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The Loyal
19th December 2008, 09:32 PM
Hey guys,

We've started up a website www.medianator.com (http://www.medianator.com) that will be providing news, previews and reviews for video games, comics, music and a small amount of tech.

Site is fully launching next week, but there is a small amount of content on there at the moment.

Design was done by Grant McCall (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/members/visional_studios/), who I honestly can not recommend high enough. Please contact him if you are in need of any design, he's really, really good at what he does.

Would love to get some feedback or even suggestions.

Thanks,

Wally
19th December 2008, 09:47 PM
Great stuff, i'll subscribe to the RSS feed.

BTW you might wanna fix the title so it says Medianator instead of medianator.com (http://www.medianator.com).

Perhaps also support homebrew projects on consoles etc as well :)

Nevets_Anderson
19th December 2008, 10:27 PM
The actual visual in the header though great, is to big (in my opinion) ... The most valuable real estate in any website is that first few cm of page - either do more over the top of the graphic with navigation tools advertising etc) or re-size (ie make it smaller)

Other wise it's a nice functional site - Good luck!

Jimbo
20th December 2008, 11:05 AM
yeah i agree, put the navbar at the top of the page instead of in the centre, that and just watch your aspect ratio on your images, you've got a 16:9 image there displaying as 4:3 and the afl player looks a little thin (more than the usual lankyness)

Jim.

vargz
20th December 2008, 11:40 AM
My feedback:
- What is Medianator? I should get an idea of this as soon as I visit the site. The imagery and links give me a vague idea, but a tagline or short statement would tell me right away what the site is about and if I want to proceed.
- As others have said, the header image is far too big and is taking over the page. Make it less than half the size/height of what it is.
- A smaller header means more space for content. Makesure important content is made prominent upfront.

avolve
20th December 2008, 12:13 PM
personally, i think the design needs a fair bit of work to bring it up to scratch.

Beyond previous comments, there is not enough structure to the page. You can use the sidebar area to include information (there is no wehere near enough 'about' information), further navigation and other details.

The Loyal
20th December 2008, 06:14 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks heaps for the feedback, we've taken it all back to the web designer and we are working on an updated design. I'll post it in here again to get some more impressions once it is up.

Again, thanks!

darcyjohnperkins
21st December 2008, 01:51 PM
You should give credit to wordpress.

Otherwise - looks nice, good design, okay content (from my two minute skim over).

Looks good...

The Loyal
21st December 2008, 05:24 PM
Hey all, we have made a few adjustments to the site to cater for the feedback given.

Would love to see what you think now.

Thanks,

www.medianator.com (http://www.medianator.com)

visional_studios
22nd December 2008, 05:17 AM
Thanks for the useful feedback guys, always helpful.

I've updated the design.

Cheers,

Grant McCall

avolve
22nd December 2008, 06:22 AM
Improvements are good.

I Recommend you take the colour variation in the top nav/header image and use it on the nodes (blog posts). You need something to make them separate and stand out more (subtle, not harsh like it is). Softening the font color for headings and the underline would be a start.

The colors in the banner have good range of tone. you can try kuler (http://kuler.adobe.com) to get a good selection that will work and incorporate them in the text/layout effects.

Would also recommend, for example:

soften the nave tabs at base of header image. Perhaps round corners/transparency. At the least soften the color/tone (bring in a little of the blue from the image
a color change for links in the sidebar and more use of color variation there like the nodes.
a footer will help round out the design.

It is the small things that make all the difference ;)

PatrickH
22nd December 2008, 08:13 AM
First of all, it looks great!

I have some pointers that may want to be looked at:

- When floating over the tabs, I think the box should still be highlighted, but the line still there.

- The whole top part of the website (website name, about, RSS feed, twitter and search box) should all be level (I can see colour differences and lining, but i'm sure something can be sorted).

As long as you keep to an unbias view, i'll have this site as one I would visit regularly (aka, favourites :D)

amie17
22nd December 2008, 09:13 AM
hi... i think your header banner is great..... but its way to big. If your going to have a banner that big you need to have more content in the banner portraying what the site is about because my first impression i didnt pick up much and websites are all about first impression.


- The whole top part of the website (website name, about, RSS feed, twitter and search box) should all be level (I can see colour differences and lining, but i'm sure something can be sorted).


