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Seeking feedback & Comments

United States

I just re-themed my http://www.keycontent.org and would like some feedback from the tw.o community. Please let me know what you think in terms of:

  • Visual design
  • Usability
  • Anything else


Thanx

-Rick

Japan

First of all, I think it's a very clean, nicely-designed site. It's a good example of how Tiki often needs to be trimmed down to be used best. I like all the little custom details like the pagetitle images, the consistent style throughout, etc.

The overall organization seems good to me, and the way people are invited to use the site to collaborate and so on. But I'm still thinking maybe there could be more focus. For example, in the center of the front page there's a list of terms that describe aspects of content. I thought clicking on one would take me to a page describing it, but instead it went to a directory page where all the links were external. I guess these are examples of the term, but the focus seemed to diffuse rather than concentrate.

I had a little trouble in the beginning just getting a handle on what the site is about, I guess because "content" is such a broad topic. After checking out a few articles, though, I got the idea but, maybe I'm slow, I would still like to see more explicit definitions or case studies or something up front to really capture the site's purpose.

My criticisms are mostly nit-picking, really, because basically the site seems to look and work very well. When I get time, I'll look again.

-- Gary

United States

Thanks for the feedback Gary.

snip
For example, in the center of the front page there's a list of terms that describe aspects of content. I thought clicking on one would take me to a page describing it, but instead it went to a directory page where all the links were external. I guess these are examples of the term, but the focus seemed to diffuse rather than concentrate.


Good point. Those are actual site-wide search
results that occur in our TIKI directory. It would be nice if thre were a way to display an item from the directory (such as by its ID) before actually opening the external site. Something like: tiki-directory_browse.php?site=XX.


I've sort-of done this in the NEWEST RESOURCES area, but it is nothing more than a hack at this point :-(. As a fix, the bulleted list now displays only WIKI pages (which are all internal).

Thanks,

-Rick


I just re-themed my http://www.keycontent.org and would like some feedback from the tw.o community. Please let me know what you think in terms of:

  • Visual design
  • Usability
  • Anything else

Thanx
-Rick


Rick,

I wanted to write to you personally a long time ago when I first saw it, because I liked the previous format a lot. It did not seem to have the packaged "Tiki" look I found in the other themes.

Then, when I visited the page again, it looked even better. Anyway, I got busy doing other stuff and never got a chance to write to you. Basically, I am not satisfied with the other Tiki styles — too complicated as mentioned in other posts here. Sometimes, I have to spend hours just to find the CSS specification I wanted to change. Then, I have to do that for each. I was desperate, and I wanted to request if you could share your stylesheet, it looked much cleaner.

Anyway, here are some comments, that were not pointed out by Gary. Bear in mind though that I could not at this stage make a layout as good as yours.

Listing all

Not sure about other people, but if I am given a list from a search, I might be better off just doing a Google search myself — rather than going through a search list prepared by someone else. A person who has time to go through "all articles" or "all resources" has too much time to spare. It does not help me much, but that is just a point of view. I am more fond of A-Z listing, and if possible a directory focused listing, as Gary already stated. You are more familiar with the content of your site, and you would assist the visitor a lot by guiding him/her through the various sections; rather than saying: "Go ahead, find yourself around."

I hope you got what I mean.

Jagged presentation

Again, this is another preference. I think it would be cleaner to have both the "photos" of the same size, the way they are presented.

In a sense, that was what happened with the "boxed features" too. I know you meant to emphasize them, but it looks funny when you have a two-column box and one is much longer than the other. [I get that with the three-column standard layout of the Tiki themes. Aside from making the central column to narrow, it is difficult to get a good balance in layout of the left-center-right columns.]

This is different from the space achieved with the text-photo format above it. The space after each photo is welcome, to avoid a crowded page.

In printed newspaper layouts, they have what you call "filler text or quotes" to avoid such odd jagged appearance. Obviously, such control is not possible in the internet because a change in the font or browser could change the proportions again.

Gary solved this issue here and in his personal websites that he shared by having a series of one-column "unboxed/boxed" sections. Personally, I find that cleaner, in terms of presentation.

On the whole, I like the general layout of your site. It is more professional than any of the themes presented, so far. I bet the stylesheet is a lot simpler too than any of the ones available in the Tiki themes. That was why I wanted to write to you awhile back, but never got to do it. I do not want to copy your unique layout but wanted to find what radical changes were done in CSS to achieve a more near presentation.

cgc0202

United States

Thanks for the feedback cgc0202...

I wanted to write to you personally a long time ago when I first saw it, because I liked the previous format a lot. It did not seem to have the packaged "Tiki" look I found in the other themes.

Yeah, the "old" site was based on the geo theme. The only thing I didn't like was the color scheme — way too muted. But it was my first-ever TIKI, so I decided to start easy.

Sometimes, I have to spend hours just to find the CSS specification I wanted to change. Then, I have to do that for each. I was desperate, and I wanted to request if you could share your stylesheet, it looked much cleaner.


I totally agree. Having a 60K+ CSS is, IMHO, overkill. Why there are different body styles for each featuer (wiki, articles, forums, etc.) is beyond me. My suggestion was, if designers really wanted that level of control, then each feature should have its own CSS (e.g., basic_wiki.css, basic_forum_css, etc.) then you would simply cascasde the styles that you really wanted and needed.

I am more fond of A-Z listing, and if possible a directory focused listing, as Gary already stated.

Thanks for the input. Users can always click the column headers to sort by that column. The problem with the SEARCH function, is that (IMHO) TIKI's search is not very useful. There's no way to do complex boolean searches, which means you invariable get too many or too few hits.

Jagged presentation
Again, this is another preference. I think it would be cleaner to have both the "photos" of the same size, the way they are presented.


Actually, this is something we discussed for a quite a while for our redesign. Since the human eye can easily detect slight imperfections, it was decided to purposely make the photos different sizes — this way you would actually look at them.


Thanks again for looking (and commenting).

-Rick

Actually, this is something we discussed for a quite a while for our redesign. Since the human eye can easily detect slight imperfections, it was decided to purposely make the photos different sizes — this way you would actually look at them.
-Rick


I read something similar to that used as strategies by ads designers, like the use of difficult to read letters in relation to its background.

cgc0202


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