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Member Rara Avis
since 2000-07-25
Posts 8229
Somewhere... out there...

0 posted 2002-12-12 11:36 PM

Okay, guys...I've decided it's time to share my creation
and see what you have to say about it.
This is not a 'high-content' site...just my poetry and some
poetry of a few friends, as well as links and such.
It's still a work in progress, so there are a couple
pages that aren't complete yet.  For example, I still
have more links to add to the 'Links' page.
Anyway, I'd really appreciate any feedback you can give.
Do you like it?..hate it?  What do you think would make it better?
Here's the link...
So, enlighten/educate me.

© Copyright 2002 Vicky L. Raynes - All Rights Reserved
Member Rara Avis
since 2000-07-25
Posts 8229
Somewhere... out there...
1 posted 2002-12-13 12:52 PM

Oh, and by the way, Christopher..umm...I kept
forgetting to ask you if I could link to Countless Horizons,
so I finally just went ahead and included it on my links page.
I'm sorry I never actually asked you, and I hope you
don't mind that I linked to it.
If you'd rather I didn't, just let me know and I'll remove it.

Member Rara Avis
since 1999-08-02
Posts 8296
Purgatorial Incarceration
2 posted 2002-12-13 03:27 AM

Of course I don't mind Virgil! I even have a page (   set up for those who want to link to us. (Ironically, most want to have me link to them, though few return the favor, lol) As a matter of fact, if you'd like, you're welcome to submit a link to your site for CH. I'm looking at updating in the next month or so with a whole new engine inside.

Ok - now that my shameless self-promotion is out of the way - your site.

First, I want to say that it looks VERY nice in terms of actual presentation. The colors contrast nicely, are easy to read (which is very important, especially, I feel, with a black background), and generally pleasing in appearance.

Your site seems well designed in terms of layout. It's consistent throughout, with easy to find links throughout. I like the mouseovers and the "visited" change of colors (though you might consider a slightly differnt color as the grey is so close to the white that you see when you hover over a link).

The only 'issue' i have with it as a whole is bouncing out into Bravenet for your guestbook. Bravenet's an evil, evil site with too ^$^%$Y^ many pop-ups and such a high server load that you can't access it half the time. (Ron - perhaps we could write a guest book script and put it up for all to use here? just a thought... wouldn't be hard, I don't think)

Oh - and one more problem - you don't have any of my poetry on your site!!! (teasin')

Great job Virgil - can't wait to see what you do next as fast as you learned this!

[This message has been edited by Christopher (12-13-2002 03:28 AM).]

Member Rara Avis
since 1999-05-19
Posts 8669
Michigan, US
3 posted 2002-12-13 06:46 PM

Nice job, Vicky. I particularly appreciate your restraint - not a cacophony of visuals and it loaded quickly, even on my slow-poke dialup. Yet, your restraint doesn't keep it from looking darn good.

I also like your categories and the way you've used anchors to link to them. Saves a lot of scrolling. You might want to consider making those links look more like links, though. I came in using Netscape, so I didn't see any rollovers, and it wasn't immediately apparent that the links were either categories or links. Oh, and your "Top" links at the end of each category listing? Great idea! But have you noticed how it doesn't quite take you to the top of the page? Obviously, you can still see what you need to see and it's not a big deal, but it is a bit distracting to see the scroll bar slightly off-kilter. It's happening because you inserted a named anchor called #top and then linked to that - which isn't quite at the top. No, don't try getting it closer to the top of the page, 'cause you'll never quite get it there. Nor do you need to. Instead of linking to #top in various places down the page, try linking to just # (the pound sign, without a name). That's built into HTML and should take you to the top of the page.

Incidentally, I know it's a little late to help, but you're going to eventually discover you made the same mistake I made four years ago. I put my email address all over the place when first opened. Strange thing about ISP's - they don't give you a whole lot of notice when they change things. I found myself with less than twelve hours to change several hundred pages when I lost that email address. Now, I link to a "Contact Us" page and have the email address listed just once. Something to consider if you find yourself with some free time.

Finally, I know it's a whole lot of work, but you might want to think about putting a "Next Poem" link on each of the poetry pages. I've found that people will typically read a lot more poems if they aren't constantly returning to the index of poems. If a title in the index doesn't catch their interest, they leave, but if you get them to click on the Next link instead, you get the chance to capture them with not just the title, but the presentation of the poem. I try to design sites where the visitor is never forced to return to somewhere he's already been (though he can, of course), avoiding what I call dead-end alleys. Seems to keep them interested a bit longer.

Again, very nice job.

