[thelist] Site review

Diane Soini diane at dianesoini.com
Wed Mar 10 00:00:37 CST 2004

Hey, I know how it is to work with people who are not computer 
literate. Simple is better for them. I'm only barely literate. I know 
less and less each year.

My 2 cents:
1. I don't like the initial page. It's is not useful, and it is too 
wide. The page that it redirects to should be the initial page.
2. Personally, I tend to dislike instructions. "To navigate around the 
site use the links below..." Using links to navigate is pretty much 
understood by now. My personal opinion is that if you have to give 
instructions, then your web site is broken. In your case, the site is 
not broken. The instructions are merely unnecessary.
3. Somebody else said not to use "click here" links and you said you 
removed them, but I'm not sure anybody told you why. Search engines 
place a certain weight on the text of a link. If the text of the link 
says something meaningful about the destination, and matches the 
destination, it's good for usability and it's good for search engines. 
It indicates "this is what the destination page is about."
4. Not a big fan of centered text. The left navigation might look 
better left justified.
5. Your personal web log appears to have a more polished design. Any 
chance of borrowing from it?
6. Even if the graphic design is not polished, I've been to many sites 
like yours, with simple (even down-right ugly) designs and if I think 
about it, those are the sites where I've actually spent money, or come 
close to it. Sites selling Vespa accessories, parrot diapers and other 
quirky things aren't going to look like some fancy-schmancy web log. 
But they are going to have the quirky things I want to buy or learn 
about that I can't find in my local shopping center.

I have to admire you for being able to make web sites for clients. If 
only I had taken that opportunity when I was first offered I might be a 
"real" web designer like all these other folks instead of twiddling my 
thumbs in the Dilbert cube farm, doing a little html here, a little JSP 
there, a little domino designer there a little flash over there, but 
nothing to any level of greatness.


On Tuesday, March 9, 2004, at 08:54 AM, thelist-request at lists.evolt.org 
> At 14:55 09/03/2004, you wrote
>> At 13:55 09/03/2004, you wrote
>>> On 9 Mar 2004, at 13:34, John C Bullas (soton.ac.uk relay) wrote:
>>>> Colleagues
>>>> Please be gentle with me as I am (really) a road surface 
>>>> characteristics
>>>> PhD researcher
>>>> delivering very cheap web solutions to ex-customers as a hobby.... 
>>>> no
>>>> formal training
>>>> http://www.rocbinda.com/
>>> <snip>
>>> ... and that's just the splash screen.
>> Best just stick to being a geologist then ;)
>> FB
> I understand I am just "playing" at what a lot of you lot do for a 
> living
> however I am sure you all are
> forever learning stuff even now..... I always find it difficult to 
> explain
> something I have a so-called
> expertise in without getting critical ( but very infrequently I fail 
> AND do
> get critical rather than constructive)
> So for future reference alternative solutions in addition to a 
> critique of
> those issues raised along with more constructive
> and positive language I guess would help a lot more.... there is 
> always the
> perennial problem of convincing
> the client that having a wanky IP display on the page is a bad thing 
> and
> also ripping the hit counter from
> their clutches....
> THANKS for the tip about "click here"s.... I have eradicated them
> THANKS for the tip about xx-small
> Suggested to them ditching the pointless index page
> The contact form is now well reduced in width
> The site architecture was inherited BTW
> Generally thanks for all your positive input.......
> FB
> http://www.soton.ac.uk/~johnb/
Don't be afraid to try something new. An amateur built the ark. 
Professionals built the Titanic. -unknown

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