[thelist] Site critique

Ray Hill ray at opengrid.com
Fri Sep 21 15:30:35 CDT 2001

Overall it's pretty nice, but there are a few usability things that I'd
change if I were you:

1) Don't make people go to one page just to generate the site in a popup
window.  Let then get the page full-screen in the main window.  Your
framesets already make the page format wonderfully in a full screen setting,
so there's no real reason to force the popup.

2) The dates along the bottom are really small.  If you had only the dates
on that line you could make them a bit larger so they're easier to read, and
then have "Introduction" on the next line.

3) You should change the color of the currently selected date, so that
people know where they are in the system.  Just call a JavaScript function
onclick that swaps out the timeline image to a version with the selected
date highlighted.

4) I would *really* suggest using the standard browser scrollbar instead of
the fancy JavaScript one, for several reasons.  First off, people are so
used to it that it's a no-brainer that it means the page is scrollable,
whereas your custom implementation takes a while to notice and isn't as
intuitive.  Second, your version doesn't allow alternate methods of
scrolling down, such as the scolly thing on the mouse, or highlighting the
text and dragging down.  You can use CSS to pretty up the default scroll
bar, of course, but it really is better to use it instead of a JS

5) When an image is full-screen, you need to tell the user that they can
click it to minimize again.  Sure, they'll figure it out eventually, but
it's best to avoid the confusion in the first place.  Putting the notice in
the alt tag, after the content bit and a carriage return or two, would
probably be enough. But it would probably make more sense to put the
"enlarge+" bit above the image, so that a matching "minimize-" link can be
shown in the same place when the image is maximized.


-----Original Message-----
From: McAtee, Malcolm [mailto:MMcAtee at philamuseum.org]
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001 12:07 PM
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] Site critique

have at it list-folk.

TIA Malcolm


Malcolm J. Mcatee
Web Designer
Philadelphia Museum of Art
mmcatee at philamuseum.org

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