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Please review new non profit educational website

  • 19-11-2010 6:04pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    Please take a look at a new website called The Big Test that has recently been launched in conjuction with the aid agency GOAL. It allows the user to answer questions from various categories and every correct answer results in a donation of 1 teaspoon of medication.

    We still have to add alot more content but any feedback on ways it could be improved would be very much appreciated and will be taken onboard.

    Many Thanks!


Comments

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,317 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dory


    One question - where are the teaspoons coming from? Is there a sponsor? I don't see them on the site.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    dory wrote: »
    One question - where are the teaspoons coming from? Is there a sponsor? I don't see them on the site.

    Thanks for taking a look.

    The sponsor banner ad is located immediately below the questions on the home page. The banner ad is always in view of the user and the following text is underneath the ad:
    "This is our current sponsor who pays for the medication that your correct answers generate"

    The agreement with the sponsor is that they only pay for the correct answers so the user generates 1 teaspoon of Oral Rehydration Solution for every correct answer. incorrect answers generate no medication.

    We want the sponsor to gain alot of exposute in response for their assistance but are requesting any advertisers that they don't place animations or flash banner ads as these would annoy and distract the user. We will alos place the sponsor ad on all other pages of the website.

    100% of donations are paid directly to GOAL. The website is backed by GOAL and is 100% non profit.

    We need to ad more content but are there any other ways you think it could be improved??

    Thanks again!


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,317 Mod ✭✭✭✭ dory


    Ok, see it now. Whoops. Think I have my brain switched to ignore ads.

    It looks great, and it's a nice idea. I'm testing the tests right now. I keep being asked the same questions in the capital city one. Which I would understand if I'd gotten them wrong the first time but I didn't.

    In the English vocab embarrass is spelled as 'embarass'. Which is the old English spelling of it but not sure how it would go down in the Leaving Cert.

    I'll keep going with my 'product testing'. :)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    dory wrote: »

    I keep being asked the same questions in the capital city one. Which I would understand if I'd gotten them wrong the first time but I didn't.

    In the English vocab embarrass is spelled as 'embarass'. Which is the old English spelling of it but not sure how it would go down in the Leaving Cert.

    I'll keep going with my 'product testing'. :)

    Thanks for spotting the spelling... I've changed it as suggested.

    The questions are generated randomnly so unfortunately there are repeats popping up at the moment but as furter questions are added these should decrease considerably. I am finding that when you hit approx. 200 questions in a category as is in the "Irish Geography" category it is very rare to see a repeat unless the visitor continues to play for a long time.

    Thanks again for the product testing and any further ideas on how we can improve the website would be greatly appreciated from anyone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,848 ✭✭✭ Cianos


    I like the idea of the site, but I think you could do a lot better in terms of layout and usability.

    The way I look at it, there are a few main objectives the site needs to achieve;

    1. Generate user interest/activity
    2. Maximise the amount of visitors and participants
    3. Attract interest from sponsors
    4. Allow sponsors to feel they are getting value from their contributions

    I feel the site fails to effectively achieve any of the above given the current layout. Here are some thoughts;

    1. Generate user activity
    On first visiting the site I don't 'get' the concept immediately. It takes some reading before understanding what the site is about. The visuals should scream out the concept and get people excited about participating.

    I don't know what ORS means and I'm guessing most people don't either. The fact that it's an acronym means that it could mean anything really. This lack of knowledge in what they are contributing to doesn't necessarily encourage participation - participation is easier encouraged when people have a clear idea in their mind of what the results of their participation will be. For this reason the definite measurement of a teaspoon is really effective, but I would consider replacing "ORS medicine" with just the word "medicine", and then link to a page explaining in detail the work you are doing, and the benefits of the medicine you are providing. Which leads me on to my second point...

    You should really have a page (titled "Our Work" or something) that gives an account of the work you are doing and the people you are helping. Photographs, personal feedback, benefits and the changes that you are bringing etc etc. It increases the transparency and connects your audience to the people they are helping. Let photos do most of the talking rather than expecting people to read volumes of text. Consider a jquery slideshow.

    2. Maximise the number of participants
    I see you have a Facebook like button, but you should make it easier for people to get involved. Add clear calls to action such as "challenge your friends to beat your score" etc, with links to share the page on Facebook/Twitter/StumbleUpon/Digg etc.

    Build a vanity/competition vibe. Ask people to submit their own questions. It could be nice to let people make their own quiz and link their friends to it. It's fun and for a good cause.

    3. Attract interest from sponsors
    You should make a very clear channel for sponsors to get involved. Why not offer advertising space to anyone who wants to contribute, even for as low as €10 etc, and make it dead easy for them to submit a banner/link?

    "Advertise your website and contribute to a good cause"

    Small businesses who happen across the site could throw a tenner your way to get their site shown for 20 questions or whatever.

    4. Your sponsors should be happy with the exposure they're getting from the site. They won't get 1000's of hits, but if there is a clear and defined representation of value then they should be happy. As I suggested above, this could be numerated by the amount of questions their banner is shown for.

    You should also make it a lot clearer that the funding is coming from the sponsors themselves. This gives the sponsors more recognition and will help alleviate banner blindness. Give weight to the message of their contribution rather than the banner itself.

    Overall, you should tidy up some of the design elements, but it may be too early to say this as you have said that the design is at an early stage. Things like grey text on grey background, the random images in bottom right corner that don't seem to mean anything, the stock image and conventional font for logo etc etc.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    Cianos.

