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Thread: project review

  1. #1
    SitePoint Member ladiana's Avatar
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    project review

    http://ladiana.idestini.com

    This is my first major project at my new job. I was given the task of redesigning our website at the Arkansas State Crime Lab. Of course, the old one was done in 1998 so this redesign is a total new bulid. My goals with the site were to create an easily navigated, accessible, simple, standards-compliant design.

    I am mostly looking for functionality issues. I'm interested in funky behavior in IE 5.5 & 6, Netscape 7, Opera 7, & Moz. We're taking the "to hell with bad browsers" approach so only newer browser behavior.

    I wouldn't mind graphical suggestions for the banner & buttons at the top. I'm no graphics designer yet, but I can try.

    Please let me know what you think!

    Thanks,
    Abby
    Interests: ASP.NET, VB.NET, CSS
    www.idestini.com

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast jasmanac's Avatar
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    Nothing special.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot nikul's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Good try,

    1. Site taking long time to download,

    2. And yes you need to take help of graphic / web designer to make the site more live.

    3. Mouseover for the navigation doesnt work properly.

    4. Links below the top navigation doesnt seem look properly, you may give them different treatment, so that user can come to know they are the links.

    5. Also use small and relevant images to the subjects

    6. Give importance to the LOGO, they are not clear and readable.

    Otherwise its a good try of the work you are doing.

    All the best

    Nikul.com
    Nitin Kulkarni, Pune, India

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist mafunk's Avatar
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    loaded fine for me (on dsl modem)

    Simple graphics, but pretty good for a government site.

    Functioned just fine.

    I do not care for the background, and personally prefer fully liquid sites.
    MaFunk

  5. #5
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    the site looks good overall and works fine in Opera 7.11 and Mozilla Firefox.

    The site loaded quickly for me on 56k although some of the photos need to be optimized a bit more.

    Its good to see you are not using any tables

  6. #6
    Getting there... Willigogs's Avatar
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    Experienced problems with the navigation tabs. The rollover would change to just a white space on the over state, and then had to wait ages for the active state to reappear on mouse out.

    IE6

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member ladiana's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I changed the navigation to resolve the navigation flickering problem in IE6/WinXP. I knew I wanted to have a tab navigation and have been wanting to apply the technique from Douglas Bowman's articles about sliding doors at alistapart. I was developing the site on an NT workstation and never had the problem and also tested the site at home on my XP pro box and never noticed the problem... However, my new WinXP machine came in to work on Friday and I immediately got to see the flickering problem. Anyway, its changed to accomodate.

    I also made some of the images smaller file size. I don't really care for the big pic on the front, but until I am given some more content for the front page, I don't know what else to do with it

    I've also decided to ditch using the lab's real logo and the state seal in the banner since it just looks bad. I'll work on the banner, I've been playing with some tutorials about web graphics, we'll see if I learned anything.

    Thanks again,
    Abby
    Interests: ASP.NET, VB.NET, CSS
    www.idestini.com

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast Emankcin's Avatar
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    1024x768; win2k, 64kb/s.

    A well done site. I'd agree with nikul, on "more detailed logo". And the home page loaded slow for me, this is because of high resolution picture.
    The navigation was comfortable, roll over effect worked well for me.

    Didn't find any metatags that means: no chances for search engines to find you.

    Other than those nit picks, things seem to be working well.
    CPanel based Scalable Reselling
    Free support for our resellers customers at Royal Web Hosting

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast azwaldo's Avatar
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    Still accepting feedback?

    Your site looks very professional. Is the site up and running? I have just a couple of observations.

    Consider using the top-right of the page as a spot for logo/link to a more central gov't site [Arkansas State Police, Justice, Law Enforcement,etc.]

    This bit is somewhat 'choppy':
    "Welcome to the redesigned website of the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. We have added better navigation, made it compliant with current web standards, and standardized the appearance of things around here. Read more..."

    Seems your visitors may be less likely to be tech-savvy than the average netizen; so they may care less about "navigation" and "compliance" than they would appreciate the simple fact that you have designed the site for ease of use...

    Suggest:
    "Welcome to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory's home page. Recent changes in the site's design should help you to easily find the information you seek. If you have further questions, please <a href="http://ladiana.idestini.com/contact.html">contact us</a>."



    Recommend styling the e-mail links in contacts page to appear as links (blue text - how about a cobalt?)

    Code:
    li.formsright {
          float:left;
          width: 39%;
          color:#3D59AB;
    }
    Nice work there.
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    azwaldo
    occupythepolls.org

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member ladiana's Avatar
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    sure, positive feedback is always welcome :)

    azwaldo,

    Thanks for taking a look at it for me. First, yes we did go live. The site is at arkansas.gov/crimelab.

    I had issues with my css rollovers on some machines here in the office still so I took them out for a more subtle approach. I read last week though that this issue was seemingly solved (can't remember who - can only remember pga.com atm) so I want to take a look at that again.

    I also need to write / find a script to allow us to upload articles securely and easily. I want to add a few accessibility items like skip links. I am not entirely pleased with the front page layout, but that too is another thing for the list.

    I did change up the site banner for something slightly more x-filesish atm. We are supposed to have a toolbar across the top of the site that is across all Arkansas sites that will be incorporated eventually.

    My current focus is updating some old forms and making them accessible to all the agencies we deal with. There are still many things that need to happen, so if you notice anything further I'll take it! The only things that most of the people in the office will notice are broken links, that's why I originally looked here for a review.
    Abby
    Interests: ASP.NET, VB.NET, CSS
    www.idestini.com

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot LAMA's Avatar
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    it doesnt work so I cant review it.
    check the post to make sure the url is correct?
    not really sure.
    My Designs Velocity Designs
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru DCS's Avatar
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    First, let me say nice job for someone whom I assume is not someone who does web design for a living.


    I've also decided to ditch using the lab's real logo
    That' really not a good idea. The actual logo is an very important aspect of the lab's dientity.

    The grey background makes the site look unfinished. White would work well.

    Try adding some photos such as the State Capital building, Governor Huckabee, the Crime Lab Director, the lab building itself, etc.

    I think the tabs would look better if they were above the top border of your white content box rather than below it as you have now. Sure it might require some color changes but tabs just look odd to me enclosed in a box.

    The paragraphs on pages such as FAQ and About are too wide for comfortable reading, they should be narrow columns, think of the pages in a book, they are fairly narrow.

    Again, nice job!

    BTW, how are things down in the Rock? I haven't been ther in a few years now. I am up in Eureka Springs


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