Hi everyone. I started working on this site today and would like to get a few of you to take a look at it and let me know if it looks okay.
I've been reading a lot of the how-to discussions and I've put a little of what I have learned into action on the site. Obviously, I have a long way to go.
It's just past 2:00 am here, so I will be going to bed in a few minutes. I'll check back in the morning.
Thanks in advance for taking a look.
Hi, Bob :D
I love your network Design!!
Will you add any content in Photo, Video and Blogs!?
I think it will be good direction for your member :)
I had a chance to explore Out Of The Past a while back and it's one of my favorite Ning projects. Edie will surely be a great source of inspiration and help for you.
Design Sense: Since you are in the early phases of development, now is the best time to really conceive the impression you want to offer for people looking into your site. I would caution against making design choices that are "old" in nature. That wood panel background for instance does not support the concept in a positive direction in my opinion. You can still adopt a more modern visual theme to represent more of a professional quality to the project, and then incorporation of selected imagery relating to the niche throughout your main page. OOTP, for instance, looks to me to be a higher end "current" visitor experience despite the oldies theme, and selected imagery such as the classic jukebox compliment that. Your header does introduce certain imagery that would help people recognize your theme, but in your header they are too small, and would probably be better served in larger text box panels throughout the main page.
Web Usability: As it stands right now your site has the basic web usability built into the starting Ning page template. It is good to keep it simple, especially given some assumption on your target audience's internet savvy. Besides making it intuitve as possible, you might also think about incorporating some manner of tutorials or position yourself as accessible to walk people through how to enjoy the site.
Optimizing End-User Experience: Along the same lines of simple navigation and technical facilitations, you may also think about the ultimate experience you are hoping for- both for yourself and members. OOTP, for instance, is a great example as the entire site comes across as an entertainment and enrichment experience...as if it were a virtual interactive hosted radio show. You might be surprised to find such a hot theme as that might not invite as much engagement as one might anticipate. If that is your expectation, then it might become a rather awkward experience if/when it doesn;t take off as you might hope. One way to go is to think of it more as a "social media environment" rather than mere "social network". What that means is you might adopt an approach to present media such as your music selections, but also content pertaining to artists, records, genre's, history, etc. In that way you can populate the site with social engagement rich experiences that can also stand on their own without coming across as desperate for participation. If you have monetization in mind, then that would further influence how to present the site and activities. Think about how people will encounter it, experience it, find participation personally gratifying in some way. Once you have that all laid out, then you can refine what you present and how to a clear and concise value proposition that is consistent throughout your project.
Hope I've been helpful!
O.K., having fun is a good a reason as any!!
Perhaps your effort at the how to video for embedding the player was the right idea. Writing out the instructions and people who don't already know, or wouldn't have figured out on their own, might be too technical and intimidating. I don't know if this is still up to date, but Ning used to have a generalized welcome video for those who were not really confident in doing themselves. Check it out.
Now if you do want, here's a tutorial on how to create a custom screencast video you might find helpful. http://creators.ning.com/video/how-to-make-a-screencast.
Like Edie was mentioning, you do seem to have a kind of genuinely kind spirit to your effort. Wishing you all the fun and success you could hope for!
WOW! Edie, you are something special!