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Near Launch, final review


jcombs_31

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http://dev.bfa.edu

 

This has been a pretty large project.  Nearly everything on the site is generated through a custom made CMS.  I decided to use CakePHP for this project and have been pretty happy with it overall.

 

Please let me know what bugs you may find and if you find any exploits.

 

I'll find out soon enough if I gave them too much control over content.  I used TincyMCE as the main editor and a custom built image uploader for them to be able to really do whatever they need.

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I've only found one error

 

Not Found

 

Error: The requested address '/news' was not found on this server

 

On a side note, what do you think of TinyMCE I've been looking for a good WYSIWYG editor for a while...

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Thanks, I forgot to add that view for the news.  So far, I think TinyMCE is pretty good.  There are a few quirks of course, but it was fairly easy to implement and gives the end user some control. 

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The logo doesn't link to the homepage. The top main navigation has some nasty dark blue borders when you click on them - so 1996. The bottom paragraph should be a list. The pipe character "|" should not be used to separate elements. To be quite honest, I'm a little disappointed in this website. You have created far more professional websites than this one - but then again maybe your client its just anal and made you change everything.

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The logo doesn't link to the homepage. The top main navigation has some nasty dark blue borders when you click on them - so 1996. The bottom paragraph should be a list. The pipe character "|" should not be used to separate elements. To be quite honest, I'm a little disappointed in this website. You have created far more professional websites than this one - but then again maybe your client its just anal and made you change everything.

 

I don't link to the homepage because going back seems to break flow/usability. The home page is more of a welcome screen that doesn't really have any information other than directing traffic.  The layout is also different, so going 'home' just doesn't make much sense to me.

 

As for the blue borders, you could be more constructive and just tell me to remove the outline.  One simple line of css fixed that, now it is 2009, what a leap!

 

I disagree about the footer needing to be a list. Nothing is gained by doing so other than maybe removing the pipe character, which I don't believe hurts the site in any way.

 

As far as being professional, nothing in your critique really says why it is unprofessional.  I would be interested to know how you came up with that so that maybe I can improve.

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http://dev.bfa.edu/course/continuing

 

Coming soons shouldn't exist on a finished website.  ;)

 

Anyways, love it how you don't have any flash on the site.

 

I don't control the content, with power comes responsibility.  Anyway, I told them not to enter everything right now, just to play with the CMS and get a feel for it.  Once all bugs are worked out, they will hopefully enter all info correctly.

 

I don't really understand the comment about flash. 

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My only other recomendation would be a sticky footer, but I say that to everyone as it's something I'm very fussy about (unless you have a landscape design that incorporates the footer into the page). Especially when the footer uses a background image.

 

All of your pages require a tiny bit of scrolling on a 1280x1024, though if I hit F11 while on the home page you see space under the bottom of the footer image, though the background is black and it's not hugely noticable.

 

Just a thought  :)

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Upon entering invalid credentials you are redirected, to what looks like, the default CMS design.  Can't tell if you meant to redirect here, but it doesn't maintain the same style and look.

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My only other recomendation would be a sticky footer, but I say that to everyone as it's something I'm very fussy about (unless you have a landscape design that incorporates the footer into the page). Especially when the footer uses a background image.

 

All of your pages require a tiny bit of scrolling on a 1280x1024, though if I hit F11 while on the home page you see space under the bottom of the footer image, though the background is black and it's not hugely noticable.

 

Just a thought  :)

 

When you say scrolling, you are talking about vertical scrolling right?  I don't have a problem with that. I don't see why this site needs a sticky footer, as you said the content already stretches the length of the page, so what is the point?

 

What browser are you using?  What color is the space under the footer?

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Upon entering invalid credentials you are redirected, to what looks like, the default CMS design.  Can't tell if you meant to redirect here, but it doesn't maintain the same style and look.

 

Yes, that is the CMS design.  I guess I just assume those who are attempting to log in are going to be moving to the CMS, but I suppose I can put the error message on the main layout. 

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Upon entering invalid credentials you are redirected, to what looks like, the default CMS design.  Can't tell if you meant to redirect here, but it doesn't maintain the same style and look.

 

Yes, that is the CMS design.  I guess I just assume those who are attempting to log in are going to be moving to the CMS, but I suppose I can put the error message on the main layout. 

