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Thread: Review Part 2

  1. #1
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    Post Review Part 2

    Hey, everyone. I opened a thread a couple months ago while my site was in development and I got a lot of great feedback to improve my site. Now that it's gone live and I've made some more significant changes, I'd like to see what people think of it now.

    http://bingbuilder.com

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    Regular Coder FWDrew's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    A few things I noticed I really didnt like:
    -Navigation is hidden at the bottom so was hard for me to find.
    -Congrats on the Valid html but I dont think the validation buttons blend with the overall theme.
    -I think this should be the first paragraph on your page to let your viewers know exactly what its all about, then put the reviews to the right:
    Bing Builder is a course registration aid designed specifically for students of Binghamton University. The main motivation for the creation of BingBuilder was the renovation of the registration system at Binghamton...
    I Like:
    -The color scheme, its pleasing and simple
    -The overall design is well thought out and clean.
    -Your favicon really works with your site, will be great when people bookmark your site

    Best of luck,

    Drew
    Dev-Tips.com || Employee at the Envato Network || My Portfolio

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    Ricky158 (06-04-2008)

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    I agree with your suggestion to move around the main page content. The quotes were strategically placed above the "START BUILDING" link because people would quickly go for the link without reading any of the main page and I'd like for them to see the positive things other people have to say about the service before they start using it themselves (or at all).

    I haven't thought about the validation icons as out-of-place. What exactly makes them stick out? Their default color matches the blue theme of the page pretty well, I think, and excluding them from the white-bg table sets them apart enough so that any sticking out seems intentional.

    And I also see your concern with the navigation. It's very subtle. A friend of mine told me that he just about always ignores the little text at the bottom of a page, so he was surprised to find the nav there. Is this a serious problem? I feel like moving it to the top would put less important content higher than the more important content. My defense for having it on the bottom is that most people go from the main page to the "START BUILDING" page. This is the most prominent link on the page and easiest to find. That's where the users' paths end for the most part, and I'm okay with that. If they really wanted to view the FAQs, Help, and About pages shouldn't they think to look on the bottom anyway? That's usually where those kinds of links are, right? Also, is it bad to assume that if people wanted to go back to the main page, they'd know to click on the top-left logo?

    And finally, thank you for pointing out the things you do like. Some positive reinforcement is good in a review too!

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    Supreme Master coder! _Aerospace_Eng_'s Avatar
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    You are assuming a lot of stuff that the user should do. One thing you should never do is assume the user would know what to do. You need to be steps ahead of the user. Put a navigation at the top. Not everyone is savvy enough to hit the back button. Don't depend on your users to know or do anything.
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    Yeah you're right about assuming too much. Would the pages still look decent if I put the small navigation links directly under the green bar in addition to leaving them where they are now?

    Thanks for all the suggestions. Any more?

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    Yeah it would look fine. Its also good for better accessibility. Personally I would actually make that green bar the background of my navigation.
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    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    I think it looks a little goofy on my 20" widescreen. Its mostly as the page widens, the content is stretched and things seem distant and less connected. I'm not saying what to do about it, but it just has a feeling that the content isn't well connected. When I reduce the window though it looks good. The 3 columns seem to visually fall into just one befuddled column. Probably that there is so much white space as it expands.

    I would swap the quotes from people underneath the "Start Bingbuilding" image with the site description below.

    I would change the main image in the middle so that it isn't so large. I think you can give a visual of the product without making it so tall. Width isn't an issue to me, just the height.

    Make your links more noticeable!

    Is it necessary to have the textbook value checker built in Flash? Flash is powerful, but if a regular form can do the trick just as well, stick with that in most cases.

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    You know the scheduling application does seem like it would be quite useful to some people, so two thumbs up to you. I have you tell you, though, and I think you know it – the design is lacking.

    I think you probably intended for the website to be easy to use, clean, and simple. I would say that application seems easy to use, and that the navigation being tucked away at the bottom probably helps to "sell" your key feature. However, there's a general layout issue on the front page that makes it look awkward, not clean, and the pages are all over as far as design goes.

    In the right column, there are left aligned bullets for right aligned links, with full justified text underneath it. You seem to mix up the alignment a lot, which doesn't help the reader any. Another thing is that your links are all different sizes. It looks as if you forced yourself to change the links sizes based on how badly you want people to click them. I would say that you should try being a little more consistent in throughout the site and within the pages. Why not make more text left align and no full justification? Instead of having tons of type sizes, why not call them out some other way?

