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Author Topic: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site  (Read 3060 times)

Stewart the Yalie

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Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« on: July 29, 2009, 06:58:19 pm »

Folks,

Please give me your input on how to improve the new Oath Keepers main site at www.oathkeepers.org.  Constructive criticism is most welcome, so if there is something you don't like, say so - but also tell us how to make it better. 

When Drew and I designed the site, my model was Pat Dollard's blog:

http://patdollard.com/

Drew wasn't able to set our up exactly the same, but close. 

I'm not completely satisfied with how it turned out, so please go look at Dollard's site, look at ours, and give us your constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. 

Thanks a ton,

Stewart
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Remember, remember your body will not live forever
That you will die matters not;
When The Day comes, follow your fathers
Give them ball for ball, and shot for shot.

 Stewart

NYOK2002

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 08:27:11 pm »

I have yet to see anything wrong with the layout.  What I have noticed is not everyone here and on the social websites, facebook etc.., is moving to the new site and making use of the forums and state groups.  If we are to share ideas and information it should be centralized on the main site.  Facebook has over 5000 members yet the main site has not even hit 300 yet.  I am not against using facebook or this site to network but the majority of communication should be moved.  Not sure what can be done to get people to move over but I do believe it would help in getting the word out and ensure a proper flow of communication. 

Thanks again for all the time you are putting into this.


Rob
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da gooch

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 08:35:43 pm »


I don't see anything wrong with it either Stewart.
It is a new-to-me format and I can get adjusted fairly quickly once we make the actual "move".


I am still on dial-up so the video and YouTube connections don't mean much to my usage style.
I also don't "do" Twitter, MySpace or any of the rest of those "social" sites.
Too time expensive for me to load and use.
Also I am not that interested in sharing that much about ME with the rest of the world as the "social" sites seem to require.


All that said .... Let me know If I can be of any help with the project.


CaptGooch
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Klapton Isgod

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2009, 09:16:34 pm »

The forum page doesn't look like a forum page to me.  It was a little confusing at first, because I had to scroll down to find the actual forums.

If you got rid of the side frames so the forums aren't "squeezed" down so far on the page, that would be an improvement.  Leave the banner and navigation at the top though.

I think some form of "table" framing around the forum linkies would also make it look more like a forum, and communicate the idea of forum catagories a little better.  Either frames or alternating background colors...  Something to visually set the forum linkie headers apart from the rest of the screen so you are visually drawn to them better.

These are just suggestions based on what I'm accustomed to being a forum junkie.
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Hollywoodgold

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2009, 09:22:33 pm »



Folks,

Please give me your input on how to improve the new Oath Keepers main site at www.oathkeepers.org.¬  Constructive criticism is most welcome, so if there is something you don't like, say so - but also tell us how to make it better.¬ 

When Drew and I designed the site, my model was Pat Dollard's blog:

http://patdollard.com/

Drew wasn't able to set our up exactly the same, but close. 

I'm not completely satisfied with how it turned out, so please go look at Dollard's site, look at ours, and give us your constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. 

Thanks a ton,

Stewart

Stewart:

My comments will be limited to the form of the site rather than the content.

Basically, the weakness I see is in the graphic composition. The relevance of this weakness is in the consequences, The site lacks a graphic hierarchy and the text sizes are generally too large resulting in messages requiring too much area, aka real estate.

For instance:

The masthead letter size is close to the headline sizes. This results in visual confusion. In advertising parlance as it relates to text, this is called, "Burying the lead".

The text throughout the site is too large, too much use of boldface resulting again in visual competition and hence, confusion.

There is no meaningful difference between "Recent Posts" and Featured Posts". Graphically, except for the box around "Featured" there is no meaningful difference. Again, confusion.

Graphically, you are using a lot of "midtones" in background and text with no contrasting separations such as a "gutter". Hence, little contrast resulting in visual confusion.

There is an inconsistent and somewhat irrational use of the left flush versus center alignment of titles.

