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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Online Algebra Book/Homework System

    Hello!

    I just finished writing an interactive online algebra book, homework system:

    http://www.myalgebrabook.com.

    I'd appreciate any comments on the site!

    Thanks so much,

    Eric

  2. #2
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    hmm..good one...but mention in your site that for what class you make this ebook,...and your right sidebar is empty...put some pictures overthtere to make site more attractive.....i think.your site is OK..

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the comments!

  4. #4
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    The design looks quite clean with just a couple of things that don't quite look right.

    There is a darker blue section at the bottom of the left column with just a gap to the right of it. It would look better if you were to remove at least the part of that column that extends below the centre column.

    The heading in the top of the column on the right wraps around. If you made the text slightly smaller it would fit all on one line. This column would also look better if the blue extended all the way down.

    Note that I viewed the page in Firefox 6.0 with the browser open at half the width of a 3200x1200 screen so perhaps it looks different in other browsers at other resolutions.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Thanks so much for your comments! I'll be making your suggested changes. On my screen I see the gap as being below the left column: to be honest, I haven't quite figured out why it's there. I'll play around with it and if I can't see why, I'll post something in CSS.

    Also, the reason that the left column is longer, is that if you click on "10. Beyond Algebra", you'll see that a drop down menu shoots out and down; if I removed the bottom blue part, then this part of the drop down menu would be off the screen.

  6. #6
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    I'm using Safari 5.0.6 on OSX

    I'm assuming your target audience will be quite young, so I think a more modern style might be more successful. I think the main element I'd try and introduce is using "floating" content boxes, rather than solid lines to separate the sections.

    For the front page content, I think less is more - instead of in-depth descriptions of what the website is, try and make it really quickly scanable - a few boxes, all "above the fold" can give the visitor an immediate understanding of what the site is and invites them to look deeper.

    The green navigation arrows are in an unusual place - I clicked them, then had to figure out what they were doing. I'd suggest placing them within the same element they are acting on, which is a more normal placement for them.

    Finally, a major omission - you have members only content, but I can't see where too become a member or what that entails. Is it free or do I just need to sign in? It should be obvious, on every page and also on the pop-up telling me I'm trying to view members-only content.

    Hope this helps!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Great suggestions! I particularly liked your suggestion about the green arrows: I can easily put them on the page text which I agree would make more sense. Regarding your "floating content boxes", I'm not quite sure what you mean. Might you have a website example in mind that uses this technique?

    Cheers...

    -Eric

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by kreut View Post
    Regarding your "floating content boxes", I'm not quite sure what you mean. Might you have a website example in mind that uses this technique?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

    There's two types of bounding box here. The main content in the middle of the page has an "implicit" boundary - there are no lines around the box, but your eyes "see" one anyway, because everything is lined up to imply a rectangular box of content. On the right hand side, you see other boxes with grey backgrounds that are "floating" : they are separated from each other by whitespace.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Thanks for the clarification! It makes total sense...

    -Eric

  10. #10
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    I looked at the "Sneak Peek" and this seems to be an excellent teaching tool. I like the look of the site, I like its simplicity.

    Pop-up: The "This content is for members only" box should not have a scroll bar. Increase the size of the box or decrease the size of the font to get rid of it.

    You need more information on how the site is designed to work and who it is for. Apparently there are instructor members and student members. Student members are either associated with an instructor or homeschool students. Instructors need to be associated with a school and verified by that school. They have free access and their students pay $30 each. Homeschool students are $30 each, free during the beta testing period. You might also want to target parents or other adults who might want to brush up on their algebra. There is a personalized lesson plan for homeschoolers that is not explained. One of the features directed at instructors is youtube videos to get them up to speed. I think it would be helpful to have a sampling of those available. Perhaps a couple showing how students would use the site as well.

    You do a great job of explaining how the book works on the home page and with the sneak peak links. You do a poor job of explaining how the site works, who it is for, how much it will cost, what period of time the $30 pays for, etc. Perhaps a "Getting Started" link in the upper right column to an overview page that addresses some of this would be appropriate.

    I do like the book/site. I am going to come back and work my way through the sneak peek when I have time.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Karin,

    Thanks for such a detailed response! I think that it's a great idea to add sample videos for both the instructors and the homeschool students (And adults who are interested...). Just so that the videos match the design, I'll have to wait a week or so, and see if I get more design comments. But I look forward to adding them to the site in order to improve clarity.


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