Review of SFXB

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AndyThomas
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Review of SFXB

Postby AndyThomas » Thu Feb 21, 2002 4:22 pm

SFXB started off life as part of the Adamantium Archipelago, and so it's inherited certain properties from that site.  Web design has moved on since then, and Dave's experimentation on SFP has shown that there are a variety of ways in which you can approach presentation.Looking at my site map, I have 5 main sections.  Under these sections are a mixture of stand-alone pages and sub-sections which have multiple pages.  At the moment, when you enter one of those sub-sections, you get a different navigation list on the left i.e. you lose the high level navigation for the main section.  Still with me?This was something Dave mentioned on another forum - there's basically no one-click method of jumping to another page or sub-section in a main section when you've entered a sub-section.  As an example, once you're in the Episode Guide, you'd have to jump up to the About the Show index page to get to the FAQ.So, the obvious way around this problem is to keep the main section navigation options up all the time and display the subsection links WITH the main section links.  I can think of a few ways to do this:1)  Stick to the same layout as I use now, but have the main section links remain in place when you go to a subsection - not automatic expansion as such, but similar.2)  Introduce a third column into the layout on the right hand side, which will include sub-section navigation when necessary and otherwise be used for my adverts or comments etc.3)  Use a javascript sort of routine to create drop-down menus when a subsection is selected - similar to (1), but you can see what's available in the subsection before you actually go to it or select a specific page in it to jump to.(3) would be the most interesting way to go, but also the most complex - and for something like the Genesis Storyline you'd get a very long list.  The same would apply to option (1).  Both would achieve the desired effect - the main section navigation stays in place for all the pages in the section while the relevant sub-section navigation is available as you need it.On balance, I think (2) would be easiest to implement and a lot of sites are taking the three column approach to layout, if only because it gives you more content areas to play with.  Only snag is, I don't know how well certain areas of the site would adapt to a three column approach.  It would make some pages very, very tall so I might need to rethink the amount of text per page.So, any suggestions, comments, criticism would be welcome.  This seems like a good time to do it having moved to a new machine - I also have a new version of Paint Shop Pro to play with; it's probably about time I really learned how to use some packages properly instead of just mucking around with them...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Shane
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:10 pm

Review of SFXB

Postby Shane » Thu Feb 21, 2002 7:59 pm

I think introducing a 3rd column sounds cool. I tend to use your dropdown menu a lot when I visit your site, as I can sometimes lose myself a little bit while navigating. This isn't down to your design more the fact that there is just so much to see. I liked what you did with the new title. I know you like to have your pages load up swiftly, but I'd love to see a few images of the show scattered on the homepage too.Maybe a montage image? I quite miss that excellent picture of the Dai X that you used to use.Shane.
I like parties, I like fun, I want to live in a hamburger bun!

AndyThomas
Posts: 1666
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
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Review of SFXB

Postby AndyThomas » Thu Feb 21, 2002 9:22 pm

Well the good news is I've managed to hunt down the missing insert files I was looking for, buried deep in the Windows registry - not the best place to be poking around in, it has to be said! So with a bit of luck I should now be able to recover my old material without too much hassle (famous last words!)I take your point about the lack of graphics - it's something I'll look at now that I have a version of PaintShopPro which takes web needs into account. As you say, I do try and keep my pages downloadable at speed. Your point about the drop down menu is also well taken. I was looking at the pages it jumps to, and while the "About the Show" section is well covered the other topics aren't. I think what I'll do is reduce the number of items in it to just the main sections, which are currently slapped on the normal navigation columns. Although that means it won't be quite as easy to jump across the main sections, topic wise, it means that I'll make better use of the more colourful main section index pages and people can then jump to pages from them, or alternatively just use the site map.This is probably the first time post the move to SFXB that I've had the chance to consider structure rather than content, although some of the content still dates back to Archipelago days and could be better presented. A spring clean is definitely in order!
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

AndyThomas
Posts: 1666
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
Contact:

Review of SFXB

Postby AndyThomas » Thu Feb 21, 2002 10:27 pm

Hoh yesh! DID IT! Registry settings transfer thingy successful! A little bit time consuming, but definitely faster than trying to do dozens of cut and pastes...! I'll be updating Paul Green's article with some images as and when, still need to get a bit more organised and figure out how to partition this big ol' hard drive sensibly...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Matt Darcy
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:28 pm

Review of SFXB

Postby Matt Darcy » Fri Feb 22, 2002 3:52 pm

Andy,just for your interest. I have found the "save for web" function in photo shop 6 reduces an image of anysize by about %55/%70 with out loosing any noticable detail. It made some of the projects I worked on VERY fast.

AndyThomas
Posts: 1666
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:42 am
Contact:

Review of SFXB

Postby AndyThomas » Fri Feb 22, 2002 4:13 pm

Yes, I realised the other day that muggins here had his JPEG compression far too low; cranking it up a few notches vastly reduced the size of a lot of my JPEGs so I can probably afford to have more put in. I really do need to source some new material, though; a lot of my images were taken from the old original .avi files I had and they're not that great... This could be a lot of work, mind you, so I'll have to see how it goes. I had intended to expand the 80s section a bit but I think I'll put that on hold for a little while...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator


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