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Yacht Brokerage website - Comments please.

 
 
Angie Gibson
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      04-11-2004
A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL below), but I'm not
happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would appreciate some
opinions from the people here as to what could be improved, or changed
before it progresses further, so I can advise them more accurately.

Thanks, Angie,
The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com


 
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brucie
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      04-11-2004
in post: <news:OBbec.1090$(E-Mail Removed)>
"Angie Gibson" <(E-Mail Removed)> said:

> A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL below), but I'm not
> happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would appreciate some
> opinions from the people here as to what could be improved, or changed
> before it progresses further, so I can advise them more accurately.
> The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com


i have difficulty reading grey text on a grey background and the page
hasn't got any navigation. frames? you have got to be shpxvat joking.

http://moreshit.bruciesusenetshit.in...eencap0231.png [46k]


--
b r u c i e


 
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Eric Bohlman
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      04-11-2004
"Angie Gibson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:OBbec.1090$(E-Mail Removed):

> A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL below), but I'm
> not happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would appreciate
> some opinions from the people here as to what could be improved, or
> changed before it progresses further, so I can advise them more
> accurately.
>
> Thanks, Angie,
> The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com


Navigation is completely Javascript-dependent; it disappears completely if
JS is disabled.

Design is fixed-width.

Several sentences appear to be missing words.

Home page contains an active direct link to itself; on any page, the
dropdown has an active link to the same page.


 
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Andrew Urquhart
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      04-11-2004
Angie Gibson wrote:
> A colleague of mine is having this website built,
> (http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com), but
> I'm not happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would
> appreciate some opinions from the people here as to what could be
> improved, or changed before it progresses further, so I can advise
> them more accurately.


1. Set a background colour (my browser sees grey text on a grey
background)
2. Remove the frameset. It provides no function and gets in the way of
bookmarking pages. Incoming links from search engines will go deep into
the site without the frameset anyway and then your masthead is missing
3. The site cannot be navigated without javascript, this is inaccessible
and will prevent search engines from indexing your site. Consider a more
accessible form of site navigation, e.g.
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/dropdowns/. Make the "homepages",
"information", "sales list" etc. links proper links to index pages for
those sections.
4. I didn't see a sitemap
5. I didn't see a site search (may not be critical for your site)
6. The masthead logo is not a link to the front page of your site
7. Beware of cheesy clip-art
8. Use semantic markup (a heading is a heading tag not plain text with a
large font size)
9. No doctype
10. Pointless use of layout tables in many places that restrict site
width and induce excessive scrolling of small viewports
11. Partial use of CSS mixed with depreciated font tag markup (makes
site more bulky and more difficult to maintain amongst other reasons)
12. No alt attributes on images
13. IE-only scripting with misguided browser sniffing
14. Fixed font sizes when CSS is used
15. Use <style type="text/css"> not <style>
--
Andrew Urquhart
- Contact: www.andrewu.co.uk/contact/
- Employ me: Front/middle tier ASP developer with WAI & web standards


 
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Neal
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      04-11-2004
On Sun, 11 Apr 2004 13:19:42 GMT, Angie Gibson <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL below), but I'm
> not
> happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would appreciate some
> opinions from the people here as to what could be improved, or changed
> before it progresses further, so I can advise them more accurately.
>
> Thanks, Angie,
> The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com
>
>


Oh dear...

By using Javascript as the sole meas of navigation, the author has
effectively excluded Google from doing anything with the site, along with
other users who choose not to run Javascript. See
http://users.rcn.com/neal413/yacht.gif for a screenshot of Opera 7.23
without JS.

The frameset isn't valid HTML by a long shot, and the noframes element
should be pointing users to an alternate means of access, not a "sorry
charlie". Not that frames are at all useful to this site. They provide
absolutely no benefit except to make it harder to access and bookmark.

Funny, a core value of this company is approachability, ought to be a bit
more easy to use the site!

(Oh, while I'm there, what's with the picture of a dictionary open to the
word "trust"? Does that work? A photo of a dictionary, and people start
trusting you? That's cool. I'm getting some of those pics on my site.)

The Javascript navigation feels too flimsy, anyway. Even if Js navigation
weren't bad, this one would be.

Recommend gutting the nav and replacing with standard links, eliminating
frameset, and lastly getting a bit better contrast on the page colors.
 
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Karl Groves
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      04-11-2004

"Angie Gibson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:OBbec.1090$(E-Mail Removed)...
> A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL below), but I'm not
> happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would appreciate some
> opinions from the people here as to what could be improved, or changed
> before it progresses further, so I can advise them more accurately.
>
> Thanks, Angie,
> The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com
>
>


It isn't terrible looking. In fact, it is nice and clean. But there's not
enough contrast on any of the site's text (including navigation) between
text & background.

The site uses frames. Frames are ****.
The site uses tables. Tables are ****.
There are some (very infrequent) instances where frames and/or tables are
warranted - this is not one of them.

The top-level link on the DHTML menu dealy is not clickable. This is a major
no-no. First, DHTML menus are a big usability problem anyway. They're often
described as "slippery" by test participants and can be completely unusable
by older people or people with mobility problems.
At the absolute least, the top links (i.e. "Information", "Sales List",
"Associated Services") must be actual links. People *will* be confused by
this menu structure. Moreover, the menu can be completely unusable for the
8-14% of users without javascript-enabled browsers.

