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Re: Requesting Your Critique
From Lonny Hunt at Sailing Matters.com Home Port on 28 Dec '99
replying to Re: Requesting Your Critique posted by Patrick R

MY COMMENTS IN ALL CAPS.

>To start out, congratulations on the forum, ***it's working!***.
>
>It's very difficult to get a forum up that develops a lot of traffic
>and a life of it's own.

THANKS
>
>I like the background very much, it's clean and easy to read off.
>
>I like the lottery ticket gimmick, too. It's a good idea.
>
>Now for the critiques.
>
>1) Drop the splash page. Use the home port page as your entry page, it
>took me a second to realize what was going on, and I almsot clicked
>on the web-ring links and immediately left you site.

THE REASON I USED THE SPLASH PAGE WAS SO THAT THE HEADER GRAPHIC WOULD LOAD ONCE ONE ENTERS THE SITE. THEN THEY CLICK TO ENTER, THEY ARE DIRECTED TO THE HOME PORT PAGE. THE HOME PORT PAGE HAS THE SAME GRAPHIC AND TAKES A WHILE TO LOAD IF THE GRAPHIC HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN LOADED. IT SEEMS A COUPLE OF YOU FOLKS DIDN'T LIKE THE SPLASH PAGE, SO MAYBE I WILL ELIMINATE IT. I GUESS THE MUSIC WAS NOT A HIT EITHER. :)
>
>2) Work out a navigation system, and use it on ***EVERY*** page
>throughout the site. It's annoying to have to go back to the homeport
>in order to go to a different section. (see what I did at
>http://www.rosehollow.com)

I HAVE DESIGNED SOME EXTRA PAGE TURNS TO GET TO CERTAIN AREAS OF THE SITE. THIS WAS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF BANNER IMPRESSIONS. I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE DIFFICULT TO PUT IN A NAVIGATION SYSTEM LIKE YOU SUGGEST THAT IS PRACTICAL, BUT I WILL THINK THIS THROUGH. THIS WAS THE ONE MAIN FACET OF THE SAILING MATTERS.COM SITE THAT I WONDERED ABOUT THE MOST.
>
>3) Pick a strong visual line, and stick to it. Rather than having your
>subjects justified left, right, and center, pick one justification and
>stick to it, it makes it MUCH easier for new users to browse your site.

GOOD IDEA.
>
>4) Lighten up the internet home page so it loads faster. Keep doing it,
>the faster the better. Also, it doesn't seem very sailing specific,
>other than your links to the left, maybe add more sailing content
>(localized weather broadcasts, more sailing specific advertising, etc.)

THIS PAGE IS BECOMING THE MOST POPULAR ON THE SITE. EVERYDAY WE CHANGE THE SAILING IMAGE. PERHAPS THIS IS WHY IT TAKES SO LONG TO LOAD, BUT I WILL KEEP WORKING ON MAKING IT LOAD QUICKER.
>
>5) If I can make one recommendation it is to invest in Robin Williams
>and John Tollett's book on web design "The non-Designer's Web Book". I
>find it an invaluable tool to help me critique my designs. A Warning,
>it will make you pereptually unhappy with your designs. Oh-well
>"Great art is never finished, simply abandoned"

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR GOOD IDEAS AND VISION.

LONNY
SAILING MATTERS.COM




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