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  1. #1
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    Hi could somone review my site and give feedback:

    www.beach-huts.com

    I am having one problem... On some machines where the font is large the cells in the tables get all skewed up. Is there any way to avoid this? I am using CSS for the text.

    Thanks -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jasoncw's Avatar
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    I believe in css you can fix the font size so that it stays the same regardless of the users settings. I suppose you could give that particular text a different class. You could also make the table big enough so that when the text is enlarged it doesn't stretch it.

    I don't like the sound effect.

    The text at the bottom looks like a disclaimer, or some kind of contest rules, the average visitor won't read it. and if they do read it, they will stop right away becuase it's not written very well, but to me it looks like it's written for search engines anyways.

    the form needs more headers and description. It's not very natural feeling, and it's sorta confusing. If I tried filling it out, i wouldn't feel confident that I did it right after pressing search. The monday/sunday thing is confusing, but after searching I found out that you can only search inbetween mondays and sundays which I wouldn't like if I was searching for a hut.
    Jason

  4. #3
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    thanks for that Jason.

    What would you do instead of the Monday Sunday thing?

    There is a help which discribes all the search settings.... I guess I need to make things more clear without getting people to read stuff... Question is how....?

    Cheers
    Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  5. #4
    Senior Member Jasoncw's Avatar
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    I don't see why the system needs to limit you to mondays and sundays. can't you just pick any day you want? or in the UK are monday and sunday the traditional vacation days?

    maybe there could be headers that say something like "when am I going?" and "where am I going?". it could say "I'll be on vacation from.... until..." too. I guess just more words.

    The help link could be bigger. maybe it could be arranged like an faq or a list, since if I have a problem I'll only want to read the answer to mine, not others.
    Jason

  6. #5
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    Hi Jason, no there arnt any system limitations to the start and end date ...

    In the listings (after a search is done) there are rows of flags, 52 of them one to show the avalibility of each week (which you can click on to show the date), if i make the resolution daily then I will need 365 of them... This will make it hard to click on the required day and generally overload the site a bit I think, dont you?

    Maybe I need a different approach completely?? It seems that different people in diferent sectors use different start and end weeks... So there are already some issues here....

    Yes from my logs I can see that the help is not used very oftern, I shall make the link more obvious...

    Thanks -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  7. #6
    Senior Member Jasoncw's Avatar
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    hmmmm, I'm not sure what to say that could help.

    maybe you could ditch the dates, since it doesn't seem to realy indicate vacancey (unless they are contacting the site every time someone comes or goes).

    Removing that would greatly simplfy the process. You just enter where you're going and it'll give you contact information. Can you tell how often people use that feature?

    I'm not sure what the client wants though.

    Also, I think adding a traditional banner with a horizontal navigation bar underneath would make the site look more trustworthy and reliable. Right now it almost looks like a pop-up. In the horizontal navigation you could have: Search for huts, help, contact us, advertise your hut, and how it works.
    Jason

  8. #7
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    Hi Jason,

    I have considered ditching the dates OR adding them to a separate page with advanced search, but the fact is people seem to love setting them!!

    + I am very sure that all I want is one page, so navigation is not really applicable... I think one page only will make things the most simple of all... even if slightly more complicated in other ways... or unusual in appearance, I get exactly what you are saying about having a more usual trustworthy look...

    As things are written in php I log every time something happens IE when people open a picture, read availability dates, read help, read how it works, what they search for etc.... I also log the reffering page to so I know how they got to and how they navigated around the site.... It is really insightful and great fun to watch too!!!

    I must say I am fairly addicted to this site... :knockedout:

    I am gonna drop this site at the end of the season and let it sit in the back of my mind until just before the next season, then I am gonna rework things with all the feelings that I have and the inputs from people and users, hopefully something new and even better will be borne!!

    Thanks again -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  9. #8
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    I like the design.