Member Elite
since 2000-05-13
Posts 3552
High Springs, Florida
4 posted 2002-12-14 11:43 PM

i like it.....

i go there sometimes...

"laughter is the shortest distance between two people"  - victor borge

Member Rara Avis
since 2000-07-25
Posts 8229
Somewhere... out there...
5 posted 2002-12-15 10:48 PM

Chris and Ron...First of all, thank you both SO MUCH for all your input and suggestions.  That both of you actually like the site is a huge compliment to me.  You've both made my day.

And now...

Christopher...You mentioned the visited link color.  That's something that I was having a hard time deciding on.  What do you think would be a better choice than the gray?  I'm open for suggestions.
You also mentioned the Bravenet guestbook, and I COMPLETELY agree with you on that.  Unfortunately, that's something that I haven't learned how to create yet, so any help that you and/or Ron can give would be greatly appreciated.  I'd love to say goodbye to the pop-ups.
NOW...about your poetry not being on my 'Friends' page YET...I DID say that the site is still a work in progress and that includes that page.  You are right near the top of my list of people who I would like to include there.  So, may I?...please??
Thanks again, Christopher, for all of your help and encouragement.  I truly appreciate you taking the time to teach me so much of this stuff.  Gotta love learning.

Ron...I'm glad to know that you appreciated my 'restraint'  This site design is actually much more 'me' than what I had originally done with my netpoets site.  Not only was I doing what I was being told was 'good' and 'pretty', but I was also VERY new to web design and had no clue about how to make a site user friendly.  Needless to say, I've learned a lot since then and put a lot more of my own ideas and tastes into this design.  Glad it works for you.
You also mentioned how I used anchors to link to my catagories.  Thanks for the positive feedback on that...glad to know you like it.  As I hope you can tell, I was trying to make the site VERY easy to navigate and I also had the goal in mind of limited need for the scroll bar.  As far as the 'top' link goes, yes...I was painfully aware that my 'top' anchor was not quite at the top.  As you said, you could still see what you needed to see, so I hadn't gotten to fixing that yet.  Thank you for the idea of just naming it "#" instead.  I would not have thought of that, and actually didn't know that could be done.  There I go learning again.   As far as the links being made to look more like links, what would you suggest doing, that would still be attractive, yet more obvious to Netscape users?  As I told Christopher, I'm open for suggestions on any and all of this.  I want to learn and I want to have the best and most user-friendly site that I can.
You have a very good point about the e-mail address.  Having had the same e-mail for the relatively short time (2 1/2 years) that I've had a computer, I had never thought of the possibility of that changing without me having a say in it.  I like the idea of a 'contact us/me' page and will definitely be doing that.
Lastly, you mentioned the idea of a 'next poem' button, and I'm happy to say that I had already planned on doing that.  I would have gone ahead and included them as I was building the site, but I was in a hurry to get the site 'viewable', since it was being linked to from a few places, and was being added to another.  I figured that would be just about as easy to go back and add later, so I put it off and will be tackling that project soon.  I definitely agree with you about not forcing people to return to a page they've already visited any more than is absolutely necessary.  Again...shooting for user-friendly and easy to navigate...and, okay...a little bit attractive too..LOL.
Thanks again, for all of your help and input.  I do appreciate it very much.  I'm sure I'll be in here with plenty more questions in the future.

Again...I'm so glad that you both enjoyed the site and apparently didn't find too much to 'pick apart'.  I'm smiling big here.   to you both.

Gale...thanks, friend.  Glad to know that you like it and that you 'go there sometimes'.

Member Rara Avis
since 2000-07-25
Posts 8229
Somewhere... out there...
6 posted 2002-12-16 11:45 PM

Christopher...sorry I didn't comment on your offer to
have you link to my site.  Somehow I just missed it
in my reply, but it wasn't intentional.
I very much appreciate the offer and will definitely
be taking you up on it.
Thanks for letting me link to your site too.
You're the bestest.

Member Rara Avis
since 1999-08-02
Posts 8296
Purgatorial Incarceration
7 posted 2002-12-17 08:11 AM

hmmm... maybe a light yellow, a saffron? looking at the flowers around the tiger's head, you can see a nice, light, yellow border that it work well against.

(of course you can use any of my poor excuses for poetry you like )

looking at it once more, I can see how the link colors can be an issue... especially with the color of the titles matching. you may want to consider also addressing that, perhaps underlining them, italicizing them, or something along those lines to further set apart the titles from the links.

and - your're welcome Virgil. didn't pick much apart because it just wasn't there!

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