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View Diary: Need some feedback: Community Quilt Project website (44 comments)

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  •  I have a few thoughts about usability and (10+ / 0-)

    clarity-of-purpose; take them for what they are worth. Excuse the "critique mode" - it's just easier to talk about my thoughts that way. :-)

    My main feeling about it is that it lacks hierarchical clarity. When I arrive on the homepage I'm not sure how to make sense of it. This might be because I don't have the personal first-hand knowledge about the artist and the project that some others have. Here are the points that cause confusion to me:

    1. There are a lot of different typefaces: the Winglion font, the "quilts from the heart" font, the "community quilt project" font, the font on the slide show (Comic Sans), the font used in the primary text (Trebuchet). Some of those fonts are harder to read than others because of their color or their overlay on busy images (I find the yellow Comic Sans quite a challenge, as well as the white "Community Quilt Project" font). I think fewer fonts would help unify the site and give a stronger sense of hieararchy.

    2. there is a lot of movement on the homepage. There is the slideshow of different projects at the top, there is the pan of the different quilts on the right column. That movement and color makes it hard for me to focus and it doesn't enhance the projects. I would probably stick with the slideshow at the top and eliminate the "panning" still image slideshow at the left, which is the most distracting to my eye. I expect the banner to have the dynamic visuals, not the sidebar. Also, the slideshow at the top has different movement from one slide to the next. I think choosing one transition and staying with it would help focus the homepage.

    3. There is a lot of small, modular quasi-related content on the homepage. I can't quite figure out what this site is about based on this content. In particular, the interview with Meteor Blades stands out. I look for something on the homepage to orient me about what the site is focused on, and while community quilts is clearly the focus, I think newcomers would understand more if the homepage had less on it, and really said something like "welcome to the community quilt project, which does x, y and z for a, b and c" (or something like that). It doesn't have to be as bland as that, but I hope you get what I mean. :-)

    4. also visually, the homepage has a lot of little "squares" to look at: the different articles in the two columns: are they meant to be read from left to right? Top down? It is not clear.

    5. What are "quick links" and why are they related? Who are these people and why are they "quick links?" Is there a better title to be used for this group of navigational choices? I don't know who any of these people are (as a newcomer) so I find it confusing.

    6. This is somewhat picky, but the grid doesn't line up. You have three unequal columns for the main content, two equal columns in the footer, several areas where there is just one column, and the slideshow is two columns that don't line up with any of the other design modules. I think the visual hierarchy would be clearer if there were a more regular grid.  As it is, my eye bounces around from module to module, but they seem somewhat haphazard in their location.

    7. The breakdown of the grid continues to the internal pages, which are quite dissimilar and somewhat confusing.

    8. I personally find the two-column dropdowns hard to use because I have to move my mouse down and over, rather than just down, or just over, to get at both columns of links.

    9. also, because of the drop downs, I don't always know what page I am on. When I'm on the blog, the "about" button is highlighted, but I can't see that I'm on the blog because there isn't any page name on the page itself; I have to activate the dropdown menu to see that the word "blog" is bold.

    10. overall, the page names are inconsistent: either in different places, not there, or confusing. I pretty much feel lost most of the time I'm clicking around the site.

    The community quilt project is wonderful, heartfelt and generous, so I feel a bit mean-spirited offering up such criticism. I offer it in the spirit of what I hope is constructive feedback.

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