At that time, like most websites, site pages were designed with basic HTML using Dreamweaver and the site was mostly a static reference.
In 2011, the University of Iowa began the process of migrating all administrative and departmental websites over to a content management system (CMS). A few options were considered, but eventually Drupal was chosen as the platform to build upon. Enterprise-wide standardization of layout and design centralized and reduced the workload of those responsible for website management. This shift in focus resulted in more time and energy being spent on site content. [More…]
Site Review by Greg Johnson
The site (shown below) is an excellent example of the synergy, creativity, and efficiency that can happen when design and development teams work together.
Below is a review of the site that explores the exceptional design characteristics as well as some areas that could be improved.
It’s well known that budget constraints and the desires of a client can influence the ultimate outcome of site design. So, suggestions for improvement are not a reflection of the designers, but simply a commentary about website design in general.
Click the site image below to visit now.
Graphics & Images. What strikes me immediately as I visit the site are the clean bold graphics. The main landing page is a critical part of any website. It’s like a resume. You really need to make a good first impression and convey the basic information people need to know. BringTim.com accomplishes this with elegant and professional graphics.
Navigation. Sites that overwhelm people with links, banners, and too many navigation options are likely to repel visitors rather than draw them in. An excellent design aspect of BringTim.com is that the top navigation bar is clean and simplistic — providing all that’s needed and nothing that isn’t.
Video. The video set to auto play is an effective way to engage site visitors immediately upon arrival, and it’s well done — which is essential. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Yet, some photos and videos just mumble and don’t communicate effectively.
Media. The list of media coverage for the product is amazing.
Possible Improvements. These are a few areas I noticed that could use improvement:
- Layout. In an otherwise perfect site, I noticed that the text layout there’s an odd problem with the font layout for the heading “World’s First Meeting Cost Calculator & Clock” above the product to the left of the video. The text isn’t centered in the area above the product and it almost runs into the gray area above the video. On the Boss Gift page, this isn’t a problem. This really isn’t a usability issue, and most people would not even notice it as a design problem, but it caught my eye.
- Purchase. It would be nice to have a simple embedded shopping cart option on the website. Instead, the “Buy it Now” link abruptly leaves the site and opens a product page at http://victorystore80.stores.yahoo and unfortunately that Yahoo store doesn’t have the same design elegance as the BringTim.com site. It would help if the store were designed a little better to match the site. Or, if the site visitor were clicking on a link that said, “Purchase from our merchant partner” or something like that.
- Recommendation. I’d recommend selling the product through multiple online stores such as eBay, Amazon, and Yahoo’s main shopping portal. This will give the product more exposure and allow site visitors to purchase through their preferred store. For example, Amazon Prime members will likely want to purchase it from Amazon. Considering that the product has had some major national media exposure, it would really be worth it to style-up the selling process.
- Contact. The Contact link brings up a cool window and shades the site. However, there’s a lot of information put in that small window, so scrolling is required. It seems a small pop-up window would be better reserved for times when you want to display a small amount of information. Also, missing is a feedback form. This could include a captcha verification process to help reduce spam.
- Recommendation. I’d recommend simply using a web page as the contact page. Include the contact information as well as a feedback form. Many sites include essential contact information (like the phone number for ordering) prominently located in the header of the site or right column area.