Astronomy Website Critique

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. My client is a small business, 2 people. They run a mobile observatory
    for school kids to stargaze with and learn about astronomy.

    They do not currently have a website.

    The site will have monthly updates with "this month's" astrological
    events such as eclipses, meteor showers, which planets you can see etc.

    There are multiple sections taking up approximately 15-20 pages.

    I will be doing it to be HTML 4.01 compatable with CSS for the layout
    and menus, Photoshop created images, minimal use of javascript (though
    should any be necessary, there will be appropriate <noscript> tags to
    display the same content but with slightly reduced capability (this may
    not be necessary though).

    To allow for expansion later, if necessary, the page will be made as PHP.

    Client already owns domain name and PHP enabled web hoster, but is
    looking for someone to design a site.

    I am going to charge between £50 and £100 ($80-$170 USD).

    Thoughts, opinions, comments welcome please about the design, concept or
    anything I may have missed.

    www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg
    Is what it would look like on a 800x600 screen although I will make it
    as scalable as possible.

    TIA.
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance wrote:

    > www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg
    > Is what it would look like on a 800x600 screen although I will make it
    > as scalable as possible.


    As an after-thought I am thinking of "rounding off" the top left and
    bottom left corners of the "frame" (wont be a frame, will be CSS) an an
    external SSI.
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 3, 2004
    #2
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  3. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance wrote:

    > Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance wrote:
    >
    >> www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg
    >> Is what it would look like on a 800x600 screen although I will make it
    >> as scalable as possible.

    >
    >
    > As an after-thought I am thinking of "rounding off" the top left and
    > bottom left corners of the "frame" (wont be a frame, will be CSS) an an
    > external SSI.



    The buttons will also be changed so the "Emboss" effect is int he same
    direction as the nacigational frame, and the colour will be the same as
    the frame. This should create the effect of the high-light which almost
    looks as if it's floating - it will give a "transparent" effect and will
    look better.
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    brucie Guest

    brucie, Apr 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    Augustus Guest

    "Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance"
    <> wrote in message
    news:p%Gbc.7$...
    > My client is a small business, 2 people. They run a mobile observatory
    > for school kids to stargaze with and learn about astronomy.
    >
    > They do not currently have a website.
    >
    > The site will have monthly updates with "this month's" astrological
    > events such as eclipses, meteor showers, which planets you can see etc.
    >
    > There are multiple sections taking up approximately 15-20 pages.
    >
    > I will be doing it to be HTML 4.01 compatable with CSS for the layout
    > and menus, Photoshop created images, minimal use of javascript (though
    > should any be necessary, there will be appropriate <noscript> tags to
    > display the same content but with slightly reduced capability (this may
    > not be necessary though).
    >
    > To allow for expansion later, if necessary, the page will be made as PHP.
    >
    > Client already owns domain name and PHP enabled web hoster


    A big thought here is:
    This is one of those sites that people will link to, not for any
    commercial reason, but because they want to (schools, other astronomy sites,
    astronomy link lists, etc). For that reason I would say off the start that
    if they are going to want it to be PHP later, they should probably start off
    with it as PHP pages (they don't have to include any server side scripting
    in them, just end in the PHP extension)

    Reason: the links. If people link to this site and the pages they link
    to end in .html and those get changed to .php then the link is potentially
    lost. Search engines will index the .html pages (especially if they do get
    alot of inbound links from other sites) and therefore those will also be
    lost if the site switches to PHP down the road.


    > I am going to charge between £50 and £100 ($80-$170 USD).


    To do the graphic design of the site? All the graphic designers we use
    charge us $400-600 (US) for a site layout/template

    > Thoughts, opinions, comments welcome please about the design, concept or
    > anything I may have missed.
    >
    > www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg
    > Is what it would look like on a 800x600 screen although I will make it
    > as scalable as possible.


    Good clean basic design. You can easily make the top of the site scalable
    to larger width browsers.
    Augustus, Apr 3, 2004
    #5
  6. brucie wrote:

    > in post: <news:p%Gbc.7$>
    > Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance
    > <> said:
    >
    >
    >>http://www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg

    >
    >
    > drop down menus are not user friendly.


    Do you mean not compatable with the browser or do you mean that web
    users generally do not like them?

    If it's the former, it would be done in CSS not JavaScript. If CSS is
    not available, the buttons themselves are intended to be links that will
    take the user into a page for each button, with the options seen on the
    menus with a brief description.

    If it is the latter, I am not sure I agree. Many websites have menu
    features - I find them useful myself. It is the way most software is
    presented through a windows-style computer interface (File, Edit etc). I
    think as long as they are not confusing, they are very good navigation
    tools for a site.

    Could you be more specific so I can look into the problem more please?

