Hi there! I'm interested in your feedback on this test design I threw together for my site. I posted this as an example of main page mockup with emphasis on visual intensive media vs. straight module feeds. Refer to my Ning Creators tip on Paneling for more info. I figured since that was an older discussion, adding the screenshot as a reply might not get noticed. So here we go with a fresh post in Critique my site.
If I get a resounding positive response, I might consider taking my network in this direction sometime in the future. Keep in mind this is just a quick demo I threw together, and a number of details would be added on a final version such as text/links, and choice of respective content & images. However, what it does show is one picture of what my site could look like if I exercised my options for a more attractive and engaging main page.
What I'm looking for from you is at least a "hot" or "not". +1 or -1 would be essentially the same too. If you're interested in critiquing, then maybe you could do on scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most impressed. Qualifying your pro's and con's would be more than I could ask, and what I'm aiming for here is presentation of social media related to my niche that could be attractive as well intuitively communicate the theme to my respective audience. I'm wondering if, based on such a first impression, you think my site could be a popular success. Thanks a million!!!
Guage your members...
Have you gotten feedback from them yet? Not a look I'd go for but my network serves a different purpose.
Thanks for the feedack Troy- I appreciate it!
No my site is still in BETA pre-release, and this is not the look I currently have nor am going to be using either. However, as an exercise in projecting something it could look like, it's sufficient for my purposes in terms of presenting a social media environment. That is, rather than a professional niched site focusing on networking around information, my site would be oriented primarily around the entertainment value of social media such as videos etc.
Thanks also for sharing your network. It does appear to be very well done for your purposes.
I love the look, but I just dont get a sense of what the site is about or where I would be taken if I click on any of the images.
Thanks for the feedback Maxx.
I think the subject matter presented should mostly be intimately familiar with my target audience as it is a socio-geographic theme well known in my region. However, there's much to be said about introducing this to people who are not yet in the know, and eventually it would be good to promote the area out as well.
FYI the paneling on the left would be complemented with summary info and links, although it's also interesting to imagine straight click through on images. For those I would point to corresponding discussion topics, most of which I know represent interests in my actual local community. The sponsor logos on the right would redirect to dedicated group modules for each respective company.
In any case, I do appreciate your input. Your reasoning is solid and a primary reason why my site looks nothing like this right now. Thank you!
sometimes less is more. when i look at this its like sensory overload.
i see what you are going for, but you might just have too much of a good thing. when everything jumps out at me at once, its sorta the same result as when nothing jumps out at me. i dont know whats going on, so i move along.
i love your idea - media rich is good if thats what you are looking for, but i just found this to be too much media in my eye-space at all once. good luck with it though & i'd love to see the final results.
Hi lorianne- great feedback!
Most people that look at my actual current site would accuse me of being overly minimalist. There's an interesting dynamic to that though. I keep it simple to maximize my web usability for first time encounters, and I also am personally inviting & walking through business sponsors that need to be able to review the site in less than a 30 second impression.
On the other hand, after the site goes live, I might be compelled to present more of the social media entertainment value on first impression. Getting that balanced just right would be an interesting challenge. In this experimental model, I did go to the other extreme. There are merits to that approach as well such as using media intensive vs. content intensive and therefore doesn't require a lot of concentration to scan and identify points of interest. Many considerations could be put into play given a frame of reference the visitors are already familiarized with the niche- that the experience of the main page itself would be a self contained complete presentation of the whole concept.
Great food for thought. Thanks a bunch for chiming in with your impressions.
Wow SP, you should know that I highly respect your opinions, so thanks for sharing.
For your information, my site's theme is Northern California, and there's actually a popular underlying culture that's well accounted for throughout our local media. for instance, you almost cannot turn on your car radio or watch a commercial without hearing the term Nor Cal. Plus there are countless companies who have embraced the term as part of their business names. However, as I replied to others, I respect the importance of being able to introduce that outside the region as well to those within it it who have never paid it much mind and might not have noticed.
With that said, I pretty much just threw images that should relate to my audience, but I did not put to much effort in to making them completely clear. I would certainly factor in the potential for the same type of reactions you had and address before I moved forward with such an idea. One of the reasons i would have to be careful with this is that while my niche already exists regardless of my network, there's a lot I want to do to influence it in ways that have yet to be done. I'm being selective in what I am promoting about the region as a whole which surprisingly enough is not really being done in the same context too much. There are of course real estate, tourism, and other economic development initiatives out there but each I've encountered tend to lack what I think would best promote the area from a social networking/ social media point of view.
So the subject matter I'm presenting is biased to emphasizing the region as an amazing recreational destination, awesome lifestyles, and a world leader in technological & online advancements. The farmer or teacher next door might still miss the point entirely, lol! However, I've every confidence the majority of students in my city's university would register this mockup fairly intuitively.
I would have to disagree that I'm contradicting my advice on niche focus. However, this little model I threw together does contradict a lot of what I've written about for design sense and web usability. My actual site does not contradict these though, and I'm not so stubborn as to ignore other ways of thinking about how it could be done.
One of the strengths about not having all this selected propoganda is that my site can be more inclusive to anyone whether they be students, teachers, farmers, or businesses. As it is set up now, I could represent my perspective of what the region is and should be through what I do internally on the site, and each respective member would be able to do the same themselves. So putting forward less, my concept can be accepted and interpretted as more universal.
Regardless, I strongly appreciate your criticisms. Perhaps at some point, I would be better off taking some risks like this model so at least I could not be questioned on the notion that the theme can mean something specific. Paneling- or manual presentation of content vs. straight module feeds makes this more of a consideration. When you rely on the community to contribute the media, then the automation of module feeds can let them dictate what your niche constitutes- but that in itself is just as much a risk.
Thanks for challenging me SweetPotato- very health to hear your views.
Once again, thanks to everyone taking the time to offer a critique. If there's any way I can return the favor, just let me know.
It's great when you can hear it straight from other NC's. Plus, it doesn't have to be something you already have. As you can see, drawing a mockup like this afforded me a chance to get my assumptions challenged, and that's a good thing to have before you dive into something. Thanks!!
If this is what your home page is supposed to look like, then I would have to agree with MAXX and lorianne about sensory overload. I like the way your home page looks now, though it might require just a little bit more clarifying (I really mean a little).
The paneling idea is great, and one I'm still exploring on my network as you suggested a few months back.
Thanks Patrick, that means a lot coming from you.
No, I too prefer my current configuration. I've spent years refining it to what it is. The last things remaining are like you said adjustment in clarification and that depends on the pitch delivery I've been spending most of my time working on these days. That's what I do to introduce it which right now is correspondence through direct e-mail to targetted sponsor/ client prospects. I get to drop a quick overview of the project and then all the site has to do is compliment that.
On the other hand, I am already looking forward to what my options could be once the projecty goes live and grows. This idea was actually something I had been thinking about for a periodic landing page explosion- so sticking with the model I have now, but on special occassions or going into weekends to make the landing page more of a party to boost excitement and encourage participation.
I'm still very interested in your work. Please do not hesitate to stay in touch with me about it on occassion.
bro havta say like they tell me too much on the Main... !
had some not come back was mindblowing, my RSS feeds only show on sign-in that sux so might as well have App. on another page but dang its my most important feature !