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New InsaneScouter Web Design

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Remember, YOU asked.


A few comments, to ignore or not as you see fit.


* I had to click down to a fourth page to get to "What is Scouting?" You might consider more of a tree design so it''s a single click.

* Do you have an agreement with your advertiser as to placement? His banner is the first thing I see and it''s distracting. Your logo ought to be above his advertising.

* Along those same lines, your Click To Donate section is too large. Also, you''ll get more donors if it''s on the right side of the page. Yes, really. And, if you''re paying $150/mo to keep your site running, you''re getting ripped off. You have typos on that page, too.

* Why does Webelos get its own buttons while Cubs and Boy Scouts are clicks?

* I''d run your buttons as tabs across the top of your info section or on the right side. Or, leave them on the left and make a tree (see USScouts.org)

* Grammatical errors on your front page (for instance, Today''s requires a possessive apostrophe).

* You might consider coming up with a slogan. Why should I go to InsaneScouter instead of one of the other sites? What do you offer that others don''t?

* I like the Clipart section. Is it all yours? Or is it public domain? I don''t see the © and usage info.


There''s some good stuff there. It just feels unorganized to me.


I''ll send you my bill in the mail.


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On the clipart section in the Adult knots section, they seem to be randomly placed. You have photos and line drawings of the same award placed apart from each other. You have photos and line drawing intermixed.


I would recommend that you place a line drawing and photo of the same badge together along with a title or desription of the award.


For those awards you do not have photos of, just head down to the scout store and ask to take photos of each badge.

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First, let me thank everyone who has replied to my question. I will even farther say I agree with all comments... I beyond completely agree that the site has become a hodge podge mess.... now....


**Here is my current problem**


the current site is made up of static pages, there is no easy way to maintain, update, fix categories, etc in its current format. I started InsaneScouter over 10 years ago as a school project, there has never been a complete overhaul and restructuring of the site, that is changing. I am looking at some sort term band-aids currently, but the problem is I don''t know what yet.


The way the page is created is with 2 php include files one at the top and one at the bottom. The web server glues its together. The include file at the top also includes the banner ad, as the logo comes from the static content I am not sure there is a way to display the banner below it.


I do agree with moving the ad below the logo, just don''t see a easy way to do it.


I really like Aquila comments about the donation box, and will be making that change soon.


Webelos is a nav button, because the owner of webelos.org donated their entire site to me because they were tired of maintaining it. At that time I added the link. However there is very little actual cub content and the boy scout content is all over the place, thus adding buttons for either would be a pain.


The slogan I am toying with for the new site is "Helping Scouting and Guiding one resource at a time" or something along these lines.


The clip art is collected from all over the web. Some of it probably needs to be removed because of BSA''s new policies regarding its copyrighted materials.


resqman one of the things we have been talking about doing with the graphics is to catalog them in a database and store mess load of data about each. I like this idea for the long term, but in the short term it is a lot of work and data entry, that probably should first be used to make the site more user friendly.


**My Plan of action**


currently there is a new version of the site underdevelopment from the ground up. The new version of the site will be completely dynamic, database driven, have the ability for content to be in as many different places as needed, allow others to post content, have a much better way to manage all the graphics and other binary files, and much more. The new site will make management a lot easier, and even make producing the monthly newsletter (which has not gone out in like 2 years) a breeze. The problem is this process is going to takes months to complete. As soon as there is a beta version of the new site I will let every one know.


take a look at this image of what I am planning to make it look like... http://www.insanescouter.org/temp/Layout.png ... you will notice at a quick glance it looks much the same but look closer. Their are less graphics, thus faster loading, the navigation will be sub-menu based, there will be bread crumbs, etc ...


In summary, I agree with everything, everybody said about the site problems. They will be fixed correctly in the new version of the site currently being coded. The site as it is today, will be around for a few months yet, but I don''t want to do major work to it since I know it is being replaced. I am currently finding ways to band-aid the current site to make it better and more user friendly until the new site come along. Thanks for the input, and more is always welcome.


By the way Aquila, I pay your bill with a hardy Scout Handshake.


Ok I will stop babbling now, this is one of my longest posts yet.. l


Scott Robertson


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

I have some updates to share ... I have been working hard on creating the new site ... it is not even to alpha release yet but there is enough to give you an idea of where I am heading and allow for some feed back ...




The basic design is roughly the same, bit is considerably different at the coding level. All the content is now dynamic now to, making it much easier to add, update, and remove as needed.


I do have two problems that maybe someone will have an idea on how I can over come...


1) I would like to add Metar weather but I can not find source of ICAO (4 digit airport codes) that relate back to zip code for example. Anyone know where I can get ICAO linked to postal codes?


2) The categories list I want in two columns or maybe more but they are produced from a recursive function and printed out one at a time. Thus I have not been able to array it or otherwise get all of them in one variable so that I would have a way to split it into columns. Anyone have thoughts that may help me?


Oh and one more thing I am looking for ... sources for good stories about Scouts in action, doing positive things anyone know where I can find this data without watching 100 newspapers?


Looking forward to your thoughts and help .. thanks all...


Scott Robertson


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