SITE REVIEW: sbc-training.co.uk

  • Mercury175
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Post 3+ Months Ago

PLEASE NOTE:
THIS IS AN OLD REVIEW WHICH WAS USED DURING THE SITE'S DEVELOPMENT

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE SBC TRAINING WEBSITE

http://www.sbc-training.co.uk

Thank You
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • iBold
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm viewing your site in IE6 at 1024x768

The splash page isn't very sharp - not sure if you were trying to condense on size or what, but I would suggest making those images a bit sharper.
Also, it's a bit annoying that your actual site opens in a new window. Whats the purpose of keeping the splash page open behind your main site?? People who don't know better and use pop-up blockers might never get that far, and just assume things don't work..

The actual site is very nice, all though having the navigation on the far right is kind of akward for me. Also, why did you choose to use a frame here? Your site would look soo much better without that pesky scroll bar in the middle of it :)

I'm also one of those users who likes to right cilck and click 'back' in internet explorer, instead of trying to find my way to the top left and hit that back button that is provided. Disabling my right click isn't something that appeals to me. It also doesn't server a very large purpose, since I can still bookmark your site, and I can still view source view IE..

Just something I'm used to...so I would suggest it to any site. If your going to include your logo on each and every page, you should make it link back to the index. If it's there, might as well give it purpose :)

I gave your search a go, and found it gave me some goofy links (I searched for test) and got this:
Quote:
SSL Test Certificate for Web Server Security - VeriSign Offers SSL test certificates and VeriSign Secure Server IDs that enable SSL encryption to protect sensitive data and transactions. Get this...

Take Tests With Confidence Combined power of biofeedback and taking tests with confidence biobehavioral tapes. Control stress, perform to the best of your ability, and take tests with confidence.

Purchase Meds From Home Now!!! Xanax,Valium,Vicodin,Diet Meds plus thousands of other drugs available from the privacy of your home. Online doctors and Pharmacies are waiting. Free Md consults available.


Which has nothing to do with your site? You may want to consider adding Google search to your site for just your site:
http://www.google.com/searchcode.html#both

Sure it'll add the google logo to your page, but at least it'll only turn up relevant pages instead of these pages that are completely irrelevant..


You should also make your splash page more search engine friendly. Search engines ignore JS (which is what mostly makes up your splash page), you have no meta tags nor description, and the title of the page:
Quote:
<title>
Welcome to SBC Training - Click to Enter - -
</title>

Tells me very little about your actual services. If I was viewing that as a search result in any search engine, I would most likely skip it over for one that was titled more favorably:
Quote:
<title>
SBC Training - Over 30 Quality NVQ's Available
</title>


Hope this helps :D
  • whosonthedexs
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Viewing with IE6 Res = 1440x900

This is purely my view and not the view of any organisation i may be a part of.

On first hiting the site, i get the one thing i hate, a pop-up! All well and good with it's advice but a popup non the less. Secondly the awful times new roman font, this should never be used in any context what so ever.

The splash page is slightly on the pixelated side possibly using a standard colours would sharpen it and keep the size down.

Once entered i start to appreciate the hard work gone in to the site.

The address text at the bottom is slightly out of focus, maybe a different colour or removing the bold and opting for a different but similar font.

Mouse overs are good eye catching but jerky.


All in all a basic functional website, not as sharp as it could look and i'm sure the company would prefer it looking sharper, training firms need a good image!
  • Mercury175
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for your comments guys.

Grainy image yes, partly due keeping file sizes down. Most people are still trying to squeeze the Internet through a 56k connection, despite the fact most webmasters seem to be unaware.
Other text is flash text and maybe the fonts I have used don't work too well with flash, they don't seem to be too bad here, maybe update, check your flash plug-in.

AdHave planned to add meta informati.

There is no way the average viewer could access the code to the actual pages, the index (which you can view source) simply refers to other pages dependent on the viewers browser.

I don't think the site could be described as a 'pop-up'. The splash is more of a referral gateway which allows my scripts to be secure.
This also gives me the ability to create my own tailored cromeless window. Regarding the res check; I didn't think that the information should bother everyone and so only appears if you have strayed from 1024x768. I really wasn't aware that it was so offensive, but perhaps it doesn't show what you might be more accustomed to seeing on a pop-up…

I have attempted and thought I had succeeded in creating an easy to follow navigation system, negating the need to use the browser interface.
The right hand pane contains the main navbar which provides constant quick access to all sections of the site, including the sub-index or home page at all times. There are forward and back buttons located conveniently at the bottom of sections where needed.

The search engine indexing is done by a free service. This does mean however that three search sponsors are returned within search results. Although these results may not be affiliated with the company they are usually based on the search criteria. In any case, these are clearly separated from the actual results returned from the site.

As for this scroll bar dividing the parent for the navbar pane, well that must be down to your local settings, it shouldn't be there. I have tested the site on over thirty different systems. It may be down to your text size, a setting 90% of viewers haven't touched.
The idea of creating such a 'snug' window may be a little flawed though, as it can run into problems depending on local settings. Doesn't it look a little more special tho!?

Well, yeah, all fair critisism. You just gutted me a little guys. I ain't a pro by a long way, my first site actually, being a work in progress , so try not to feel so threatened. :wink:

Merc.

