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Author of "101 Projects"
 
Wayne 962's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by layzee
The page 1 parts was all the way over to the right with lots of whitespace on my laptop using Firebird 0.6.1 but looks fine on this machine running the same version :S I'll check again and post a screengrab if it reproduces the behaviour.

Great design though Wayne, much clearer.
From my stats log:

- Internet Explorer: 90%
- Netscape: 5%
- Other Netscape Compatible 1.79%
- GoogleBots, etc (everything else).

I will look into this, but from a programmer's perspective, it would be unwise to spend a significant amount of time making sure everything looked good in a browser only used by less than 1.79% of the people...

-Wayne
Old 12-26-2003, 12:03 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #23 (permalink)
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Yeah I hear ya Wayne, could be just something odd on my system but it looks the same on the drivewerks site.

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploads2/pp_firebird_10241072474008.jpg

That's at 1024 btw, with mega jpeg compression.

If you know it works fine on Firebird 0.7 then its not a concern; I should have upgraded this one. I'll do it and report back.

//right - I've checked and it's the same thing on Firebird 0.7. Don't want to preach but Firebird interprets the HTML better than most.

Also here's the output from the W3C HTML4.0 validator: http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pelicanparts.net%2Fdriv ewerks3.htm

Hope this is of some help.
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Last edited by layzee; 12-26-2003 at 12:59 PM..
Old 12-26-2003, 12:30 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #24 (permalink)
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Wayne,

I like the look a lot more than the old site. I'm glad to see frames are going away.

I use mozilla 1.3, and the "Page 3 of 5" line wraps down to a second line. I know I'm in the 1% or less that use Mozilla so consider this interesting information, and not criticism. I think you did a great job for Mozilla because that is the only browser related problem I could see.

I agree with nostatic about the back and next buttons being confusing. We are used to "back and forward" in our browser tool bar for naigation. We are also used to "previous and next" at the bottom of a page for navigation similar to google and many others. I don't buy the "we do things differently then anyone else line". I've heard it before, and seen companies pour tens of thousands of dollars into creating a user interface that works differently in some quirky way. Then redo it all with a more standard interface when customers have trouble using the product.

Your new page has the non-standard "next and back" roadsigns in addition to the previous and next page jump links at the bottom. It is non-intuitive as to how these work together. You don't want to be in the business of re-training your customers to use their browser differently then they are used to. The worst part about a confusing UI is that you will not hear from the customer who got confused, and gave up trying to place an order.

This is my opinion based on years of experience. YMMV.
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Old 12-26-2003, 01:47 PM
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Phil / Wayne, the screen shot that Phil posted is exactly what I get on the Drivewerks site using Netscape the first time I hit a link, but then if I go "back" and reselect the link the second or sometimes third time I go to the link it looks correct. It's a fluke of Netscape, so I live with it. That's why I also have IE installed, sometimes you just have to give in to the dark side.
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Old 12-26-2003, 02:28 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #26 (permalink)
 
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Window size assumption is a mistake imho (and one made by quite a few designers/developers). Just because people have a monitor that will do 1024x768 doesn't mean that they run their browser window wide open. I think it is a mistake to design for that size.

As for the back button not behaving, your catalog is in frames. Frames blow, and are the prime cause of unpredictable "back" button function.

imho, no Flash, no frames.

I stand by the labeling though. If you are talking about pages in the catalog, then it should say "previous page" and "next page", not forward and back.

And why can't you run "Pelican Parts" on one line to the right of the pelican logo on the header? Then it won't matter what size people have the browser window?
Old 12-26-2003, 04:13 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #27 (permalink)
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Wayne 962's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by EdT82SC
I agree with nostatic about the back and next buttons being confusing. We are used to "back and forward" in our browser tool bar for naigation. We are also used to "previous and next" at the bottom of a page for navigation similar to google and many others. I don't buy the "we do things differently then anyone else line". I've heard it before, and seen companies pour tens of thousands of dollars into creating a user interface that works differently in some quirky way. Then redo it all with a more standard interface when customers have trouble using the product.