I agree with patrickH on this one. apart from that i like the boldness and rough looking feel it gives.

The Loyal
22nd December 2008, 08:17 PM
Thanks again for all the honest feedback guys. Please keep it coming.

PatrickH: Our reviews are all based on our personal experience with the product. So, we write what we feel when we use/play it. :)

Hope to see you around in on the site sometime! :)

PatrickH
22nd December 2008, 08:29 PM
PatrickH: Our reviews are all based on our personal experience with the product. So, we write what we feel when we use/play it. :)

I guess so. I'm feel pretty silly saying what I said after looking at it.

banjo
23rd December 2008, 11:15 AM
One thing you should attempt to do is get your vertical alignment right. Your major elements don't line up which makes the page seem unbalanced.

http://img.skitch.com/20081223-fs6dfaj4thk5jwhj1y4qs6qxya.preview.jpg (http://skitch.com/benreimers/9jdp/medianator)Click for full size (http://skitch.com/benreimers/9jdp/medianator) - Uploaded with plasq (http://plasq.com)'s Skitch (http://skitch.com)>

Your Medianator logo should line up with the left of your main content. I'd also left-align your main navigation menu. The search box should also be the same width as the sidebar and aligned directly over it. Maybe have the profile thumbnail of the post author offset outside of the main content area using a negative margin so that the titles line up with everything else on the left.

Style-wise, I would try to simplify the the colours you use in the page. Chose only one link colour and use that throughout instead of different link colours for your sidebar, content, and post headers. Try having only two shades of dark grey. Make your content text darker, and maybe the background of your sidebar lighter.

iCameron
23rd December 2008, 11:59 AM
Another MAJOR thing is,

Your images dont link up to the article. This is very annoying. I'd much rather click on big pretty pictures then text

Other then that, looks good, mabye a heading would be good ontop of your banner

Also, seems like a very interesting site. That seems to have alot of potential.

EdgeOfQuarrel
23rd December 2008, 12:14 PM
Looks a bit angelfire,tripod circa 1997 in a way.
Ace that huge page banner.
There's like 3 elements to the design.make it around 100px high and you could add another 3 elements to that design.
Like banjo mentioned get some alignment going.
The colours look like a 10 year olds wardrobe,get something more uniform.
1 navbar works better than 2 either choose top or bottom.the one on the top works better.

banjo
23rd December 2008, 09:34 PM
Looking much better. One navbar is much better, and putting the other secondary info in the sidebar is a good move. The search box is a much better position now, but is still off to left by 30px on my screen (Safari+OSX). I'd try having the sidebar background only surrounding the sidebar itself instead of stretching the full height of the page. That way there's no distraction when scrolling further down the page.

You also might want to pay more attention to your Older and Newer links. I prefer to navigate blogs using these, but too often they're neglected elements of design, either too small, poorly aligned, or simply ignored.

Oh, and you don't have any sort of contact information either in the sidebar, footer, or as a contact form. I see an email address on the about page, however you should do a search on "email obfuscation" and employ one of those techniques to get a human-readable, clickable, directly copyable, emailable, but bot-unfriendly link and put one in the footer.

One last thing: instead of having pages where comments are disabled and saying "Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time", simply leave it out so it appears that commenting should not even be an option. Instead of telling a user they can't do something, simply don't let them do it and don't tell them what they're missing out on.

The Loyal
26th December 2008, 09:16 PM
Hi guys, again thank you so much for the feedback.

Banjo, you have brought up some really, really good design points and I have taking these back to Grant and hope to have them implemented as soon as possible. Thanks!

Thanks again guys, we really appreciate it.

www.medianator.com (http://www.medianator.com)

The Loyal
27th December 2008, 06:16 PM
Looking much better. One navbar is much better, and putting the other secondary info in the sidebar is a good move. The search box is a much better position now, but is still off to left by 30px on my screen (Safari+OSX). I'd try having the sidebar background only surrounding the sidebar itself instead of stretching the full height of the page. That way there's no distraction when scrolling further down the page.

You also might want to pay more attention to your Older and Newer links. I prefer to navigate blogs using these, but too often they're neglected elements of design, either too small, poorly aligned, or simply ignored.

