Please comment on our company website...

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by markfc, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. markfc macrumors 6502a

    markfc

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    #1
    I need to convince our marketing department that we need a new website.

    The current one has been up unchanged for 7 years now !!!!!?!?!?!?

    Please feel free to comment (constructively) so I can bring up some comment in the board room.

    Ta.


    www.warwickint.com
     
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    The horribleness of that site has blown me away, especially if you have JavaScript disabled. The first words I have thrown at me when I get there are taed, tetraacetylethylenediamine in a huge font (because it's using heading tags). So many SEO violations here by doing this, and completely shuns accessibility standards. I can't go on, I must puke after being visually assaulted by this site. :eek:

    Will try to return later to be more constructive.
     
  3. skyton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Location:
    england
    #3
    i have to say ive seen (and redesigned) worse
    just taking the look and feel into account ask them if thats really the way they want to be represented online!

    try a showcase of good sites like cssmania.com and see how well they think this site stacks up
     
  4. OzExige macrumors 6502

    OzExige

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    Omnipresence
  5. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    The biggest point to argue is on SEO (search engine optimization):
    • As I was starting to mention before there are SEO violations being used here like throwing a bunch of keywords into a noscript tag as well as placing them into heading tags. Google looks for this type of deceit and will actually lower the sites Google ranking. This should matter to the company. I'm not sure how much other search engines penalize this behavior though.
    • Also, with placing all of that junk into the noscript tag, it turns into an accessibility mess. Blind visitors, people using screen readers, or people with JavaScript disabled will be riddled with all of that crap. A sighted person with JavaScript disabled may see that the real page starts a page down, but a blind user will just see nonsense and leave immediately. Good bye potential customers.
    • The layout is done with tables rather than semantic HTML and CSS. Table layouts are less friendly for search engines. Also CSS layouts use less code overall, which means less bandwidth will be used overall for the same amount of visits and thus will be cheaper to serve up. Cost savings.
    The other big issue to sell on is accessibility, which I elaborate on below on some points.

    Other comments:
    • The fixed width page layout was definitely made for smaller monitors of 5 years ago. This should be updated as a more fluid design that can reasonably accommodate various window sizes.
    • The Contact Us link is randomly placed, as well as the Legal information link. These should be consolidated into the main navigation list.
    • There is a vast number of HTML validation errors.
    • There are some CSS validation errors.
    • Colors are bit old looking and faded. Needs to be revitalized.
    • A good number of images are missing alt attributes. If you view the site with images disabled the site becomes unusable.
    • That News thing doesn't do anything as far as I can tell.
    • The search form lacks HTML semantics.
    • The drop down box underneath the search form has no label and took me a bit to figure out what it's suppose to do. It's also unusable when JavaScript is disabled.
    • Some places lack white space, which makes things looked cramped, though other areas seem to do well.
    • Font sizes are kind of small for some of the content.
    • It fails Section 508 accessibility if it applies to them. Also fails on WAI (another accessibility thing).

    The most serious issues relate to accessibility problems with the site, and this keeps away potential customers. The SEO issues are also serious and are likely hurting their chances of being found. The site really isn't that horribly done, at least if it was still 1998. The page is coded using old techniques and practices. The site could use some Web 2.0 features though, namely having news that can be subscribed to with a RSS feed, though that may be all it really needs from Web 2.0 given what the site is for. It could use some re-branding though with the logo. It's got an old and musty feel to it.

    Hope this helps and was more constructive.
     
  6. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    The good side of the grass.
    #6
    I don't think it's horrible or even that bad. Gets the point across with little fanfare. I've been wrestling with redoing our site and its quite a leap. Legally it drives me batty every time we do alter something and then the updates needed after you go live are a pain too. But then again, I've been trying to get someone (anyone) to redo ours and they can't come up with anything I like better.

    www.triangleanalytical.com
     
  7. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #7
    The site is not bad at all, and the design is clean and appropriate to the content.
    I've seen plenty of modern "web 2.0" AJAX sites that don't function as nicely as this one.
    I found it to be easy to use and free from errors or obvious problems.
    What exactly is the problem with this site? (in addition to the fact that it's 7 years old)

    How much traffic is currently hitting the site?
    How many people have submitted the contact form over the past year?
    Be careful not to fix something that ain't broken.
     
  8. markfc thread starter macrumors 6502a

    markfc

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    #8
    Wow, thanks for the responses guys.

