New Foto Tip column by Mark Alberhasky

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 11, 2006
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  2. So where's the tip?

    All I get is a page full of ads from Google, a portrait of the "author"
    and some Amazon ads.
    John Phillips, Dec 15, 2006
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  3. Wayne J. Cosshall

    Duncan Guest

    The tip John is how to drive more people to your site to pump up your hit
    rate!!! ;-)

    Agree with you that it has nothing to offer.

    Duncan, Dec 15, 2006
  4. Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 15, 2006
  5. Wayne J. Cosshall

    ray Guest

    IMHO a very poorly designed web site. The links look like normal text
    instead of links, and the vital info is "below the fold".
    ray, Dec 15, 2006
  6. Wayne J. Cosshall

    R.J Heath Guest

    Why not just post that the first time
    R.J Heath, Dec 15, 2006
  7. It never occurred to me that someone couldn't scroll down. Besides, if
    you haven't read any of Mark's columns before, the way I posted people
    would see not only that post but his others.

    You can't please everyone.


    Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 16, 2006
  8. Wayne J. Cosshall

    ray Guest

    Two prime tenets of web site design:

    1) make the links look like links
    2) put the material of primary interest 'above the fold'.
    ray, Dec 16, 2006
  9. I can tell you that I am constantly considering changes to the site, and
    will take the preceding comments on board, as I always do. However, if
    you have actually designed a site with as much content as my one has,
    you'll know that there are a lot of issues in the design of the site,
    many of which pull you in opposite directions. Moving away from the
    'traditional' blue underlined links is not something you do lightly.
    Many sites have moved away from this, to a greater or lesser extent,
    such as:
    Others have not. It is, in fact, all a juggling act, usually informed by
    assessments of the types of users visiting a site and their level of

    There is the rollover change of color when you hover the cursor, but I
    will change that to include an underline so it is even clearer.

    The specifics of Mark's page are flexible. I put the cruise ad in to
    support Mark. Without it the links to the individual columns comes up
    much higher. I think I'll move it below the column links.


    Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 16, 2006
  10. Wayne J. Cosshall

    Rick Sciacca Guest

    Rick Sciacca, Dec 16, 2006
  11. 3) Get rid of all the crap!

    James McNangle
    James McNangle, Dec 16, 2006
  12. Define crap?
    Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 16, 2006
  13. Wayne J. Cosshall

    Fred Guest

    your website layout for starters
    Fred, Dec 17, 2006
  14. Wayne J. Cosshall

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    Chrikey !!!
    I'm back to a blank screen.
    Neil Ellwood, Dec 17, 2006
  15. Ok, Ray, I am trying all links with underlines. Personally I find it
    makes things more cluttered but I am willing to give it a try. I am
    happy for meaningful feedback, such as yours was.

    I've also changed the main page for Mark's column.


    Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 17, 2006
  16. Wayne J. Cosshall

    Duncan Guest

    Links only have to reveal themselves when a cursor is moved over it and so
    the decoration need not be visual until required. Thus maintaining a neat
    and visually appealing design.

    Duncan, Dec 17, 2006
  17. Wayne J. Cosshall

    Poxy Guest

    I'm gonna weigh in here - I had a brief look at Wayne's site, and I can
    appreciate why people might perceive it as "cluttered", but it has nothing
    to do with whether links are underlined or not, rather it's to do with the
    basics of page layout and typography. What is clear is that while Wayne
    might be a good photographer, he's not a graphic/web designer.

    Fundamentally, what the site layout lacks is the correct amount "air" around
    text, and poor site layout that lacks the structural signals that users
    expect to see. That said, while I use the term "poor" in referring to some
    aspects, it's not to say his isn't a good site - it has a great deal of
    valuable content.

    A full analysis would take up way too much space, but broadly, the left and
    right columns are an un-structured parade of links - there's just too much
    to take in. The left is the worst - it needs to be broken down into a couple
    of easily understandable sub-groups. Good hierarchical structure draws
    people in deeper, whereas the "flat" structure presented is overwhelming.

    Also, it strikes me that the site needs more of a real magazine structure as
    opposed to a literal collection of articles sorted by category - ie. you can
    have that, but presenting the content with the headline "Articles in the
    category Audio" makes it seem like you're doing a series of database
    searches, which you are, but it can be presented in a less literal manner.
    Just changing the headline to "Audio Articles" and losing the "Articles reco
    rds 1-20 of 28" from the top (it could go at the bottom next to the result
    navigation) would be a good start.

    The centre column is also a bit of a mess. Any photographic site, which is
    fundamentally all about *pictures*, that starts with a paragraph crushed up
    the top that delves immediately into how to make the site more "usable" is
    an immediate admission that the site might be a bit tough to use.

    It should start with a killer pic sitting clear and clean - the IR one at
    the moment is fine, but surrounded by a mix of text sizes and weights
    detracts from its impact.

    My suggestion would be to sit down with a good web designer with a proven
    track record in this kind of site and CMS software, and re-work the
    templates to reflect solid page layout principles, and let them take a fresh
    look at the structure and see if it can't be re-organised in a simpler, more
    accessible style.

    As I said, lots of great content, but the manner in which it's presented
    makes the sheer mass of information seem overwhelming.
    Poxy, Dec 17, 2006
  18. Perhaps the clue to the problem with your web site is contained in the line "The
    online magazine and reference site for photography, graphic design, digital art,
    Web design, video, illustration and image creation." Any one of these subjects
    would be quite sufficient for a single web site, but you have them all together,
    all mixed up in a horrendous jumble. And, even worse, this horrendous jumble is
    reproduced on every page. About the only thing I can say in favour of the site
    is that it doesn't sing or dance.

    Consider the page

    This is titled "A day of shooting with my Infrared converted Canon 350D". By
    the time someone gets to this page all they want to see is what results you have
    managed to get. But what do they get?

    On the left, a column 160 pixels wide, containing a plague of totally irrelevant
    links. On the right, another column 160 pixels wide, containing another plague
    of equally irrelevant links. In the middle a couple of ads, then an
    introduction, and yet another column 160 pixels wide, containing yet another
    plague of irrelevant links. Below this we finally get to the demonstration
    photos, all 450 pixels wide.

    If you threw out all this rubbish, or sorted it into categories, with the
    material relevant to each category on a separate page, so that this page only
    displayed the actual test photos and your comments on them, you could make the
    pictures much bigger, so that the viewer could really see what you are on about,
    without being distracted by a whole heap of totally irrelevant crap.

    James McNangle
    James McNangle, Dec 18, 2006
  19. Ok, I get your point, though i can't help thinking you really don't need
    to be so rude about it.

    I am considering a redesign of the site and I'll take this onboard.

    Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 18, 2006
  20. Thanks Duncan and Poxy for taking the time to reply meaningfully.

    The challenge with a site with so much content is to strike a balance
    between showing what is there and making it easy to find. It seems I
    have struck the wrong balance, so I will go back and reconsider the site
    design and see what i can come up with.


    Wayne J. Cosshall, Dec 18, 2006
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