It’s been more than a year and a half since we launched our new website. In other words, it’s hardly new anymore. However, it still does feel new because we keep working on it and updating it all the time. The frontpage contents are a reflection of what goes on in our museum and what the staff are working on at the moment. But, we still feel that it might be time for a – shall we call it – minor facelift?

Some considerations so far:

  • Making the navigation bar float at the top of the screen
  • Making the logo banner smaller / less dominant
  • Making the feature banner less wide, so that the sidebar can be moved up
  • Disable the WPML String Translation plugin (seems to be slowing down the site considerably)
[flickr id=”9094072186″ thumbnail=”small_320″ overlay=”true” size=”large” group=”” align=”center”]

I would also like to know what ideas and suggestions you might have as to how to improve our site – make it haster, more beautiful, more interesting, etc. Nothing is sacred and everything is possible (almost). Just drop a comment below or an e-mail to me at dnoes (at)

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  • Marlene Hofmann

    Hey Daniel!

    Interesting and nice you want to discuss web layout with users. My personal view:

    Don’t move the menu bar on the top, it would be more difficult to find and 2 huge pictures (logo banner + feature banner) above each other would be more confusing for users.

    Making the logo banner could maybe be good for people with a small screen – you could check how many users that are with e.g. Google Analytics. But I like it as it is.

    The other 2 things I wouldn’t change as well from a graphical point of view.

    All the best, Marlene

    • Thanks for you comment, Marlene!

      The navigation bar would be moved to the top, but it would float/stick to the top of the window, even if you scroll down on a page. That way it is always visible.

      I will definitely check GA to gather some intel on users. I know that an increasing number of users are on iPads, and the two banners are very dominant on the small screen.

      Again, thanks for your input!

  • Nina Bjerglund

    First of all I like the website as it is – but there are a few things I’d consider revising.

    I would actually reduce the hight of the feature banner. When I open the frontpage I have to scroll down to become aware of the blogposts (at least on my laptop) – which is a shame. I like however that it covers the whole width of the screen. From a graphic perspective I think it would be a shame to reduce it with 1/3 to move up the comments.

    About the the navigation bar, I like it were it is – perhaps it could be framed or bolded so that it’s a bit more dominant. A question: why is their no option to go directly to the blogposts in the navigation bar? If I enter the website through other pages than the frontpage or individual blogposts I have to go to the frontpage to find the blog posts… I know you try not to operate with the term blog, but still it can be difficult to find them efter you enter the website through e.g. the “opening hours” page…

    The logo banner is also fine to me as it is – I don’t regard it as too dominant – at least not on the frontpage. Perhaps when you go into content pages it could be reduced in size.

    I’m not sure how it would work – if at all – but some thin lines between the blogpost might help the eye a bit in singling them out and not just be a mass of scribbles… Maybe just horisontical lines…

    I like the square pictures concept a lot – so keep that!

    All in all a really nice website – well done!

    • Hi Nina, thanks for your comments!

      I’m actually inclined to agree with you on the feature banner point. I’m thinking of reducing the height from 300 to 250 or even 200 pixels.

      I still think we could benefit from making the navbar sticky. But I agree that making it more visible is important. I’ll keep this in mind.

      I like the idea of having a smaller logo on subpages!

      What about the width of site? The vast majority of users are using screens with much higher resolution than we’re taking advantage of.

  • Hey, I agree, it works great but nice to open up these layout tweaks for comments 🙂

    I agree with Nina, would be nice to have ‘Blog’ on the menu bar (or maybe as a special link next to the search box) so that people know this content is available no matter how they enter the site.

    I also agree with the others about keeping the title bar, on top of menu bar, on top of highlights bar, but that the height of the highlights and title bar could be reduced. I wonder graphically about simplifying the title bar a little, perhaps using the facebook profile version (or a zoomed in middle segment of it) on the right, then the font size of ‘Medical Museion / The culture of medicine – yesterday, today, tomorrow’ could increase and you could avoid overlap of text and image. I also like having the two hands close enough that it looks like a relay race! Hard to tell if it would work without trying of course.

    Finally, have you thoughts on tags? Do people ever use them for sideways navigation, and if so, would a tag cloud or other representation be useful?

    • Thanks for your thoughts, @lewhiteley:disqus 🙂

      I’m taking all of these into consideration. I’m still playing around with different solutions, and I think I will schedule a meeting so people can see some of these in action, before putting them live. Perhaps a light lunch seminar when people are back from holidays?

  • Oh, and one more thought – would it be worth having a ‘follow us’ signup box above the KU logo, for people who want an email every time the blog is updated (or perhaps a weekly digest) but don’t want to use RSS feeds?

    • Hmm interesting idea. I’m not even sure we have this option at the moment. Although I think Feedburner might. I’ll look into it.