Oh, and you don't have any sort of contact information either in the sidebar, footer, or as a contact form. I see an email address on the about page, however you should do a search on "email obfuscation" and employ one of those techniques to get a human-readable, clickable, directly copyable, emailable, but bot-unfriendly link and put one in the footer.

One last thing: instead of having pages where comments are disabled and saying "Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time", simply leave it out so it appears that commenting should not even be an option. Instead of telling a user they can't do something, simply don't let them do it and don't tell them what they're missing out on.

Hi Banjo, we have implemented most of the suggestions that you listed above. Would love to hear what you think about the site now.

Thanks,

boddiz
27th December 2008, 06:28 PM
When you click on one of the pictures, it just doesn't take you to the link, it just shows the picture with the rest of the page dimmed. This is the only thing at annoyed me, personally, I think everything else is great!



Beau

The Loyal
27th December 2008, 06:36 PM
When you click on one of the pictures, it just doesn't take you to the link, it just shows the picture with the rest of the page dimmed. This is the only thing at annoyed me, personally, I think everything else is great!



Beau

Still working on this one!! :)

banjo
27th December 2008, 10:13 PM
Hi Banjo, we have implemented most of the suggestions that you listed above. Would love to hear what you think about the site now.

Heaps better :thumbup:

Looks the same across all Mac browsers, the alignment of elements on the page means the whole thing is more balanced, and the contrast on your main content is much better. Good job.

I'm still a little iffy on the colour of the links in the sidebar, but hey, that's just nitpicking.

Other than that :rockon: (I couldn't resist using the new smiley. It'll be my last, I promise).

P.S. Oh, and the image-link thing too.

The Loyal
29th December 2008, 10:27 PM
Thanks Banjo.

Hopefully the image link issue will be resolved soon :)

Thanks again for such great feedback!

bel.plews
29th December 2008, 11:14 PM
no site is even coming up for me?

tried it a few days ago when you posted originally
and just now ...

The Loyal
1st January 2009, 05:22 PM
no site is even coming up for me?

tried it a few days ago when you posted originally
and just now ...

Hi, is this still the case? I haven't had any issues and have had no other reports from people.

Thanks for letting me know.

SyncMan
1st January 2009, 05:40 PM
no site is even coming up for me?

tried it a few days ago when you posted originally
and just now ...

You always need to check first with...

Down for everyone or just me? (http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/)

visional_studios
4th January 2009, 01:15 PM
Image linking has been fixed now, it was one plugin over taking all the images on the page and displaying them in the shadow box overlay mode. Cheers for all the great feedback guys.

Grant

spilla
4th January 2009, 01:20 PM
When I view the site with my browser maximised, there are white spaces either side of the main header image. This is at 1920x1200.

Does the author's thumbnail pic have to be on every post? IMHO it looks too repetitive and unnecessary. :)

bnut
28th January 2009, 07:14 PM
It looks great :D I'd consider alternating the alignment of the images in the posts though, to break it up a bit. Also I think the alignment issues people are talking about are mainly because the banner aligns to the centre whereas the other elements align to the left or right. So the banner at the top appears to slide.

Nexus
31st January 2009, 11:02 AM
Does the author's thumbnail pic have to be on every post? IMHO it looks too repetitive and unnecessary. :)

I concur.

Just a tiny tiny thing, favicons are a nice addition ;)

The Loyal
3rd February 2009, 02:45 PM
Hey guys, again thanks for the support and feedback. Things are moving along nicely now and starting to gain momentum. With the site starting to gain a lot of content we are now realizing that there are still some small changes that can be made to improve the overall site. Hopefully these will be looked at and implemented asap.

Again, thanks.

The Loyal
13th March 2009, 01:33 PM
Hi guys, we have put some more links on the side of the page so that Features, previews, reviews and competitions don't get lost in the site like they originally were.

We welcome anymore feedback if you have any.

Thanks.

banjo
15th March 2009, 10:56 AM
The site's looking good now. There are a few 1px alignment issues, but they're barely noticeable.

About the biggest suggestion I could make would be to have your footer span the width of the page like the header. By look of it you would have to redo the image to make it wider (just open it up to 2000px ... or so), change the width to 100%, and have this -- background: url(images/footer-bg.png) no-repeat top center; -- as your background declaration in the CSS.

[edit] You could possibly have the background repeat (meaning you wouldn't have to change the size) ... it might work seamlessly, but you'd have to give it a try to know for sure.