TR-x 145 Website 2010

TR-x 145 Presents the new site

Please comment of likes/dislikes of the site. The more comments the better :smiley: .

First thing I notice is that the soccer ball behind the text makes it annoying to read. Also, you might consider having the menu not move when scrolling to make it feel less awkward.

Gotta say, I love the animation, though.

The animation is cool (and so are the dinosaurs). I just have a couple suggestions for you. The white text is a little difficult to read on the background, and links are even harder to read. Also, I don’t think the FIRST logo in the background is legal. It needs to be on certain background colors, I believe. There also needs to be space between the logo and any other elements (text, other pictures, etc.). You should also have a prominent link to the FIRST website on your homepage, and every time you mention FIRST it needs to be italicized and should not be written “F.I.R.S.T.”.

Those are just a couple of the things we have had to fix on our website in the past.

First I want to congratulate team 145 on creating a website. It can be a valuable resource for recruiting sponsors and new members. So good job!

However, for your website to be an asset to your team it should be very polished and clean.

Before I start the critique I want to tell you that my experience in web design is not extensive. I’ve made my own site as well as my team’s - that’s it.

Secondly, I want to remind you that web design (or just design in general) is about communication. Good design will be obvious. Great design will be transparent (those aren’t my own words, but I forgot who said them).

My concerns:

  1. When I first visit the site I don’t really understand what it’s about. There is no unifying message.
  2. There isn’t a theme - take a look at Simbotics’ website to see what I mean.
  3. The “Corny” animation makes it very unprofessional - it reminds me of a little league soccer team
  4. The website doesn’t meet many of the criteria of the 2010 FIRST web design award
    a. I can’t easily identify your team number, name, or where you are located
    b. The FIRST logo is hidden
    c. Organization/visually appealing???
    d. etc…
  5. Many of your links under “Resources” don’t relate to your website
  6. “Founding Sponsors of FIRST” are unnecessary - once again they don’t contribute anything to your website
  7. No “Contact Us” Page - like I said, your website can be the most valuable PR tool at your disposal!
  8. Put your team’s code (C++, Java, LabVIEW) on the “Resources” page
  9. Read some books/blogs on web design/user interfaces
  10. Go to some of your favorite sites and analyze them. What works? Can you navigate it easy? Why?
  11. Have a 3rd party view your website and ask them their opinion. Sometimes we get a preconceived idea of how people will interact with a website and then create something that is a pain to use.
  12. Sit down with your marketing team (assuming you have one, if not your main mentor) and brainstorm what you want to communicate to your audience. After that, you need to create a paper-and-pencil layout of how your website should look. What pages do you want on there? An About Us page? A Picture gallery? A Resources page? A Sponsors page? Etc…
  13. In summary, you need to build a team “brand”.

I don’t mean to be harsh, but I hope that my comments help you and your team. I think that you should seriously consider redesigning the site so it is easier to navigate.

Maybe you take a look at a free css/HTML template. I don’t like to see teams use them because students didn’t create the entire thing, but that doesn’t mean your student web design team can’t learn from one. In fact, I learned how to make website from downloading a template and modifying it to my liking.

Once again, I hope that helps you guys out. If you need anything, PM me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I (or one of my COMETS team mates) can. Good luck!

ok i fixed some of the things you guys commented on. hope it looks a little better now

Not to sounds like a jerk, but I’m going to say this once again - you really need to think about redoing the entire layout of the website. It’s hard to read and navigate. Why not look into a template or content management system?

I would suggest having at least the menu and some text visible on each page (especially the homepage) without having to scroll down. You may want to have the menu static instead of it scrolling with the page, or place it higher up so it’s visible. It’s still difficult to read the text on the background. Perhaps use the same concept (it’s a cool-looking background), but make it a banner instead? That way it’s visible on every page, but doesn’t interfere with the text. You might also want to make it a little more clear that the FIRST logo is a link.

As for content, I would suggest writing more about FIRST. It might be nice to have a few students write a short paragraph about what they think FIRST is, and what it means to them. If you have any more photos, I would suggest putting those on the site as well. You might want to add a description of each of the links on your resources page because that would be helpful for anyone else looking at your site.

I would also suggest defining a color scheme to make your website seem more unified.

The Website has been fixed again!. plz post on comments, concerns, etc.

You may want to try and have a non-JavaScript navigation. Some corporate places turn javscript off so you should have a <noscript> navigation in there

Mike the vids are backwards.