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After far too many hours and countless bouts of frustration I think I've pretty much finished the website for my local church. At least, any changes will stay within the design style. There are a few things I would like to add, like an event calender, but that can wait for a bit.
In any case, I'd be very grateful if all you extraordinarily helpful people could have a quick look and feedback any comments (nice ones or rude ones!)
on an excellent site. It does exactly what it should do - informs in an entertaining way. A good information site should also engage the viewer, and yours does.
If I'm being hypercritical, there are a couple of points:-
1. I found that small image pane above the navigation buttons very irritating. It kept flickering away as I was trying to concentrate on the button text. It doesn't do anything useful, and I would do without it.
2. Your scrolling 'news' text feature works against you - at least for the moment. Because there's only one item of news there's a five second pause between scrolls which results in a totally blank space. People will click away without seeing anything. I would prefer to see news items in a static table - newspaper style, with the odd small image to liven things up.
3. Whilst not absolutely essential, it might be good to see a copyright claim at the bottom of the pages. It would also be an idea to have a 'contact webmaster' link there too.
4. There's a glitch on the contact page - on my screen the contact email address is partially obscured by the Music dept. telephone number text.
5. You have some really stunning images there - especially in the choir gallery - but a couple of them are not good, and it might be better to lose those.
Overall a very good site indeed.
A nice clean site and easy on the eye. I did have a quick look at the photo gallery, and at least today, none of the thumbnails would opne in to full photos. Is there a problem that you know about? Apart from that the other forum members have it all covered. Well done.
Thank you all for taking so much time to read through the site - you have all been very thorough and I am truly grateful. John and Peter especially: thank you for using so fine a toothcombe - one set of eyes easily misses so much!
Funny how things look fine at home, and then you use a different computer and it's all changed! So there are few things to get done later on.
I think I may well abandon the scroll text as it's been a bit of a headache, and I don't really like the look anymore - there will be a bit of an overhaul of the the index page. I've also noticed the Friends link has died so have to get that fixed. And the alignment issues are a bit frustrating - Opera and IE really do render things differently! (I'm an Opera user generally).
Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have the corrections done, and yes, I need to then chase down people to start linking to the site!
Many thanks again :)
Something which no-one else has mentioned, but bugs me and can be an accessibility issue is...
The use of text links on the left. If you don't want to use buttons, could you replace these with hotspots around the text, perhaps by linking the text box rather than the text itself? What you have there is a very small clickable area.
I find text links to be far less usable because you have to be accurate with your mouse pointer. I would expect that elderly or disabled viewers might well struggle to hit the links easily.
I prefer the new menu rollover! And I'm glad to see that you've dropped the tickertape idea, the new News is much better - you're very lucky to have James Bowman, he's the tops :)
Thanks ade.h... I'll have a go at fixing this, and thank you for your comments too IClaudio. James Bowman is indeed excellent! Not that I have any choice over selection of concerts - this website is for my best man (when I marry in August) and he's also responsible for a lot of the text.
I've done most of the corrections I think, and thank you all again for all your input. Your compliments have been particularly heart warming!
John, I couldn't find the Music Derpartment mistake which I guess is what you were aluding too!
Anyway, I'll mark this as resolved now. If anyone has any further pointers, especially as the site develops a bit more, please feel free to either write here or drop me a message. Once again, thank you all for your time...
Ade.h -- Actually, in terms of accessibility text links are preferred to buttons (because anyone using a text browser, screen reader or braille browser still gets the link as it is just text). I agree that some users might find small text links difficult to use but I suppose that the assumption is that anyone who would find the text too small to click on would also want it larger to read it and would therefore bump up the font size via their browser.
Dr Scott -- I really like the site. I love the ecclesiastical reds: very appropriate.
But there *are* some accessibility issues with the site and one of them is enlarging the font: because all the images are absolutely positioned they do not move with the text when it is enlarged with the result that the text overflows across the images. Similarly just bumping the text up twice to make the links more legible made one of them overwrite the lines between the links.
Headings and sub-headings should always be marked up with heading tags, not as styled text. This is so that text readers, screen readers etc know to treat them as headers. There should only be one <h1> on a page but can be any number of other headings, so long as they are heirarchically correct (h2 as a subheading of h1, h3 as a subheaading of h2 etc.). Since your heading text already has an associated style class you could simply change the div tags around it to h1 tags.
Please don't think that I'm suggesting that you race off right away and start rewriting the site. I just thought that since you've done such a nice job of designing the site the accessibility aspect could be your next project.
Thanks PurplePenny :)
With the navigation bar I'm in the process of trying to make the CSS layer active, so clicking around the text still opens the relevant page. Main issue to trying to get the text to turn yellow when the mouse enters the layer rather than hovering over the text. Basically, I'm making a rather complicated set of buttons which may help accessibility.
Having got the site up and running, I am quite keen to get cleaning up the code and getting rid of reduntant bits. I take all your points (with gratitude!) about accessibility and will try and get round to them at some point - I think that side of things is even more complicated the getting the site displaying correctly!
PP - I guess you've been using Firefox?! Interestingly, if you use Opera and start zooming in and out, everything stays just fine (except for the top banner which loses some red at either end)IE doesn't seem to zoom at all.
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