    TIA
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Augustus wrote:

    > "Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance"
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:p%Gbc.7$...
    >
    >>My client is a small business, 2 people. They run a mobile observatory
    >>for school kids to stargaze with and learn about astronomy.
    >>
    >>They do not currently have a website.
    >>
    >>The site will have monthly updates with "this month's" astrological
    >>events such as eclipses, meteor showers, which planets you can see etc.
    >>
    >>There are multiple sections taking up approximately 15-20 pages.
    >>
    >>I will be doing it to be HTML 4.01 compatable with CSS for the layout
    >>and menus, Photoshop created images, minimal use of javascript (though
    >>should any be necessary, there will be appropriate <noscript> tags to
    >>display the same content but with slightly reduced capability (this may
    >>not be necessary though).
    >>
    >>To allow for expansion later, if necessary, the page will be made as PHP.
    >>
    >>Client already owns domain name and PHP enabled web hoster

    >
    >
    > A big thought here is:
    > This is one of those sites that people will link to, not for any
    > commercial reason, but because they want to (schools, other astronomy sites,
    > astronomy link lists, etc). For that reason I would say off the start that
    > if they are going to want it to be PHP later, they should probably start off
    > with it as PHP pages (they don't have to include any server side scripting
    > in them, just end in the PHP extension)
    >
    > Reason: the links. If people link to this site and the pages they link
    > to end in .html and those get changed to .php then the link is potentially
    > lost. Search engines will index the .html pages (especially if they do get
    > alot of inbound links from other sites) and therefore those will also be
    > lost if the site switches to PHP down the road.


    I entirely agree. As stated above, because it may be necessary in the
    future for the site to have more interactive features (as it stands I
    could write in with .html extensions and it would work), I will be
    coding it so that they are PHP pages. For the client, if I'm in a good
    mood, I might also do it in basic ASP as well, for allow for the
    contingent that they may in future host it on an IIS server and want it
    as such. Since there's no interactive coding on the site, this should be
    very very simple to accomplish. The only changes will be to how I
    implement SSIs into the site but it's only 2 or 3 changes per page and
    then to save them as seperate files. I'll do it as I create the site.



    >
    >
    >
    >>I am going to charge between £50 and £100 ($80-$170 USD).

    >
    >
    > To do the graphic design of the site? All the graphic designers we use
    > charge us $400-600 (US) for a site layout/template


    £50-£100 for concept design, programming, uploading, search engine
    registration (where applicable).



    >
    >
    >>Thoughts, opinions, comments welcome please about the design, concept or
    >>anything I may have missed.
    >>
    >>www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg
    >>Is what it would look like on a 800x600 screen although I will make it
    >>as scalable as possible.

    >
    >
    > Good clean basic design. You can easily make the top of the site scalable
    > to larger width browsers.


    Yes. That's my plan. The only problem is 640x480 monitors. I will look
    at the statistics of how many people use a 640x480 monitor in schools
    (default is 800x600 in the 4 schools and colleges I've been in) and
    notify the client. I will leave it up to them to decide if they wany a
    640 compatible website.
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 4, 2004
    #7
  8. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    brucie Guest

    in post: <news:thHbc.15$>
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance
    <> said:

    >>>http://www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg


    >> drop down menus are not user friendly.


    > Do you mean not compatable with the browser or do you mean that web
    > users generally do not like them?


    not working is an issue but any navigation that wants the user to hunt
    around looking for links is not a good idea.

    think back to when you first got a new bit of fun giggly software. how
    long did it take you to learn where the menu selections were without
    having to hunt around looking for them? don't expect your visitors who
    spend most of their time on other sites to learn your navigation.

    75% of your visitors will leave if what they're looking for is not
    immediately apparent.

    how many visitors are going to hunt through your menus looking for
    "teaching aids"?

    how many will hit their back button before the menu (and images) have
    even finished downloading?

    if the link to "teaching aids" was on the actual page how many would
    hit it before the page has finished downloading to go to the page they
    want?

    > If it is the latter, I am not sure I agree. Many websites have menu
    > features


    "everyone else does it" is not a reason to do it

    > I find them useful myself.


    your visitors don't give a shit what you like.

    --
    b r u c i e
    brucie, Apr 4, 2004
    #8
  9. brucie wrote:

    > in post: <news:thHbc.15$>
    > Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance
    > <> said:
    >
    >
    >>>>http://www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg

    >
    >
    >>>drop down menus are not user friendly.

    >
    >
    >
    >>Do you mean not compatable with the browser or do you mean that web
    >>users generally do not like them?

    >
    >
    > not working is an issue but any navigation that wants the user to hunt
    > around looking for links is not a good idea.


    Agreed. The simpler the way, the more likely they will click.




    >
    > think back to when you first got a new bit of fun giggly software. how
    > long did it take you to learn where the menu selections were without
    > having to hunt around looking for them? don't expect your visitors who
    > spend most of their time on other sites to learn your navigation.


