Looking for critique for my site's design, Haverzine

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by DerfBWH, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. DerfBWH macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Hi all -

    I'm the author and founder of a small (but quickly growing) tech news site called Haverzine. I've put literally countless of hours into taking what would otherwise be a pretty standard WordPress news-style design and molding it into something recognizable, but unique. I've gotten pretty good feedback so far, but have heard little from other people with a particularly good eye for these sorts of things.

    Any feedback - positive, negative, whatever - more than welcome. Design is something that I, as someone who's way too close to the project - no longer have a subjective eye to, so it's become increasingly difficult to accurately judge my own work.

    My site's URL is http://haverzine.com.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. davedee65 macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2010
    Just checked it out and it's very nice and all and seems to work fine and does what it says on the tin but my problem is that your site is doing what many others are doing already and in very much the same way? What's your unique selling point that's going to attract readers to your site away from your established competitors?

  3. DerfBWH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Hi davedee65, thanks for the feedback! Essentially what we're aiming for is this - the large, established players in this game focus a lot on a huge variety of posts, some even going so far as to have a sort of "post as much as you can about as much as you can" trashcan mentality. That produces a lot of updates in a short amount of time, but a very low quality product, so to speak. The way I think of Haverzine is as a sort of "best of" site. We're not going to give you everything and the kitchen sink, you'll have to go elsewhere for that - but we strive to give you everything that we think truly matters in the field.

    It's not a perfect formula yet, but we as we evolve and grow we'll be offer more while still giving readers a more precise product.
  4. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    The structure is in place, the design is clean and the content should help your page rank climb. Much of the work you have remaining should be fairly easy in comparison to what is completed.

    Right now, you have a wall of grey with screaming splashes of dayglow green, which I realize is used to restate your brand color but it's just not working. This shade of green is rarely used successfully. I think the design would be more effective if you would re-enforce the visual hierarchy of elements and their importance using color. Three levels of color would do the trick, something along these lines (descending order of importance):

    1) Banners and other images
    2) Headers, subheads, interface elements
    3) Copy, page background, other backgrounds

    So in the hierarchy, the user interface elements move forward visually 50% and the banners/images move forward visually 75%. These are fairly easy changes that can be implemented site wide through the style sheets you've established. You can play around on a staged copy until you're satisfied and then push the final code out live.

    I'm guessing that the intent of the current design was that the articles be the star of the show, which I think is a good plan but I'd just like to see the other elements of the page step forward just a bit and perhaps a bit more white space.
  5. joemod macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2010
    Athens, Greece

    First of all let me disclose that I am not a designer and I cannot be one so I am in no way the best to critique your work. As a software engineer I usually notice usability issues. Also I viewed your website in a 17" 4:3 monitor(pretty much old that is) so here are my notes (personal opinion):
    • The navigation menu on top is not so obvious, being between the logo and the scrollable news. It seems small and plain (just text).
    • Same with "Social" button. Also the items in social should have the respective logo. It would be nicer
    • I think I understand on why you left the gaps on left and right side. Problem is that after I scroll down past the right hand navigation (recent posts, recent comments, poll), half of my screen is empty with the content not even being in the center. I would prefer scrolling less and moving my eyes more in the same line.
    • 15 news posts in first page. Too much scrolling imho
    • (this for me is a bug) In all your news posts you have a "Read more" link. Thing is that there is nothing to read more if you press it. I noticed it in the "The story of the Maps app in iOS 6" news post, where I just read the whole story and pressing the "Read more" actually didn't present me anything more to read :). Also this particular story is far bigger than the rest of the first page. I guess that the whole design was to present the first lines of the story and then prompt the user to press the link to read the rest of it. If so, that is not working.
    • Based on the previous note I would prefer each story to be presented in a summary of 5-10 lines if possible, then present it fully in a seperate page.

    Apologies if what I wrote wasn't what you were seeking.
  6. DerfBWH thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2008
    Thanks for the input guys! Some of the design decisions (such as having the empty space on the right and left hand sides) are done on purpose so as to make the site as usable as possible on as many displays and resolutions as possible - other sites, such as TechCrunch and Engadget, apply similar concepts. I had also thought about the "Read More" button's text, and considered perhaps replacing it with something more along the line of a "Permalink", but then I got into thinking about how I'm unsure as to whether that's a saying that most people would understand. "Read More" can also apply to potential comments and tags, I figured.

    I'll be making some adjustments to the layout in the coming and days and weeks to add more "white" and to change where the green color is prominent and where it isn't

    Thanks for the suggestion guys, keep them coming!

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