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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS & HELPS » Site Help and Service » Redesign Help!

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Author Topic: Redesign Help!
Heather
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Hey folks!

As I'm sitting here today starting to get my hands dirty with some of the site redesign and updating, I have a few things I'd be interested in your opinion on (since you're the ones that use the site!), if you've got a minute.

• At the main page -- http://www.scarleteen.com/ -- and beyond, the titles of the sections. Do you like them? When you first used the site, did they give you a good idea of what they each were, or were you clueless? Would you -- as an existing user, or were you a new user -- find more plain section headers more useful? For instance, rather than "skin deep", something like "anatomy and body image." Would that be better, or do you prefer the wittier titles?

• When you come to the front page, do you see all you want to see there? In other words, the sections, highlighted articles, a link to the message boards and the most recent topics, the blog links, etc. -- do these show you all you need to see, or are there other things you'd like, additionally or instead?

• Do you personally prefer design that ir more graphical or more text-based here at Scarleteen?

• Lastly, what would you weep if we lost from our design/approach? What would you jump with joy if we ditched? Feel free to be honest: I've been a designer for a long time, and I have a thick skin. [Smile]

Thanks for any help! feel free to add any comments on anything you'd like per making the site as easily useable for you as possible.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Ecofem
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Some general thoughts: I really like the clever names of the sections-- they made me want to read more. I think they appeal to our sense of curiosity and want to figure things out. Then again, I didn't come in an emergency, so I had the time and interest to poke around for awhile.

I've memorized the meanings over time, although it still takes a bit of looking to find particular articles I want to refer to on the messageboard. ("Ooh, was that under Pink Slip or sexYOUality?") But I think that would happen regardlessly. Maybe an easily accessible master list of all articles with a sentence or two description might help make it more useable in this way?

While I would maybe like to see more graphics, the tone of the articles really does it for me. After all, the point here is informing (I find the articles entertaining, too) and the design as is really gets the point across (to me.)

[ 03-11-2007, 09:05 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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feefiefofemme
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I, too, absolutely adore the witty section titles. They make me smile every time. Aside from the very first time I came here (when I pretty much sat down for a bajillion hours and read every single article :D ), they never presented a problem for me. And even that first time, it wasn't really a problem so much as an "oh, this is fun! Let's explore!" experience.

I love the home page, no complaints there. I think it's very accessible and welcoming. There are times when I feel like it looks a little crowded, but on the whole I just think it's cuddly.

As far as graphics vs. text goes, I'd like to see more informational-type graphics in the articles (I'm a visual learner), but not so much in place of the text. Just some stuff to supplement it.

And, for your final question, I wouldn't be too terribly happy if the site design changed. I really do love it as is, I'm not just saying that to flatter. I think it's fun and exciting, but not overwhelming, and it's very easy to navigate. One small thing that actually only just came to my attention, though. I'd love it if you had a page with a resource masterlist of sorts instead of (or in addition to) listing resources under what section they fall into. It'd just make them a lot easier to find.

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Heather
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This is really helpful, y'all, thanks.

And one of the nice parts of the content management system we're switching to is that it automatically makes that master site map. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Selkie
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When I was looking around, I came stright to the forums. A direct link on the main page to the forums would be invaluable.

If there is already one, it was not very clear at all where it was, just an idea to make a very clear link.

--------------------
"Fear is the mind-killer"
-Don't be afraid.

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Heather
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Already done. [Smile]

Originally, I intended to make it a bit tricky to get to the boards in an effort to steer users to the articles first.

But since at this point, of our 20K in users a day, upwards of 95% of them do use the main site, solely or primarily, I felt fine about making the bord link as prominent as any other at this point.

(FYI, for right now, there is a big graphical link on the main page, the one that says "Got questions? get answers.")

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Selkie
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Ah, ok. That's probally why I didn't see it right away, was looking for a big obvious "forums".. silly me. Well, thank you very much Heather. Makes navigation alot easier for I know me, and probally other people as well.

--------------------
"Fear is the mind-killer"
-Don't be afraid.

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Heather
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Hey, thanks for your input! We've got a long history of doing our best to build and update the site based on user needs, so that input, however small, is invaluable.

But yep: message board link will be on every navbar throughout every page now, and the links to the most recent topics and the boards will also be front and top on the new front page.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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Tell me you're keeping those pyjamas stripes Heather please ? They are way too cool. [Smile] And they are refreshing in a way that they are unique to this site. Haven't seen other websites to date with them on it yet.

Are you open to any new other suggestions and opinions Heather still ?