 

Makes sense if the only people logging in are going to be using the CMS.  I still think it would be nice if the login handler was the same style.  The site looks really nice BTW.

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When you say scrolling, you are talking about vertical scrolling right?  I don't have a problem with that. I don't see why this site needs a sticky footer, as you said the content already stretches the length of the page, so what is the point?

 

What browser are you using?  What color is the space under the footer?

 

Yes vertical scrolling, as I said it only just causes scrolling on a 1024x1280. Anything bigger, or users that view their browsers full screen will see under the footer.

 

I'm using firefox 3.0.11

 

 

EDIT:

By full screen I mean after hitting F11

though the background is black and it's not hugely noticable.

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Can you post a screenshot of the footer problem?

 

Here is a screenshot of what the CMS looks like.  TinyMCE lets you attach your stylesheet so they can see almost exactly what the content will look like on the page.

 

 

 

[attachment deleted by admin]

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I'm not too keen on the Times New Roman on the splash page. Maybe instead try Georgia and then decrease the font size.

 

On the main body text I find that the color makes it slightly more difficult to read. I don't think there is enough contrast so you kind of have to strain your eyes a bit more. Maybe that's just me though. I would try with a hue slightly more towards pure white.

 

The login fields could use a couple of more top and left padding. Just a couple of pixels. The gap between the top/left border and the text is larger than the gap between the bottom/right border. That is on Firefox 3.5 using Vista.

 

The "View All News" and the headers in the main body text have virtually the same typography, but only one of them are actually links. I would suggest underlining the links to make a visual distinction.

 

If you click on "Registration" you'll see that the background for the "Latest News" header in the sidebar is off as well.

 

Finally, to make browsing the site easier I would suggest making the logo a link to the front page (not the splash page). That is of course assuming there is an actual index page. If there isn't I think there should be one. It's sort of a convention to have a front page and I think people would try to look for it.

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Well I'm using Chrome (2.0.172.33), and the content box is on the right of the main wrapper. I'll show you. (This is partly zoomed out, so the text sizes are ok in the real thing):

 

height=600http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/3783/problemsi.jpg[/img]

 

Apart from that, the actual site is sleek, and the design works really well. I'd say a nice job overall. Congrats.

 

EDIT: I actually prefer that text size over the default one. I suppose thats just personal opinion though.

 

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I'm not too keen on the Times New Roman on the splash page. Maybe instead try Georgia and then decrease the font size.

 

Good catch, looks like I forgot the declare the font on the index stylesheet, should be Georgia.

 

On the main body text I find that the color makes it slightly more difficult to read. I don't think there is enough contrast so you kind of have to strain your eyes a bit more. Maybe that's just me though. I would try with a hue slightly more towards pure white.

 

You are not the first to say that, I may lighten it slightly.

 

The login fields could use a couple of more top and left padding. Just a couple of pixels. The gap between the top/left border and the text is larger than the gap between the bottom/right border. That is on Firefox 3.5 using Vista.

 

I'll play around with it, I see what you mean.

 

The "View All News" and the headers in the main body text have virtually the same typography, but only one of them are actually links. I would suggest underlining the links to make a visual distinction.

 

What headers are you referring to?  I'm not sure I understand, view all news is right under the news, I thought the context made it clear. 

 

If you click on "Registration" you'll see that the background for the "Latest News" header in the sidebar is off as well.

 

You are right, I think I'm going to just make them all alpha PNGs and not worry about IE6 users, not sure yet though. 

 

Finally, to make browsing the site easier I would suggest making the logo a link to the front page (not the splash page). That is of course assuming there is an actual index page. If there isn't I think there should be one. It's sort of a convention to have a front page and I think people would try to look for it.

 

This is a bit of an issue, as there is really no 'home' page.  The home page is the welcome screen.  This is really something I'm not sure how to fix at the moment.

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Well I'm using Chrome (2.0.172.33), and the content box is on the right of the main wrapper. I'll show you. (This is partly zoomed out, so the text sizes are ok in the real thing):

 

height=600http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/3783/problemsi.jpg[/img]

 

Apart from that, the actual site is sleek, and the design works really well. I'd say a nice job overall. Congrats.

 

EDIT: I actually prefer that text size over the default one. I suppose thats just personal opinion though.

 

That doesn't look very good now does it.  Not sure how the layout got totally screwed, I'll look into it.

 

 

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