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Awesys

Static Website

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The static website is one of the things I would like to get done as Webmaster this year at least. As for content, I will need anyone and everyone's help with it.

For example, what sections/content would everyone like to see? Do you want certain colors? etc.

Please check it out the preliminary website I created (based mostly so far on the current site) at:

http://www.clubsmartcar.ca/betawebsite

Note that this site is by no means official yet and is just up for member critique.

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Looks sharp. I particularly like the latin - much better than that modern English or French crap. ;)Do you want a fixed width? Now that I'm using a widescreen monitor, I certainly notice the sites that have a fixed width and how little of my monitor is actually being used. The forum expands to fit the user's resolution, and I prefer that but I realize it makes formatting for a preferred look harder.

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I find the type to be quite large, and the line spacing could be a touch more "open". I believe the default line spacing tends to be about 120% of the font size (e.g. 10 point type will have 12 point line spacing) but personally i've found that going up to 130% or 140% makes things more readable.Also, avoid at all costs right-aligned copy. It's brutally hard to read for those of us who only read languages that read left-to-right. A ragged left margin means your eye doesn't have a consistent place to start when you read from one line to the next, and it's very easy to get lost. Keep all reading copy flush-left.

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Awesys,Wonderful job on the site. I think it would also be nice to add some additional tabs as noted below. Just my thoughts. Again, thanks for all your hard work thus far. It's obvious we elected the right guy!! Regina1. Board of Directors & Bios2. CsC History3. Planned Events / Calendar4. Car of the Month (this could be someone posting a brief bio on the owner, their car, the mods and pixs5. New Membership Registration & Rules of Conduct6. Club Merchandise7. Club Coupons & Discounts8. For Sale & Want to Buy

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Hi, I just looked quickly on both my desktop running Windows XP with a largish monitor and on my notebook using Windows 2000 with a smallish screen. The font on the front page displays much more readably on the large monitor than on the notebook screen. The Latin text and the top part of the spotted page lose the boldness that I see on my regular monitor. Where would you put the images that are currently in the banners? I would miss them! I think that you could give a bit more width to the page, if you wish to stick to the fixed width model. It does make things look very tidy and organized, however. I have to scroll down a bit on my notebook to see the whole spotted page, as well as the "about the car" one. I like the shadowed edges to the page. I would agree that the right justified margin is a bit harder to read, but it is interesting for variety. I think the other suggestions for additional information also look good.It's lots of fun designing a new view; great stuff! Thanks for taking it on.Alberta

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I think it would also be nice to add some additional tabs as noted below...1. Board of Directors & Bios2. CsC History3. Planned Events / Calendar4. Car of the Month (this could be someone posting a brief bio on the owner, their car, the mods and pixs5. New Membership Registration & Rules of Conduct6. Club Merchandise7. Club Coupons & Discounts8. For Sale & Want to Buy

... and this is where you run into problems with a horizontal navigation bar! They're not very scaleable.

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A horizontal navigation bar with imbedded subfields would be one way to resolve this. Think of categories that would serve as the main bar headings and have the additional ones appear when the cursor is held over each category in the navigation bar. An extreme example of something like this would be the site for Costco. It has a double horizontal navigation bar, but each category has lots of items in it. You just click on the one you want and off you go to it. It seems to be very expandable. Just a few thoughts on this.

Alberta

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Thanks for your comments everyone. :) They are much appreciated.---------------------------Executive summary of changes I plan to make:- Left align text- Add rotating banners- Add 'links' page- Add 'board of directors' page-History on 'about the club' page-Planned Events / Calendar and Car of the Month on main page & rotating tips including coupons & discounts-hover dropdown on 'forums' with links to select forums - Buy, Sell, & Trade, etc.---------------------------

Do you want a fixed width? Now that I'm using a widescreen monitor, I certainly notice the sites that have a fixed width and how little of my monitor is actually being used. The forum expands to fit the user's resolution, and I prefer that but I realize it makes formatting for a preferred look harder.

