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Website Critique - Sustainability Website


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Hi Again all,

Website: [a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/[/a]

I am trying to design a visually appealing website with the theme - Environmental Sustainability. I have done a good bit of the layout and css - painfully.
Ive a few questions on my mind:

Colour schemes of background? - I dont want to go all out green.

I also need a div (place) for a picture on everypage - similar to where the News div is.

I know that Opera doesnt support the opacity on the Nav Menu.

Ive a min width problem with IE.

Im just looking for general impressions and suggestions please before I move onwards with the development.

Thanks again for any assistance.


P.S. Thank you Ober for your link :-) [a href=\"http://www.sxc.hu/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.sxc.hu/[/a]
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OK - Cheers moberemk,

I have made a few changes:

I have moved the old website with the gradient and old probs to:
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old/[/a]

Same website with updated changes at:
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/[/a]

The white middle lines meeting looks way better - cheers.

As for removing the underline on mouse-over - well in Opera there is no Opacity - so without the underline there is no Mouse (hover) effect.
Can you suggest a different Mouse Over effect instead of Underline?

I have put in the light green background (hue). It does look a little better. Im thinking of a combination of a huw and a gradient. I.e. Go from light green to a lighter green.


Thanks again,
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The top section of the site is way too big before you actually get to the content area. The images are kinda nice, but why 4 big boxes taking up all that space. Websites are about drawing to content, it must be done in a way that is not distracting. It's hard to tell much about the site without any content in there yet. The news section seems out of place, or too small.
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The new one looks good. I only have a few very minor complaints. The background color under the main header doesn't really contrast well with the other colors on the site. I'd try matching that up a little better. Just my opinion.

The rest of the site looks really good, but I do think you should do something else with the nav. I don't really think the opacity hover thing looks all that great. I think you could get the same effect with just changing the background color on hover (of course you wouldn't get the opacity effect on the little pictures, but it's really not that noticable anyways). The underline is really ugly tho.

Good work... I'll be looking forward to a finished product.

And you're welcome for the link ;-) You've picked some good ones.
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Hi Again.

Ok I have taken some comments into account. Website is at:
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/[/a]

The old ones are at:
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old2/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old2/[/a]
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old1/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old1/[/a]
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old[/a]

I have left the Nav at a simple a:hover - even though I did spend tons of time at that opacity - but sure anyways.

I have put in an extra page with the design graphic.
I tried to put in a News section as best as I could on the index page.

What I would like: To put some nice css graphics (x * y repeats) along the edges of the main website div and also perhaps the borders inside. Im thinking of matching the colours with the v.dark green div with the white text in it.
Ideas would be invaluable.

Also I am awfully worried about the min width in IE - the top banner flows very abruptly.
Cheers Again,

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Looking good, looking very good.

One small thing tho... since none of your nav items are very long, I'd suggest making the end of the nav area line up with the middle line of the set of 4 pics on the left of the header. It would make it all fall in line a little nicer. But now I'm just being picky ;-)
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I like the direction you're going in, but I definitely think you should make the header small so that the four pics and the menu line up (like someone else mentioned). The header and body don't quite seem to go together as it is.

Also maybe a nicer type face for the logo, and a graphic rather than regular text below it. I think that'd make it look a lot more sleek.
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I hope that it is nearly done this time - I have taken in ALL of your comments.

New version is at: [a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/[/a]

Previous version moved to: [a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old3/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old3/[/a]

-> moberemk, jcombs_31, Javizy:
I made the top graphic smaller 75% - YES it does make a big difference. It is still clearly made out and it helps with my minimum width - it easily fits inside a 800 X 600 window and is fluid (boy is trying to get a fluid website tough - fixed size is simple) Anyways. Just to give ye an idea of what people are seeing websites as in this University - take a look at the main University of Limerick Homepage - [a href=\"http://www.ul.ie\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.ul.ie[/a] ! Thats why I wanted big square pictures - because everyone was on about the Main homepage one and its nice photos.

As for the dark colour on the top right with a hint of green - I tried to integrate the website by bringing down the shadow on the right, left and bottom with the same colour.

