One of my jobs this year has been working as part of the V100 IT ninja team.

My latest task is to access and assess the new look V100 website for usability and general user friendliness. So I'd like you to help me. I'd like you to pop on over then come back and leave some constructive feedback in the comments section.

Some thoughts I have so far

  • I like the brown colour.
  • I like the general look of the website.
  • I think the Vision 100 needs to be more prominent.
  • I don't like the square buttons at the top.
  • The Events Calendar is difficult read. Might be better to have a year view.
  • Too many tabs at the top (I'd file Newsletters with Support and do we even need the Events tab?).
  • I don't like the arrows for the drop down menus in the top tabs.
  • The front page calendar is hard to read and needs to spread more across the page.
  • Mikey's sermon link on the front page looks ugly.



Swil said... 12/03/2008 6:25 pm  

Ahh where to start...

You know what hits me when I go to that page? Some blurry people. That's it. I need to know at a glance what this website is, and straight after that know what I want to click on next.

What's the purpose of the site? What do you want me to do? Register for a conference? Listen to a sermon? Know what the next event is? Whatever it is, it needs to be big and up front. Currently every single possible action is basically hidden from the user - it's all so small and knocked back you really have to study the page to know what's possible.

Pick the most important action or piece of information and make it absolutely prime. Pick the next three important things and make them clear. Once you've introduced the character and purpose of the Vision 100 (which needs to happen within about 5 seconds of the page loading), you then have to give your user a clear and simple choice as to what they should do next.

Check out these for some ideas:

None of the above are anything like what the Vision 100 site should be - but they all sell in seconds who and what they are, then give you a clear choice of what to do next.

There's probably better example sites for what Vision 100 needs to be - but I have no idea what that is so I can't point at any.

That'll do for a start, I haven't even bothered looking past the front page yet ;)

mike said... 12/03/2008 6:44 pm  

Thanks heaps for your thoughts Shaun

Luke said... 12/03/2008 7:07 pm  

My two bobs worth

The MTS sermons need to be better organised by speaker, date, bible passage and topic. (For example see the Sydney Anglican site: audio section.)

I also noticed Mikey's started an MTS blog it makes no sense for the two not to be linked. The site pages also needs a really good links page, so people think "where was that interesting site about church planting, oh there is a link at the MTS site."

mark said... 12/04/2008 1:04 am  

I agree with swil: the blurry people (stock photo! aahh!) likely have a conflicting message with "vision". What are you to 'see'? Poorly? Generics?

Aside from that, there's (at present) no reason to keep the 100% width. Something MUST go on the right.

Consistently people get website-building backwards (starting with the homepage). Don't start there, start with what goes where on the other pages. Does it have to go there?

Do you need a full-calendar (esp. if there's only < 3 events per month)? What about putting a date-listing on the right side? Contact info below it? Latest newsletters with a link to the archives..

Or, sort out the content by potential users. Perhaps 'summary pages' (i'm a ) might be more what you need here, instead of single-pages.

And please, OH PLEASE, smash the 'contact' and 'support' pages together! There's no good reason to have 1 line of content with a header. ever.

I'm quite sure you can do this site in a less divided-out way (and do it in 4-5 pages max instead of the 9 now). KISS.

As to Mikey's blog being 'linked', you *could* pull in his latest post-titles. I'm sure Drupal has such a means.

Bron said... 12/04/2008 10:38 am  

Yeah, what Shaun said. Start with the purpose of the site.

There's a great book that our work gives to all our clients called 'Don't Make Me Think' by Steve Krug. It's short and to the point and it's all about usability and good web design.

Some suggestions:

- Site ID should be above navigation (ie, put the logo in the top left hand corner - otherwise it looks a link or an ad). Leave the page name "home" where it is though.

- The design is fine. It could be improved, but there's a lot that could be done with usability before you think about changing the design.

- To replace the blurry people, find a stock photo of people who could plausibly look Tasmanian. These people are not Tasmanian, they're very obviously city people.

Bron said... 12/04/2008 11:00 am  

Oh yeah, one little thing. I don't know what it's called but the little icon which shows up at the far left of the address bar in your browser and on the top of the browser tab... it kind of looks a bit scary. I can imagine someone like my mum hating it because it looks evil or something. Just doesn't quite match with the tone of the site.

mike said... 12/04/2008 11:08 am  

I agree Bron. That's the little Drupal logo.

Cabernet Leather said... 12/04/2008 2:19 pm  

I don't know anything about web design but I will agree with Luke about the sermons needing better organisation. People are more likely to listen to "sermon 2 by Dave Thurston" if they knew what the sermon was on.

The front page gives me more of a "notice board" vibe than a web site with resourses - like many church web sites, it looks like it's saying "well, there's not much here but at least we exist, and that's the main thing".

The Borg said... 12/04/2008 3:49 pm  

lol Der.

What everyone else said, and also, I don't like the brown. It looks like a cow.

JK said... 12/04/2008 5:57 pm  

Yeah the brown reminds me of airport decor. Not really a fan of the spotted looking notices sitting of center. The tabs up the top look a bit small and brown.

Apart from that mutilation its cool :]

mike said... 12/04/2008 10:33 pm  

Thanks people for the feedback. :)

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