    I'm using Linux Firefox and every time I access a page it pops up a file dialogue and asks me what file I want to play (?) -- is this, perchance, something to do with your music? In my opinion music is not really relevant on a website unless it is part of the content. Imagine if you were surfing one evening with your speakers enabled and your baby just gone to sleep next to you... and you think "let's plan a holiday" and you've safely navigated several sites then come across one that plays "Agadoo" loudly in order to get people into the holiday mood... would you visit that site again? Probably not -- less in there somewhere ;-)

    In terms of the dates if you are going to be booking in weeks rather than days I would be inclined to work on start dates and duration of occupancy rather than start/end dates... ie.

    Day [ ] Month [ ] Year [ ] Duration of stay [ ] weeks

    On the question of font sizes you can't control them. If you use CSS to define their size either in pixels or points then IE will disable the "Text Size" disability options in the browser... unfortunately Firefox will not... your font sizes will change. This is, regrettably, something that you have to live with within your web design. HTML is not a WYSIWYG medium... what you see is almost certainly not what all others will get, so you're just fighting to make sure that what they see is something similar to what you want them to... you'll never be 100% sure :-(

    I agree with Jason that the page does resemble a pop-up rather at present. Is the picture you're using for a background your whole photo or part of it? I ask because I like the sky but I think the beach huts are slightly too big and hence your page ends up on 1024x768 at about 125% of screen height including footer. I would be inclined to move your orange "sign-up" box to below the search box and either expand its width to the same as the search box or also box the "how it works" and place the two together to match the width as the search box. Then increase the size of "beach-huts.com" title and stick "find the perfect..." underneath it, but still floating in the "sky". I think this would look very pleasant and would move more towards the "traditional header" concept that Jason referred to.

    I don't like the "footer" at all. I am guessing it is designed for search engine optimisation... if so, stick it in a div with a height of 0, a width of 0 and overflow set to hidden. That'll ensure that your visitor doesn't see the text but your search engines do.

    Just a few ideas.

    Sean

  10. #9
    Senior Member hagen's Avatar
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    Hi thanks Guys thats good stuff...

    There is a .wav file on the end, so it will want some kind of player.... It is a herring gull which is consistent with the marketing and the picture. Is there a better way to include this?

    I like the duration slant... And have thought about implimenting it this way, but airlines, hotels etc generally dont do this, so I thought I would go along with the norm for the context... I will mull this one oer during the off season...

    I have set the sizes using .css so spose the problem that I once saw (looked very quickly on a machine at a caravan site when I was on holiday) is gonna have to be a live with it one... Thanks for that I was getting frustrated with not finding an answer at least now I know there isnt one to look for!

    I dont like the footer either, and am guessing/hoping that most people wont even read it!! I am concerned about hiding text in a machnie detectable way... IE it would be very easy for a robot to spot this on a crawl, I dont want to end up penalized...

    The biggest challenge in this little project is to get people to register their beach hut for rental, IE demand totally outstrips supply, so I need to ignore the esthetics in this case and prioritize the people who advertise, so the owner login really must go first, and stand out in a color that clashes...

    Playing with the size of the huts sounds good...

    Cheers -Hagen
    Hagen Rose: hagen(at)jxwd(dot)co(dot)uk
    JX Web Development, Bournemouth, Dorset...JXWD.co.uk

  11. #10
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    I do not agree (but then again - have I ever?)

    I think you can get your owner login incorporated into the site without it clashing and looking bad... take e-bay... who do they make their money from? Ultimately the sellers... yet what is the focus when you visit their site? In web marketing you can learn a lot from Amazon and e-bay... :-)

    You state that the Google bots are going to spot a css style that hides your "extra" content... is this something that you know? (I am happy to accept it if it is)... or speculation? Whichever, this is really ugly at the bottom of your site and needs to go... if you really want it on the site make it invisible by using the same background and foreground colour... but, remember, either way there will be folks with different browser settings who will see it nonetheless... and folks hard of hearing who are going to have to listen to it through their site->speech software when they visit your site... cripes, that'll be a fun afternoon for them :-(

    ...personally I'd just lose it.

    Sean


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