Yes, just for design's sake. I use one (well two) too all the time, and while there is wasted space, the majority of users, unfortunately, are using resolutions like 1024x768. 1280x1024 is also very popular now with LCDs. The site *just* fits on a 800x600 resolution. Thanks for your suggestions. :)

I find the type to be quite large, and the line spacing could be a touch more "open". I believe the default line spacing tends to be about 120% of the font size (e.g. 10 point type will have 12 point line spacing) but personally i've found that going up to 130% or 140% makes things more readable.Also, avoid at all costs right-aligned copy. It's brutally hard to read for those of us who only read languages that read left-to-right. A ragged left margin means your eye doesn't have a consistent place to start when you read from one line to the next, and it's very easy to get lost. Keep all reading copy flush-left.

I actually thought the text had some good spacing between lines and it was a bit large, but I'll see what I can do.I'll make everything left-aligned. Thanks!

Awesys,Wonderful job on the site. I think it would also be nice to add some additional tabs as noted below. Just my thoughts. Again, thanks for all your hard work thus far. It's obvious we elected the right guy!! Regina1. Board of Directors & Bios2. CsC History3. Planned Events / Calendar4. Car of the Month (this could be someone posting a brief bio on the owner, their car, the mods and pixs5. New Membership Registration & Rules of Conduct6. Club Merchandise7. Club Coupons & Discounts8. For Sale & Want to Buy

Great - thanks for your suggestions. :) History could go under "about the club". Planned Events / Calendar as well as Car of the Month I think could go on the main page. Club Coupons & Discounts can also go there, as we don't have too many.Stuff like New Membership Registration & Rules of Conduct, as well as For Sale & Want to Buy can stay in the forums, so maybe I can put in a dropdown menu for the forums link to list certain sections.

Looks good so far.How about a links page?

Thanks! For sure, I'll add one of those.

Hi, I just looked quickly on both my desktop running Windows XP with a largish monitor and on my notebook using Windows 2000 with a smallish screen. The font on the front page displays much more readably on the large monitor than on the notebook screen. The Latin text and the top part of the spotted page lose the boldness that I see on my regular monitor. Where would you put the images that are currently in the banners? I would miss them! I think that you could give a bit more width to the page, if you wish to stick to the fixed width model. It does make things look very tidy and organized, however. I have to scroll down a bit on my notebook to see the whole spotted page, as well as the "about the car" one. I like the shadowed edges to the page. I would agree that the right justified margin is a bit harder to read, but it is interesting for variety. I think the other suggestions for additional information also look good.It's lots of fun designing a new view; great stuff! Thanks for taking it on.

Yes, there is a lot of variance when viewing from different browsers, platforms, etc. It comes with the web design challenge. :)I will add the rotating banners to the static site - top right.Thanks for your comments! :)

... and this is where you run into problems with a horizontal navigation bar! They're not very scaleable.

Nope, they are not. But I would like to

K.I.S.S[martie].

for simplicity's sake.

A horizontal navigation bar with imbedded subfields would be one way to resolve this. Think of categories that would serve as the main bar headings and have the additional ones appear when the cursor is held over each category in the navigation bar. An extreme example of something like this would be the site for Costco. It has a double horizontal navigation bar, but each category has lots of items in it. You just click on the one you want and off you go to it. It seems to be very expandable. Just a few thoughts on this.

Yes, this is definitely possible. I will have to look into it, because those might cause some trouble depending on internet browsers. I do want to incorporate one for now just on the forums link, to directly link to the sections as suggested by rrrucke.

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looks good...noticed that if you link to the searchable database you cannot link directly back to the Csc main site. the "back" button only takes you back to the start of the database page.Great job Awesys!

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looks good...noticed that if you link to the searchable database you cannot link directly back to the CsC main site. the "back" button only takes you back to the start of the database page.Great job Awesys!

Strange - if I use my browser's back button I can get back to the main site fine. The links that I put on the site (blue << Back) should only bring you back to the start of the database page. The database currently resides on a different (my) server.Thanks! :)

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Awesys,I think it would be cool to have another area that posts the Smart Road Trips. The folks on the site do a lot of traveling and it would be nice to go to one location on the site to get their reviews about a specific areas, how the roads were, etc. I know I might be asking for the world but it would be great to post trips in one area.The same can be said for "Article Posting". This will cut down on the numerous postings. And since I am brainstorming, how about a Recall section so we can post smart recall info.Thanks for listening,Regina

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Good job so far all around.Suggestion though would be to move the searchable db onto the main site if possible. Or, open it in a new window as it's a redirect to a new site. OOOOOr, change the search db to the same (I'm going to assume here,) CSS template as the rest of the beta site.

