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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast dmvictoria's Avatar
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    Arrow Your opinion, please.

    Hi everyone,

    I put up my tourism site for Victoria BC Canada www.victoriabcca.com and would love any pointers to improve itand any general comments. I am especialy interested in your opinion of the menu bar, does it do the job well enough? And if you have ideas to improve the menu bar but still keep it simple, would be much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for all your input.
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  2. #2
    SitePoint Member bobdelv's Avatar
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    You might benifit from putting a background color behind the navigation and flyouts. That would make it stand out more from the other white text that you have.

  3. #3
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    Your side menu actually doesn't seem like a menu. The menu text is the same color as the rest of the content. I would consider changing it or, like the poster above mentioned, give it some background color.

    Another issue with the menu is that it seems to extend when it doesn't have to. For instance the menu item "museums and galleries" extends to "museums" and "galleries". why not just make museums a menu item and galleries a menu item?

    The site also use a header. I would get rid of the top adsense ad and created a header with a well designed logo and site title.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot Paella's Avatar
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    I cannot but agree with the previous post by riverbirch. Google ads at the top of the screen spoils the really good design. When I enter your site, all what I see is the three blocks of ads, then I should scroll down to find some information.

    Speaking about color scheme, I may say that it's too simple: just black background and white text. Use some other color tints to make your desing more attractive, don't leave it just black.

    It goes without saying that you need an eye-catching header with a professional logo. That would really help to attract your visitors' attention.

    Also it would be better to create a top navigation in order to give the visitors a glimpse of what is available within your website. You may put the following links there: Home, About Us, Site News... (just move them from the bottom to the top!)

    To my mind, It would be better to put your nice photos all over the home page, but not gather them all in the middle.

    Your gallery really impressed me, I like it very much.
    Good Luck with your project. Hope something will help.
    If you want to do something right, do it yourself!

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast arthurakay's Avatar
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    In IE7, your left-menu flyovers give a weird 'flash'... i think it's a iFrame or something that loads briefly and then goes away. No problem with it in Firefox.

    You've got a lot of content on your homepage... you may want to move some of it to another page, because users aren't going to want to scroll down so far to read it.

    The top of your page is lacking color... while you have a prominently placed AdSense ad (great for revenue I'd bet), it takes away from the legitimacy of your site. It's clearly there to make money with AdSense... I wouldn't trust your content.

    The sub-elements of your left-menu should be formatted similar to the main elements... maybe remove the bold/underline CSS on them.

    Some of your interior pages are really long too... like the fast food section. Who in their right mind is going to scroll down that far to see McDonalds? I think it's a given that McDonalds is somewhere in your city... you don't even have a map.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    for a travel/destination site, the whole black background/white text doesn't work for me.

    How about putting in some white bubbles and placing the content on top of that? Since your site only gives a small bit of information, changing the layout a bit would be your best move.

    Giving the content some background (such as the white bubbles) would help it much.

    Without them, everything is just packed into its own column, with no real guide or structure.

    Ryan
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  7. #7
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    Don't like the black background. To me the site looks like a vehicle for ads (all I noticed, first hit) and not a site about Victoria. Make it look like a site about Victoria.
    Charles Sweeney
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  8. #8
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    I agree with the others. It feels a bit thrown together, and feels a bit "bitty". Not having a central title image / banner makes the site feel a bit incomplete / hard to work out.

    And the menu on the left - that is pretty confusing, because the fly-outs look the same as the main parts. When a fly-out appears, there is no way of knowing which bit it belongs to. Having some king of hover / CSS in place to show me which bit I have hovered over would be good, and having some way of linking a fly-out to the parent would make sense.

    Good luck

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast dmvictoria's Avatar
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    Well, I took all of you advice into consideration and totally rebuilt the site. I invite you to have another look and see if there are any other pointers you can offer me.

    I really must thank all of you who commented, your opinions are golden!

    "You might benifit from putting a background color behind the navigation and flyouts. That would make it stand out more from the other white text that you have." by bobdelv.

    I put in a background and it did add some depth to the pages.

    "Your side menu actually doesn't seem like a menu. The menu text is the same color as the rest of the content. I would consider changing it or, like the poster above mentioned, give it some background color.

    Another issue with the menu is that it seems to extend when it doesn't have to. For instance the menu item "museums and galleries" extends to "museums" and "galleries". why not just make museums a menu item and galleries a menu item?

    The site also use a header. I would get rid of the top adsense ad and created a header with a well designed logo and site title."
    by riverbirch

    I completely changed the navigation bar, it was one of my original concerns. It is now very visible and much easier to use. I cut out some of the advertising as well, especially on the front page.

