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Philosophy website redesign, what do you think?

  • # April 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Hello,
    This is the first time I’ve posted here so I suppose I should introduce myself. I’m a student in Birmingham (UK) and I run a philosophy website with some other students. That was brief!

    Anyway, we’re redesigning our website. You can see the current design here at http://www.pisp.co.uk/ . I never really liked it, but everyone else did so there you go.

    I’ve learnt a lot since I did that first design (but I’m still not that great lol). If you look at the source of any of those pages, it’s all over the place with <div>s and stuff. Now I get that CSS is supposed to enable me to change the design of a whole site simply by editing the style — with the old site I’d have to move around a lot of <div>s and stuff in order to do that.

    The new design is here: http://www.pisp.co.uk/preview/ . The username and password are both pisp. I password-protected it because it seemed the easiest way of making sure Google doesn’t get in. It’s not all there in terms of content, but I’m working on it.

    Please note that clicking on the Flux link takes you out of the preview site, because the Flux blog redesign is already live. Oh, and clicking on the links in the footer (Learn, Flux, Interact, About) take you to the old pages because they point to absolute paths.

    Any tips on how I could improve it would be much appreciated. Out of curiosity, does anyone prefer the old design?

    Thanks,
    Michael :)

    # April 9, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    i would put the navigation and the search box in the mainpage div, no point in those being pushed to the edges of the browser when its maximised.

    also, i would increase the size of the arrows and numbers for the image changer, its very hard to spot.

    maybe make the h3 color darker, its a bit hard to read against the white background at the moment.

    other than that, it seems like a nice, clean design.

    # April 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    To be honest, on a quick 20 second glance, I actually prefer the original. I’ll have a closer look through it later though, maybe I’m overlooking things.

    # April 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I also like the first design better.

    Here a couple suggestions:

    The images are taking awhile to load, which you can optimize them in a variety of ways, but an easy way to do it is going to http://www.smushit.com/. That should help them load faster.

    Another tool you may find helpful is http://site.ringce.com/products/slammer/slammer.html (slammer) that puts a grid over the top of your site to allow you the ability to easily align everything. On the second site, it seems like some of the text and graphics are not exactly aligned. Slammer will help you with this.

    On a side note, I have a degree in philosophy – good idea! And good luck!

    justin

    # April 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    I think it needs more color and more life..
    A bit more organization could use a bit more organiation as well…

    # April 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks for all the tips!

    I’ll definitely look into smush.it, although Slammer seems to be only for the Mac — I’m on Windows (by choice lol). Still, I shall look at alignment.

    I’ll also change the h3 colour of the homepage to something darker. Each section has its own colour, and the titles and stuff change colour to match the section colour. And I’ll make the arrows on the changer more prominent.

    nyshalynn, I’m not sure what you mean by more organisation? I was a little worried I had organised too much; there are four distinct sections of the site, and within each section there are sub-sections marked by the tabs, and some sub-sections are further split up with a list of links on the left! Almost seems a bit much to me! :)

    I just thought the old design took up too much space and got in the way. Like, the four big blocky buttons at the top and the big wide Verdana font. Perhaps it’s just me? Maybe I should simply tweak the original. If you look at two article pages, I do think that the newer one is better. Check out the psychological and sociological challenges before and after.

    On a side note, if you don’t mind me asking (if you do, don’t answer) but what do you do now, Justin? Would you recommend philosophy? I’m at a bit of a crossroads — I can’t decide between philosophy or theology. Also, if you’d like to get involved you’re more than welcome :P

    Thanks for the help, Happy Easter everybody (if you celebrate it, if not then just enjoy the bank holidays :))

    # April 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm
    "Pisp.co.uk" wrote:
    I can’t decide between philosophy or theology.

    I would say your site is more about theology

    first site is better, maybe just tone down the four huge links

    # April 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    the choice between philosophy and theology is a personal choice, really. I never considered theology – I was always interested in philosophy, so that question never really occurred to me. now I’m a professional distance runner, and don’t do anything related to philosophy other than read quite a lot. I also design websites, so Sartre doesn’t play too great a role in my day to day life… :D I still like the second site better, but still believe the alignment is key. the menu seems a little too big to me, since it takes up so much space. anyway, I like the idea and think you’re on the right track!

    # April 16, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Ok I must say I do like the site, it is clean and nice to look at. However I would recommend that you change this – your menu, you need a roll-over effect! I would use some JavaScript to bump up each link just a few pixels or so.

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