I’ve made some minor changes to my own website, and some massive changes to the “Take a Picture” website.
Take a Picture had a complete re-design with drop down menus, new content, lots of cool stuff, definitely worth checking out.
As for my main website, my changes were aimed at tweaking some navigation issues that have been bugging me since last summer.
Over the course of the holidays, I had the chance to watch some non-tech savvy users navigate my website. I was watching for any signs of confusion or frustration.
Nothing on my page was awful, but I knew I could do better with a little tweaking, I saw a few pages that could be simpler, and a few pages that were ignored because they were too subtle, too hidden from view.
One of my own personal pet peeves when I visit a website is having frequently used information buried under a mountain of pages, or having pages hidden behind a wall of unintuitive categories.
Sometimes, usability can be a struggle between super-minimal and easy for the uninterested majority, or super-detailed, but somewhat difficult to navigate and cluttered for the obsessive minority.
My goal for this website is to cater to both sides. I want to have just enough info available on the surface to let people know my work without any distractions, but I also want a page that, with a little digging, hosts a wealth of other information for those who want to see more.
I think I might have been leaning a little too far towards the latter in some places.
The ‘gallery’ section is by far the most popular on my website. From there, people click an image, and most users are taken to the full ‘urban landscapes’ archive, where they click on a thumbnail to see the image.
But there is a problem with this arrangement:
Most people don’t want to see a full archive; they just want to see an image. I’ve set up my website so people have to click two buttons, then search around on a big long page for something interesting, then click a third time to see the image.
What’s worse is how I’ve got the gallery section set up. Every link on that page leads to the full archive, yet there are 5 different thumbnails, so it looks like clicking a thumbnail should take you to that image, not take you to yet another page to search for and click on yet another thumbnail.
I should be able to do better.
Now, The gallery section displays my 8 most popular paintings, (as determined by you from the “vote for my paintings” gallery) and a 9th thumbnail which simply says “more”
Clicking a thumbnail takes you to that image.
The 9th thumbnail, “more”, takes you to the full urban landscapes archive, which lists over 50 paintings in chronological order.
So, that’s what I’ve been working on for the last little while.