Team 2648 New Website

The Infinite loop robotics team would like to invite you to visit our newly remodeled website.

Comments are Welcome!

This year we converted from raw HTML to Drupal CMS, wondering if anyone has any suggestions regarding Drupal and other CMS’s.

thanks

Very nice website. It looks clean and easy to navigate. Excellent job! :smiley:

I haven’t used it before, but Drupal seems like a great, full-featured system, if a bit bloated sometimes. I’m using Silverstripe on a couple sites I’m working on now, but they’re all just variations on the same theme.

The one thing with CMS systems is to make sure that you customize the appearance enough that it doesn’t look like a cookie cutter, and if you have a log-in system, make sure it’s not as prominent on the page so that the website maintains a professional look. Your site seems to be a great start towards that.

As [buddyb] said, your site organization seems to be pretty good. I also like the inclusion of pictures on all of your pages.

A couple of style suggestions (if you want them):
– The blue buttons don’t really work with your red/green logo. Maybe try red (or green) buttons
– Your header seems to have a little unbalanced white (black) space on the right. On sites with similar features, I’ve moved the button bar so it’s bottom-aligned with the logo, and then right-aligned it. Something to try
– The change in left sidebar between the home page and other pages is somewhat awkward. Maybe try moving the box with the FIRST logo to the right sidebar of the homepage.
– The Google Friend Connect applet looks a little tacky, and draws a little too much attention to the log-in, IMO.
– Is there a reason why you have a log-in at all? You don’t appear to have any forums, commenting system, or something else that would require users to need to log in. If all you need it for is logging in to edit the content, consider moving the log-in to a page which isn’t linked to from the rest of the site, but you know it (like team2648.com/admin), or put a small link to the admin page at the very bottom or similar if necessary.

–Ryan

Its very nice and easy to navigate :smiley: I like it!

I disagree. I don’t like the fact i have two different places to navigate… make sure you can have something else up top too…
The calendar overflows on my screen… fix that

I like having your goal and mission statement and such on the front of your homepage but you forgot something just as important… WHAT are you? What type of robotics? Think like your grandma who has no clue what this is.

The picture on the accomplishments page needs to be compressed better. And maybe distinguish what you have done better (like different colored text)

My last thing is the fact you say its best with chrome… two big no-nos. One, it should be compatible with ALL major browsers… firefox, IE, and safari MUST be supported completely. Also, FIRST doesnt care if its chrome supported. Only the ones above, FIRST would like to see supported.

Otherwise looking good! I like one of the major things i see is the community service… something i dont see on many other sites. Hope to see it get a award this year :wink:

Agreed. If you the left-hand navigation is in the same place on every page, you don’t even need to have the top nav bar, which would make the layout a bit cleaner.

There should also be more of a change to the current page’s link on the sidebar–maybe make it bold. It’s a little hard to notice the difference between the purple and white, as you have it now (especially for the color blind 10% of the male population!)

Also consider making the nav links a little more descriptive (maybe “About the Team” instead of “Team”, “FIRST Challenge” or “About the Challenge” instead of “Challenge”, etc.)

Otherwise, the navigation system and site structure are very clear, and the content is presented clearly. Good work so far!

Oh, and I just noticed–have you considered moving the content from the Overdrive media page over to the new website? Most people visiting the site won’t realize that they’re looking at an old version of the site, and they’ll get stuck in the 2008 version.

Overall, good use of photos, too.

On your Java programming page - nice idea by the way! - the second and third sentences need some help.

Your front page has a sentence that starts “Each September” and it’s a little awkward. I believe that you might want to write “students who must go through a rigorous process”.

I do like the way it looks though. :slight_smile:

Trying to Help

Thanks all for the wonderful feedback!

We have made a bunch of changes!

I only had a couple of questions for dqmot17:

We were a bit confused, We tried to use the front page to fully describe the mission statement.

So what I guess I am trying to ask, is could you give me some more acute suggestions regarding the mission statement.

The picture on the picture on the accomplishments page was taken with a camera that had a setting to exaggerate the orange colors.

If its a loading time issue, it might be because its not compressed.

Yay more questions for me! for the mission statement question, im actually thinking what is up now is good… but i would remove the names of the students… its cluttering. I would have a page specifically for students.

Now with the picture, you have this problem recurring on the whole site. 1mb picture download is not cool. Yes compression is an issue, it needs NEEDS to be compressed. All of the images need to be. I have a 6 mb/s connection for wireless and it still takes quite a bit of time.

My last thing is having the links change color for visited… I personally dont like it. Its nothing horrendously bad like the image compression, but you could change it.

Next, i really like the resources page, but my first impression is “WORDS!” Add a few screenshots, pictures, etc. It makes it more exciting to the user (but i do like that you are thorough.

your link for sunspot is broken on the getting started page.
Finally, The USFIRST link on the resources page is extremely hard to read…

Anything thing else let me know!

So…

on the area of image compressing, do you know an easy way to do a batch?

In the past i used the feature imbedded in dreamweaver but its really tedious…

FastStone Image Viewer is my personally favorite.
http://www.faststone.org/

It does batches for just about any operation, including resizing or converting file-types.

Your links go to specific blog posts (in the resources section)… Change it to the home page -> Chiefdelphi.com and http://frcdirector.blogspot.com

Get photoshop. use the save for web feature. DO NOT use a jpg for most of your bigger photos. but play around with the presets. try and go for png’s and gif’s for you large images, and mainly for the images associated with aesthetics (ex: menu background pictures) .

GIMP might do batch processing as well.

GIF has a low color depth so the results will not be desirable for photos.

The JPG vs. PNG conversation really depends on how you’re compressing and optimizing the images. You don’t necessarily need to compress at 100% (lossless) quality unless you intend to distribute the files for use in other places.

In this case, the important part is resizing them; you’d be fine with JPGs at a quality setting of 95% or less. (Edit: That is, for the photos mentioned above.)

TeachWiz,

One thing I would recommend is contacting Dan Zollman mentioned up top. He is fantastic at giving feedback and I would like to publicly thank him for looking over our entire site. We will be implementing 80 percent of what he said maybe more if time allows.

Thank you from team 1323.

-RC

Hah, you’re too generous.

But yes, I’ll be around for another week, so feel free to contact me if you want more feedback or if you have any other questions.