Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed
  • 2004/2/2 1:34

  • Chainsaw

  • Quite a regular

  • Posts: 304

  • Since: 2003/9/28

Instead of hijacking another thread (sorry) I thought I'll put up my website for review. We're about to launch it on Feb 15 2004, and there are still pages without contents and the menu still need to be sorted out properly. So I'm gonna have to work hard getting these materials in soon.

The color scheme was designed by someone at church with a better sense of color than I do.

However I'm still pretty critical of it myself. I've tested it with IE, Mozilla and Netscape. It's 99% identical except for the border on the right column and the outline around Site Credit. Still trying to figure that one out.

I want the site to be less cluttered and distracting. So we're keeping animations down to the minimum.

I would like to get some honest opinion. Can you see any area I can improve on? Or maybe someone's got an idea on making the site more visually inviting?

Many thanks

ps. God bless ya

Re: Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed

Well, I just had a nice friendly post with 7 comments. However, I took "too long" to compose my post, and XOOPS decided that my session had expired. I of course lost my post. Once I'm done yelling at the computer, I will try to regain my composure, and rewrite my post. Word to the wise (and long winded) copy your content before you hit submit... just in case.

Re: Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed

Your site is fine as it is... however, if you want some nitpicky suggestions, here we go. Bare in mind that these are just the subjective opinions of one person and are in no way more valid than those of others. In the end, don't make me happy, make your team (and you) happy with the results. In that spirit...

1. "Welcome to Albany Christian Centre ::" ... either remove the "::" or move the "::" in front of the word "Welcome".

2. The red (crimson?) header that has things like "Welcome to Albany Christian Centre ::" could stretch to match the width of the contents in the center block. Currently, it stops, while the text and photo content extend further to the right. This is even more pronounced on pages with shorter headings, like Church Life - Pastoral Care.

3. Avoid the red text color like that under latest headlines. If you must keep red, replace (or remove) the "::" bullets in latest headlines, which don't seem to work as well with the color red on light brown. Typically, "::" works best with light text on a dark background. However, you may find that dark green on light brown (the green from your top row) would work here. Your web color guru will probably come up with something even better.

4. Move search to the left column (or to the top row if you can make that work). In the left column, you could try it (in order of preference) at the top of the column, bottom of the column, or between "Our Weekly Program" and "Contact Us".

5. Personally, I would left align the Albany Christian Centre logo so that it fits in a width to match that of your olive left column. I recognize that currently you are swapping that logo out with other banners, like "004" and "IWT", however I found that disorienting. If you are comfortable just using that space solely for your logo, then left align it instead of allowing it to "float".

6. OK, this is the toughest one on here... you may want to skip it. It probably opens up a hornets nest. The navigation... I like that you have picked some high priority content and placed links to it in the left column. However, the navigation at the top, with the drop menus, probably should not nest items to a second level... because it buries the link from view. Drop Menus are OK, but nested sub menus bury content and add complexity. There are two approaches, and you might want to employ both: Either pull a link up a level or consolidate content from multiple links onto one page. For example...

::Church Life - Leadership
Instead of having three items nested underneath, you could simply have a "Leadership" , "Leadership Team" or "Our Team" page that is based on the "Leadership Team" page. One would then attach the Interns at the bottom of the page. The Don and Julia content could either be integrated at the top of the page, or, could be presented as a link next to their picture, "Learn More about Don and Julia" if the amount of content you want there won't integrate into the Leadership Team page.

::Pastoral Leadership
Put prayer, training, and DNA on one page.

::Youth and Children
Consolidate into one page giving a broad overview of the programs and from that page offer links to the external web sites for those.

::Church Administrators
Remove nested links and consolidate into one page.

From the user perspective, there is not much reason to separate this content into all these separate nested links. The user does not think like you or me and in many cases is browsing, not sure what they are looking for. Be careful not to map the organization's "org chart" or hierarchy into your navigation. Instead, think of the story you are trying to tell, and ask how each page tells that story.

7. In number 5, I combined two things... so there is no longer a number 7.

Well, I'm sorry my first post vanished, because it was delicately worded, diplomatic, and wonderful. But, this is the best I could do, from memory. Good luck with your site!

