Simonseeks Blog

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Does my bum look big in this?

We're always looking to add more functionality, from adding video to guides (delivered the other week) to mapping the locations of recommendations (coming soon) to community forums to.. well, anything we think will make Simonseeks the only place to go for travel advice and inspiration. The list of features we have in mind is exhaustive, but how do we incorporate them all? Well, that’s why we've been exploring some new designs, and in the spirit of a true community site we’d like your input and feedback. All comments are welcome, be as constructive and as honest as possible - we have very thick skins here.

Homepage - We want to give unique visitors to Simonseeks a better idea of what we're all about and not overwhelm them with a plethora of guides which may not be of any interest to them. We feel a more generic introduction to the site including a short explanation of what we can do for the user and various examples of what's available is more in keeping with a homepage. We've also tried to freshen up the designs with a lighter use of colour. There are two versions to cast your eyes over – Example 1 and Example 2. (Note: these examples are static images for you to judge the look and feel and see if you can perceive how the site would function if the design was constructed.)

homepage-version-1 homepage-version-2





Travel Guide Page - This is where a lot of the new ideas will be implemented. For starters we have the default view of the page which includes more information in the 'Make it happen' area, better integration of the photos and video sections and the same crisper colour usage – Example 3.






The next example of the guide – Example 4 – shows how the new map facility would drop down from the 'Show map' tab giving the reader a chance to get a better overview of the writer's recommendations, their location and surrounding area.






The last image – Example 5 – is much 'tighter' 'Compare prices' overlay, eliminating the need for scrolling to find a provider as well as allowing the user to select more than one supplier at a time.






Community comments (3)

Hi Dave,
It is quite important that both the home-page and balance of the site are compatable with a number of different web browsers and connection speeds. Currently my work PC copes only after I altered the settings and my home computer really struggles. Often in Internet Cafe's, there are some fairly elderly PC's seeing out their days. Since these cafe's are where travellers head when they run out of ideas, it would be great if they could use this site reliably.

Is it just me or is it taking an extremely long time for new guides to be approved? One of mine has been waiting a month despite the site saying it is taking 10 working days.

Best Wishes

Hi Dave
all these screen shots look good, I particularly like the Map facility in example 4.
The Compare Prices overlay looks like very neat but the key factor will be does it work at a speed that is acceptable to a busy reader.
I definitely like the colours and feel of the Home page options; example 2 is cleaner than 1, which is a bit busy, but if the idea is that readers can click on a photo to link to a group of guides then its a good idea.
I am not sure about the Make It Happen page, there could be a danger that it appears overtly commercial.
All in all an improvement.

Dave's off for a couple of weeks, so on his behalf... thanks for the feedback. Glad you like the maps, Mike our CSS man gave me a sneak preview earlier today and it's looking really good - we'll incorporate maps into the current design sometime over the next 2 weeks so people can have a play.