I do web development for a living, and while I'm on more of the technology side,
I'll do my best to offer comments on information architecture and layout.
A general note first for everyone griping about resolution.
over half of the web-browsing world operates at 800x600 or LESS. Designing a website for 800x600 means that you will be safe in knowing that the LARGEST number of people out there will be able to see the site with out having to scroll horizontally.
So, do what you are meant to do with all of that high-resolution screen, and don't maximize your windows. this is a tangent, but it makes me laugh when I see people with high rez screens maximizing everything... kinda defeats the purpose...
comments on the site design. top to bottom.
1. the bluesnews/ugo banner area is HUGE. takes up WAYYYYY too much space verticaly. The UGO logo isn't aligned with the blues logo, and creates a distraction in the horizontal read of the page. Compress the vertical space that the UGO/BLues logo take up, and do something with the blue swoosh things. they have no connection with the rest of the page and only enhance the vertical space being taken up on the top. You might even want to put an Advertisment up in that space, instead of cluttering the main body area as much. Some of the space in the time stamp might be reduced, or even moving the time
2. First Advertising row.
Either align the advertising left flush with the navigation bar on the left, or bring the advertising row down INTO the body area, where the top of the advertising is aligned with the top of the navigation item (stories of note) top. it sits in a weird float against that blue bar, and isn't aligned with anything. again, just visualy distracting.
3. The send news link.
Needs to be integrated elsewhere, sufferes from another fault that other items have on the site, in that it isn't unformly aligned with anything. it is centered for the browser, while almost everything else is aligned left to the browser. visual distracting, and also, more space that is wasted verticaly, that could be moved to another element. (possible solution, move the "date/time stamp" and the "send news" buttons to the top of the left hand navigation bar.)
4. rounded Items vs. square items.
the old design had a nice collection of "rounded" items that contained the navigation and header elements. there is an odd mishmash of square vs rounded now. again, just a matter of visual distraction.
5. Headline + Square Advertising area.
this EATS a huge amount of space, but if its nessisary to cater to the square advertising, then I guess its got to be there. I am unsure of the exact dimensions, but I know in the old design, you were able to indtegrate the square advertising with the body of the content of the site. this flowed much cleaner, and allowed the content to be closer to the top of the page, while having the advertising in place.
the headline/featured box at the top also takes up an inordinate amount of space. moving back to the horizontal style would save alot of space, and again, move the content closer to the top.
6. General alignment issues.
the blue daily bars seem to be mis-sized compared to the text that is beneath them on the horizontal. possibly putting them in the same table sizing that the text is in would help.
Thats all I can think of right now.
Bluesnews is one of the first pages I load every morning, and have always found it a wonderful source of gaming news and information. I hope that the site continues to prosper.
I understand the need for advertising, I just hope that things can be tidy'ed up a bit to make sure everything works the best.
FWIW: I was looking at the site in FireBird .6.1 and everything worked great.
This comment was edited on Oct 25, 15:33.