    "I cannot but agree with the previous post by riverbirch. Google ads at the top of the screen spoils the really good design. When I enter your site, all what I see is the three blocks of ads, then I should scroll down to find some information.

    Speaking about color scheme, I may say that it's too simple: just black background and white text. Use some other color tints to make your desing more attractive, don't leave it just black.

    It goes without saying that you need an eye-catching header with a professional logo. That would really help to attract your visitors' attention.

    Also it would be better to create a top navigation in order to give the visitors a glimpse of what is available within your website. You may put the following links there: Home, About Us, Site News... (just move them from the bottom to the top!)

    To my mind, It would be better to put your nice photos all over the home page, but not gather them all in the middle.

    Your gallery really impressed me, I like it very much.
    Good Luck with your project. Hope something will help."
    by Paella

    I did make a nice big header. I also split up the 4 picture block into individual ones and dispersed it throughout the text.

    "In IE7, your left-menu flyovers give a weird 'flash'... i think it's a iFrame or something that loads briefly and then goes away. No problem with it in Firefox.

    You've got a lot of content on your homepage... you may want to move some of it to another page, because users aren't going to want to scroll down so far to read it.

    The top of your page is lacking color... while you have a prominently placed AdSense ad (great for revenue I'd bet), it takes away from the legitimacy of your site. It's clearly there to make money with AdSense... I wouldn't trust your content.

    The sub-elements of your left-menu should be formatted similar to the main elements... maybe remove the bold/underline CSS on them.

    Some of your interior pages are really long too... like the fast food section. Who in their right mind is going to scroll down that far to see McDonalds? I think it's a given that McDonalds is somewhere in your city... you don't even have a map."
    by arthurakay.

    I removed a lot of the ads from ,the main page of the site. I actually added a little more content to the index page, I believe it is good for SEO, and if no one wants to read it... I'm not too concerned.

    I know some of the directory listings are really long, I wanted to fair to the all the companies in the tourist area and give people choices. I do have many maps in the travel guide... I'm still toying with putting maps in the directories... I'll keep that suggestion in mind.

    "for a travel/destination site, the whole black background/white text doesn't work for me.

    How about putting in some white bubbles and placing the content on top of that? Since your site only gives a small bit of information, changing the layout a bit would be your best move.

    Giving the content some background (such as the white bubbles) would help it much.

    Without them, everything is just packed into its own column, with no real guide or structure.

    Ryan"
    by casbboy.

    Believe it or not, your "bubble" idea was the inspiration for my background. But, I just couldn't get that cheesy Windows 95 boxed screen background out of mind when you mentioned it.

    "Don't like the black background. To me the site looks like a vehicle for ads (all I noticed, first hit) and not a site about Victoria. Make it look like a site about Victoria." by Charles Sweeney.

    Yup, I turned those ads down.

    "I agree with the others. It feels a bit thrown together, and feels a bit "bitty". Not having a central title image / banner makes the site feel a bit incomplete / hard to work out.

    And the menu on the left - that is pretty confusing, because the fly-outs look the same as the main parts. When a fly-out appears, there is no way of knowing which bit it belongs to. Having some king of hover / CSS in place to show me which bit I have hovered over would be good, and having some way of linking a fly-out to the parent would make sense.

    Good luck"
    by bumpyride

    Thank you for the reinforcement.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Hi dmvictoria,

    I did not get a chance to look at your original design, so I am entirely going by what I am seeing on your current site.

    The first thing that pops out like a sore thumb is the static background...in my humble understanding, a static background of any kind that does not scroll as the user scrolls is a big no no. If nothing else, it helps to make all scrolls a frustrating experience as the user struggles to adjust their eyes with this unnecessary static aspect of the page that they are most likely not used to.

    Secondly, white text on black background is an unnecessary eye strain...even if you want to have a dark background, the background of the area where you are displaying text should be white with fully black text color to avoid unnecessary lack of contrast where it doesn't really serve any particular design role.

    Besides that, as a minor note, it might help to make the main menu bar the same width as the banner.

    I hope you find this to be helpful!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict jlisec01's Avatar
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    the header needs to be smaller

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard
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    shrink that header. Half the height or even less
    Upcoming Movies - Movie News. Updated Daily.
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  13. #13
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    1. The header at the homepage occupies almost the whole page. I would make it smaller.
    2. I would make background move with text when you scroll the page. Also, black background is not good to me.

  14. #14
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    I like it overall. There are a couple of things I would have done differently, however. Firstly, I would reduce the height of the header. It is disproportionally big. Secondly, I would get rid of one of the sidebars - you only have one clickable image in each of them. I would put them one on top of the other.


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