Ps. I am actually unreasonably hung over right now and have had to just sit through a three hour meeting on some bollocks administration stuff, so don’t take me too seriously….. Best get back to avoiding people… 8)
  • iBold
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just had a question regarding that scroll bar between your nav and main site..
I'm using a resolution (1024x768) which is much higher the most (the 800x600 folks on the 56k), so I would think I would be the one to NOT see the scrollbar. My text size in IE is set to 'medium'. I even tried setting it to 'smallest' to get rid of that scrollbar, with no luck. What resolution are you using that you don't see the scrollbar in the middle of your page??

I understand your desire to protect your source code, but if you take away my forward and back buttons (as you did with the popup), it isn't very convient for me to find where you placed your forward and back buttons. Not a huge issue, just a little annoying. A good idea might be to include the 'forward' and 'back' functions as a javascript link below your main navigation, that ways it's clearly visable and I know how I can jump back and forth on your site.
Also, another thing to note. You mentioned that the 'average user' won't be able to see your source code, and this is true. But you should keep in mind that the 'average user' isn't interested in the source, the more experienced ones would be, who would know that a simple CTR + SHIFT + CLICK opens any link in a new window, clearly giving me a view of anything you did on the site..

I actually disagree with the 'jerky' mouseover statment. I think the mouse overs in your navigation are very clear, and add a lot to your navigations over all appeal.
If a fast loading site is what you were going for, then you definately achieved it here. Your main page (after the index) appears to be well below the 50k mark, definately a plus :)
  • Mercury175
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The site is designed more for 1024x768. There should be no scroll bar on any resolution though. Again I have tested this on thirty different systems with various settings.

Where did you get the information regarding most 56k users are 800x600? And why does that make sense? This may have been true just a few years ago, but it’s my understanding that the majority of users are running at 1024x768 or higher. This information is supported by my server logs.

I do understand your issues with navigation, however the site is designed (when completed) to lead the viewer through certain sections with the minimum of confusion. Again, links to a previous page are made available where they may be needed.

The look I'm going for is clean and simplistic as not to overwhelm the viewer. One thing I personally can't stand is a busy site with more buttons than I know what to do with. Net literacy is not great in my County. I guess its down to your specific target group, and personal tastes.

Disabling the right click was more to prevent viewers from book marking certain pages so that these pages couldn't be taken out of there original frame or context. The site needs all of its components together to produce the look I want. It could be likened to showing only half the screen of a commercial! It’s to do with image, and how that is subtlety conveyed to the viewer. Or, perhaps I'm a control freak…. Whichever…
But saying all that, obviously experts like your self can easily by pass such things.

Oh, just to save you a little effort, no need for control, just 'shift + click' will do to open a link in a new browser.

Thanks for your input

Merc.
  • whosonthedexs
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have to agree with the 1024x768 and 800x600 statement at a 2:1 ratio for our site.

Also as far as grainy images, we're running what i deem to be fairly good quality images and a reasonable size in our galleries (flash embedded images) if you have a good preloader running most people will stick around to wait for this to finish obviously hoping for quality images.
  • bellfrenzy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm getting a Javascript error everytime I trt to click the link you provided to your site. I'm usiing Netscape 7.1. It might be something you should take a look into.
  • Mercury175
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, was aware of the problem with netscape, just tried to ignore it! Damn it who uses Netscape anyway :wink:
  • iBold
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My 800x600 response was not ment to be a generalization as to the 'majority' of users, just that they exist. It is by no means a fact. I apologize I should have made that more clear.

The scrollbar issue might be caused by a few other things - My windows task bar (at the bottom of my screen) is twice the height of normal ones so I can keep lots of windows open and accessable. I also use the Google Toolbar, which cuts down on my browsers viewable space, so that may be the culpret here.

As far as the right clicking goes, that does make much more sense now, and I see your point in doing so. Have you considered trying to break out of the framed site using something like includes so you don't have that problem?? It would alievate not only my right click problem, but also that scrollbar which seems to have found it's way onto the middle of my screen :)
If a simple, straight forward design and layout is what you were going for, then you have definately achieved it.
  • don7777s
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i cant say anything bad about it it better then mine lol i put in its ok but could bring some life to it.....but yet still better then mine
  • Nucleo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ok, im viewing on 1280x1024
the splash page could be central. on mine it was pushed over to the left.
the page loaded very quick, people on 56k would be fine, i was downloading at the time (full speed) and the site loaded instantly.
i wondered weather it was flash or not and i right clicked and it gave me an error, nice job :thumbsup: guess it helps with security. I too am a hater of popups. but my popup stopped did not pick it up. If you are going to keep it as a popup disable the rights to make the box bigger, it looks pretty bad all stretched out.
The graphics are pretty rough, i would suggest antialiasing them, it wouldn't make the images much bigger but it would clean them up
just my view

6/10
  • Mercury175
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nope, not flash, html layers using transitions.
I can't get the damn thing to centralise, any ideas?

Was thinking about taking away resize from the main site, but thought it may be handy to allow for individual text sizes. Have done it anyway.

As for the netscape issue, I've never used it. But I think it may be something to do with my 'anti context menu' script.

Cheers

Merc.
  • Mercury175
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Does netscape handle transitions in the same way IE does?

Damn your sence of individuality netscape users! :(

Merc.
  • willstein
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Post 3+ Months Ago

spelled organization wrong
  • Mercury175
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't get it...?!?

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