(If so, I promise I'm going to take a look at your questions as soon as I can.)

[ 03-15-2007, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Heather
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Yep, still open. I have a sound mockup at this point the developer is looking at, but nothing is completely set in stone.

And no, no, no loss of the stripes. In fact, they're a little wider and brighter than before. [Smile] I've always liked that anyone can walk in here and get the vibe of feeling like they're at a cozy pajama party.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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Okay so here's my take on those questions :

About the articles section, I found that the way sections are entitled (skin deep), although it is really orginal and fun, is a bit confusing as to what types of articles we may find there. At least, it was at first for me and still is sometimes too. A suggestion may be to let the names as they are now but adding like what articles we will find there using a more obvious description. ( Ex. skin deep : anatomy or body image).

Putting little small pictures next to each articles section (ex. skin deep) that might indicate what the section is about might help too as well as making sections separation a bit more obvious (by using different colors for each section for example)

Also, I also find that having a list of all articles like on the main page for example could be really helpful. I thought at first looking for an article was a bit tricky. The search option is really helping me sometimes when looking for particular articles. So I would totally keep it.

When we click on one of the articles section, there are few articles there with icons and then, in the right column, others a lot less obvious. And there is also recent advices there that may benefit from being elsewhere.

As for the front page, I thought when I first came to the site that there was a whole lot of things there which was great. I'm sure though making the forum a bit more obvious might help.

I'm not sure but maybe making the crisis hotline a bit more obvious might help too for those especially looking for that.

Do you personally prefer design that ir more graphical or more text-based here at Scarleteen?

Would it be doable and a great idea to put like anatomy animation videos or something like that with articles, in order to have a bit more visual supports other than pictures ? Or interactive articles ? I know it highly help for me when they is interactive stuff with texts and is a lot more appealing for me.

Not only can it be more interactive for some people but it may often helps making reading a lot more clear too. (not that the articles are not clear, far from that, some people are just more visual than others)

Having some videos or interactive stuff could be cool.

(Do you get what I mean by interactive ? If not, I could show you what I mean.)

And I would also suggest adding more pictures to the articles and maybe also to the main site.

And, oh, adding some colors to the articles writing.

I hope those stuff helps you a bit. [Smile]

[ 03-16-2007, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Selkie
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One other thing I noticed,
I believe I know what format you are using for these forums, instead of having the staff board password restricted, simply make it so that only staff can see it. It'd help "tidy up" the forums a bit.

And yes, keep the pj stripes whatever you do.

--------------------
"Fear is the mind-killer"
-Don't be afraid.

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-Lauren-
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Well, a password does sort of serve that purpose. [Smile]

Too, the area being visible, but not accessible, to plain users might help tip them off that a problem is being addressed. Though they can't see the posts, they can see when the last post in the advo area was made, thus giving a sort of visual confirmation that we're aware of a problem and working on dealing with it.

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Heather
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quote:
Would it be doable and a great idea to put like anatomy animation videos or something like that with articles, in order to have a bit more visual supports other than pictures ? Or interactive articles ? I know it highly help for me when they is interactive stuff with texts and is a lot more appealing for me.

Not only can it be more interactive for some people but it may often helps making reading a lot more clear too. (not that the articles are not clear, far from that, some people are just more visual than others)

Having some videos or interactive stuff could be cool.

Yeah, it would, but it would also mean finding both an illustrator and a good flash developer. I do neither, and no one has ever volunteered their services in that reagrd, either.

So, THAT would mean hiring out for those things, which is far outside our budget, especially since simply redoing the site into the new content management system is already costing us the big bucks we barely have.

Per the section titles, so far, the plan is to keep them as they are, but to add rollovers describing them, which should fulfill the need you brought up, cool.

Thanks!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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And, I can't help you with the animations either. [Smile] Not qualified at all for that.

Well, I'm sure it will be really great even without those animations Heather. I don't doubt one second.

I just thought it would be nice but we can't have everything right ? But we can always dream. [Smile]

[ 03-16-2007, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Heather
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Hey, it never hurts to ask!

Who knows, maybe somewhere in the wide world that is the net, some flash developer or another who loves sex ed will see this and offer to help at some point, so. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Selkie
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Hey, putting movies into posts? I can do that =). Well, I know how to take an animation anywhere on the web, and get it to be in a post I make. Literally, anywhere on the web. If it exsists somewhere, I can get it here.
If you tell me what type of animation your looking for, I can hunt one down for you.
-And by extension, I can tell you how to get animiation into a topic.. thats something I need to tell you though, I would hate having to mess around with an article.