    I know you want a flexible webpages that takes advantage of your users' grand LCD monitors, but you may want to fix the size to something reasonable (a pixel amount just over the size of the SWF).

    I hope it was helpful to you, and that I didn't seem "critical."

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    You raise a lot of good points, I appreciate your opinions. My computer at work is at least 22" and I definitely know what you mean about the page spacing. The thing is, I don't really see that as a bad thing. Just look at Google's website. Simplicity can be a powerful tool.

    I took your suggestion to move the quotes to the side. I agree that it looks better this way.

    As for everything else, I will definitely think about it some more. Feel free to let me know if you have any other thoughts on the site.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremywilken View Post
    I think it looks a little goofy on my 20" widescreen. Its mostly as the page widens, the content is stretched and things seem distant and less connected. I'm not saying what to do about it, but it just has a feeling that the content isn't well connected. When I reduce the window though it looks good. The 3 columns seem to visually fall into just one befuddled column. Probably that there is so much white space as it expands.

    I would swap the quotes from people underneath the "Start Bingbuilding" image with the site description below.

    I would change the main image in the middle so that it isn't so large. I think you can give a visual of the product without making it so tall. Width isn't an issue to me, just the height.

    Make your links more noticeable!

    Is it necessary to have the textbook value checker built in Flash? Flash is powerful, but if a regular form can do the trick just as well, stick with that in most cases.

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    I do see your concern with the front page layout. I'll try to rework it to keep it clean and concise.

    As for the bulleted list, that is a glitch that occurs in at least Mac browsers. Something about right-aligning text messes with the positioning of the bullets. In Firefox, the site's most popular browser, the bullets sit right up against the text -- what I intended it to look like. I guess it's a trade off.

    Also, you're right about link sizes. I have three "categories" of links; footer links, normal links, and "important" links. They're sort of like the way some blogs rank link importance by font size or the way sites rank top search queries. It's just to make the things I want the user to notice more noticeable.

    I really appreciate your comments. Even the critical comments are constructive.

    Quote Originally Posted by woop View Post
    You know the scheduling application does seem like it would be quite useful to some people, so two thumbs up to you. I have you tell you, though, and I think you know it the design is lacking.

    I think you probably intended for the website to be easy to use, clean, and simple. I would say that application seems easy to use, and that the navigation being tucked away at the bottom probably helps to "sell" your key feature. However, there's a general layout issue on the front page that makes it look awkward, not clean, and the pages are all over as far as design goes.

    In the right column, there are left aligned bullets for right aligned links, with full justified text underneath it. You seem to mix up the alignment a lot, which doesn't help the reader any. Another thing is that your links are all different sizes. It looks as if you forced yourself to change the links sizes based on how badly you want people to click them. I would say that you should try being a little more consistent in throughout the site and within the pages. Why not make more text left align and no full justification? Instead of having tons of type sizes, why not call them out some other way?

    I know you want a flexible webpages that takes advantage of your users' grand LCD monitors, but you may want to fix the size to something reasonable (a pixel amount just over the size of the SWF).

    I hope it was helpful to you, and that I didn't seem "critical."

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Aerospace_Eng_ View Post
    Yeah it would look fine. Its also good for better accessibility. Personally I would actually make that green bar the background of my navigation.
    If I made the green bar the background for the navigation, the links become a bit hard to read. Being green/blue on green is a funky combination. I like it there to separate the header images with the body of the page, but I'm not sure about sticking navigation in there.

    Here's another link to the site: http://bingbuilder.com

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    Supreme Master coder! _Aerospace_Eng_'s Avatar
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    Better. Navigation links need to be a little bigger font-size wise. They are a bit small. Maybe look into some inspiration from www.cssplay.co.uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Aerospace_Eng_ View Post
    Better. Navigation links need to be a little bigger font-size wise. They are a bit small. Maybe look into some inspiration from www.cssplay.co.uk
    Is the concern that the users might not notice the nav links?

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    Seriously, what does it do?
    There is no sign of what this site does on the main page. Very confusing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vijo View Post
    Seriously, what does it do?
    There is no sign of what this site does on the main page. Very confusing.
    Ummm...sorry but there I'm going to disagree with you. It is very clear what the site is about. Don't give him extra pointless work!


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