    I don't intend to. The buttons themselves will, if clicked on, take you
    to a page containing the links. There's over 25 pages in total, I can't
    put them all on the front page. They are under their own subsections and
    headings, much like the Yahoo "Catagories" is.



    >
    > 75% of your visitors will leave if what they're looking for is not
    > immediately apparent.


    &

    >
    > how many visitors are going to hunt through your menus looking for
    > "teaching aids"?


    If the perosn browsing was a teacher, they would see "schools" and if
    they didnt want to use the menu, clicking on that will take them to a
    page dedicated to the school's section.

    If they are a parent looking to arrange a show they would either click
    on "shows" or move over the shows menu and goto "Private Events".


    >
    > how many will hit their back button before the menu (and images) have
    > even finished downloading?


    The menu will be text CSS. It should load almost instantaneously.


    >
    > if the link to "teaching aids" was on the actual page how many would
    > hit it before the page has finished downloading to go to the page they
    > want?


    Well... how would anyone on any site click on something that hasn't
    downloaded? This site isn't one giant Jpeg, the only images are the
    borders, the title, the left "News" titles and the pics of the events.

    This is a brochure site, it has to have some graphics and look
    attractive else people will think they aren't good at presentation. And
    since this is about a live presentation I want to make it look
    attractive. Each page will not be more than 50kn in size I hope. In any
    case once the title (probably about 25k) is downloaded once, it should
    stay in the browser cache.



    >
    >
    >>If it is the latter, I am not sure I agree. Many websites have menu
    >>features

    >
    >
    > "everyone else does it" is not a reason to do it


    I didn't say everyone does it. I said many. even if 50% of websites use
    menus, then 50% dont right? So if I dont have menus, you could use the
    "everyone else does it is not a reason to do it" excuse that way.

    I am using menus.


    >
    >
    >>I find them useful myself.

    >
    >
    > your visitors don't give a shit what you like.


    Out of interested, if I had not put menus there to begin with, would you
    be telling me to use them because they weren't there?

    I have to compromise between having many pages and making it easy and
    quick to find the area you want. The menu headings allow for individual
    pages of the site, but the major sections/catagories are immediately
    available. Yahoo, the worlds most popular website, functions in this way.
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 4, 2004
    #9
  10. brucie wrote:

    >>I find them useful myself.

    >
    >
    > your visitors don't give a shit what you like.


    btw:

    www.bbc.co.uk/science/space
    www.startrek.com
    www.nasa.gov
    >

    all have menu systems. the NASA and BBC sites dont even offer a visual
    menu. You have no choice but to click on the button before a sub menu
    appears. Mine will do that *and* offer "shortcuts" in a popup menu.

    Those two sites have to be in the Top 10 for astronomy sites in UK searches.
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 4, 2004
    #10
  11. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    Steve Pugh Guest

    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance
    <> wrote:
    >brucie wrote:
    >
    >>>I find them useful myself.

    >>
    >>
    >> your visitors don't give a shit what you like.

    >
    >btw:
    >
    >www.bbc.co.uk/science/space
    >www.startrek.com
    >www.nasa.gov
    > >

    >all have menu systems.


    Where? Every link I click on takes me to a new page. I don't see any
    sort of popup/dropdown/magic menu anywhere.

    Steve

    --
    "My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
    I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

    Steve Pugh <> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
    Steve Pugh, Apr 4, 2004
    #11
  12. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    Kris Guest

    In article <imHbc.17$>,
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance
    <> wrote:

    > > If people link to this site and the pages they link
    > > to end in .html and those get changed to .php then the link is potentially
    > > lost.


    > For the client, if I'm in a good
    > mood, I might also do it in basic ASP as well


    Then don't do
    www.domain.com/contact.html
    or
    www.domain.com/contact.php
    but
    www.domain.com/contact/
    where inside the directory 'contact' the default index document sits,
    like index.html, index.php or index.asp.

    --
    Kris
    <> (nl)
    <http://www.cinnamon.nl/>
    Kris, Apr 4, 2004
    #12
  13. Toby A Inkster, Apr 4, 2004
    #13
  14. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    jake Guest

    In message <p%Gbc.7$>, Weyoun the gowd
    damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance <> writes
    >My client is a small business, 2 people. They run a mobile observatory
    >for school kids to stargaze with and learn about astronomy.
    >
    >They do not currently have a website.
    >
    >The site will have monthly updates with "this month's" astrological
    >events such as eclipses, meteor showers, which planets you can see etc.


