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Custa
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If people would like to check out http://www.austar.com.au and give feedback I would appreciate it. If anybody can offer any suggestions or hints to fix any possible bugs let me know.

sc18
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site check

Your site looks nice .The header color is ok .Manage my account is under construction . Flash movie may be replaced by a photoshop image so that downloading page time may be reduced
Thank you

Custa
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Re: site check

sc18 wrote:
Your site looks nice .The header color is ok .Manage my account is under construction . Flash movie may be replaced by a photoshop image so that downloading page time may be reduced
Thank you

The flash is marketing's decision.
We are aware that manage my account is underconstructon.

roytheboy
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It all looks colourful and hangs together okay on FF_Mac. The header branding is excellent and overall it looks very professional. It is very much in the 'TV site' genre but I have a few things for you to consider:

Your primary navigation is image-based, which is definitely not the way to be going. You should use text-based navigation, or at the very least, something that degrades to text-based.

The overall home page download time is poor - too slow for people on dial-up. See > http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/wso.php?url=http://www.austar.com.au/default.asp The nav rollovers seem to take an age to load.

Overall, the home page lacks visual-directional-structure (can't think of the correct term) in that the design does not lead my eye to any particular place. I am left having to study the entire page in order to work out what's going on, whereas if you ran the red background behind the header and primary navigation only, my eye would be pulled to the nav links first.

HTH.

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Custa
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Um I did not do the design, that was a large agency in Sydney that has. i was just given Photoshop files to deal with from then to "make it work" I thought this was a CSS site?? Shock thats all I am really concerned with is the CSS and HTML portions of the site. Thats my role.

There are many things outta my control. My only direct control is the way the pages are put together.

Some of your concerns roy were brought up in meetings with the agency aswell as marketing. Most of these were relating to page weight, which I am glad you brought up.

I am sure that Marketing would like to have your eyes brought to the advertising in the middle where they advertise installation and package deals which is the core of the business.

Appreciate the feedback and it's something more I can add to my file when talking to Marketing about the way the page is percieved by the public.

I'll look into a way to degrade the navigation to text based, but at the end of the day we are even limiting the browsers to ones that bugs are easily worked around. like you said as a "TV site" it is media rich so we actually do force people to be the same as far as their browsers is concerns.

Thanx

roytheboy
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Custa - I appreciate that you are just one cog in a big wheel, and I understand that you can only focus on what you have been told to focus on, which is a great shame. Too many corporate sites suffer from the 'designed by committee' look, whereas with the sort of budgets that are thrown into these projects, they should be object lessons in everything that is good about web design and development.

[ shrugs shoulders ] Ho hum!

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Custa
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Actually the design process was handled by one of Australia's best (http://www.bmf.com.au) advertising agencies web arm (http://www.bullseye.com.au) The data side and html/css side was done inhouse

roytheboy
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Custa wrote:
Actually the design process was handled by one of Australia's best (http://www.bmf.com.au) advertising agencies web arm
...yes but I suspect that if you look at their original concept visuals, they have probably since been 'directed' by different people with different agendas. I know how these things work - I'm not new to the business. I'm not saying that it's a bad site; far from it, it's quite good for a 'corporate' site. But there are some fundamental weaknesses that just shouldn't be happening and you have to ask yourself why. The graphic navigation links for example, or the fact that it is marked-up in HTML and not XHTML, and the flash and amount of pictures (82 on the home page alone), and the fact that only certain browsers are being targeted.

There are plenty of individuals that can build sites like this AND get most things right AND working on 99.5% of browsers. But when you get teams of workers and a lot of suits sitting round a table (which is what I meant by 'designed by committee'), they start pulling in different directions and the people doing the work (people like yourself) have to work within unnecessary limitations. It's a fact of corporate life that permeates throughout the organisational structure.

All I'm saying is that it's a shame.

Anyway; back on topic: you might want to check it out in Safari as the orange background sits in front of your nav links, and your blue 'movie' boxes have no light-blue bottom text. The 'power search' box sits too high when further in the site, and the 'What's On' text disappears.

Life's a b*tch and then you die!

Custa
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Hey Roy,
Yeah given the choice I would prefer it to be XHTML too but there are some factors as to wy it is not from the content managment tool not writing perfect xhtml to the fact that even to this day IE can be a prick with xhtml. it is something that I will be actively persuing though.

The 1st level links I will definitely look into once I can get time back onto this project.

the 82 images really to me is not that big a deal when you understand what the images are. they are used in the css predominantly and hence will be used site wide. There would seriously be only 10-15 images on the main age that are not reused through the entire site.

What version of Safari were you using. i tested under 10.3.6 and never saw what you saw .. weird.

roytheboy
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Custa wrote:
...IE can be a *beep* with xhtml ... the 82 images really to me is not that big a deal when you understand what the images are ... What version of Safari were you using


I've never had any problems with XHTML and IE (for all its faults). Are you sure your experiences aren't DOCTYPE related?

The number of HTTP requests per page is very important on a busy site as they can bring a server to it knees. I believe that the issue concerns process creation, request queuing, request throttling, and how well the server is configured to deal with these issues. The golden rule is that if you're developing a busy site, keep those requests down or you'll lose visitors who won't wait for the home page to load.

Safari 1.0.3, which is quite popular because there are still a lot of people using OSX 10.2.

Life's a b*tch and then you die!

Custa
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http://www.positioniseverything.net/articles/terms.html

Roy check that passage where it talks about XHTML. It is still a but scary to use a doctype where even IE borks at if served up correctly.

roytheboy
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I take it you are referring to this:

Quote:
What this means for the average web coder who just wants a traditional page, is that there is no advantage to writing the page as XHTML1.0. In fact, using an XHTML1.0 doctype without serving it as "application/xhtml+xml" may actually cause trouble in the future. As a general rule of thumb, if you are unfamiliar with much of this discussion, you are probably among those who don't need to mess with XHTML right now. You can continue to write HTML and use a valid HTML4.01 doctype. Sure, it's cool to have that Valid XHTML1.0 button on your page, but now you know that it takes a little more than just cleaned up code and a different doctype to really do XHTML properly.

My understanding is that HTML is on the way out, so we should use XHTML in order to be as future-proof as possible. Switching to XHTML was extremely easy for me as I have always coded cleanly and in lowercase with quotes etc. All I had to do was to close single tags like <br /> and use a different DOCTYPE (XHTML 1.0 Transitional served as "application/xhtml+xml").

AFAIC using XHTML is the way forward because it forces everyone to code cleanly and correctly, and that is no bad thing. As for IE not rendering XHTML correctly: just use the right DOCTYPE and it's fine. What it does with CSS is another story, but AFAIK IE's XHTML rendering is fine as long as it's not in quirks mode.

I would be very interested to hear the views of others on this issue. Why do you code in XHTML and do you have problems with IE?

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sc18
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Regarding XHTML I fully agree with you. XHTML ,CSS and DOM will rule the roost(no doubt about it)
Thank you