As for the WIDTH OF THE NAV - Well as the top graphic got smaller - I couldn't bring the width of the nav menu to suit - so I have the width of the nav menu ending in the middle of the second box in the graphic.

Javizy - what type face would you use for the "Environmental Sustainability". If you suggest one - I'll try it, otherwise its the best I have managed to pick out.
As for the Text: A Research Group in the University of Limerick: M&OE Department.
This text will change depending on time etc. - and as a result is tough to keep making an updated graphic. Also if that text was a graphic - then it wouldn't flow very well. But yes - Javizy - it would look better as an image, but I think it isn't feasible.

My only concerns - the Nav is a bit basic?
Anyways overall what do ye think?

The shadow border is ok - took long enough. See what ye think - a good critique please.

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I like the border, I like the new size of the header, the menu looks great.

My only complaint at this point is how things are lining up. Maybe it wouldn't be so off-setting if you moved the pics to the right side of the header? That whole left side has too many borders and splits in too many different areas. Try and line some of that up or make it more uniform.
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Thanks Ober.

I see what you mean - it does look a little boxy.
I have tried putting the top graphic on the right. Its here:
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/right/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/right/[/a]

I dont think it looks as good - the Nav menu looks out of place - the green of the nav doesnt match in as good without the green leaf above it.

Anyways, I have got good vibes from people about the main one:
[a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/[/a]
so I think I will go with it.
The layout is solid - its just the boxy effect in the graphic and the dark colour of the top div.
I hope to use the same layout for my next project - but change colours and graphics - which will be good.

Thanks lads, in especially Ober for your advise and suggestions.

Also - if anyone knows a good backend (CMS) I could implement to make the entire website via an admin backend - I would be grateful for your experience.

What I would really like is: Store code and php in a mysql db - and generate static pages every night (and /or via an admin "publish" button).

Thanks for your time - appreciate it.
Talk later,
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Yes the News section was a little quiet and hidden. Have tweaked and done:

[!--quoteo(post=350286:date=Feb 28 2006, 05:24 PM:name=jcombs_31)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(jcombs_31 @ Feb 28 2006, 05:24 PM) [snapback]350286[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
The news section needs to stand apart from the main content more. Add some more padding at least.

Main Page: [a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/[/a]
Old : [a href=\"http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old4\" target=\"_blank\"]http://kartbuilding.net/misc/es/old4[/a]


P.S. Any ideas on a backend?
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Backend admin software is only worth it if you start with it. At this stage in the game, it might be a bit late to try and tie something in with an OTS CMS. You might as well write your own. They're not that hard. Besides, I'm not sure why you would want to build static pages daily. That seems to defeat the purpose of general interactive websites. What a hassle. You should really be thinking more dynamic.

And I agree that moving the pics to the right does make it seem a little off somehow. I guess you could also leave it the way it is, but switch the nav to the right side. I guess it doesn't look that bad as it is, however. Just a thought.
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Cheers Ober.

I am going to write my own backend code - nearly as quick. Im going to use FCKeditor or a different one and integrate these elements.

Reasons for a Cron-Job updating site (or "Publish" button):

1. Site will not be changed very often - (once a month ish)
2. Flaky database on University server (has improved a little)
3. Dont want to have to make a db connection for every page

BUT - I havn't gone that route - I am building everything into the database which the website will read from. Reaons:
I dont want to chmod 777 my folder/ files for the "Publish" option with the webserver running as different user.
I envisage little traffic.
MySQL nearly easier to setup without requiring shell access for chmod.

As for the graphics - well I know I could spend more time at it - but its good enough - Im now onto the backend.

Cheers Very much Ober and others for your advise.
I will post up the backend later here maybe.

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This is all opinion:

Two things I don't like

1. The green background clashes with the other "greens" on the site. dump it or change the shade to match the rest of the site.

2. The page has no top margin, which is ok, but it almost clips the pictures in the corner, causing me to scroll my mouse to see the rest of the site, but there is nothing to scroll... Does that make sense?

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