.

Graft-Creative
05-27-2005, 06:16 AM
Us 12 year olds...

12? 13? Make your mind up lad :p

Splash pages: I'm not dogmatically against them, like anything else, there's good and bad - having said that, I would rather have something like 'Choose your language: English/French, in plain text with maybe little flag icons to re-inforce the idea (for English you'll want the Union Flag, or the St George's Cross, not the stars and stripes ;) )

Gary

Single Paradox
05-27-2005, 06:18 AM
Damn Aerospace! I looked up xbox360...... whew you can't find out a thing about.... well... anything really... You just have to click a link and hope it goes where you want it to. Oh and sorry about the cussing by the way, that was probably the most poorly made website I've ever gone to.

JamieR
05-27-2005, 08:50 AM
Gary, I like splash pages which allow you to choose the language etc, but I don't like them when they just say "Welcome to #foo website, enter here" :p

gsnedders
05-27-2005, 02:47 PM
12? 13? Make your mind up lad :p

Splash pages: I'm not dogmatically against them, like anything else, there's good and bad - having said that, I would rather have something like 'Choose your language: English/French, in plain text with maybe little flag icons to re-inforce the idea (for English you'll want the Union Flag, or the St George's Cross, not the stars and stripes ;) )

Gary

I was 12 when I wrote that post :p

As for Splash Pages - if they're for language choice, fine, no problem, anything else, I hate them.

canadianjameson
05-27-2005, 02:57 PM
:D

Aero, keep in mind that since the I started this post I've made conciderable efforts to go cross-browser... however it does shock me that my intro page doesnt work in FF as i had been assured it did.

Can you please point out specifics regarding the script it uses, and any other aspects you feel could be enhanced, and i'll certainly make the necessary changes.

as for the navigation words... I figured having "Home" there was enough. once they onmouseover that they realise whats going on and all is well. otherwise the aesthetics of the page get tampered with (proceeds to hurl self under table to avoid flying veggies)

once again: intro page... how do i fix it (i like my 7 image rollover... :p)

dannyhayes
05-27-2005, 03:08 PM
The website looks ok but it isnt bad.

canadianjameson
05-27-2005, 03:17 PM
ermmmmm....

alright, thank you Danny

bcarl314
05-27-2005, 03:39 PM
Just a note. Since you state pretty clearly that your users a not internet savvy, I'd drop the mystery meat navigation.

canadianjameson
05-27-2005, 05:23 PM
truthfully... because i be purdy! (yaarrRRm & such)... and because i really dont feel its that mysterious... but in time i may change it

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-27-2005, 05:31 PM
okay your splash page does work sorry, I was used to browsing with javascript turned off, so if javascript is disabled your splash page is rendered useless.

bcarl314
05-27-2005, 05:46 PM
Yeah, well don't be too surprised if your site ends up on www.webpagesthatsuck.com with the MMN. Mr. Flanders "loves" MMN.

;)

Single Paradox
05-27-2005, 07:03 PM
So people get over the whole mystery meat thingy (which I think your navigation is awsom), maybe you should alt the links so that at least when you move your mouse over, the link will show up as well.

rmedek
05-27-2005, 07:27 PM
Wow, a little blast from the past here... well, here's the thing about the navigation:


point being, the clientel will not be computer savy and will be using internet explorer, or at a stretch, netscape. i know you think its unfair to assume my clientel will be on one browser... but the reality is the about a quarter of these people dont even have e-mail addresses. the clientel are plant managers and paper-pushing engineers with very little computer experience. please keep this in mind when evaluating.


... and there you go. If I wasn't computer savvy, and I went to your site, how would I know to start rolling over things to find the navigation? I know you're probably married to how neat it looks, but sooner or later people will want to actually do things on your site. :)


maybe you should alt the links
Just so you know, you should use the "title" attribute for that, not "alt." The alt attribute is to provide a description to someone who can't see the image.

bcarl314
05-28-2005, 01:19 AM
Thanks rmedek,

I can't believe how many web designers are out there that use MMN. Don't get me wrong, if you're going for an artsy/ hip site, hey you need to use some creative freedom, but as far as a business site, all you're doing with MMN is adding to the confusion.

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. A first, I didn't notice thaa navigation, and I am certainly not a novice in web design. If it takes someone more than 4 seconds to "get" your site, you've lost them.

I strongly recommend reading WebPagesThatSuck.com or look at some writings by Jakob Nielson.

