[thelist] New site - Critique for look/feel/user experience (http://www.hughblair.com/)

Hugh Blair hblair at hotfootmail.com
Sun Apr 7 16:01:00 CDT 2002

Newer version up at http://www.hughblair.com/ - and THANKS to
all that looked and responded. Sorry this is long, but I've put
all the responses in this one email. You folks are great!

> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Ed McCarroll
> I loved the "style..." concept - I got to pick the one that worked
> best for my taste/browser/configuration.  In my case that meant I
> got to choose between the one with the best contrast (1) and the
> one that made the links most recognizable (3).

Thanks. My first experiment at doing that. Still much to learn.

> As a newbie, I did not catch on immediately to what the styles
> were all about; Bob's response clued me.  Changing the label from
> "style ..." to "site style:" would help.

How about "page style"?

> The lack of underlines in the linked words (registrar, management,
> etc.) was confusing.

Changed. More about that later...

> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of sasha
> and how will non-javascript browsers (like lynx)
> be able to access certain areas of your site?

I'm not really sure. Anybody that can take a look?

> being an opera user with both iframes and pop-ups
> disabled, i cannot see the news content you
> intended.  why dont you just make it an include of
> some sort to just make it easier for everyone?

With iframes and pop-ups dead, you're right, you won't
see the "news". I may change this a little later.

> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Hassan Schroeder

> Moz0.9.9/Win:: looks nice, but while the left menu and the top
> right [home][?][@][c] buttons all have mouseover behaviors, the
> style selections [1][2][3][4] do not, nor does the cursor change
> to a hand to indicate a link - so it's not at all clear they're
> 'clickable' rather than decorative.

Good point, I'll look at makeing that change in the next build,
probably tonight. Thanks.

> NS4.79/Win:: the News section is just a link, which when clicked
> produces a popup containing:
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
>   Not Found
>   The requested URL /netscapenews/nnnewsframeset.htm was not found on
>   this server.

Sorry, I didn't make that page for NS users yet. First thing next
on the list.

> The style selection 'buttons' are flattened to a couple of pixels
> high.

Actually, they're supposed to be totally flat.

> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of cdj
> Is the entire site suppose to disappear when you rollover the menu links

Fixed - bad css build. Sorry.

> One thing that I have noticed in the default style is that the
> background of the text and the menu cell do not line up, whereas, once I
> click on style 1 they do.

That should be changed now. Thanks for finding it.

> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Bob Boisvert
> Actually, I think the use of strong is fine as long as those links at the
> very least have an underline under them signifying it's a link.  A
> discussion about underlined links quite a while ago on the list argued that
> users don't recognize a link if it's not underlined simply because that what
> the user is used to.
> The underline to the user means they can go elsewhere in the site so I think
> the use of strong somewhere else in you content would be fine also, no
> underline means no link.

Everyone mentioned the links - and I've added them on all styles. Y'all made
good points and I agree. I'm a little surprised though to hear this issue
put as strong as it was. More and more I see sites that don't have links
underlined. Maybe I'm just getting used to flying my mouse all over the
screen, or checking for links by hovering. Anyway, links are now on. Thanks
to all for that input.

> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Joseph A Borg
> First: I prefer style 1 by far, some UI issues:
> >> Link underlining:
> Have to thread slowly on this one: not easy to go against
> a Neilsen convention ;-)

Yeh, you too. I got the loud and constant voice from the group. :>)

> >> Main menu:
> try to limit the options a user would have to juggle ( menus,
> ideas/concepts, lists) in groups of 5-9, at 13 you're going to be
> terribly unlucky ;-)

LOL - never counted - never saw the "13". Hmmm, will think on that.

> >> LAYOUT structure & color:
> The most important page groupings are:
> 	masthead: top left corner (correct)  (I would always link it to
> homepage)


> simple menu: it's too far right (it's aimed at novices right?
> so place it nearer the masthead using a darker masthead
> colour (ocre?)

I'm not sure what you're describing as the "simple menu." Do you mean
the 4 fly-out submenus?

> main-menu: 7±2 the magic number: should be coloured
> 	similar to masthead lighter maybe?

Brain cramp: I don't get what you're describing here.

>main-text area: good as is... though I would re-structure its use:
>	the side bar with the news is useless where it is, should be
>	incorporated into the main text area: that's where everything
>	is happening! Right? So make up some templates for this area
>	for news items, short stories, long stories...

Thanks for the input, but I think I'll leave it there for now. I plan
on making the 'index' content more news oriented so the sidebar could
be skipped as not too important.

> layout:
> 	even though the eye sees the whole page, a new user has to absorb
> 	the whole stuff and from the ques you provide, determine what is
> 	most important, how things group together: the conceptual clusters
> users:
> 	another magic number: 80/20, don't forget that 20% of the site users
> 	are going to generate 80% of the traffic/value so try to determine who
> 	they are, and how to best serve them. you are morally justified after
> 	all you are not peddling spirits to alcoholics...

Hey Joe, I appreciate all this great imput. I'm sure the structure and
content will evolve as users (hopefully) find the site and I can determine
who 'da h*ll they are. My guess is that most will be a little above the
general 'civilian' population. Time will tell.

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