    Thank you so much for your valuable feedback which we have taken onboard. I got rid of "ORS" as you suggested and replaced it with medicine. I will have to link it through to explain what the medicine is. This is currently described on our FAQ page.


    I placed a request for advertisers to come forward but need to make it more accessible as you suggested. I've also tries to highlight the role the sponsor plays in the website but will take this further.

    Regarding the grpahics/logo they certainly need more work... Unfortunatley my own graphic design skills are limited to say the least and I cannot afford to spend any more money on the website at present so i might try and find a friendly graphic designer and ask them to help out.

    Trying to get more people involved with a competition etc. is something I have thought about but don't want visitors to have to register or enter an e-mail address so the idea of using facebook more productively is something I will try and do once we have added more questions to the site. We intend increasing the number of questions over the coming weeks to have a large number of categories and questions for Jan 2011 when alot of students look towards revision tools to help them for upcoming exams.

    Many thanks again for your help and I will implement your ideas and try and get a graphic designer involved that can reduce the amount of text and improve the overall design and simplicity of the site which is the overall aim.

    If you think of anything else or if anyone else has any ideas they would be gratly appreciated.

    Thanks!


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,378 ✭✭✭✭ Trojan


    Table-based layout, great in 1997 but it's time to move on. I'd rebuild the base page from scratch using a modern IDE.

    In terms of usability, there are some things you can easily tweak:

    The Q&A section is too small, make the Q&A text much bigger, e.g. 300% of current, something like this but do the answers too:

    136047.png

    Increase clickable area for answers by using CSS "display:block" and some other trickery (use label tag with the "Option 1:" etc text).

    I'd also up the contrast by changing the text colours a bit.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    Many thanks for taking a look at the site.

    I'll definitely change the contrast as you suggested as I agree the text doesn't stand out.

    I also agree that the size needs to increase but if I do this the whole page layout will have to change. I got someone to build the site for me and only have basic html experience myself so would love to make the changes suggested but would have to get someone in to make them and really cannot afford to spend any more at the moment. I will certainly get moving on some of these changes in a couple of months once i've improved the content and the number of categories which in itself is very time consuming.
    Trojan wrote: »
    Table-based layout, great in 1997 but it's time to move on. I'd rebuild the base page from scratch using a modern IDE.
    QUOTE]

    I'm unsure what the above means... what are the advantages and what would be the cost involved here??


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,378 ✭✭✭✭ Trojan


    grinds wrote: »
    Many thanks for taking a look at the site.

    I'll definitely change the contrast as you suggested as I agree the text doesn't stand out.

    I also agree that the size needs to increase but if I do this the whole page layout will have to change...
    Trojan wrote: »
    Table-based layout, great in 1997 but it's time to move on. I'd rebuild the base page from scratch using a modern IDE.

    I'm unsure what the above means... what are the advantages and what would be the cost involved here??

    One of the advantages would be that it'd be easier to change the whole page layout :)

    More reading.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    Thanks a million... will take a look


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,848 ✭✭✭ Cianos


    I did up a wireframe to show roughly how I think it should look; click here.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    Cianos wrote: »
    I did up a wireframe to show roughly how I think it should look; click here.

    Thank you very much for your suggestions. It certainly looks much better but I would be worried that the advert isn't in screenview as the visitor answers questions.

    Definitely the links and layout you propose are much more appealing and draws the visitor in. It also explains the concept of the website immediately and the visitor would know exactly how it works.

    Unfortunately I don't have the funds at the moment to get someone to make the changes but it would certainly be something I would like to do.

    I would also like to incorporate an audio element to the site for some categories....i.e. an audio clip would pop up instead of a photo in foreign language categories.

    Many thanks again...


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,839 midlandsmissus


    Can I just say this website is absolutely fantastic. As a woman working for a non-profit organisation, I love it! It's so rare you see people making a website that truly benefits others.

    Can I ask you do you work for a non profit org or was this your own personal idea? Much kudos to you. I actually run the website for my charitable organisation, so if you want any help with running it I would gladly offer my services for free! I love the website, I think it's amazing!

    Congrats!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    Can I just say this website is absolutely fantastic. As a woman working for a non-profit organisation, I love it! It's so rare you see people making a website that truly benefits others.

    Can I ask you do you work for a non profit org or was this your own personal idea? Much kudos to you. I actually run the website for my charitable organisation, so if you want any help with running it I would gladly offer my services for free! I love the website, I think it's amazing!

    Congrats!

    Thank you very much reviewing the site and for your kind comments. I don't work for a non profit org and was going to develop something like this on DVD as an educational game along the lines of who wants to be a millionaire.. it didn't work out so I said I'd change it to an online game instead and contacted a frien of mine who works for GOAL who was interested. The site is 100% non profit and the advertiser pays directly to GOAL. Unfortunately its still a little low on content and I hope to improve this in the coming months. Many thanks for your offer of assistance. Might take you up on it in the coming months as inputting the data is very time consuming.. All the best.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 70 ✭✭✭ grinds


    Cianos wrote: »

    2. Maximise the number of participants
    I see you have a Facebook like button, but you should make it easier for people to get involved. Add clear calls to action such as "challenge your friends to beat your score" etc, with links to share the page on Facebook/Twitter/StumbleUpon/Digg etc.

    I changed the facebook link around so that hopefully it will attract more visitors.. Thanks for the idea!


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