Look at the differences in the alignment of the "Welcome", "Latest", "Please" and "Featured-Recent" topics. In order, Center, left, center, left, left, centered text titles. When you get to the Archives and Categories the graphics are worse. Titles centered, list left aligned, real confusing.

What is the masthead? Is it the arched "OATH KEEPERS" logotype, the battle scene (Trenton?) or the "Guardians of the Republic" emblem? Too many cooks in the kitchen. Pick a "flag" and stick with it.

Finally, there are no graphic breaks between the articles which with a mid-tone background, low contrast, tend to run together.

The shadow feature on your subtitles is too heavy obscuring the word/meaning.

IMNSHO, the site needs "sharpness".

I realize these comments may seem "superficial", but a webpage is a front door to a world and IMO if the front door is difficult to "get through", the house/place will likely not be discovered. I mean this to be helpful as I believe the "contents/meaning/purpose" of the site is important and laudable.

BR/DS
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Stewart the Yalie

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2009, 09:54:00 pm »



Folks,

Please give me your input on how to improve the new Oath Keepers main site at www.oathkeepers.org.¬  Constructive criticism is most welcome, so if there is something you don't like, say so - but also tell us how to make it better.¬ 

When Drew and I designed the site, my model was Pat Dollard's blog:

http://patdollard.com/

Drew wasn't able to set our up exactly the same, but close. 

I'm not completely satisfied with how it turned out, so please go look at Dollard's site, look at ours, and give us your constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. 

Thanks a ton,

Stewart

Stewart:

My comments will be limited to the form of the site rather than the content.

Basically, the weakness I see is in the graphic composition. The relevance of this weakness is in the consequences, The site lacks a graphic hierarchy and the text sizes are generally too large resulting in messages requiring too much area, aka real estate.

For instance:

The masthead letter size is close to the headline sizes. This results in visual confusion. In advertising parlance as it relates to text, this is called, "Burying the lead".

The text throughout the site is too large, too much use of boldface resulting again in visual competition and hence, confusion.

There is no meaningful difference between "Recent Posts" and Featured Posts". Graphically, except for the box around "Featured" there is no meaningful difference. Again, confusion.

Graphically, you are using a lot of "midtones" in background and text with no contrasting separations such as a "gutter". Hence, little contrast resulting in visual confusion.

There is an inconsistent and somewhat irrational use of the left flush versus center alignment of titles.

Look at the differences in the alignment of the "Welcome", "Latest", "Please" and "Featured-Recent" topics. In order, Center, left, center, left, left, centered text titles. When you get to the Archives and Categories the graphics are worse. Titles centered, list left aligned, real confusing.

What is the masthead? Is it the arched "OATH KEEPERS" logotype, the battle scene (Trenton?) or the "Guardians of the Republic" emblem? Too many cooks in the kitchen. Pick a "flag" and stick with it.

Finally, there are no graphic breaks between the articles which with a mid-tone background, low contrast, tend to run together.

The shadow feature on your subtitles is too heavy obscuring the word/meaning.

IMNSHO, the site needs "sharpness".

I realize these comments may seem "superficial", but a webpage is a front door to a world and IMO if the front door is difficult to "get through", the house/place will likely not be discovered. I mean this to be helpful as I believe the "contents/meaning/purpose" of the site is important and laudable.

BR/DS



That's the kind of feedback I need.  Keep it coming.    Look at the Pat Dollard site, and let me know if you think that is the way to go, layout wise. 

I am thinking of simplifying/reducing the number of different categories for content.  In particular, because we were not able (so far) to lay it out the same as Dollard's site is done, I think the attempt to use featured posts, recent posts, and latest testimonial, latest article, latest video, etc. is confusing. 

I need to simplify it.  Suggestions? 

As for the forum, thanks Klapton for your suggestions.   one other option is to use a simple machine forum for the national forum, since it  is superior in layout and function, and use ning for the state groups only - besides, I do want folks to use the state groups only for local activism, getting out there in real life, and chat on the national forum, rather  than them using the state sites for chatting.  Same goes for Facebook and Myspace - as noted, they need to get over to the main site and most importantly, into their state groups. 

