SITE REVIEW: JapanUpdate.com IT'S BEEN A WHILE

  • gsv2com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The last redesign I did for this website was right about when I first found this forum. Do not bother clicking any links. None of them work. I am merely interested in some thoughts on the actual new design.

Here's the previous version: http://www.japanupdate.com/en/

Here's what I'm working on: http://www.gsv2.com/design/

My hope for the redesign is that this will be as accessible to the visually-impaired as possible. I've thus far been able to find a free vocal-reader, so if anybody knows of a way I can get my hands on a copy, please let me know.

Your comments will help with the visual aspect (unless you've got accessibility comments). Please let me know what you think.

One last thing: I know the ads are ugly. This cannot be helped. We're interested in making money. Our only option is to only accept ads that are visually attractive and this will obviously not happen. :lol:
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • desertland
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The new layout is MUCH better!! The gradients in the left-hand menu fit very well with the site. The separated articles on the main page help organize it (so that's good too) :)

I have no idea what the purpose of the site is about though. I'd recommend throwing in a little introduction up at the top of the site - maybe something like "japanupdate.com - information and current news abuot japan" (or whatever applies to your site)...

It definitely looks much better than the previous version.
  • Fitness4Living
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Post 3+ Months Ago

better yes, but those ads, oh those ads.
They arent related to the content, they put the user way off from clicking on them and they are the typical sort of ad that webusers are "trained" not to click on. I recommend more related ads or Google Adsense. Theres a few good topics about it in the Google forum.
  • Mas Sehguh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This was one review for which I could reliably look at the site's source code without cringing.

I noticed that you use
Code: [ Select ]
<div id="banner" class="rt"><img src="i/sunny-net.gif" alt="Sunny-Net Ad" /></div>
But the div element there is redundant! You could put class="rt" on the image itself, and the id="banner" is unnecessary (but if you ever needed it for some reason, there's probably no reason you couldn't put it on the image itself).

I like how the menu uses lists.

Hmm, you asked about the appearance, didn't you...
The design is definitely better than the old version, and it removes all the ugliness.

Time for accessibility:

I looked at your site in Lynx, which is useful for finding accessibility problems. The site is very useful in Lynx and passes with flying colors. Then I looked at your CSS. Some of your CSS sets font size in px sizes. In IE, this will prevent users from being able to make the text size any bigger, so if it's too small to read, there's nothing they can do about it. So score one for the anti-accessibility demons. While looking at your CSS, I noticed that you used a font name called "mono." But CSS's generic family name is called "monospace," which I'm guessing is what you want.

If I resize your font a little bigger than my normal size, I notice that as the menu's text begins to overlap the white background, I can't read the options completely. I'd say this is a minor problem, since I have to size the font to a very large height to get this to happen.

Also, I'm curious. What does the "0.8em/1.5" mean in the CSS file?
  • gsv2com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the responses guys.

Desertland - I will definitely add a little introductory text after the "Island Market Current Edition" header. Where I live, most people know what the website is for, but I can understand that a casual internet browser may need a moment to figure out that this is the website for a weekly newspaper.

Fitnessforliving - Yep... Those ads... Our website makes a bit of money from outside advertising, and though I'd like to tell them all to make more appealing ads... I just can't. As for Google ads and whatnot, they're really not that useful for us on Okinawa, Japan. But I will definitely push our design team to come up with better ads. Those are just butt.

Sam Hughes - Always an honor to have your input. EM is a relative way of determining font-size, spacing, etc. The reason I did the nav in px is--due to the fact that this is a floating layout--that the layout will quickly fall to ___ if the navigation text increases. Yes, I understand that this is a point for the accessibility demons, but it couldn't be helped. So, the nav needs to be px in my opinion. Correct me if I'm wrong. I did my best to make the rest of the website in em's so that they could enlarge the font-size if necessary. The 0.8em/1.5 means make it 80% of the default font-size for this font and give it a line spacing 150% the default. Smaller text is trendy (I like it too), and with extra linespacing, the text is a lot more readable.

Your comment on the banner float was right on. I'm not sure why I had it that way. *slaps self* But I fixed it.

I finally got my hands on a free vocal reader and the site passed with flying colors. The first few runs enlightened me a bit, so a few changes were made. The stories were listed out in <li>'s, as the front page is a list of stories, but I eliminated those lists as it makes sense without too. (Hope that makes sense)

Anyway, thanks for the positive comments. I'd love to hear more positive (and negative, if needed) feedback as this evolves.

Next step is for me to add a few more accessibility features such as hot-keys and whatnot. Hopefully this will be ready for launch very soon.
  • gsv2com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just found this interesting tutorial on px vs. em if anyone's interested:

http://www.bigbaer.com/css_tutorials/css_font_size.htm
  • mattsterrr
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Apart from reiterating the points on the sunday sport type ads (it's a british publication full of 'I slept with 12 crocodiles in one night' stories and the such) and I personally don't like the background, but that could just be me.

If I had an interest in Okinawa (I'm not being personal, but I've never been and barely know of it's existence, as I'm sure you have barely heard of Blackpool in the UK) then I would certainly read on past the home page.
  • zielak
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Good work. New layout is very nice and site is very easy to navigate. I like how it looks.
  • gsv2com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you very much! :)

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