[ 03-17-2007, 08:40 PM: Message edited by: Selkie ]

--------------------
"Fear is the mind-killer"
-Don't be afraid.

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Heather
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Inserting animations isn't an issue, Selkie, but thanks. That's easy-peasy.

It's getting that content created for us in the first place which is the barrier, and it's one that's financial.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Selkie
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Ok heather, although if you tell me what types of animation your looking for I might be able to hunt some down, the internet these days has become so massive, with so much on it, that it wouldn't suprise me to find some of the animation your looking for just lying around.
Also, will these thread be open forever? If not, when you close it, I would think that making a thread dedicated for people posting suggestions would be a good idea.
One more idea-Why don't you make a thread that defines all terms used, since many posts I see people are defining stuff for other people, what if one singel thread was made defining everything?

[ 03-18-2007, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: Selkie ]

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"Fear is the mind-killer"
-Don't be afraid.

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Heather
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Well I'm not looking for animations right now, because there are far too many other things on my plate, honestly.

If and when we are, we have to bear in mind rights, accuracy, all sorts of things, even if there are some shared-use pieces out there that might be useable for some pieces. But more than likely, we'd need things made expressly for us.

Are you asking for a glossary?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Selkie
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Yes, something like a glossary for the people coming here would be a good idea.
I have also looked at the donation information, and I was thinking- your website has alot of people on it and does something good.. what if you wrote to companies / orginizations dedicated to doing this type of stuff, and asked them to help with the website? Some orginizations that look at this place might want to sponser you, and if you don't want them to advertise, you could probally work something out with them on donations.
Quick note- I saw that AIDS was said to be a desease.. I was under a very strong impression that AIDS wasn't a desease, it was the condition of not having any white blood cells left in your body, leaving it open to literally all infections, causing death. The other deseases, not the AIDS, was what killed you. Is that correct, or am I wrong?

[ 03-18-2007, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: Selkie ]

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"Fear is the mind-killer"
-Don't be afraid.

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Heather
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It'd sure help if you told us where you saw that per AIDS, but suffice it to say, that isn't about redesign. (For the record, AIDS is technically a syndrome, and "disease" is simply a term which refers to any condition that impairs the normal functioning of an organism or body -- like the term illness -- so should anyone have referred to AIDS as a disease in many contexts, that would not be inaccurate.)

Same goes for the donation issue. I only have a few minutes here this evening, but even if I had more, I'm not really going to go into big detail and history about our finances on the boards, for various reasons (and it is far more complex than it seems from the outside, I assure you). Suffice it to say, I'm well aware another organization might be able to sponsor Scarleteen in part, but to date, I haven't found another org interested and willing who also wouldn't want our rules to be their rules, etc.

Let's please keep this topic on topic though, okay?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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cool87
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Just a small thing that came to my mind...will the private messaging thing when the site will be updated become enable or will it still be disabled as it is right now ?

I think it might be interesting although I admit control and security might be a little more tricky if private messenging happens to be restored. [Smile]

[ 03-22-2007, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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-Lauren-
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From what I understand, our policies are going to remain basically intact; the site itself is getting a makeover, and very little change, if any, will happen with the message boards.

A huge part of why the boards work so well is because it takes away a poster's fear of individual judgement, and the very open communication style allows users to spot a problem and report it right away. With PM's, the poster themselves would have to inform us, and by the time we deal with it, who knows what the user was subjected to as a result of somebody feeling at liberty to say anything, uncensored, you know?

Any users who'd like to talk with one another on a personal level are very welcome to comment on one another's village people threads, or create a post for that purpose in It's All About You. [Smile]

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cool87
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Ok, thanks Lauren. [Smile]

[ 03-22-2007, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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ladydexter
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Heather, I dunno if you're aware of this, but since you added the banner for the book at the bottom of the main page it's made everything else go out of line and wonkified (on a 1024x768 res). I can get a screencap if you need to see exactly what it's doing.
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garrettc
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Just wanted to stick my head above the parapet and say hi to everyone. I'm the developer that Heather mentioned earlier... I must have been bad in a previous life!

I'll be around to field any technical questions you might have, and to squash the inevitable bugs that will arise once everything goes live. Oh, and having seen the new design, I can safely say it kicks all kinds of arse, but it's most definitely Scarleteen through and through (I know, I'm such a tease).

Right, Heather's cracking the whip, I'd better get back to it.

G.
- Heather's webmonkey

--------------------
Web developer, music monkey, film fan, guitarist, geek.
http://polytechnic.co.uk

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