Wow! :yikes: That is one intense layout! I really like what you did, it’s very different (in a good, creative way!) I like the way you handled the gallery, I also do enjoy the pirate theme. :rolleyes:
If I had one criticism (in the name of constructive criticisms) I would suggest making the sub-pages list a bit less daunting. I personally think that the white arrows add a bit of unnecessary clutter to the pane… Do take that with a grain of salt as I really do like/admire your site! (I can’t stand battling css for more than a day or two!)
If you have at least 512kbs internet, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 sec I believe… and thats the problem we faced =( great graphics with slower rate or less graphics for faster rate… but we tried to adjust to both
But… 10 seconds are worth it to wait so you can look at this awesome graphic layout
Graphics, pow pow pow. Here’s a good place to put in a discussion about the demerits of copious eyecandy.
A cohesive website is all about presenting information. They call web people “information architects” these days, and there’s a reason for that.
I doubt not your webteam’s time spent photoshopping the background images for this website. However, it’s very bulky and flashy.
The flash intro is a good example of this bulk. It conveys little information (the music and moving pictures of the robot, as well as vague, amorphous words like “inspiration”), at a very high bandwidth cost.
It’s probably too late now, but for next year, I would suggest pinning down all of your key information, and building a website around that. A user isn’t interested in seeing pictures of your members do a flash/zoom effect. They want to read more about it. So, instead of showcasing the flash/zoom effect, perhaps find a way to showcase the actual information. This applies to the flash slideshow frontpage item and “past robot” image too. The font-size-changer feels like a gimmick. How often does the average web user need to change the font-size of a website?
The frills on the sidebar (and everywhere else) are very distracting, especially with the red-on-black color scheme. It takes your eyes away from the main navbar.
Hey, after reading this, you’ll probably get really bitter towards me. I completely understand. I went through this realization last year. When you get really bitter, you have to remember that it’s the journey of finishing the website that really counts in the end. After all, it all gets scrapped after one year.
Hopefully, this might nudge you further on that (very time consuming) journey.
I have to agree here. We considered a fancy graphic design at first, but decided it was a bit too much effort, and none of us enjoyed sites with flash as a main part of them.
If you think about it, a lot of great sites out there are incredibly minimalistic, Google, Digg and Slashdot; they convey a lot of information, and load quickly and don’t make your eyes bleed (I’m looking at you, animated GIFS).
I love the theme of your website, and there’s a lot in there. It looks very cool. Perhaps you could tone it down a slight bit next year, and have an even more appealing one!
Thank you for putting the effort in writing your suggestions and opinions, but there is no need to hate. You probably didn’t’ even explore the whole website. I am sure we spent x3 times as your team did working on your webpage. http://www.harrisonboilerrobotics.org/
Also, about the bulky intro you are talking about. It is something special that we decided to have that will represent us as well as the FIRST community. If you don’t really get the meaning of the intro I will explain it. Because we are pirates, we decided to have a treasure map that our robot will go around it looking for the treasure. Every time we landed on an island, a word description appears which descripes what we have gained. Than when we reached to the treasure, the real treasure is FIRST. Hmm… Sounds very creative to me, doesn’t it? I don’t see any other website have that idea.
Also about what you said on our lack of information… WHAT??? We have a team bio for all our members that is page long. You should reconsider that and look here http://team56.com/2008/team56/teammembers/students.php
And about our past robot, there is a HISTORY PAGE THAT YOU ALSO DIDN’T SEE. http://team56.com/2008/history/history.php
And what is wrong with the font size option – if you don’t like it DON’T use it. I am sure lots of other people will have fun with it, but I don’t’ know about you.
WHAT MAKES OUR WEBSITE SPECIAL FROM ANY OTHER IS OUR ORIGINAL DESIGN, NOT GOING TO OTHER WEBSITES AS YOU MENTIOND AND COPY THEIR DESIGN.
And don’t worry, for the spirit of gracious professionalisms I don’t feel bitter towards you. The website is always done as well. We have all the essential information that we need.
P.S – I don’t understand why you would talk about our lack of information where you guys don’t have as much information as us ^o)
A few points to consider:
-Is it considered fair use to post Darude’s “Sandstorm”?
-I find it kinda hard to focus on the text because the eye candy is quite distracting.