I'm fairly confident that if you did a usability study on this site, the navigation will be the top problem identified by your users. But, it's your site.

rmedek
05-28-2005, 03:40 AM
Don't get me wrong, if you're going for an artsy/ hip site, hey you need to use some creative freedom, but as far as a business site, all you're doing with MMN is adding to the confusion.

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

That's a great point... I actually like somewhat ambiguous navigation on more "artsy" type sites, because half the fun in visiting those is getting to explore and have some fun. But a business site is something else altogether.

canadianjameson
05-28-2005, 07:02 AM
okay. let me think over the weekend

Single Paradox
06-30-2005, 08:49 PM
<script>

function position() {
document.getElementById('linkthing').style.left=document.getElementById('links').offsetLeft + 50;
document.getElementById('linkthing').style.top=document.getElementById('links').offsetTop + 20;
document.getElementById('floating').style.left=document.getElementById('linkthing').offsetLeft + 60;
document.getElementById('floating').style.top=document.getElementById('linkthing').offsetTop + 25;
document.getElementById('endDot').style.left=document.getElementById('links').offsetLeft + 33;
document.getElementById('endDot').style.top=document.getElementById('links').offsetTop + 28;
}

function rollover(theInnerText,theHeight,thePos) {
document.getElementById('linkthing').style.display="block";
document.getElementById('floating').style.display="block";
document.getElementById('linkthing').style.borderLeft="1px solid #000000";
document.getElementById('floating').innerHTML=theInnerText;
document.getElementById('linkthing').style.height=theHeight;
document.getElementById('endDot').style.display="block";
document.getElementById('endDot').style.top=document.getElementById('links').offsetTop + thePos;
}

function rollout() {
document.getElementById('linkthing').style.display="none";
document.getElementById('floating').style.display="none";
document.getElementById('endDot').style.display="none";
}
</script>

<body onload="position();">

<span id="links">
<img onmouseover="rollover('Home','1',9);document.getElementById('linkthing').style.display='none';" onmouseout="rollout();" src="http://www.enviromark.ca/english/images/butt_1_red.gif"><br>
<img onmouseover="rollover('Product of the Month','40',49);" onmouseout="rollout();" src="http://www.enviromark.ca/english/images/butt_2.gif"><br>
<img onmouseover="rollover('Linecard','77',86);" onmouseout="rollout();" src="http://www.enviromark.ca/english/images/butt_2.gif"><br>
<img onmouseover="rollover('Product Search','116',125);" onmouseout="rollout();" src="http://www.enviromark.ca/english/images/butt_2.gif"><br>
<img onmouseover="rollover('Request a Quote','155',165);" onmouseout="rollout();" src="http://www.enviromark.ca/english/images/butt_2.gif"><br>
<img onmouseover="rollover('Contact','200',210);" onmouseout="rollout();" src="http://www.enviromark.ca/english/images/butt_2.gif"><br>
</span>


<span id="floating" style="font-variant:small-caps;font-weight:bold;display:none;position:absolute;padding-left:30px;height:13px;background:url(whateverTheFileForTheArrowWas.gif') no-repeat left;">
</span>
<span id="linkthing" style="position:absolute;display:none;height:0px;width:1px;">
</span>
<span id="endDot" style="position:absolute;display:none;width:17px;height:0px;filter:chroma(color=#FFFFFF);">
<img src="http://www.enviromark.ca/english/images/labelbar_1.gif">
</span>





I was bored so I made a faster loading links menu for you using less images, some of the code is a little extraneous but I was just giving you an idea. Tell me what you think!

canadianjameson
07-01-2005, 07:35 PM
hehe awesome. I'm not at home but i'll throw'r-in on monday and see what comes of it.. but i do appreciate the initiative.

have a look at the msg i put on the page to make navigating clearer.

any thoughts?
http://www.enviromark.ca/english/index.html

Single Paradox
07-01-2005, 10:35 PM
Nice, but I don't know why it has to be an image. Oh, and to make people know it is navigation, put the first letter of each link on all the boxes, then have a mouseover image that changes color and the letter disappears.

canadianjameson
07-06-2005, 08:39 PM
hey single, sorry for the delay.

i like your revamp. I'm going to keep it and apply it when i finish adding content to my site and start cleaning up the back end. for now i have about half the products on the products page that have no info up, so they have to take priority at this point. That being said I will revamp my backend code and include your suggestions :D

about the first letter on each: that would look like this:
H
P
L
P
Q
C

which would look somewhat unproffesional.

the reason why its an image is so that i can employ the fade in script on it to give it some snazz :P



EZ Archive Ads Plugin for vBulletin Copyright 2006 Computer Help Forum