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Thread: Visitor Navigation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    31

    Visitor Navigation

    Hi Everyone,

    Again, I hope I am in the right board, to ask for tips on something.

    I am wondering if anyone can give me tips on how I can better the layout of my website:
    Workmen For Christ

    If anyonen recalls, I had asked for help when I was putting the Bible to be read on the website (Thread: Page Loading . . . ). I finally settled on stripping the page of all unnecessary code, which actually appeared to me, to look a little better than the other pages of the website (and ensures the fastest loading time I believe)!

    Well, after I did that, I started thinking about how my other pages look. When you go to my website, the side bar is the source of navigation. I am highly considering changing that, to a menu at the top of the pages. This will free up more space for the words of the pages, instead of having them confined to a seemingly small space (especially since the text is larger in size). If the text can go all the way across instead of being sure to stay off the menu bar as it is now, it will help visitors also to read more of the text before needing to scroll, and I will also be able to have the text fit to the screen size for the visitors instead of forcing the Table Width (yes, I'm currently using tables for layout, which is, I know, something terrible, and hopefully though I can move away from that too). Also, I really, really hate how for visitors with smaller screen sizes have to scroll to the right before reading the text!

    Would anyone be willing to help shed some light on how I can make the pages better by getting rid of the side bar menu and moving to a menu at the top? I searched like crazy, and was leaning toward a drop-down menu of some sort, BUT they seem require code that is limited on which browsers can render it properly. I'm aiming at keeping my website simple enough and accessible for as many browsers as possible, and even very early ones (I know their not used too much, but I do know some who have very early browsers, and don't want to exclude them).

    So, any help, tips, advice, anything, on how I can do this? It will greatly aid in visitor navigation and accessibility, I believe!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    853
    Actually I found the basic layout to be very nice. I would advise against
    Drop Down" menus as they can get in the way if you don't make sure your cursor is out of the way.

    However I would suggest a couple of thing...reduce the text size a bit..10pt is good..14 is too big...I don't mind scrolling down..it is the side-scrolling just to read one line that is a bit silly.

    Have you thought of using CSS..like <div> tags and columns? THis would be much better than tables. There are others here who will be able to help you more but I don't think your site needs too much tweaking..just a reduction in text size and using CSS instead of tables.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more use to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    3,147
    Actually I agree with Dark Dragon, but I would like to see the side menu text easier to read...
    Basically your side menu is rather long to transfer it to a horizontal one... Unless you have a means of drastically shortening it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    31
    Thank you both, very much, for your advice! I apologize for the delayed reply.

    Thanks, As for the Text Size, I have been thinking of putting it to where people can make the text a bit smaller or larger. I've seen some websites that have that option that will change the size of the text (and I think it does so without reloading? unless it just loaded really fast). I've been thinking of doing something like that. Nearly everyone who goes to my website comments that they like the larger text, and I figured the larger text would be good because the website is a type of "studying" kinda thing---nearly all words, just plain and simple. And too small of text might make the eyes grow weary. So that's why I first put the text size larger, and nearly everyone thanks me for that. HOWEVER, I have had a very select few mention that it was a bit too big.
    They said that the text on this section of the site:
    http://www.workmenforchrist.org/DailyBibleStudies/
    was good though.

    It would be great to have an option for the users to select from three text sizes though.

    CSS, I've really considered using it, I use it with the section I linked above because Wordpress was using it. It would definitely make things easier for me, I believe. However, the problem lies with how CSS isn't supported by certain browsers, namely early ones. And That is something I am always trying to make sure I am able to work with.

    And of course, drop-down menus present the same problem with browser compatibility lol So that was a downfall, as welll as what you, Dark Dragon, had mentioned with the cursor.

    Thanks much, and no problem, what you said was of help, I just am trying to think of ways which will allow for even earlier browsers to present the website well enough. (perhaps though, could I have two versions of the website . . . one for those who cannot render CSS correctly or something. . . )

    DaveSW, Thanks Though I'm not sure what you mean by the side menu text needing to be easier to read. Is it the Color of the text?

    Also, yes I definitely plan on shortening the menu if I put it horizontally. Right now I have the main topics in larger, bold, print, and then under them smaller "subcategories" so to speak. If I put it horizontally I would list only the "main topics", and then link to a page that has further links relating to that topic. I have on this page, the menu in a way that was what striked me into putting all my pages this way:
    http://workmenforchrist.org/ReadOnline/John.html

    See how I only have certain ones linked? The only problem is that it forces a person to go to another page before going where they really want to end up, and if someone has a slow connection speed . . . then that would pose a big test of their patience.

    Thanks again, and thanks in advance for further help and advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    3,147
    It's the colour of the text doesn't stand out very well on your patterned background.
    At least, I don't think it does.

    If you use CSS drop downs then they can be made 'degradeable' - as in you click on the first icon to go to the main page if it doesn't support drop downs, but drop downs are there for advanced browsers. You then need to duplicate your drop down contents for the old browsers.

    http://www.alistapart.com/articles/dropdowns/

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