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  1. #1
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    Marine Conservation website review required

    Hi,
    time to put myself into the firing line

    Just re-designed the website for the marine conservation society, which hopefully will go live soon (just finishing a few bits off)

    http://www.mcsuk.org/565

    I've just switched to HTML5 so there may be a few ?'s where the characters aren't valid from my old database, but i will be working on them. I've got some validation errors as the menu uses tables and i haven't had chance to go through and remove the old 'width =' etc and replace with css.

    I've been trying to keep it reasonably quick so i'd like to know if you find it fast enough.

    Been trying to sort the navigation as that was lacking in our old site so hopefully it is far better. The old site is here http://www.mcsuk.org

    Afraid i haven't changed all of the old links yet so if you end up on a page without /565/ that will be the old (current) site.

    hope you like it, any comments welcomed good or bad

    thanks
    If i am a product of your imagination you should try harder!

  2. #2
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    When I first arrive at the site, I'm looking for the name and what you do, but it takes a few seconds to locate those things (it's good that they're there). Have you tried the dolphin/text graphic over to the left instead of on the far right? Could you try the blue box text ("UK protection . . .") right under your main logo/graphic design? Or if you move the dolphin image over to the left, maybe that UK tagline text could be to the center and right above the wave image.

    I wonder if you the color in the human and "conservation society" text of your logo could be the same hue as the wave (even if the wave has a gradient effect). Alternately, you could try the light blue color for the wave that you used behind the "membership" box (It is blue on the "Fish Online" page and it works better-it's a different color blue than the membership box, but I prefer it to the peach color for the wave on the home page). I think the rest of the colors work well together--the links and headline colors work well together.

    You might think again about the domain name if you have the chance to re-organize, if only because it doesn't read mcs of uk mentally to some viewers, but more like badly spelled graffiti with something unkind to say about someone named mc.

    I read that you are working on your navigation but I understood that to mean ensuring all the links worked in your post. When I visit the pages, the navigation menu changes depending on the page I visit. It would be good to see the same main menu on each page, with more specific text-based links on pages deeper within your directory structure. I would take time to be sure the logo clicks back to the home page on every page as soon as you can--I got lost somewhere while I was looking around for this review and had to re-click the link from Site Point to get back to the main page.

    I like the slideshow header at the top of your home page--it's not too distracting, it's relevant, it invites visitors to find out more about your organization.

    The writing is generally strong, which I always appreciate when I visit a site. It encourages me when site owners care enough to communicate clearly! I'd caution you to be careful not to put too much text in some places (I am 100% guilty of this). On your "what we do" page, you have a lot of text above the fold, even though it is spaced to make it easier on the eye. If the visitor doesn't scroll, he won't see your well-organized graphic links to different campaigns. There is a lot of great information hiding behind those links--your Adopt a Turtle program has a good call to action, and your Supermarket Survey would be very interesting to a more local audience. The text that most people will see isn't bad, it's just not nearly as interesting as the good stuff below it.

    One content suggestion--if there's a way you can put a section together for students, that might be a great idea. Sometimes students work on independent projects to advocate for causes, and they often like animal causes. If a student were exploring your site to research marine conservation, there would be a lot of useful information, but it would be difficult to collect. Maybe something like a Top Ten List of Ways You Can Help Marine Life Right Now, with relevant links to more detailed information would be a good tool to help your site visitors see all the things you have available. There's a lot of content depth to your website that isn't immediately apparent from your main navigation menu.

    Best wishes--you have obviously worked very hard to develop the site. Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    brilliant thank you for giving some really useful and thorough feedback!

    So i think we will be moving the logo over to the left so i'm glad you picked up on that as it confirms our thoughts as well

    Not sure about moving the tagline (blue box on the right) as i am trying to keep the banner short as i want the tabs visible on a 1024 screen. I've made it so that on an ipad everything should fit nicely on the screen with the membership/donate buttons just at the bottom of the screen without having to scroll. But i can certainly have a think about how to make it clearer. and with the logos moved over it may short most of the problem.

    Colours. yep def need to be consistant. The design company who made the wave part weren't great so will have to sort this myself. Might try the blue wave as well and see how it looks. I am relatively constrained by our corporate branding so its either orange or blue. but might be a nice change as its been orange for a while now.


    hahaha the domain name isn't the best, have noticed that. almost could be an anti-macdonalds website but sadly we are stuck with it for now.


