Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Personally, the designer in me tells me that there may be room room for compromise between a 'Whistles & bells' approach and a 'Soft, subdued look'.

What is vital, imo, is that the FP have a logical, easily navigable presentation, which, most members seem to agree, is lacking in its present state.

I agree wholeheartedly with the observation that a first-time user may find the FP confusing, between the variety of entries in the wide central column and the diaries in a tall right hand column, followed, way, way down, by the blogroll and front-pagers. I also find the presentation lacking in warmth, generally speaking.

The comment about making a more legible, representative banner is very important, imo. Notice the banner on The Oil Drum, for instance. Aesthetic considerations aside, it's efficient, providing good visibility to essential parts of the site at a single glance. -- Imo, the ET FP relies too much on links that are situated 'below the fold', in both the left and right hand columns. Additionally, the Menu box in the left column contains a few redundancies in relation to the menu at the top of the page. I think most of those options, FAQ, Home, About, Search, should be grouped together.

I'll leave my comments at that, for now, and will see if I can't grab the time to make a list of what I would consider structural and design improvements, taking into account what is being expressed, here.

I'd just add that this is a very important discussion, in my view. ET is full of content that is as superb as it is unique ... as well as fun. As it stands, the site is great, but it could be greater still through a more coherent structure, and with perhaps a dab of additional warmth.

by Loefing on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 09:45:12 AM EST
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