Doctor's Support Site Needs Support!
Review by Bennie C. Taylor
Original Post: "This is a self-help group for doctors with mental health problems. We would like this site to be informative friendly and educational. I am most concerned with appearance, at the moment it looks a bit home made. the most important part is the front page - the initial impression - does it support our message ?"
Start with a Name
You have some interesting content here, and the introduction is friendly. But you might want to let your visitors know in the first paragraph that your site represents a recognized organization. State who sponsors the group, where it is located, and who belongs to it.
This is a matter of establishing credibility in connection with a topic which some might find distubing or even not serious (I do not like to think that the doctors I know are emotionally impaired, and I wonder whether many doctors anywhere would want patients to know about their personal problems).
Your navigation is good and your color scheme is consistent. However, the pretty blue background is a bit bright. The white text against this brightness tires the eyes. Too, a subdued shade might look more professional while still appearing friendly. Perhaps the best plan would be conventional black text on a white background with some colorful photos or graphics if you can get them.
I do not know FrontPage so I cannot help with that. But I think you might get along just fine with simple HTML and maybe a style sheet. There seems to be a tremendous amount of code here for a simple, two-column layout.
The alignment of the right column needs adjustment: on the home page the ends of sentences are cut off; on subpages the long lines of text are hard to scan. Maybe you could widen the banner or center it so that it seems to integrate better with the lower part of the page. And set the text tool to "antialias" to prevent the jagged outline.
I would remove the counter from the start page. These are generally not used on professional sites, the authors preferring to gather statistics from their ISP.
Also, I noticed in your source code that your title is "Home Page." It is important to give your site a distinct title and Doctors'Support Network would be quite suitable.
Bennie, I think this one is a work in progress -- perhaps even a do-it-yourselfer. You've hit good points about the color scheme and coding problems.
- Jagged header and graphics
- Text that overflows its container
- Shocking electric blue
- "comic" styling
My complaint is the overall lack of professionalism. I would suspect that the doctors would not take lightly to self-treatment for such problems -- they would recommend seeking professional help, right? However we really don't see any indication that a professional web designer has been here. I think this site owner -- if this is an important site -- should seek some pro help.
I'm not really going to hack the site apart -- Bennie has done a superb job. But I will say they need to sit back, redesign and replan the site.
Thanks for another good critique, Bennie! If they were smart, they'd hire you to do a full scale makeover. That's what I would do!
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