Page 3 of 6

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 07 Feb 2010, 14:36
by LeonRegis
I think is a great step in direction of success! ;)

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 07 Feb 2010, 16:00
by Finis
Looks good (graphics/art/style) to me. I agree with you that this is better for business. It quickly shows the parent or child that there is a large amount of material and activities available. The brighter look is more inviting.

All I can think of that isn't there is something to say there is more or that new material is always being added. Let them know that it already has all this and more and that it is on going with new things.

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 08 Feb 2010, 03:59
by Breech Block
Hi Paul! Gosh, you seem to be quite around here of late. With regards your new front page, I certainly think it's a step in the right direction. I was chatting to a web designer not so long a go and he told me the same thing about my site. When people visit the homepage, it should give the clearest possible indication of the content of the site. Can't say I agreed with him at the time as like you, I wasn't keen on having something that was too "in yer face". But, having changed my own front-page recently, I must admit he was spot on.

With regards to specifics, first of all I can't say I'm too keen on your animated text. I don't like the way the actual wording changes from when it is static to when it leaps out at you. Don't know if it is suppose to be that way. I also think the "now" on the secondary text is a bit of an overkill. Mind you, I never did like being told what to do. :lol: In addition, the hotspot detection is very tight and might be a bit awkward for younger mouse users.

I also think the whole page is very static and doesn't really convey the lively fun that young kids can have within the site. If each spot/character was to have a small flash animation sequence that kicked off at random intervals that might help. Or make it so each spot/character is also a hotspot and when the mouse hovers over it a speech bubble comes up with a very brief explanation of who the character is or them saying something like "Hello, I'm Doris, come on in and join the fun!" Or perhaps all the little characters could be chatting away to each other. And whilst I realise this would be a lot of extra work, perhaps you could change the design of the page so the characters are sticking out of the background, kinda like a head through a porthole or how madmouse posed his lovable little alien character. That would give the page a lot more dimension/relief and certainly be more reflective of the wonderful world that lies within.

Whilst I realise all this would mean the page would take longer to load, IMO, that is something you should seek to address rather than avoid. By that I mean plan for the page to take a few seconds to upload, but entertain the waiting visitor with a Buddy World themed animated loading bar that both informs them of the pages progress and is fun/funny to watch.

Hope some of that little lot helps.

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 08 Feb 2010, 05:02
by Finis
Harold's race car game is fun.

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 08 Feb 2010, 16:09
by v3rd3
I think Breech's comments are quite good. I would add a suggestion that each of the graphics for the sections of the site have a mouseover effect. Something as simple as changing the ring in each of the graphics altering the thickness and colour.

The overall design I think will work very well.

The text at the corners might stand for some editing to clearly delineate the letters. For example, the bottom left corner has Learning where the a and the r bleed into each other. Some readers may be concerned that the reading material is "hard to read" material :).

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 08 Feb 2010, 16:37
by Finis
The flow from page to page needs to be reconsidered now. It is like there are two front pages: the gate page and the new front page. Quick access to sample or member content without too many clicks is needed while preserving promotional and informational opportunities where needed.

The front page graphics, like "Barn Buddies", could all link to the "World" page. Alternately, they could each link to the appropriate sample or member(if logged in) content.

"Books", "Games", and "Learn More" could link to a redesigned Gate page which would serve as a sort of table of contents for the detailed info. and show promotional material.

Members need a front page login link. Maybe it could have the gate image for its icon. Others in convenient places too.

Members would see the World page after logging in.

Consider what happens when various "Exit" links, any link that leaves an area, are clicked. Where do you go and is that what the text implies and what a user would expect?

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 11 Feb 2010, 14:03
by splinters
Cheers guys, I have indeed been quiet of late. Job interviews, pressure at work, family etc. all take their toll. Finally got my breath back to revisit the site and decided to revamp the front.
I will change the 'growing text' and make it easier to click but I worry that the animations will slow it down. I once read that new visitors will only wait (less than) 10 seconds for something to appear before they leave.
Will give the rest some thought tonight after I make trueblue's icons.... :D

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 11 Feb 2010, 14:56
by splinters
Forgot to mention that the rollover is very simple as I already have the Photoshop layers and they can be easily done. Hopefully, if I do it this way the main image (with the rings as they are) would load almost straight away and you would only be waiting for the 'pop up/rollover' images to load. I will try it tonight.

@Breech; all my images/books etc. are static so I have no animations as such but here is what I would suggest:

Add the rollover state with a speech bubble for description and maybe the book title grows but also change the picture in the disc (one with red ring around it) to a different image from the books so maybe Harold on his bike; rollover to reveal Harold in his decorating gear. That way I am also showing more than you initially see.
I will probably change the colour of the ring as well to show it is highlighted.
As for the next page I really want that to be where you join/subscribe/find out more etc. Not sure how you could get straight in unless I put a 'Members only Express entry' hotspot!

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 13 Feb 2010, 00:57
by splinters
Ok, I changed the front page guys if you want to take a quick look...

Re: Buddy World

Posted: 28 Feb 2010, 13:10
by splinters
Front page updated slightly again to use some updated logos etc. I also changed the main members map.