The navigational structure/ information architecture of the site is in
serious need of improvement. It is obvious that the IA of the site was
dictated by someone at the company saying "This is how I want it". Since the
#1 reason why people use the Web is "get information on a particular topic"
and because this is basically a brochureware website, the IA of the site is
of primary importance and IMO must be redone completely. I'd recommend a
card-sort with people who fit the company's target demographics. With the
cost of a good yacht, they can afford to have a professional information
architect come in and work out the IA.

-Karl


 
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Dave
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      04-11-2004
In article <OBbec.1090$(E-Mail Removed)>,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) says...
> A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL below), but I'm not
> happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would appreciate some
> opinions from the people here as to what could be improved, or changed
> before it progresses further, so I can advise them more accurately.
>
> Thanks, Angie,
> The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com
>
>
>

go to http://www.widexl.com/remote/search-...-analyzer.html
put http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com/ into the little grey box and
see what results you get... sh1te eh?

never mind, one lives and learns. Happy Easter!

--
Dave
 
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Augustus
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      04-11-2004

"Angie Gibson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:OBbec.1090$(E-Mail Removed)...
> A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL below), but I'm not
> happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would appreciate some
> opinions from the people here as to what could be improved, or changed
> before it progresses further, so I can advise them more accurately.
>
> Thanks, Angie,
> The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com


You got some good replies.. a couple of quick thoughts on my part:

Navigation:
- Agree what they all say about javascript navigation
- To have the navigation bar go all the way across the screen is kind of
pointless if you only have 4 tiny "buttons" to click on. What you might
want to do here intead is:
change "information" to "ABOUT US" and then move "contact" out of the
"information" sub group and rename to "CONTACT US". Include on that page:
email form, mailing address and the map from information

Main Text body:
- I'd just go with black text on the white background. The "faint" color on
white isn't really doing anything for me and makes it harder to read.

Stretchy:
- If you go with the blue background for the logo and then the photo on the
right hand side, you could put extra blue in the middle and make the
logo/title stretch across the site. If you are worried about having content
run from the far left all the way to the far right you could put in a right
hand column on each page and either put in some trivia facts about boats and
yachting or put in photos about the product with some basic stats.
Example: on the home page you might have a 2 column layout (one column, the
main body, might take up 80-90% of the page width) and then in the right
hand column you randomly show a couple of pictures of one of the boats up
for sale with some stats and a link under it to MORE INFO which takes the
user to the sales page for that item if they click on it

Associated Services:
- Personally I don't like the term "associated services", but the big
question on this page I see is the "mark rolt shipwrights". From the sounds
of it, aren't they somewhat of a competitor to the client? Either way once
you are done this clients site you might be well advised to contact them and
use these guys as leverage to get in there and redo their website (its a tad
ugly, lacking information and could use a redesign... a good way in there
would be: "Hi, I am ______ and I was just wrapping up the webite for _______
and on one of their pages I they had a link to your site... perhaps you
would be interested in having your website redesigned? I have some ideas
and suggestions for improvement..."


 
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Bill Logan
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      04-11-2004

"Angie Gibson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:OBbec.1090$(E-Mail Removed)...
> A colleague of mine is having this website built, (URL

below), but I'm not
> happy about the way it looks or navigates, but would

appreciate some
> opinions from the people here as to what could be

improved, or changed
> before it progresses further, so I can advise them more

accurately.
>
> Thanks, Angie,
> The URL is http://www.bristolyachtbrokerage.com
>

While I am a fan of js in this case it is probably best to
avoid.
When the window is resized the text disappears (in the js)

Boat brokerage site visitors tend to be (mainly) non
computor savy people who generally use their browser out of
the box.

They are also likely to look for, be most familier with, and
know how to use, links that are the simplest underline in
standard colors.

The main things they are looking for is
Easy to find listings that meet their criteria - price, loa,
type and use
Lots of picturse - thumb-nails they can enlarge in a
seperate pop up is good
Table style layout with consistant pattern.

To meet the above use tables for layout - get rid of the
frames - have a single option in the top menu (no js) and
put a side menu to the left.

Do not have the main page an info (about us) type. Most of
your visitors wont care about that until later (maybe) What
your visitors are looking for are boats! On the front page
have a Boat of the week / month / latest listing etc. Wet
the whistle as it were.

Most 'useful' boat sites have a strong multiple search
facility that gives a selective result. They are also fairly
basic from a designers point of view and generally quite
wrong from a purist view of. Ignore any negative comments
you may get about using tables etc. Tables work perfectly
for this type of site. More important, they work for the
sort of visitor this type of site attracts!

Suggest you have a look at some of the top brokerage sites
in that regard.
http://www.apolloduck.com/ is a good one.

If you want to check out some sites in the best yachting
country in the world then
http://www.yachtfindersglobal.co.nz/
http://www.boatsforsalenz.com/

All have in common a basic (ugly) tables layout but get
right to the point for their visitors which is 'show me
pictures and specs of the boat I am looking for.

Looking at what you have done so far I am sure you can do a
lot better than those I have linked as far as looks go. Add
in the searchable db, get rid of the js and frames and your
on to it!

By the way - I am not a designer but I do frequent yacht
sites as a boat owner and a looker for that special boat




 
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Alan J. Flavell
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      04-11-2004
On Sun, 11 Apr 2004, brucie wrote:

> frames? you have got to be shpxvat joking.


Even worse:

<p>This page uses frames, but your browser doesn't support them.</p>

<panto>OH YES IT DOES</panto>

Translation: "This page uses frames, but your author does not support
them".
 
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