Your new page has the non-standard "next and back" roadsigns in addition to the previous and next page jump links at the bottom. It is non-intuitive as to how these work together. You don't want to be in the business of re-training your customers to use their browser differently then they are used to. The worst part about a confusing UI is that you will not hear from the customer who got confused, and gave up trying to place an order.

This is my opinion based on years of experience. YMMV.
I don't think I clearly articulated how this is really going to be setup. It's actually going to be *very* similar to how Google does it. For example:

- If you are located on Page 3, and you hit back, you will go to Page 2. If you hit next, you will go to Page 4.

- If you are located on Page 1, and you hit back, you will go back to the main catalog page that leads into page one.

- If you are on the last page of a section, there will be no Next button.

This is exactly how Google does it (except that the back button doesn't appear on the first page of results). Hitting the back (or previous) button takes you back in the page listings, not back in the browser. In other words, if you hit page 2, and then click on page 8 on the bottom, and then click on previous (back) at the bottom, it will take you to page 7.

Maybe the thing I need to do is change "Back" to "Previous"???

-Wayne
Old 12-26-2003, 08:45 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nostatic
And why can't you run "Pelican Parts" on one line to the right of the pelican logo on the header? Then it won't matter what size people have the browser window?
HA! You're so funny! The only reason why they can't be on the same line is to Maintain Compatibility With People Who Run Small Window Sizes!!!

You Can't Have Your Cake And Eat It Too!!!

If Pelican Parts is on one line, then the rollovers have no room to work on the top bar. If you make your window small, you will see that the "Welcome" tab tugs itself under the logo - this is because there is no rollover on "Welcome."

According to the statistics I have from the site, very few people run the screen at 800x600 resolution. I design for windows that are larger than that, yet make sure that the site still runs okay on the smaller screens. The tradeoff is that the smaller screens simply cannot look as good as the larger screens when you are designing for many different screen sizes...

-Wayne
Old 12-26-2003, 08:49 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by layzee
Hope this is of some help.
Yes Phil, that is a very useful site - hadn't really paid close attention to those tools before. I will double-check DriveWerks and Pelican before the rollout...

-Wayne
Old 12-26-2003, 08:53 PM
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some people would argue that the rollovers are useless eye candy. They don't impart significant content or context.

So you have a client-side script reporting window sizes? Mine must dissapoint you...I don't run at any standard size.
Old 12-26-2003, 10:24 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nostatic
I think it is a mistake to design for that size.
Sorry, I disagree. It is impossible to design a website that looks perfect at all sizes. You have to pick a size (in this case, I picked the most common size these days), and optimize for that size, while keeping in mind that the site also has to function well on computer monitors of other sizes too.

The following site does not even display properly at 800x600, whereas mine does: http://www.amazon.com However, this site does scroll well and expand to screens that are larger.

Here's a relatively poor design which forces the user into an antiquated 800 width format, even though they might have a much larger screen: http://www.target.com

There is so much information that needs to be shown on Pelican - I aim to take advantange of the available screen space.

-Wayne
Old 12-27-2003, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne at Pelican Parts
I have revised the page:

http://www.pelicanparts.net/DriveWerks4.htm

-Wayne
Wayne,

I agree with the path that you are on. In the past, I have tried to stay within the 720 pixel page width (the "Yahoo-standard") when designing sites. However, from reviewing server logs I have found that the most prevalent screen-resolution nowdays is 1024x768. I'm working on a site right now that requires so much information to be presented that 720 was not an option.

However, you have changed something between DriveWerks3.htm and DriveWerks4.htm. DriveWerks4.htm no longer displays well at 1024x768.

