View Full Version : Iraq Civil Society wiki/forum--advice for us?
A loose network of social scientists, UN workers, and Iraqi citizens came together to build this forum for collaboration to share information and strategies for building a civil and stable society in Iraq. Tough work, but we've learned a lot.
I would greatly appreciate advice from web-professionals about the look and feel and, and most importantly, the content.
Thank you for your kind attention.
08-20-2003, 04:38 AM
Thank you for your post.
To be perfectly honest, the site design does not entice me to go beyond the first page. I realize that this is heavy text-based site, and graphics are not a key issue, but as a designer I would have to argue that content worth reading is worth reading in a positive visual environment. I would not advise a arbitrary image overload, but to the contrary, minor visual flares that remind the reader that site has crediblity and is a pleasure to read.
To start, your blue links are very difficult to read against the torquoise menu area and your color scheme creates a dull atmosphere.
I would also recommend a few photos (preferably people)or images that re-enforce the sites statement. While visiting your website, people need the reassurance that your site is legitimate and by taking the time to polish the edges it tells them that the site was worth caring for. Its easy to feel like you are 'lost in cyberspace' on fully text-based sites.
A common graphic spanning the top header area would be an easy way to add a postive flare to site on everypage.
If your organization is serious about a social movement in Iraq I cannot stress the importance of a symbol to represent your cause. A professional logo will give your organization and its members a powerful visual identity and instant online crediblity. Neglecting to represent yourselves visually gives your visitors that impression that your site was not worth it. I am sure this is not the case! People are also able to remember much more of your content when a complimentary visual represention is repeated.
08-20-2003, 11:15 AM
I agree I think a nice logo would make a big difference in the overall look of the site.
08-22-2003, 12:43 PM
I'm not as experienced as the others, but to my tired eyes, it looks like your links on the left(blue on green) are hard to read - perhaps different colors will make them stand out.
Thank you very much for the comments.
These are helpful.
I am browsing my (extensive) collections of photos, drawings, and clip art to select a few graphics to test on the site.
It is a challenge, as you pointed out, that a text/content-heavy site needs to balance graphics and text. I will give serious thought as to how to make it better and more usable.
One big challenge is trying to fit things to suit such a variety of browsers:
IE and Netscape and Mozilla, for MS Windows and Linux and Macintosh.
They all are a bit different in how they treat my page.
With grateful thanks and appreciation.
08-26-2003, 04:01 PM
Definately add some images, or even color.
Is the background supposed to be grey (my application background color) or did you forget to indicate a background color?
You could set a light earthy color (browns, reds, yellows... tan?) on the left menu to give it some punch. Then make the background a related but darker color. That will give it some character without compromising the text content.
The green rollover is too bright, try light grey so you don't lose contrast, or a light earthy color if you choose that scheme.
Seperate your left menu items so they're easily distinguishable, with a bulleted list, a character, or an image. Blind visitors can't seperate links with just space in between, it is "read" as one line.
How do I start? Where do I go first? Do I have to join to view posts? Cover the mechanics on the first screen (not page, screen) so people know right away what to do. Put an anchored link to "how do I use this wiki" right up top.
Put your major topics on the left so people can go straight to what they're interested in.
Sample earthy color scheme:http://www.netcastles.com/csi_samples.gif
After two years of implementing many of the suggestions offered by users here, I offer now a completely revised and update umbrella of wiki pages.
The new project is for a conference in late summer where I will set up conference participants with their own wiki templates where we can build a new collaborative wikinetwork on the general topic of Global Civil Society. So, I would appreciate feedback on my current set of pages before going too far in the new conference exhibition. Thank you very much.
I just reran all the site test utilities suggested here and failed on many counts. Lots of lines picked extraneous code. I have no idea how or why that happened. I will work hard on getting as much cleaned up as possible, and appreciate the suggestions and comments on design while I work on the details/details/details/details of the html coding. Thank you, again.
06-25-2005, 08:09 AM
Does your site have a logo? Do you want just this page looked at? Not sure.
There is a plain text banner as header. Overall, the content is focused on text, but I've tried inserting graphics and it seemed to detract from the content. It should not, but it did. I and the readers wanted content intensity for fast skimming and rss linking. Suggestions on usability would be greatly appreciated, especially as I develop a whole new set of wikis for academics to use for research collaboration and discussion.
Site looks good, I would put something up there for a graphic. I just created this at sloganizer.net
there are 8 diffrent choices and the great thing is it changes the slogan everytime the page is refreshed ;)
best of luck on the site!
thanks for the idea. I will work on a more catchy logo. the textbanner works, but the active logo idea has appeal. I appreciate it.