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How about a poll on monitor size? I'm getting really tired of 800x600 sites. People with small screens can scroll if the vast majority of us are on larger screens. Pick the largest size that supports 80% of users. Or just don't use a fixed size.I'm on a 1280x1024 screen and that is two years old so a fixed 800x600 just doesn't cut it.As for font size, I note that you aren't using fixed font sizes. Therefore people can size up or down the font very easily (CTRL + or CTRL - in Firefox). I wouldn't kill yourself on font size since this is user adjustable. Where you have it seems a nice compromise. I will size it down myself but I like a very small dense page, which others don't, but your correct approach of using non-fixed font sizes leaves the users this option.Have you used a fully compliant CSS layout (I didn't check). Those of us who want could then design our own layout if we wished.

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*snorf!* Most people are still on 4:3 screens IM SMRT! :)Damn what I wouldn't do for a widescreen though.

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I think it would be cool to have another area that posts the Smart Road Trips. The folks on the site do a lot of traveling and it would be nice to go to one location on the site to get their reviews about a specific areas, how the roads were, etc. I know I might be asking for the world but it would be great to post trips in one area.The same can be said for "Article Posting". This will cut down on the numerous postings. And since I am brainstorming, how about a Recall section so we can post smart recall info.

Some of these things can be incorporated on the main page or in other sections for sure. Thanks! :)

Good job so far all around.Suggestion though would be to move the searchable db onto the main site if possible. Or, open it in a new window as it's a redirect to a new site. OOOOOr, change the search db to the same (I'm going to assume here,) CSS template as the rest of the beta site.

Thanks! I was going to move the database over to the new template eventually. I am working on synchronizing mine and Mike's databases (moreso updating mine) so that is what will happen before anything is move. I guess everyone likes the general design, so that's what we're going with?

How about a poll on monitor size? I'm getting really tired of 800x600 sites. People with small screens can scroll if the vast majority of us are on larger screens. Pick the largest size that supports 80% of users. Or just don't use a fixed size.I'm on a 1280x1024 screen and that is two years old so a fixed 800x600 just doesn't cut it.As for font size, I note that you aren't using fixed font sizes. Therefore people can size up or down the font very easily (CTRL + or CTRL - in Firefox). I wouldn't kill yourself on font size since this is user adjustable. Where you have it seems a nice compromise. I will size it down myself but I like a very small dense page, which others don't, but your correct approach of using non-fixed font sizes leaves the users this option.Have you used a fully compliant CSS layout (I didn't check). Those of us who want could then design our own layout if we wished.

I totally hear you - I am tired of designing 800x600 sites too, but it is amazing at how many people still use that resolution. I looked at the counters on my existing sites before starting the design on that one, and most were 1024x768, with 1280x1024 trailing that. The white space is fine on those resolutions in my opinion. Using the 23" widescreen Apple Cinema Display at work does have a considerable amount of whitespace.The site is probably not fully compliant CSS at all. It doesn't even load a CSS file, but it should when it is done. While it is nice to meet standards, I think having it look nice and work properly is more important, so I don't have faith that it will pass the W3C compliance tests.---------------------------So it looks like I'll be making the site stretchable depending on screen resolution. I'll just have to be careful with the navigation so that it doesn't get squished and wrap to the next line. Will be added to my list of things to do at home. :)---------------------------

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I have a 1280x1024 screen on desktop and 1024x768 on notebook.Alberta

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The site is probably not fully compliant CSS at all. It doesn't even load a CSS file, but it should when it is done. While it is nice to meet standards, I think having it look nice and work properly is more important, so I don't have faith that it will pass the W3C compliance tests.

Yeah, it's tough to make sites comply with standards nowadays. Especially with php scripts and dealing with different browsers trying to get it to display correctly. I still do my sites the old fashion way, with a text editor.

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Yeah!<meta name="generator" content="Notepad" />I actually use a mac now though so I use textmate. But I still sometimes use notepad in parallels. I prefer notepad 'cause it doesn't have all the clutter of most text editors.

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For Mac, Aquamacs Emacs is nice, and Notepad++ for Windows rocks. :)I've been concentrating on getting the VIN database synchronized, so the website changes are next in line, among other things...

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