I have recently developed a website dedicated to the life and times of Charles Darwin, and I would be very grateful if some of you would take the time to give a critique of the site. Here is the URL --
-- David Leff
98-2 ie5.5 1028x768 current setting for true color 24bit
first a run thru just like i was visiting.
tried to click on The illustrated...... not an active link
tried to click on Darwin this Month..... not an active link
ok, i see, it is a listing of what he did in october and it is right here.
there is a lot to like in this site. the navigation seems to be really togeather.
i do not understand the purpose of pulling the chronology by the month for the front page.
now for a more detailed tour of the site.
i recommend moving both the darwin gif to centered over the menu and the About Darwin.com to centered position over the main body.
others will have suggestions about the color combo and there may be one you find more appropriate but the layout looks fine.
there is nothing to critique. you chose one pattern and stuck to it.
come back and do a review now and then. lots of fun and we see some really great sites.
Not a bad design overall. The colors mesh well together, although the red seems out of place. On the child pages you might want to change the look of the links. Maybe get rid of the underlining or change the color. Since it does seem pretty plain maybe you should add some rounded corners to the mian text area.
The overall look is consistent and pleasing. The graphics are well done and appropriate.
Sorry, I don't have time to go into a longer review, but I will post a few comments on content and navigation.
Even though you have a few sections still "evolving", the site is rich in content. There are a couple of items you may want to add. 1) More on the theory itself. What impact it has had and how its changed or "evolved" in recent years. What differentiates from other similar theories. 2) An area and/or links surrounding the controversies and the impact that they have had. I know this could be a lot of work -- its just a thought.
I would definitely add a search feature. Even break the information down into shorter chunks (each page containing a smaller amount of information) on the loger pages instead of bookmarking from links at the top. This would also help the search feature.
Thanks for the advice about my website. I do have a few questions.
In your reply you mentioned -- "I do not understand the purpose of pulling the chronology by the month for the front page."
This has been a concern of mine as well. What I am trying to do here is have an area on the home page that links up to all the other sections. Right now there are links in the calendar section for people. Eventually there will be links to places, along with photographs and maps. The calendar is sort of a jumping off station to other places in the site, and also provides a source for monthly content updates.
"I recommend moving both the darwin gif to centered over the menu and the About Darwin.com to centered position over the main body."
I tried that a long time ago and it made the three elements (title, Darwin icon and menus) seem to "float" on their own. The way I have it now, the elements seem to tie together better.
You mentioned -- "Since it does seem pretty plain maybe you should add some rounded corners to the main text area."
That sounds like a neat idea! I was not aware this could be done? Is it an HTML function? How is it coded?
You mentioned I should have -- "More on the theory itself. What impact it has had and how its changed or "evolved" in recent years. What differentiates from other similar theories. 2) An area and/or links surrounding the controversies and the impact that they have had."
From the start I wanted to stay away from this area, as it is covered in great detail in many other excellent websites. I am trying to fill a niche by having a site that focuses Darwin himself. Everyone knows about his theories, but how many people really know who Darwin was? This is my goal.
"I would definitely add a search feature."
How is this done? Can you suggest any good search programs out there?
Well, you have several options.
Download a script from CGI-Resources http://cgi.resourceindex.com/Program...erl/Searching/
You can add a search feature from a major search engine which has two benefits 1) it gives your users the choice of searching just your site or the Internet and 2) your automatically listed with that search engine.
You can also check the 'Search Engine Wars' forum on this site.
Its nice. I like the Darwin head pic.
First thing I'd do is change the link colors to be more inline with your site colors. You can do this in the body tag if you like, but they need to be changed.
The following, which is a portion of a site I run, may be of interest to you.
Also I have pushed along your DMOZ submission.
i have suffered from the same kind of feast or famine content problem.
i could really do with some suggestions in this area. i have never found a solution that was completely pleasing.
so i am going to ask back in web design.
Hi, I think your site is very nice! I am a teacher and am looking at it from the point:)
It has lots of info that is interesting and can be used by both students and others easily.
Very easy to get around the site, I am not crazy about the colors, but since the site is easy to get around, it doesn't matter to me.
I will let my students know about the site, as well as please email me in my profile, I write a daily ezine to over 32,000 people and I think people would like your site.
I really like the navigation buttons on the left, but I think they'd be even better with a MouseOver effect. The colors aren't bad at all, but the cartoon head seems out of place. A real shot (like the statue picture) would have much greater impact on the visitor.
You've put a lot of effort and research into this site. Overall I think its nice work! Good luck with your site!
Enjoyed the site. As mentioned previously, I would do some mouse overs on the navigation buttons. Would add a slick look to the site. I can't help but notice a lack of graphics. You might consider using some of the beautiful etchings that were done during the travels of this era, these should be available in books or maybe on the internet. The copyright has long since expired for this imagery unless someone somehow has purchased the rights. I've already recommended the site to some Darwin fans out there, a little more work and you'll have a great site. Will add this to links at my http://www.gulfislandsguide.com site.
> First thing I'd do is change the link colors to be more
> inline with your site colors. You can do this in the body > tag if you like, but they need to be changed.
I thought that blue was the standard link color? Would not changing the color throw people off who are used to seeing blue for links?
-- David Leff
> I really like the navigation buttons on the left, but I
> think they'd be even better with a MouseOver effect. The > colors aren't bad at all, but the cartoon head seems out > of place.
I did not want to do a “MouseOver” effect because it makes for longer page loading times, but perhaps in the near future I will do so. Besides, my HTML skills are not that advanced yet.
-- David Leff
> I can't help but notice a lack of graphics. You might
> consider using some of the beautiful etchings that were
> done during the travels of this era, these should be
> available in books or maybe on the internet.
That will change soon. In fact, I am planning an image library that contains photographs of all places in the UK associated with Darwin.
> I've already recommended the site to some Darwin fans out
> there, a little more work and you'll have a great site.
Thanks for the kind words!
-- David Leff
are there any newspapers or broadsides from the period that could serve as text and fit in somewhere.
I really appreciate all the positive comments regarding my Darwin website.
Would any of you care to comment on the speed of my site? I am most concern about the Beagle Voyage section, as it has a lot of graphics. What sections of the site seem slow to you?
Please also indicate your connection speed and computer speed so I can guage responses properly.
Well, since you requested it, the site load time is pretty decent, you may want to lower the number of colors you are using with each graphic in order to cut load time without cutting graphic quality. I suggest trying as low as a 5 color palet. I think that it just might work for you.
Now, I don't know what you were trying to accomplish with the site, but I'll tell you right now, that you are going to have a lot of Christians banging at your door. While I'm not a Christian myself, I can tell you from past experiences that people are very strong in their beliefs and even a real person that essentially proves something wrong with their religion, that's not a good thing. So, make sure that you are careful with how you do things, or you could end up with just a lot of emails calling you a jerk and a non believer or whatever.
But other than all that, good site.