-My 1 year old laptop is incapable of screen resolutions higher than 1024x768, so…scrollbars deluxe. Most corporate machines are set to 1024x768 also, so you are making yourself look bad to any potential sponsor viewing your site.
It just really feels like one of those overdone MySpace pages with everything on the page flashing and fading and moving…
I can see that a lot of time went into this, and I do like how professionally-done it looks. It’s not my style, but I could roll with it if it fit in my browser.
Ultimately, the CSS/design style of your site is only 0.0001% of what makes your site good. A good design won’t be obtrusive, but rather make the content-which is of course the most important part-flow nicely.
Yeah I understand what you saying. The resolution was one of the hardest thing to decide, but the only reason we made it 1200 px wide was because 1000 px was just way too small. After looking through polls and votes, we believed that 1200px was the best resolution to use.
Its a peice of art, yet, but im not so sure about the website part.
I like the shape of the site, but i think you sacrificed graphics for a presentable appearance. For example, in your content area, your main body paragraph are itty bitty in width, and stretch the page downwards a LOT. in fact, almost all content areas on your site are way too thin… they need to be taken off their diet.
Next thing i dont like is how i have to scroll down to actually see any content. I do get a nice pirate ship though… it must have taken a LONG time to design that header.
Next is the color scheme… its consistent, i will give you that. The problem is it is very saturated; you never actually deviate from that powerful shade of red. It gives me a headache if i try to read the text on the page for too long.
Check the usage policy for that first logo… i beleive they specify that it HAS to have the FIRST text underneath it.
As far as content itself goes, i think you are all set. Looking at the grading sheet i beleive you will at the very least get an excellence award.
Not that I want to do do direct comparisons here or simply say that one site is better than the other, but since you did it, allow me to.
The website http://www.harrisonboilerrobotics.org/ is professionally done. The introductory information (team name, what FIRST is, etc) is presented very clearly. As the user to the site, I immediately know what this site is about. I like that.
The links to other sections of information are very easy to find. They are in different colors, they are large, they stand out on the page.
This site has a very clean design. Its a site that I wouldnt mind browsing through because its well designed, easy to read, and informative. It is very clearly a better site.
I have two issues with your response to his original comment.
The way you addressed his comments…
You’re right, your team probably did put in 3 times the effort, but in the real world, that doesnt mean anything. Throwing an implied insult at his site doesnt do anything constructive.
If you were building a site for a business, you wouldnt get a chance to address the customers that their opinions about your website are wrong because you can provide them with links that they didn’t explore. The end of that story is the customer didn’t like your website, so they moved on and your company is not going to get their business.
The truth is that FIRST isnt a business and the site probably wont make much of an effect on how your robot performs, the funding you receive, etc but if we are going to treat this like a real world competition, then we need to a have a more realistic paradigm.
His comments are spot on and you seem to dismiss them.
Ignoring comments because they are not what you want to hear isnt anyway to improve upon a product. I happen to agree with everything he said about your site. The introduction wasn’t very informative and a little bit too long. Its very hard to navigate on your main page. The links at the top were very hard to see because they have very little contrast with the background, in fact it isnt very clear if they are links or just more text on the page. Overall, the page feels very cluttered and it becomes a chore for me to read rather than a pleasure. And this may be more of a personal preference, but I would rather see very clear pictures of your team in action than the blurry, unclear images on your main page.
Perhaps your site has more information, but its hard to find and thus the user wont get to it.
Simplicity of design is a concept that applies to all aspects of life. Whether it is your robot, your plans for the future, or a website, there is a beauty in simplicity. When there is too much going on, it leads to stress and disharmony. Please take this into consideration for your future sites.
I would also like to agree with the fact that there is not enough constructive criticism on the site. Getting one million “great jobs” or “nice effort” doesn’t help as much as one person providing some thought and real incite in their feedback.
First. Don’t use flash introductions on websites. Flash is neat, and can do some pretty eye-catching things. However, used as you used it here is an incorrect application.
Second. A majority of the world uses 1024x768 resolution. At that resolution, your website is very difficult to view. The graphics, while extremely well done, are over-the-top and tend to make it difficult to sort out the information from the pictures.
Third. Less that half the world runs broadband.
I don’t want to make you think you wasted your time. It’s very impressive, and with some more work I think you could easily win a major award. But you need to size it correctly, make it easier to navigate with more visible buttons, and compress the content.