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lokiloks
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Hi all,

I recently splurged and bought a book (I usually stick to googling up answers to my questions)

The book is old, but so far I'm finding it very helpful. It's Homepage Usability by Jakob Nielsen (http://www.useit.com/) and Marie Tahir.

After reading through it I'm wondering if I need to make certain changes to a design I'm working on. edit: url removed
Specifically they suggest that the search be on the home page among other things.

The issue is that we have a large variety of user types that would visit the site and their content needs will be significantly different. So, we're making essentially 6 different pages to accomodate these differing needs and the home page directs these user types to them.

Anyway, could you take a look at the design and give me any usability insights you might have especially if it's referenced in Homepage Usability.

Thanks,

LokiLoks

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thepineapplehead
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Absolutely love Jakob

Absolutely love Jakob Nielsen's stuff, aside from the fact that his website is so damned ugly and painful to use.

Your site, while nice to look at, is suffering from somewhat major classitis as well as divitis.

For example:

New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative

Innovative Thinking, Collaborative Planning & Funding

What's wrong with using the semantic H1 and H2 tags? This will also help screen readers.

It's not immediately obvious that everything on your portal page is a link, and the contrast between the off and hover states is barely visible. For someone with bad eyesight, or someone with a bad monitor, the hover is indistinguishable from the off. Perhaps make it a bit more obvious - underline the text? Put some sort of symbol on it on hover?

Definitely stick with the shades though - changing the boxes' colour on hover is not an option, it leads to more confusion.

I would also probably lose the fractured effect. While it certainly looks cool, it looks a bit odd - especially on the tools page - to have a large gap and what is in essence the title of the page right at the bottom.

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lokiloks
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First off, thank you for

First off, thank you for your help.

thepineapplehead wrote:
Absolutely love Jakob Nielsen's stuff, aside from the fact that his website is so damned ugly and painful to use.

I felt that way too, It's amazing how well he understands design and how his own site fails it miserably. I think he's overly concerned about intellectual function without allowing for aesthetic function.

thepineapplehead wrote:
Your site, while nice to look at, is suffering from somewhat major classitis as well as divitis.

I will probably use some ids in places where I've got classes, but I usually change to id's as I approach the end of my design once I've found that nothing else will share the same style.

As far as the divitis, I don't see where I can drop them at the moment, but I haven't really looked at that. Mostly I'm shooting for design and user flow/usability not markup cleanliness. I'm positive I'll be able to handle getting the extraneous code down.

thepineapplehead wrote:
What's wrong with using the semantic H1 and H2 tags? This will also help screen readers.

In your example I specifically chose to not do that, I will be setting them to H1 and H2 respectively for the index but for future pages I want them to be "titles" not headings. Although I didn't chime in on the earlier discussion on this, I disagree with your preference for h1 and h2 on these. If we had another tag that was more appropriate I would use it.

thepineapplehead wrote:
...the contrast between the off and hover states is barely visible.

I've adjusted the images, How's it look now?

thepineapplehead wrote:
... changing the boxes' colour on hover is not an option...I would also probably lose the fractured effect.

Agreed on the color, as far as the fracture (keeping the boxes in their position) I'm pretty sure we're going to keep that, it may look odd now, but with the content fully fleshed out I think it'll work. And I agree, it does look cool. Perhaps I think too much of how cool it is and I'm putting my user's needs on the back burner to satisfy my own artistic ego. :ohdear:

I'm still wanting to try to address all the components listed in Homepage Usability's checklist. The list is currently at: http://avijanssen.com/homepage_usability_guidelines.html. I've notified Jakob of the copyright violation and I'm unnerved to reference it, but for those that haven't read the book it might help clarify what I'm trying to cover.

Thanks again!

LokiLoks

Tyssen
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lokiloks wrote:I disagree

lokiloks wrote:
I disagree with your preference for h1 and h2 on these. If we had another tag that was more appropriate I would use it.

No, TPH is definitely right: they should be h1 and h2 on the home page. You can make them paragraphs on internal pages where the page title will be the h1, but on the home page they are the two most important headings and shouldn't be relegated to paragraphs.

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lokiloks
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Tyssen wrote:No, TPH is

Tyssen wrote:
No, TPH is definitely right: they should be h1 and h2 on the home page. You can make them paragraphs on internal pages where the page title will be the h1, but on the home page they are the two most important headings and shouldn't be relegated to paragraphs.

That's what I said, not what TPH said.
lokiloks wrote:
I will be setting them to H1 and H2 respectively for the index but for future pages I want them to be "titles" not headings.

index = home
future pages = sub pages.

Is there no other opinion on the site?

LokiLoks