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  1. #1
    Member michiepoo's Avatar
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    Hi everyone, I have recently re-designed my site, using my own template I designed from scratch. It is powered by Mambo, but the template and design is my own. I'm still tweaking things, but I'd love any comments, feedback or suggestions! I want comments mostly on the design. This site is meant to be a small community site for members of my forum, where we post articles on a variety of topics. Eventually I plan to add tutorials and other helpful things.

    I know I already broke one of the rules of not to put light on dark, but besides that, what do you think?

    http://www.open-orbit.com

    Thanks!

    Michelle
    The hardest thing about the world is to live in it. (Buffy).

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jasoncw's Avatar
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    yea, you broke the rule, and the way that you broke the rule it actualy matters you have grey, and purple, ontop of a grey-purple gradient.

    You also have mystery meat navigation in the upper right have corner; you can't tell what the buttons mean by looking at them.

    Those site news buttons look realy bad with the rest of the site. It doesn't look like you put very much thought into them.

    I would move the login panel to the top, since it's going to be used the most. Depending on how many toolbars the visitor has on their web browser, they'll have to scroll down to log in. You should put the forum navigation there too, since some members will still be logged in from their last visit, and won't want to have to click through your homepage. Eventualy, they'll just bookmark the forums and they'll skip your homepage.

    Your site is a template, and it looks like a template :\ I'd try to make it look less templatey. It doesn't look like a bad template though .

    I don't think the technical info panel is very neccecary, but I guess that's up to you. There are a few places on this site where people talk about how they don't like the "bla bla bla validated" "bla bla bla browser compatible" type stuff.

    One of your reads are labeled "how to write good" and then it goes into stuff, but isn't it more correct to say "how to write well"? and once you post a "guide" like that about something, make sure you realy follow it. I can't see your forums since I haven't registered (imo that's a big no-no, why would someone join a forum they can't see?) so I can't tell if you follow those rules or not. I know in my old website I posted tutorials and stuff like that, but I was bad at what I was writing the tutorial for in the first place. One of the tutorials was about web design, and my own site broke, like, half of the rules. Another was about facial porportions (for drawing) and I wasn't very good at drawing faces. Another was about making a comic book, while I've never finished one. It's a good thing nobody visited my site or they might have gotten some bad info on something!
    Jason

  4. #3
    Member michiepoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasoncw
    You also have mystery meat navigation in the upper right have corner; you can't tell what the buttons mean by looking at them.
    Those buttons are actually not supposed to be part of the main navigations; they are supposed to be links to my other sites that are part of a "network" of sorts. I guess I need to come up with a better way of representing that, I can see how someone would think it's main navigation.

    Those site news buttons look realy bad with the rest of the site. It doesn't look like you put very much thought into them.
    Actually I spent a lot of time on those buttons; I made more than 20 of them last year and had been using them to indicate the category each post falls into. But you're right, they do clash with the background of the site. *Sigh*

    Your site is a template, and it looks like a template :\ I'd try to make it look less templatey. It doesn't look like a bad template though .
    Not sure what you mean by this. I didn't download a pre-made template and customize it, if that's what you mean. I designed it myself, from scratch. I didn't download it from anywhere. But I guess it does look pretty unoriginal.

    [/quote]

    One of your reads are labeled "how to write good" and then it goes into stuff, but isn't it more correct to say "how to write well"? and once you post a "guide" like that about something, make sure you realy follow it.
    Actually, that read is a joke that makes fun of the English language. The title is part of the joke. It comes from a popular poster that my English teacher had in her classroom.

    I can't see your forums since I haven't registered (imo that's a big no-no, why would someone join a forum they can't see?) so I can't tell if you follow those rules or not.
    My forum is one of the mystery meat options up top. Members to my forum come via word of mouth more than anything, so they find the forum first then the site. I'm not using the site as a place to advertise it and find members; so I overshadowed linking it! [/quote]

    Thanks for your suggestions! I think at this point that this wins the prize for the worst design I've ever done. Maybe it's time to start over completely.
    The hardest thing about the world is to live in it. (Buffy).

  5. #4
    Member michiepoo's Avatar
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    All right, I got rid of the gradient behind the text. I think it looks better now!
    The hardest thing about the world is to live in it. (Buffy).

  6. #5
    Senior Member Jasoncw's Avatar
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    "my own template I designed from scratch. It is powered by Mambo, but the template and design is my own"

    I thought that it was a template you made? I'm confused

    The news buttons don't look bad in themselves, but they look like they where just tossed in there, since they don't look like part of the same design (which I guess they weren't :P )

    The site gives me a feeling of poupouri (sp ) and fourtune tellers. What is your site about, or since it's a community, what are popular interests and what kind of vibe does the community have? I imagine the community likes to read, might like fantasy, might like poetry. Only seeing the design that's what it seems like. What do your members think of the new design?

    From seeing the news buttons I'm curious to see what the old design was like, do you still have a screenshot of it or something? You mentioned having an idea for a new design on the site and I'm interested in seeing that too.

    I'm sorry for the direct posts, yesterday I was tired, and today it's just plain late. I can't think of any suggestions either. Since you say the forums are the focus point, how much traffic does that page get compared to the forums? If it isn't alot then you can make the site more graphics heavy, and less formal. The current navigation is arranged in somewhat formal way, and also in a way that is designed to hold alot of info. it seems like the site could do away with normal navigation and could do something more irregular. i can't find any examples at the moment...
    Jason

  7. #6
    Member michiepoo's Avatar
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    All right, I've completely redesigned my site. Now, what do you think? Feedback? Comments, suggestions, negative/positive! Thanks!
    The hardest thing about the world is to live in it. (Buffy).


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