I know I'm late to this party but, here is one comment. Lose the mouse-over graphics. They are really not needed, slow down the initial page load and take up valuable screen real estate. The screen is busy now and it will be more so when you insert your banner ads. It may also allow you to get more of your content "above the fold".
Old 12-27-2003, 02:21 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #34 (permalink)
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More Mozilla based strangeness on #4 Wayne, though much improved. Like the previous error, this doesn't always occur:

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploads2/dw41072524659.jpg

Check out the far right hand side.
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Old 12-27-2003, 02:31 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul_Heery

I know I'm late to this party but, here is one comment. Lose the mouse-over graphics. They are really not needed, slow down the initial page load and take up valuable screen real estate. The screen is busy now and it will be more so when you insert your banner ads. It may also allow you to get more of your content "above the fold".
What he said. I'll grant you the window size argument, but I won't budge on this one...the rollovers are eye candy that do not impart significant content. The only time I find these useful is when they are showing a text graphic with submenus or some similar manner. With tabs, the user expects them to be linked to somewhere else, so the user doesn't need a visual cue with a rollever graphic.

Come to think of it, with Tabs the user expects an OT post, but that is another argument.
Old 12-27-2003, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne at Pelican Parts
Incorporating many of your suggestions (including a bunch of yours Nostatic), I have revised the page:

http://www.pelicanparts.net/DriveWerks4.htm

-Wayne
Well, I like having less blues, it looks much less busy. But this one doesn't scale sideways as I change browser size...imho much worse than #3. The table size seems to say 100%, but there must be something keeping it from shrinking below 1024 (I didn't feel like wading through all your code...not getting paid enough).

The blue community block is rounded next to the squared off quick links section. I think that looks weird. And it is solid blue and rounded on all sides, unlike every other element on the page. I would square it off on all sides, and also square off the tope of the quick links box.

The "Community" header should lose the drop shadow. It looks out of place with all the other clean graphic text on the page. Same thing with Quick Links (and why have the teal blox behind it?). I'd change them both to no drop shadow and lose the backing box.

The page 1 and page 2 in the quick links are too dark against the med/dark blue

I assume you'll be calling an external style sheet on the actual pages?

hey, you asked for suggestions...
Old 12-27-2003, 07:45 AM
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Hi Wayne,
The page is way too "heavy" for dial up users.
Old Page: ...enginA_main.htm is 1075 bytes
New Page: DriveWerks4.htm is 80183 bytes
That will suffocate your server and bandwidth.

As much as I like the new design there is nothing better than a fast loading page.
Oracle Corp. and Yahoo Inc. studies found that if a page is not fully loaded in 8 seconds then ~90% visitors will go somewhere else, then ~50% in 6 seconds. You really want to have that under 3-4 seconds.

I'm sure most of us will wait a few seconds but have you accessed a slow web site for 5 or more minutes? It's really annoying.


Bye
-J
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Old 12-27-2003, 01:21 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #38 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oracle
Hi Wayne,
The page is way too "heavy" for dial up users.
Old Page: ...enginA_main.htm is 1075 bytes
New Page: DriveWerks4.htm is 80183 bytes
That will suffocate your server and bandwidth.

As much as I like the new design there is nothing better than a fast loading page.
Oracle Corp. and Yahoo Inc. studies found that if a page is not fully loaded in 8 seconds then ~90% visitors will go somewhere else, then ~50% in 6 seconds. You really want to have that under 3-4 seconds.

I'm sure most of us will wait a few seconds but have you accessed a slow web site for 5 or more minutes? It's really annoying.


Bye
-J
Very good points, but I have not optimized the pages yet - these are merely samples. There is tons of code inside the page that can be removed, and will be before production.

By the way, I did compare page lengths - the page you are talking about is merely the frames header page - not the main page. The page you are referring to is actually 74K in size, when you include all of the frames. The new pages should actually be much smaller than that due to coding tricks and techniques learned in the past few years...

-Wayne
Old 12-27-2003, 02:27 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #39 (permalink)
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With absolutely nothing of substance to offer, I suggest a "free stuff for Jared" section each month, where users vote on the best parts and accessories to send me. You can post pictures of my car and me, happy, when I receive the shipment each month.

All in all, I think the site and the service is great. I'm glad to see that the idea and efforts are paying off, ferrari boy. Keep up the good work, and thank you from the rest of us.

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Old 12-28-2003, 11:42 AM
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