How can i improve my Navigation bar?

Uma888

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
411
0
Birmingham, United Kingdom
hi, im making a webpage for a friend who owns an msn group, here is a sample navigation bar ill be sending her.



Any tips on how i can improve it?

Anyone know of a good, royalty free icon source?

Thanks for all your help in advance :D

PS: all the icons i used were from the "crystal + crystal SVG" Package from kde-look.org
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I would also suggest considering a different font...maybe something with more width, and no serifs... Somehow the serifs do not go with the style of the icons to me at all. Of course, if you change the icons.... :) If nothing else, though, I would at least adjust the kerning so that the font does not appear *so* narrow. Some of the text is also not well centered (the Forums in particular).

Also, a couple of minor icon comments...you might not want the AOL logo in your chat icon on MSN! :D Also, the about icon seems like a random choice and unrelated to the concept of "About" to me.

I don't mean to be too negative -- that's the constructive (hopefully! :)) criticism. Overall though, it has a strong, consistent feel, even though you've borrowed icons from several different places.
 

Uma888

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
411
0
Birmingham, United Kingdom
mkrishnan said:
I would also suggest considering a different font...maybe something with more width, and no serifs... Somehow the serifs do not go with the style of the icons to me at all. Of course, if you change the icons.... :) If nothing else, though, I would at least adjust the kerning so that the font does not appear *so* narrow. Some of the text is also not well centered (the Forums in particular).

Also, a couple of minor icon comments...you might not want the AOL logo in your chat icon on MSN! :D Also, the about icon seems like a random choice and unrelated to the concept of "About" to me.

I don't mean to be too negative -- that's the constructive (hopefully! :)) criticism. Overall though, it has a strong, consistent feel, even though you've borrowed icons from several different places.

Thanks for the much needed criticisim. ill update the nav bar, (remove the AOL icon), what font would you recomend? the about icon had to be done in a rush. ill upload a new one later

Again thanks for your help :D

PS: Thanks for the link :eek: :D
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Hmmmm...Uma, I would recommend...asking a font expert! :eek: ;) :D As I am sadly not one. :(

Of what I have on my computer, look at possibly one of these:
- Helvetica Neue Bold looks good to me.
- Gill Sans Bold might be an option.
- Arial Black.
- BlairMdITC
- Charcoal
- Gadget if you want a little more flair....

Hope that helps? Good luck! :)
 

snkTab

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2004
579
0
Cincinnati, OH
I don't really like the new chat icon. Too plain and doesn't distinguish itself from the ones next to it. I suggest another icon with a different shape (not square)
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
They're too big and crowded. If you have smaller version of the icons, try that with more space between them. Try a more compressed typeface like Helvetica Neue Condensed. The Gill Sans is too wide. The Chat and Forum icons aren't very intuitive. Better to use something else if possible. Like a talk-bubble for Chat, and a microphone or two overlapping talk-bubbles for Forum.
 

Uma888

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
411
0
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Iv reduced icon size to 48x48 (was 64x64) added news icon and removed/replaced chat and forum icon



its using a font called Mono Spatial, Helvetica Neue Condensed costs money ($100 or so) i need a free alternative

keep the improvments/criticisms comming :D
 

virus1

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2004
1,194
0
LOST
my favorite font right now is tachoma. i also reccomend making it bold, because it adds... um... boldness to it. it needs to be seen, stand out, and be wide enough.

how many times do i need to tell you you should have a colored gradient behind it. if it is too dark, make the font white.
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
It's getting better. I don't really like that font, though. Do you have Helvetica Condensed or Arial Narrow or something like that? Also make the text a few point sizes smaller. Too big. The new Chat icon is much better.
 

MontyZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2005
887
0
Okay, I was bored enough (at 4AM, go figure) to grab your icons and create what I think looks a little better and easier to read. I thought the icons needed a little separation from each other, so I added the vertical dotted lines evenly spaced, then added a light gradient behind the whole thing to give it a little extra depth. I also used a narrower, bolder font (Futura Medium Condensed).
 

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Uma888

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
411
0
Birmingham, United Kingdom
MontyZ said:
Okay, I was bored enough (at 4AM, go figure) to grab your icons and create what I think looks a little better and easier to read. I thought the icons needed a little separation from each other, so I added the vertical dotted lines evenly spaced, then added a light gradient behind the whole thing to give it a little extra depth. I also used a narrower, bolder font (Futura Medium Condensed).
Thanks.

Here is the nav bar with its background (Not actual size 700x94)