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  • A well-meaning friend...

    By Doug Nelson (doug) on Wednesday, June 13, 2001 - 10:30 pm:

    A well-meaning friend has been telling me (repeatedly)(over and over)(and over again) that this website (not counting forums) needs a serious facelift. He insists that the current design will hold back progress.

    I've gotten his advice on what should be done, now I'm asking yours.

    Not counting restoration stuff ("you need to add x challenge..."), what's wrong, what should I do?

    Let me have it. Both barrels. I'm not kidding.

    By Ed Ladendorf (ed) on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 01:13 am:

    Hi Doug,
    Well, that's something I sure didn't expect, and I wouldn't know where to start. Why don't you let us know what his suggestions were, and we'll give you feedback on it?

    By Sharon Brunson on Friday, June 15, 2001 - 02:59 pm:

    I don't mind the current design. I am more interested in content. But your friend may be right about attracting new people, especially those who find it from a search engine. I think you could put more on the right side of the page so you don't have to scroll down. And you might make new challenges on a regular schedule. Maybe a picture in the middle that changes to a restored one maybe from previous challenges-kind of a best picture deal (I am completely unbiased in that suggestion as I would never win it). The gallery could be thumbnails that click to a larger picture, again to save on scrolling. I know zero about web design and I am happy with this one. But I think more could be on one page without scrolling. (and remember these ideas come from a nicotineless person-may not make sense).


    By vhansen on Friday, June 15, 2001 - 05:21 pm:

    My only suggestion would be to have the ability to see the individual comments and the photo together. Very much like the Community Zero sites.

    By Flem Snopes on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 10:01 pm:

    I like the design of the site, a lot. Leave it alone. Avoid clutter, flashing and moving things, snazzy graphics. Your design is clean, functional and I love gray scale. Content is the key. I've mentioned photgraphy site, well at the risk of hurting their feelings the desing just isn't that great. But the content is excellent, the depth and breadth of knowledge represented by the forum members is huge. They also have forums for members to post their photos for fun and for serious critique. That would benefit this site as well.


    By Ed Ladendorf (ed) on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 07:19 am:


    I also think that a place for good critique would be an excellent idea. I don't think I'm the only one who needs the input from others, but it's hard to get without a place specific for that. I've got a long, long way to go, and it makes it a little easier to have help along the way.


    By Farron McAdams (farron) on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 12:11 pm:


    For my two cents worth, I really like the clean b&w/grey scale design of the site. Honestly, it impressed me immediately when I found you.

    I am of the school of "less is more" when it comes to websites. (Although you would never know it from some of the gummy messes I've put online in my day...haha) Slowly I am learning to love the K.I.S.S. principle.

    There was a site I really liked by a classmate/web designer entitled "simplicity speaks." I love her work and try to keep those words in mind.

    That's my opinion :-)


    By Amanda K Jones on Thursday, August 02, 2001 - 07:19 pm:

    Hi Doug,

    Honestly I think your site is fine just the way it is. It loads fast and I can easily find where I want to go. I think the people you are targeting are interested more in content than a site with lots of bells and whistles. Don't sweat the small stuff.


    By DJ Dubovsky on Friday, August 03, 2001 - 02:14 pm:

    What attracted me most to your site besides the unique idea of the challenges was the forum. It's so relaxed and friendly. Everyone seems to be eager to help and learn from each other. I don't feel so intimidated that I might be asking a stupid question like I would on some other sites. So I quess what really makes this site so inviting is the people who joined in to make it fun.

    By paulette conlan on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 10:50 am:

    I've learned alot using this site.To repeat what the first responder wrote-we're here for the content.My only problem with the site is that I sometimes have a problem remembering where I read something.Maybe that's my problem!I like the idea of an archive where you can search for "parts"(for lack of a better word).Did I miss seeing it but I'm not sure what type of photos should be submitted and in what size,format etc. Boy, would a humor columinist have a field day with that!Also,re the Amazon honor system,since I order stuff from them on a regular basis I intend to do it through this site in the future if it helps.

    By Alan Rubin on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 11:49 am:


    I would be surprised if you got credit for everything that we bought on Amazon, but let us know if there is a way to do it.


    By Doug Nelson on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 11:53 am:

    This forum does have a search engine, but the rest of the site doesn't. Maybe I should work on that.

    I appreciate ordering from Amazon via here. Just remember to use one of the review links, not the Honor System link for that (it's a dumb limitation, but Amazon's fault, not mine). Maybe I should have a special link just for shopping

    The link for the archive (and all submission details) is on the home page

    By Alan Rubin on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 12:01 pm:


    I had previously referred to the online classes that I had taken with ZDU/SmartPlanet. Their message boards had a very useful feature. Only the unread messages were visible when you logged on. You could go back and see all the messages by clicking on all and specifying for what time period. You could also request to just see the messages posted to you.

    Are any of these features possible on this site?

    Also, did you look into Ezboard before you chose this one? If so, what influenced your decision?


    By Doug Nelson on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 01:10 pm:

    The "New Messages" option has some of what you're talking about.

    I chose this board because it was free and because our server wouldn't support more advanced boards.

    This board software is nice, but it's also outdated, slow, feature-poor, and when/if we upgrade I've decided to switch to a much more sophisticated package rather than simply migrate to the commercial version of this one.

    The one I have my eye on will amaze you

    By Ed Ladendorf on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 01:57 pm:

    Hi Doug,

    Just wondering if we were doing much good with the upgrade donations, and if you had any idea of when the upgrade might be in the works.


    By Alan Rubin on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 02:19 pm:


    Is the one that you have your eye on a different company? If so, I won't download the free version of this one. I'm trying to compare things with Ezboard, which I am using on my American History site. I just started it, so I can switch anytime I want.


    By Doug Nelson on Saturday, August 04, 2001 - 02:43 pm:

    Don't get me wrong. For free boards, this one can't be beat. Ezboard looks like an excellent service, but a 3rd-party service doesn't fit with my future integration plans.

    As far as timetable for upgrade, we'll definitely be moving servers this month. As for the board upgrade, that's a little fuzzier. We've had 6 donations so far, all of which I'm very greatful for, but it looks as if the primary funding will come from book sales.

    It's kind of a catch-22, we can't upgrade the board until we change servers, but the server is the primary expense which could delay the board upgrade.

    I hate all this money stuff
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

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    This is so weenie I'm ashamed to ask, but I gots to know this kind of stuff, so here goes:

    How (where, when, etc.) did you first hear about this website?

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