• Review: Working at Home on the Internet

    Mar 24 2006

    Joseph Hauckes from the Working at Home on the Internet blog has asked me to review his other site, the Working at Home on the Internet Web Page. I've been reading his blog since the beginning, and it's become one of the few blogs I read daily. He posts very regularly every day (he's only missed one day in the past six months), and it's a pleasure to watch his story evolve over time. I look forward to seeing where it goes.

    Usability

    The website is a collection of resources and advice for people starting their own Internet-based businesses. At first, the site looks like a blog. It takes some time to find the resources pages including Scams, Forums and Blogging Services. The links to these pages blend in to the side of the site. The site could use some clear navigation, ideally at the top of the page. This would help make the site easier to use and explore.

    Design

    The design is nothing spectacular, but it doesn't distract from the content either. On the homepage, the left navigation takes up most of my screen, and I have to scroll to the right to read the content. The rest of the pages don't have this problem, but it's the first impression that counts.

    Web Technologies

    This site was designed and built using Microsoft Frontpage. As a result, the HTML doesn't come close to validating. There's scattered inline CSS and even font tags. It's just not easy to produce valid code with WYSIWYG tools without being strong in HTML and CSS. I hear Microsoft's new HTML editor Expression is supposed to help with this.

    Summary

    The most important thing about any website is its content. However, it's important to make sure this information is easy to find. Joe's site may not win design awards, but it has a number of great articles to help people getting started with their own sites, and that's what counts.

  • Comments

    1. Joe at 4:43pm on March 24, 2006

    Hey Jesse,

    Thanks for the review, I appreciate your taking the time to go over my website.

    I know the reason the sidebar takes so much room.  I put the Google search bar there, and there is no way to adjust the width.

    I guess I should just move it into the body somewhere.  That way it wouldn't distract from the content and have people scrolling just to see the information I try to provide.

    I think you are right about the navigation, but with the template I picked, I don't know how to put the links on the top of the page.

    Something else I need to work on.

    At least now, I have some good feedback, and I'm not just depending on what I see.

    Thanks a lot, I'll let you know after I implement some of those changes.

    Joe

    PS it's HAUCKES
    J.

    2. Jesse Skinner at 4:49pm on March 24, 2006

    Oh, sorry Joe! I fixed your name in the article.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with your site in the future. All the best!

    3. Joe at 5:50pm on March 24, 2006

    Hey Jesse,

    Thanks.  You should see the way some people spell it.
    What's worse, you should hear how some people actually Say it...

    Joe

    4. Joe at 6:26pm on March 25, 2006

    Hey Jesse,

    I took you advice and put the nav on top, and made some other subtle changes. (go to the bottom of any page, you can get back to the top with one click).

    I hope you and others don't have to scroll just to read the content, but I think the Google search is important (the format is different).

    Let me know what you think.  I didn't change much, but hopefully enough.

    Thanks,
    Joe

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