Author Topic: New look  (Read 7777 times)

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Offline Steve

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New look
« on: February 17, 2005, 04:01:02 PM »
I'm trying to put together a new "improved" look for the main website. I've just put up a new main menu and want to get your opinion about it. Too much white space? Just enough? Too plain? Too busy? I'd appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks!

The new menu is at:
http://www.pizzamaking.com

And I have another "test" menu at:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/index_test.html
« Last Edit: February 17, 2005, 04:02:54 PM by Steve »
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: New look
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2005, 04:04:53 PM »
 :-\  I'm running at 1280x1024 and the upper portion is huge .... so anyone on a 800x600 won't see the menu,
or just a portion of it.

I'd make the slice smaller for sure.... that will bring everything up.
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: New look
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2005, 04:05:19 PM »
Steve,
They both look great. If I had to choose I would go for the slightly cleaner look of number 2. Another consideration might be to have a section where you describe your pizza related philosophy, general rules of behavior, the purpose of the site, the fact that you are primarily user-supported (include PayPal donation tabs for $5, $10, $20, $50, & $100), etc.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2005, 04:24:13 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: New look
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2005, 04:07:26 PM »
I also like 2 better also, but add in a slice of pizza also....  ;D
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Offline snowdy

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Re: New look
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2005, 04:11:15 PM »
Hi Steve,
it looks great!

If you are ever interested, i would be willing to offer my design services and re-create the entire look of the site at no cost (since i love this joint!)

If you arent interested no worries..

but have a look at my portfolio when you have time :D
I would be honored to be a part of this site in any way.

http://www.dataheadz.com/websites.html

L8r!
Dave

Online Pete-zza

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Re: New look
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2005, 04:41:56 PM »
Steve,

I also favor the second version. I also like the Google search feature.

But one of the things I have always wondered about is what the objective of the Menu page is. Is it to highlight the recipes (including versions of pizzas of well-known companies like Pizza Hut, Pizza Inn, etc.--as a possible enticement into the site/forum), or to enlist members to join a group of die-hard pizza makers trying to make the best pizzas possible? I think the recipes are great but I have always viewed the forum as being the preeminent draw for the site because of the enormous amount of pizza making content. If the answer is the forum, I would think that it should be at the top of the menu rather than in a single line at the bottom of the menu where it might not even be noticed (or viewers get lost in the recipes and never return to the menu page to click on the discussion link). If the principal objective is to enlist forum members who might contribute something of value to the forum, then I would be inclined to put something at the top of the menu above the list of recipes that says something like "Click HERE to learn how to make great pizzas, including making the following great pizza recipes.."

Just a thought.

Peter


Offline pftaylor

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Re: New look
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2005, 05:08:36 PM »
I couldn't agree more.

I've struggled with what the overall intent of the first page is as well. That's why I suggested to clarify the purpose of the site. The single greatest value to me is the interaction of the members -not the recipes. It's the collaboration of the collective to get to where I want to go that is of particular benefit. 
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Offline Steve

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Re: New look
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2005, 06:54:35 PM »
I agree that the pizza slice logo is a little too large. I'll have to work on that.

And, too, I agree that version #2 looks a little cleaner. My goal with #2 was to make the main menu look like, well, a menu! The red border, the soft shadow, all tend to make the menu look similar to a restaurant menu.

And, I agree with Pete and the rest of you in that I feel that the main focus of the website is the forum. The recipes on the main site are nothing compared to what's posted in the forum, with the exception of DKM's two recipes. I still want to publish a "Tom Lehman" using Peter's research, but I just haven't had the time.

So, I agree that the forum link needs to be pushed to the top of the list.

Dave, I am very interested in seeing what you could contribute to the website. You seem to have a great proficiency with PhotoShop and what this site needs is some spiffy new graphics.

I am trying to position the site so that it ranks #1 in Google searches for "pizza making", "making pizza", and "pizza recipes". In order to get top Google rankings, the main menu must stay pretty close to the way it is now... Currently the site is #1 for searches on "pizza making" (duh), and is ranked #2 for "making pizza" and doesn't even show up on the list for "pizza recipes". That should change with the new menu as I've incorporated the word "recipe" into the menu as it was not mentioned before.

If this site can jump to #1 for "pizza recipes" then I think we'll see a dramatic increase in new members as that's probably the phrase most people with key into Google. I'm anxious to see if we make the list the next time Google indexes the site.

Also, I think that I might have to make a change to the url of the forum (again). Originally the forum was a subfolder of the main site (it was located at http://www.pizzamaking.com/yabbse) and Google treated it (and indexed it) as part of www.pizzamaking.com. Late last year I made the forum a sub-domain of the main site (it's now at http://forum.pizzamaking.com) and I just learned that Google treats subdomains as separate domains! So now none of the forum content appears in a Google search because the forum is classified as a new domain with very few links to its content).

So, long story short, I am thinking about changing the url of the forum to http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum which should put everything back under the roof of pizzamaking.com.