    'Astrological' ....... as in star-signs, crystal balls, etc? ;-)
    >
    >There are multiple sections taking up approximately 15-20 pages.
    >
    >I will be doing it to be HTML 4.01 compatable with CSS for the layout
    >and menus, Photoshop created images, minimal use of javascript (though
    >should any be necessary, there will be appropriate <noscript> tags to
    >display the same content but with slightly reduced capability (this may
    >not be necessary though).
    >
    >To allow for expansion later, if necessary, the page will be made as PHP.
    >
    >Client already owns domain name and PHP enabled web hoster, but is
    >looking for someone to design a site.
    >
    >I am going to charge between £50 and £100 ($80-$170 USD).
    >
    >Thoughts, opinions, comments welcome please about the design, concept
    >or anything I may have missed.
    >
    >www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg
    >Is what it would look like on a 800x600 screen although I will make it
    >as scalable as possible.
    >
    >TIA.


    Looks OK, although I can't see the drop-down menus working for all
    users.

    However. Don't forget the legal aspects of using pictures with clearly
    identifiable schoolchildren in it -- especially if it's a commercial
    operation.

    You're probably going to have to get release forms from the parents and
    the schools.

    (But then again, I'm not a lawyer.)

    regards


    --
    Jake
    jake, Apr 4, 2004
    #14
  15. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    kchayka Guest

    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance wrote:

    > brucie wrote:
    >>
    >> how many visitors are going to hunt through your menus looking for
    >> "teaching aids"?

    >
    > If the perosn browsing was a teacher, they would see "schools" and if
    > they didnt want to use the menu, clicking on that will take them to a
    > page dedicated to the school's section.


    I think you are attempting to read your visitors' minds. "Schools" could
    be _for_ schools (targeting teachers) or _about_ schools (targeting
    parents).

    > I have to compromise between having many pages and making it easy and
    > quick to find the area you want.


    1. Site search
    2. Site map

    You should probably consider having both.

    You do get some credit for including section index pages, but it is not
    necessarily enough, especially if the link names aren't as intuitive as
    you thought.

    --
    Reply address is a bottomless spam bucket.
    Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
    kchayka, Apr 4, 2004
    #15
  16. Toby A Inkster wrote:

    > Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance wrote:
    >
    >
    >>www.dancingborg.co.uk/astronomy.jpg

    >
    >
    > Newcastle is one word.
    >


    lol ok :)
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 4, 2004
    #16
  17. jake wrote:

    > You're probably going to have to get release forms from the parents and
    > the schools.
    >
    > (But then again, I'm not a lawyer.)


    the client gave them to me - i assume he had permission to take the m,
    the pics are his property.
    Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly , Apr 4, 2004
    #17
  18. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    jake Guest

    In message <v7Ubc.4$>, Weyoun the gowd
    damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance <> writes
    >jake wrote:
    >
    >> You're probably going to have to get release forms from the parents
    >>and the schools.
    >> (But then again, I'm not a lawyer.)

    >
    >the client gave them to me - i assume he had permission to take the m,
    >the pics are his property.


    Sure. But I'd be inclined to check .........

    He probably owns the copyright to the pics, but publishing them is
    another thing altogether.

    regards.
    --
    Jake
    jake, Apr 4, 2004
    #18
  19. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    Neal Guest

    On Sun, 4 Apr 2004 16:23:29 +0100, jake <> wrote:

    > In message <v7Ubc.4$>, Weyoun the gowd
    > damn Dominion Vorta who certainly didn't dance <> writes
    >> jake wrote:
    >>
    >>> You're probably going to have to get release forms from the parents
    >>> and the schools.
    >>> (But then again, I'm not a lawyer.)

    >>
    >> the client gave them to me - i assume he had permission to take the m,
    >> the pics are his property.

    >
    > Sure. But I'd be inclined to check .........
    >
    > He probably owns the copyright to the pics, but publishing them is
    > another thing altogether.
    >
    > regards.



    In my school, all students have a form on file regarding permission to
    publicize images. I believe that's pretty standard now. I'd advise you
    advise the client to be sure all necessary permissions for publication of
    images are in order. Unlike photos taken at a public event, shots of
    students in schools are seen differently by the courts - more privacy is
    afforded.
    Neal, Apr 4, 2004
    #19
  20. Weyoun the gowd damn Dominion Vorta who certainly

    Chris Harris Guest

    > >>I am going to charge between £50 and £100 ($80-$170 USD).
    > >
    > >
    > > To do the graphic design of the site? All the graphic designers we use
    > > charge us $400-600 (US) for a site layout/template

    >
    > £50-£100 for concept design, programming, uploading, search engine
    > registration (where applicable).


    Hmmm if you do a good job you'll get lots of work, but you will become very,
    very poor!

    How many hours is it going to take you?
    How much do you think that your time is worth an hour?
    What about capital costs; your training, books, depreciation on your assets?
    Tax?

    If you are going to charge a fee you may as well make it realisic, and agree
    the fee, in writing, before you start. Make sure that you include some
    mechanisim to allow the client to add extra pages not in the original
    contract, at a cost of course.
    Chris Harris, Apr 5, 2004
    #20
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