Does EMRR need a new front-end, look or feel?

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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2009
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What are your open and honest opinions?

Thanks, in advance.

IMO, it does have a bit of the year 2000 feel to it but it does the job well. I think everything is laid out right and its easy to access.

If anything, spruce up the graphic's a bit.
Honestly, I am more concerned with content and ease of use than fancy looks and graphics. Your content is great and I've always been able to find what I want. IMO, you really don't need to make any changes.

i think your site is the best for rocketry on the net. its really easy to find your way around the site.
as for the look - its fine as it is, its the content that's great and is what i'm intertested in.
I vote for making some changes. There are some repeats in the sidebar navigation (1 Click, mops, L1,2,3) that are a little annoying, they are all the same page. I'm not sure what a 1 click is or mops so, it is a bit confusing.

You have a lot of great info on your pages.

I think look, feel, and navigation of a web site should be changed fairly often. It doesn't have to be big changes all at once, just small changes.

Good luck!!
Does EMRR need a new front-end, look or feel?
Substance and function over flash any day! I think you've
done a great job Nick, and wouldn't change much, if anything.
I agree with what has been said so far. Some of the graphics and the borders could be jazzed up a bit. But that is an "easy" fix with a few afternoons in front of a compy playing with something like Photoshop.

Obviously changing the content is out of the question. Subtle changes to it's appearance would be awesome. With that in mind, one of my pet-peeves (sp?) is when someone changes a site I regularly visit and moves all the menu options all over the place and rearranges all of the options. I hate that. That's sort of what Aerotech did with their website recently. Although, their changes weren't all that drastic.

I will say that while neato graphics are great eye candy just remember that simplicity is your friend which is what makes your current front end very nice.

All good input, thanks....

RE: 1-click and such... I'm a bit stuck there because I have content on the 1-click page (could be liken to a table of contents for that section) that I don't put under the side menu. And I wanted to let guests know that they could just click the main menu item and see this page.

But in contrast, I tried to make many things just one or two clicks away.

I'm not a big graphics person... not my expertise. I paid for the main logos of the site.

I've also been thinking about going wider by eliminating the left-side menu and using that space (like I did for the new Flight Log Profile page).

I have definate plans to eliminate the glossary-box that is to the top right of search page.

Any how, thanks for the comments... highlight any specific areas that you think would make the site easier to navigate of easier on the eyes.

I there anyway to do a dynamic search? For example yesterday I wanted to see a list of all reviews or rocsim plans that are less than 2.25 oz. If not I suggest the layout is fine, I would like a more robust search function.
Appearance: It does look 2000ish.

Content: For a couple years i had a hard time figuring out where to find the launch pad/controller plans. I knew i had seen them earlier, but couldn't locate them easily. Finally figured out the plans were located underneath reviews. Maybe llaunch controller/pad plans should be moved to resources.
In almost any site, I have a learning curve about how to get around. Since I know how to get around on your current site, I'm happy. Changing the graphics only would have no value to me.

I'm really liking the new flight profile :cheers:

It is fine the way it is. I don't need a bunch of Flash and other web toys to make it useful. And I know where to find things.

Hack: Dick Stafford - you don't have a learning curve; to imply so would be to imply you can be trained. :p
Hack: Dick Stafford - you don't have a learning curve; to imply so would be to imply you can be trained. :p

My wife also said that to me recently :eek: But it's really sad when ones true nature is that transparent :D
Re: 1-Click It!

  • It is not obvious what it is or does. Until very recently I avoided it because I didn't know what it did. It might just need to be renamed to something that gives a better indication of what happens when you choose it.
  • Choosing 1-Click It! apparently does the very same thing as simply clicking on the name of the menu in the left menu bar. This is not necessarily a problem, though. ;)
Re: the Home page

Over the last couple of years, you have added several modern-looking button links to various nifty sections of the site along the right edge of the main frame (e.g., Who's Who, your Blog, etc.). The problem is that with them stacked along the edge of the frame, they push the main navigation links (the Table of Contents) down and right off the screen. A couple of years ago, you used to be able to see those links when the home page opened. Those of us who are well-acquainted with the site know that they are there and that we have to scroll down to see them, but a first-time visitor probably wouldn't know that. But I'm not sure that list of links is really needed anymore, because the left menu bar duplicates it. If you do decide to keep it, though, you should update the "Yahoo! circa 1998" look of it to something more modern. And while you are updating its design, find a way to rearrange the aforementioned buttons along the right edge so that they don't push the TOC right off the screen.

Maybe pushing the TOC off the screen was part of the plan, because as I indicated, it is a bit dated. But if you were intentionally trying to hide it or at least make it less prominent, then why even have it in the first place? I used to use the Table of Contents to navigate through the site until you added the left menu bar; now I never use it. With it off the screen, I often forget that it is even there. The left menu bar takes me ju8st about everywhere I want to go in the site now; I use the buttons along the right edge of the frame to get to the few places that aren't listed in the left menu.

With the TOC pushed down, there is a lot of white space below your announcements. If you have many announcements, that space fills up. But I haven't seen that happen in quite awhile, and so it just looks like space that you don't know what to do with.

Re: the top menu bar

Those buttons along the right edge of the page seem to duplicate the items on the top menu bar. I'm not against having a second way to navigate to those sections, but perhaps the items in the top menu bar should be moved to the left menu, and then eliminate the top menu bar. I have been wondering for awhile now why you didn't do that when you created the left menu. I use the left menu now to get to most of the sections of the site; why not make it so that I can use the left menu to get to ALL of the sections of the site?

You asked for unvarnished feedback, so there it is. On a positive note, I find EMRR to be the best single rocketry site on the web. I have my browser configured to open the five web pages that I visit most often and that contain the most important information for me, each in its own tab whenever I start it up or when I hit the Home button. EMRR is one of those five essential web pages (no pun intended). I agree with other posters who have stated that there is nothing in EMRR that really stands out as needing to be fixed. The things that I mentioned above are simply to make EMRR's home page a bit more logical and intuitive in its placement of elements. I certainly don't think that it needs anything in the way of browser-choking fancy graphics or Flash animations, etc. And for God's sake, don't touch the content! Please!!

I just figured out what the 1 click it is for. What made it confusing was that it is on several menu tabs. Normally I would just click on the tab to access the entire contents of that page. So, Now I see what you are doing by adding the 1 click it menu option. I would actually remove the 1 click it entirely. For example, if I wanted to look at resources I just click on the word resources.
I there anyway to do a dynamic search? For example yesterday I wanted to see a list of all reviews or rocsim plans that are less than 2.25 oz. If not I suggest the layout is fine, I would like a more robust search function.

Oh, a challenge... neat.

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