Time is short as hell, and we don't have time to screw around.  We need to be forming real deal, real time in person networks of Oath Keepers in each state and in each county/city/town.  The time has come. 

Please help me to get this sorted out as effectively as possible. 

Stewart

Stewart
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Remember, remember your body will not live forever
That you will die matters not;
When The Day comes, follow your fathers
Give them ball for ball, and shot for shot.

 Stewart

Hollywoodgold

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2009, 10:01:24 pm »

Stewart:

If you can have sent to me an example "dummie" of your website in Adobe Illustrator format, I will respond in a graphic form rather than narrative. If interested PM me and I will send you my email address.

BR/DS

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Klapton Isgod

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 10:06:55 pm »

Big thumbs up on the SMF forum idea.  I'm not so sure that having the state forums somewhere else is such a good idea though.  I understand what you mean about chatting vs. organizing events.  But I think that people "hanging out" at the forums will be more likely to see / check for events if they are organized on the main forums.  I also think that most of the "chatting" will end up being on the National level anyway, just like "General Discussion" forums always get the most traffic on nearly any forum.  So I think people will most likely only go to the state forums for state-specific stuff anyway.

I would recommend a main heading of "State Chapters" or something like that, with subfora for the states.  As things get more organized, you could add a "County Chapters" heading in each state, with further subfora.  (I wouldn't do this right away, until you get a lot more traffic on the State forums.)

I just think that not having the notification or "unread posts" features of the forum for state level stuff will result in more people not getting the message.  Although cross-posting might help this?

Hmmm...  Maybe have a "State Announcements" forum that would just post messages on the main forums when someone posts and event on the state pages?  I think you can set this up with RSS feeds, or something like that.

I just know I'm going to end up spending more time on the forums than I will on the main page, cause that's how I roll.
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"I got things under control, that's why people call me an extremist.  I'm autonomous.  I understand that I declare my independence every day."  Ted Nugent

"It is the conservative laissez- fairist, the man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, 'Limit yourself'; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian."  Murray Rothbard

Stewart the Yalie

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 10:25:31 pm »

We went with ning for the state groups for several reasons: 

1.  Many people are not using ning for networking, and many other orgs, such as the Tea Party folks, 9-12 folks, etc, and thus we will get more new folks coming in from other orgs.  Ning seems to be the new hot ticket, replacing meetup.com

2.  It was easy to set up the 50 states, all on ning.

3.  We retain control over the groups.  That is not as easy to do with other systems, such as meetup.   All I care about is having the state coordinator be vetted and squared away and dependable, and then I will leave it to them to manage their state.  I am a hands off kind of person by nature, and trust folks to do what is right in their own back yard, but given the tightrope/edge of the sword we are walking on, it is important to have cool, rational, honorable, and credible folks at the helm in each state - people who will not go off half cocked or be loose cannons.   

Even if we use a SMF for the main forum, we will likely leave the state groups on ning.   What do you all think?

Also, in case anyone missed it (and Oxi seems to need a reminder) we WILL be organizing across the country, in each state, right down to the county and even town level.   Here is an earlier post I did on that:

Quote
from the outset it has been my goal to see Oath Keepers state chapters in every state, with a state director (or two or three for large states) and then active, official, Oath keepers groups in every county (or in blocks of three or four counties for very large or very sparsely populated states).

This is something that we went into some detail about during our confab in Montana, but I have not gone into much here or on the main site.  I will correct that this weekend.

We want strong state chapters, with squared away directors like Chauncey, Rand, Elias, and Dave Freeman, who can organize and vett the county level leaders so we end up with state organizations that are run by people of integrity, cool heads (which will be needed) and the leadership ability to keep folks on mission and to represent Oath Keepers well.

But my goal has always been to have very active county level Oath Keepers groups.  Imagine if in your county all the veterans were wide awake and active Oath Keepers, who then got to know all the police, the deputies, the guardsmen, active duty military, fire-fighters, ect. in their county, and they all became friends, with many, if not all, of the current serving becoming Oath Keepers too (even if unofficially).

