[thelist] site check please

Jay Gilmore jay at smashingred.com
Sat Dec 24 09:12:11 CST 2005

Meredith Tupper wrote:

>Hi all,
>Got a rough draft of a site that needs...well, it needs something. 
>Background color?  Better balance?  Simpler font?
>Any constructive criticism is welcomed.

The logo is eye catching :)

Here is what I think needs to be addressed

Text as image: If you want to use a special font (though I don't know 
why you would want to do that for more than headings) this can be 
accomplished using one of the Document Object Model Image Replacement 
(http://www.alistapart.com/articles/javascriptreplacementmethods or 
http://www.mikeindustries.com/sifr/ ) that replace either letters or 
words with special fonts. At least this way it would remain indexable by 
search engines. You should also consider the fact that people are used 
to reading screen fonts and can find it strenuous to read anti-aliased 
text for long stretches.

A logo that takes up 30% of the screen. This is almost as bad as a 
splash screen. Why not have people arrive to content and immediately 
allow them to select the podcast they want with a single land and click 
vs. making them have to work for the cast. People in blogland are used 
to simple, newest-first, content delivery as opposed to having to 
navigate for new.

Visually, because this is a fixed width design, I would suggest sitting 
having it positioned in the center of the screen, that would match most 
user expectations for a narrow fixed width design.

You are correct that you can change the background color as all too many 
websites are using white as a background color, I think many sites, 
including my own could use to change up the background and remain readable.

Other issues:
Using tables where every element of this page could be rendered using 
CSS and HTML and it would lighten up the code.
Using images for links but no rollover to indicate that they are links. 
This is an imagemap and there is no need to have this as such.
Using the "font" attribute is a no no and it is a big waste of time and 
effort to maintain. Use a CSS file to denote your font sizes. Not just 
because the W3C has deprecated it but because who wants to run around 
changing a bunch of elements every time you want to update your page.

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