Re: Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed
  • 2004/2/2 20:50

  • Chainsaw

  • Quite a regular

  • Posts: 304

  • Since: 2003/9/28

WOW!! Thanks for the feedback and recommendation. I do really need it.

I agree the nested menu looks horrible.... will need to do something with that LOL *eye my chainsaw lovingly*

We're reworking the top banner. One of the graphic designer in church is going to send me a few designs to evaluate. I'm probably going to disable the banner ads. It's too distracting. Might look at other adverts modules instead.

I'll make the changes tonight when I get home from work. Oh BTW the site is down at the moment. In my moment of insanity I send a support form to the webhost asking how we can shift the domain root from public_html to public_html/xoops2. All I did was asked how to do it and he did it for me

ah well, will have to hack the mainfile.php tonight

Thanks again. It's refreshing to get other opinions.

Re: Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed

Hey, I see you made a bunch of updates. That was fast. Congrats.

Re: Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed
  • 2004/2/5 20:27

  • Chainsaw

  • Quite a regular

  • Posts: 304

  • Since: 2003/9/28

Thanks. It looks much tidier with one drop down now I've also done the title at 100% and removed the adverts.

A graphic designer at church is re-doing the top banner for me (whoohoo!!) It will have the logo flushed to left and something else on the right.

I'm going to work on the news headlines this weekend (it's a holiday this Friday in NZ).

Question: What do you think of a Flash banner on the top-right?

Question: I'm thinking of installing one of the Adverts modules. So do you reckon an advert will look OK on the center top or center bottom? We get Christian events which we would like to grab attention to.

Also I love this this article from Heal Your Church Website.


+My personal feelings about faith aside, there are some serious technical issues about this site that need to be addressed - and healed. First and foremost, the evil animated .gif background image.

+Holy Mystery Meat ! - graphic navigation should be about giving the user a clue, not an online game.
... the majority of the people who use the Internet are purpose driven. That is, they aren't generally looking to be entertained or wowed.

+don't be fooled into thinking that 'resizing' the image with the height and width attributes of the <img> tag will make your images load faster. They won't!

+Holy Jesus Junk! - remember when as Peter rebuked Simon Magnus for employing cheap tricks?
... [fix] the <title> tags on the sub pages so they say something a bit more descriptive than "Untitled Document."
Lorem Ipsum == Check Your Title Bar - its okay to use dummy text, but only for testing.

+.. sub pages suffer from irregular use of font color, such as fire-engine red on their "Favorite Links" page, all bold and all centered fonts on their dated "What's New" page.
Scan Me NOT! - always use text to represent text.
Instead, we get church and para-church websites so chuck-full-o-junk that they drive people away even before all the spinning animated gifs and cheesey MIDI files can load.
Evil Marquee Tag - If it's so darn'd important, then say, don't spray it!

+I am commanding you, my faithful followers, to bookmark the Web Page Analyzer page ...
It's not just what you say ... ... it's How you say it!

Re: Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed

Sorry, I couldn't find the page that had a flash banner, so no comment on that.

Also, I've been looking at your site with Mozilla Firebird. But, when looking for Flash content, I loaded up IE 5.5. It reminds me to mention, IE 5.X has terrrible trouble with 100% widths. So, for your crimson header bar and center column, you might try 98% instead. (What I noticed at 100% in IE was overlap of center column and news column).

Also, in IE 5.5 the drop menu items are not placed in the dark row of color the way they are supposed to be. So the words of the drop down menu just float on a transparent background... floating over your picture collage at the top.


Re: Albany Christian Centre XOOPSed
  • 2004/2/7 5:24

  • Chainsaw

  • Quite a regular

  • Posts: 304

  • Since: 2003/9/28

Arrrrggghh that menu float was a problem with Coolmenu in Netscape. That didn't happen with Tigra and I thought that was solved. Didn't think to view that in IE5.x. I'm using IE6. *groan*

Yeah didn't think about that 100% for the title bar, I'll change that to 98% as recommended.

I haven't loaded up a flash banner yet. But I kinna like what I see at http://www.cocinalo.com/index.php


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