Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blog Tour: Lost Genre Guild - Day 2

Welcome to day two of the Blog Tour Featuring the Christian science fiction and fantasy site: Lost Genre Guild.

Today I'm going to ignore the site's content and give the webpage a design review. Because as a graphic designer I can't help myself. As many of you know :P

What I liked:
- All the text is easy to read. This should be a given, but tragically is not. So props for that.

- Overall design is simple with a cohesive colour scheme. They didn't try to be clever with background images or other things that make the eyes burn. I like the colours actually, and I've always been a stripes fan.

- Half points for navigation, all the links are easy to understand and are reasonably well organized.

- Good use of content, there aren't any useless pages, and usually a good amount of information per page.

- Hooray for having a contact form! Mailto: links make me (and everyone else using a web-based browser) cranky.

What I'd change (I'm a little nit picky, but it's in love. Promise):

- The banner. It's small enough that it should have been saved at 100% quality, it would look a lot better. Also, Papyrus. Oh Papyrus. Everyone uses that font. It's the new comic sans. I know, I know, it's pretty and easy to read. Trust me though, it's making the site look less professional. I could devote a whole blog post to papyrus. But not today. Go to Dafont.com and find something pretty.

- Something that was probably overlooked, the Guild Review and Bookshelves pages have no navigation bar. They need it.

Wait, I just noticed that the bookshelf have interior navigation above the banner. I've been to the site 5 times and I just noticed now. I'd still give the pages navigation consistent with the rest of the site and put the bookshelf navigation somewhere else. As a drop-down from the main navigation preferable.

- Also, with the banner again, I would just keep the same banner throughout and put the page headers on the pages. If that makes sense. People are a lot more likely to notice them there.

- I was going to post about the navigation links on the main page to the blog and the forum. Those should be with the rest of the navigation. But now they are gooone. Are you guys changing things right now?

- The bookshelf (which I love by the way) doesn't have covers for all the books. Some have bright red squares. I don't know why, but I don't like it.

- The footer is too big and messy. It should just contain a couple lines of text, anything else should be placed somewhere else on the site where you want people to see it.

- Actually the whole first page is a bit confusing. I'd include a brief blurb, a link to the most recent featured book, and maybe a news update.

- I'd also embed the blog somewhere on the site. This makes the search engines happy because you seem updated more often, you'll rank higher and more people will see the site.

Overall Impressions:
Overall the site is pretty good. It communications it's goals well and has a cohesive vision and look. It's not a professional looking design, but it's also not trying to hard. Simple is good. Three Stars out of Five.