 And then add in the citizen oath Keepers (those who never served in the military, police, or fire dept,) And imagine if all those switched on vets and newly sworn citizen oath keepers then made sure the Sheriff and police chiefs in each town read Sheriff Mack's book, and understood their power and responsibilities as Sheriff and chiefs.  Imagine if they all studied the Constitution and the education materials we will provide nation wide.   

And imagine that those vets, citizens, and police, fire, etc. were all very politically active to clean up shop in their county, vote out corrupt or totalitarian  minded politicians, and replaced them with constitutionalists.  Imagine a sheriff like Richard Mack, a constitutionalist country attorney and a local county judge like Judge Napolitano, etc.

And, imagine how much stronger, more resilient, and prepared that community would be for whatever may be ahead, such as hard times in a possible economic collapse.  Rebuilding from the county up politically will help in other areas too.

That is what we want to see happen.  But the focus should and will always be on outreach to the local current serving police, military, and fire-fighters, and on getting squared away sheriffs, chiefs of police, mayors, and county commissioners, judges, etc. in place.

Stewart
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Remember, remember your body will not live forever
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Give them ball for ball, and shot for shot.

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Stewart the Yalie

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2009, 10:26:44 pm »

Stewart:

If you can have sent to me an example "dummie" of your website in Adobe Illustrator format, I will respond in a graphic form rather than narrative. If interested PM me and I will send you my email address.

BR/DS



Will do.  PM inbound.  Drew will be here within the hour, so if you will be up, perhaps we can chat.

Stewart
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Remember, remember your body will not live forever
That you will die matters not;
When The Day comes, follow your fathers
Give them ball for ball, and shot for shot.

 Stewart

Hollywoodgold

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 10:36:31 pm »

Stewart:

If you can have sent to me an example "dummie" of your website in Adobe Illustrator format, I will respond in a graphic form rather than narrative. If interested PM me and I will send you my email address.

BR/DS



Will do.  PM inbound.  Drew will be here within the hour, so if you will be up, perhaps we can chat.

Stewart

Stewart:

Received and responded.

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CorbinKale

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Re: Need Your Input on Improving the New Site
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2009, 11:04:26 am »

Stewart:

My comments will be limited to the form of the site rather than the content.

Basically, the weakness I see is in the graphic composition. The relevance of this weakness is in the consequences, The site lacks a graphic hierarchy and the text sizes are generally too large resulting in messages requiring too much area, aka real estate.

For instance:

The masthead letter size is close to the headline sizes. This results in visual confusion. In advertising parlance as it relates to text, this is called, "Burying the lead".

The text throughout the site is too large, too much use of boldface resulting again in visual competition and hence, confusion.

There is no meaningful difference between "Recent Posts" and Featured Posts". Graphically, except for the box around "Featured" there is no meaningful difference. Again, confusion.

Graphically, you are using a lot of "midtones" in background and text with no contrasting separations such as a "gutter". Hence, little contrast resulting in visual confusion.

There is an inconsistent and somewhat irrational use of the left flush versus center alignment of titles.

Look at the differences in the alignment of the "Welcome", "Latest", "Please" and "Featured-Recent" topics. In order, Center, left, center, left, left, centered text titles. When you get to the Archives and Categories the graphics are worse. Titles centered, list left aligned, real confusing.

What is the masthead? Is it the arched "OATH KEEPERS" logotype, the battle scene (Trenton?) or the "Guardians of the Republic" emblem? Too many cooks in the kitchen. Pick a "flag" and stick with it.

Finally, there are no graphic breaks between the articles which with a mid-tone background, low contrast, tend to run together.

The shadow feature on your subtitles is too heavy obscuring the word/meaning.

IMNSHO, the site needs "sharpness".

I realize these comments may seem "superficial", but a webpage is a front door to a world and IMO if the front door is difficult to "get through", the house/place will likely not be discovered. I mean this to be helpful as I believe the "contents/meaning/purpose" of the site is important and laudable.

BR/DS

That was an excellent critique. Very professional.
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