    The navigation i mentioned is the over-arching mega-dropdown menu. This isn't yet on all of our sub-sites (fishonline etc) but will eventually be there. You might be getting problems at the moment as some links will be taking you to our sub-sites and also to our current (old) site. If you look on here http://www.mcsuk.org/565/ this is the dropdown menu i am moving forward with, the links within the first 3 mega-dropdown menu panels should keep you on the new site. The pages then have a sub-menu like on here http://www.mcsuk.org/565/what_we_do/...as+and+beaches.

    I'd love to know if you think that works ok with the tab system for the submenu?


    I think we are looking into education more this year so a student area could well be developed in the coming months, this would augment our existing childrens area http://www.mcsuk.org/coolseas/ (which needs to the banner/drop-down menu/footer updating to the this new style).


    Any more comments much appreciated.

    thanks
    If i am a product of your imagination you should try harder!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard maartenvr's Avatar
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    Nice website. Very professional.
    I am not a big fan of the twitter and facebook tabs that you hover over. Does it really add value?

    And why do you have this bog cookie bar at the top? Don't half the websites out there collect cookies and just put it in their privacy policy? I think that probably scares people off more then anything. you are teaching them about something that is just part of web browsing, and has nothing really to do with your website in particular.
    Maarten

  5. #5
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    hi,
    thanks

    in answer to your questions the tabs were a result of wanting to make our twitter/facebook more accessible to people who don't have accounts on those sites. We are hoping that at least they can then see we are active and aren't missing something we may have posted on their that would have been of interest to them. I can see your point though as a lot of people already know what FB/TW is and how to use it, but from surveys we've had done we know that a large part of our audience is in an older age group so we are just trying to make sure they understand what it is.

    whether this logic holds true i'm not sure but they are easily removed if need be


    The big cookie bar is sadly a necessity. I note you are in Canada so you won't be affected by this but in Europe some idiot decided that it was against everyone's rights or something to not be told that the site was using cookies. So it is now law (i kid you not!)
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...es-made-simple for example just search EU cookie law and you'll get loads more info.

    crazy huh! but i am stuck with having to put a warning on the site. technically even what i have done is incorrect as i have cookies on that page but i am not making an entirely different homepage without cookies as i then can't track where users have come from or put any facebook/twitter links as they use cookies.


    UPDATED URL - the url in my first post is now incorrect it is now http://beta.mcsuk.org


    I've made a few amends as well such as flipping the banner and sorting the colours.

    Thanks would love any more comments/questions
    If i am a product of your imagination you should try harder!

  6. #6
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    got round to validating it now as well

    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...alidator%2F1.3
    If i am a product of your imagination you should try harder!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot Sogo7's Avatar
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    Clean & bright design that is pleasing to the eye with good navigation with a colour scheme that works well.

    On the whole far better than many Charity Website designs I've seen coming out of Ross-On-Wye over the
    years and believe me I've seen a few having worked for both of the towns mass-mail fundraising outfits.

  8. #8
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    First of all, it for sure looks nicer than the original. You logo is nice. The colors are great and work very well together. It is clearly laid out. Using social media is a good call. It is very easy for a user to share the articles. The search bar is very wide. It probably does not need to be that wide, but I would not say that it is a problem. The user of drop downs saves a lot of space. I think you are off to a great start, and this is a great improvement. keep it up!

  9. #9
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    I like the design. It's elegant and looks professional.
    I would try to minimize the homepage size. I see it now has 1,7 MB. A bit too much in my opinion although the load speed is not bad.
    Also try to fix the 404's like " http://www.mcsuk.org/565/images/adverts/membership_pack.gif"

    Good luck !

  10. #10
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    thanks everyone for both the compliments and the useful feedback.

    yep i'd noticed my page size is quite high going to see if i can lose a bit of weight off some of the scripts and i think a couple of images aren't optimised. The other thing is there are 8 small news story images that i've hidden at the moment as they are used as part of the current live website so there is prob 100kb hiding which will go soon as well. Moving to new servers in the next couple of weeks too so will be interesting to see how much it speeds up as the server we are on is pretty old now.

    oh fixed the 404 image although probably still one or 2 that i've missed as i've been moving things about getting it onto the beta address


    thanks, any more comments more than welcome.
    If i am a product of your imagination you should try harder!


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