Lots of work to do.  :-\
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Offline Steve

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Re: New look
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2005, 08:41:50 PM »
Ok, a newer main menu has been installed. Comments, please!

http://www.pizzamaking.com
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: New look
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2005, 08:51:07 PM »
Steve this is better, but you know what.... the forum is still not "sticking out like a sore thumb" .... in my opion it MUST....
when someobody happens upon the site, they have NO clue there's such a lively forum !

The forum MUST really stick out ! .... and..... I think you could even boast.... " 112 members and growing !! "
or something,

to me ? ... this would make me 'CLICK" and that's what you want !~

click click !

When somebody comes to this site, you want them to KNOW this is a MAJOR PIZZA SITE.... give it something that nobody can miss.

The new one you have posted look delicate, and nice ,but it doesn't tell me.... hey, don't go hit the "back" button and go back to google and check
another site ! ... it MUST tell people we are a LARGE COMMUNITY !~

how about "Pizza Community ! "

use those words.... yeah babe ! ( stolen from Emirl, eventhough he sounds like a sap saying it )

Mark
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.


Offline pftaylor

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Re: New look
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2005, 09:00:22 PM »
Another suggestion from Tampa - Why don't you consider putting the recipes in the discussion forum and make them accessible from there only and unchangeable. That way people would have to enter the discussion forum to get at the recipes.

I would make the home page go directly to a registration page or directly on to the forums if already registered. Registrations go up naturally instead of herding people and everybody wins. I know I will only click to another page if I get something out of it. Otherwise I'm long gone...
« Last Edit: February 17, 2005, 09:04:08 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: New look
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2005, 09:03:06 PM »
Peter, I totally agree with you.

I think that's really a great idea.

Mark
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: New look
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2005, 09:10:06 PM »
You could even decide to have a discussion section under each type of recipe for everyone to comment in. For instance, you could have a discussion area dedicated to just thick pizzas and another to NY style pizzas. As time goes on, it may be inevitable that you will want to segment the topic areas some so a member can easily and quickly skim through their pizza area of choice.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2005, 09:22:12 AM by pftaylor »
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: New look
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2005, 10:10:23 PM »
It seems to me that the intent is to get people to enter the forum. The easiest way to do that would be to use a simple welcoming page with enticing graphics that simply says something the equivalent of "Welcome to the home for pizza lovers and pizza makers" with a big button that says "Enter Here". Once in, the person would see the index listings or perhaps some intermediate page that explains what the forum is all about, maybe with some general talk about registering, with a link to the index listings. At that point, the person could choose to proceed, which suggests the possibility of real interest, or to move on. I wouldn't use registration as a prerequisite to viewing the posts since many will simply turn away when they see that requirement. If someone is truly interested and intends to participate in a meaningful way they will register once they figure out what the forum is all about. There will always be lurkers and those who are too shy to register or become active posters. There's little that you can do about that but they aren't going to obstruct the forum in any way that I can see. They are like the fans in the stands, whereas the posters are the players on the field.

Ultimately, when membership grows I envision the bigger problem to be how to organize the site content. Already I see similar topics scattered all over the place, rather than being aggregated in one place. And many questions that are asked have been answered many times before, but not always easily retrieved. The search feature is a good idea, but too many choose not to use it. As the content grows along with increased membership, the organizational problem will grow along with it if not resolved.

Peter



« Last Edit: February 17, 2005, 10:26:18 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Steve

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Re: New look
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2005, 08:32:22 AM »
Ok, I added a button. Much more pronounced now and you'd be hard pressed to miss the forum link!

Keep those ideas coming!  8)
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: New look
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2005, 10:32:47 AM »
Steve, the button is VERY good, it stands out.

idea ? .... change the button to something a little more striking, and can you make it a bit bigger ? or was
it from a template ?

If not make it bigger, make it green or red.... it's a very good update though, I saw it right off the bat, but it still
ain't whistling at me.

Perhaps put a little springbreak hottie there pointing to the button or something haha !  - ok just a joke  ;)
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Offline itsinthesauce

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Re: New look
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2005, 11:04:02 AM »
Steve, it's getting better every time. I have a saying I use with my employees..."One of us is not as smart as all of us" and it works. I see the same thing happening here. Great job!

Offline Steve

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Re: New look
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2005, 01:36:37 PM »
Ok, bigger button, brighter color, and I added Pete-zza's text. I think its starting to look pretty nice now.
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Offline canadave

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Re: New look
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2005, 06:43:31 PM »
OK, I have a major issue with the pizza slice photo on the banner.....

It makes me too hungry!!! :)  I usually try to check for unread posts once every couple of hours or so, more or less....but now that I'm confronted with that delicious-looking slice each time I visit, I'm seriously starting to drool with hunger way too often...... :o

Dave

Offline Steve

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Re: New look
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2005, 06:56:28 PM »
 ;D ;D

One last time, check out the main menu... added some new stuff.

http://www.pizzamaking.com
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