    Yeah the site is boring, but in reality, we are a chemical speciality company, which in itself is quite boring.

    I just think it could look a lot better/cleaner.

    We deal directly with people like ;

    Proctor and Gamble www.pg.com
    Unilever www.unilever.com
    Henkel www.henkel.com

    and also designs aside, the news hasn't been updated since 2007 :(

    I'll bring up some of your comments in the meeting and see how it goes.

    Many Thanks
     
  9. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #9
    I completely agree with angelwatt's comments on SEO optimization, accessibility, etc. However, I disagree with this:

    I feel the complete opposite that he does. As monitors get bigger (specifically wider), I think that fluid designs get less useful. Especially with large blocks of paragraph text.

    I'm viewing the site using a 1920 pixel wide display. Paragraphs that span the entire width of my display look horrible. Sometimes I end up seeing a block of paragraphs that look funny because they're each only one line long. Other times, on longer paragraphs, it becomes very difficult to figure out which line is the next line, while reading. Books and newspaper columns are easy to read because it's a short distance from the end of one line back to the beginning of the next. The wider the display becomes, the harder it is to do that.

    I used to do all my designs as fluid, and it worked well, but they were created back when 1024 x 768 was high-res display. Now that resolutions are much higher, I think it's time to go back to fixed width.

    But, maybe I'm not understanding angelwatt's comments correctly. Perhaps it's just a wider layout, and not a true fluid layout he's after.
     
  10. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Yes, I made an effort to say more fluid rather than 100% fluid for the same reasons you mention. I personally use about a 46em width then also set a min- and max-width property (even though IE is clueless) using em for the min and a percentage for the max, and then have the body centered. Some years ago now I was preferring 100% fluid, but with wide screen displays becoming the norm it just doesn't look good anymore. Thanks for elaborating on this point though as I left it kind of unclear.
     
  11. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #11
    Yeah, I figured we were probably on the same page.
     
  12. skyton macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Location:
    england
    #12
    interested to hear the outcome!
     
  13. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #13
    I highly doubt having a better website is going to increase your... chemical distributing power?

    Yes it does look like a Chemistry book from 1992, but I’ve seen worse, esp. in this industry. My father works for a chemical plant and their website sucks worse than this, but... it doesn’t matter because web related sales aren’t part of their core-competencies.

    Arisian
     
  14. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #14
    wtf? blind internet viewers? my thoughts are the blind internet users will see NOTHING.
     
  15. hank-b macrumors member

    hank-b

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #15
    Interesting - I did some work for a blind man and he'd use the word "see" in exactly the same way as sighted people do. Anyway, for guidance from the RNIB's research group, see http://www.tiresias.org/

    HB
     
  16. hank-b macrumors member

    hank-b

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #16
    On the website:

    The text "Welcome to Warwick International" should just be "Warwick International" - and then get rid of the redundant logo and "Warwick International" at the top right.

    'Deep Linking', where users jump straight to a page deep in your site from a search engine result is much more common than it was 7 years ago. Therefore you need to make sure all your 'deep' pages are properly branded, welcoming and have the right links up the hierarchy.

    Also - why is there nothing in the 'News' thing on the right of the front page?

    HB
     
  17. Arisian macrumors 68000

    Arisian

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    China
    #17
    I see. They are using screen readers... didnt catch that even though its written right after the blind part. Oh well, I doubt a blind person honestly cares about the physical design of that website.

    Also, its worth noting that I wasn't arguing about the definition of the word see, I just assumed, foolishly, that the web wasnt accessible, via eye sight, to blind people.... since we are talking about a redesign.
     
  18. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Well, the reason they'll care is that there are hundreds of keywords their screen reader has to go through before it gets to the "real" page content. View the page with JavaScript disabled to see what I am talking about.
     
  19. operator207 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #19
    They do if its something they are interested in.

    I spoke with quite a few blind users that called in for support at the ISP I worked for. They called in for random sites, such as this one, and why it did not look right. Ya that was a common question (but not from just blind users), like the ISP runs all websites. It got to the point that anytime someone got a call with a blind user they would send it to me. I could keep up with the screen reader over the phone, and tell them where to go. Most of the blind users would ask me how I kept up, I just told them the same way they kept up, I listened.

    If you have never listened to a screen reader, they are pretty cool, especially the good ones. (circa 1999) And can be funny if you shoot the mouse across a wordy screen.
     

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