The Society for I/O Psychology has finally redesigned their website. And may I say, “Hooray!” It really needed it.
The new site is pretty good, outside of a few weird decisions and minor issues. The design is clean and relatively clear of clutter. I’ve seen cleaner and neater, but I’d like to officially thank SIOP for not going with flashy Flash or other animated nonsense. With all the stock photographs of ethnically diverse businesspeople doing businesspeople-like things (e.g., showing pieces of paper to each other, writing on things, and staring blankly into space), it looks kind of like any of the various big consulting firm websites. But I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
My only substantial criticism is the site’s wacky navigation. They have this main navigation via tabs at the top, (Home, Meetings, Join, etc.), and when you mouse over one of the tabs it presents a sub-menu on the orange bar beneath it. This is fine, outside of the fact that the sub-menu areas are very small and you have to precisely guide your mouse cursor to avoid leaving the hotspot area and close the sub-menu. But what’s weird is that there’s also a second navigation menu on the left-hand side. It’s not the same navigation as the tabs at the top of the page, and it’s not another sub-menu specific to the page you’re on. It’s just got random stuff on it like “Local I-O Groups” or “SIOP Foundation.”
So the site still needs a consistent, logical, and fully implemented navigation system. Personally, I would have just put ALL of it on the left-hand menu with rollout submenus that don’t require moving the mouse precisely in two dimensions (down, then across). The tabs look nifty, but they eat up precious vertical screen space.
And because graduate school taught me nothing if not how to criticize, here’s a list of other minor gripes I have on the site:
- Some layout stuff is still broken. For example, one page had text misaligned on the left so that it overlapped with the section next to it. (I’m sure this will be fixed, though.)
- The site doesn’t always render properly with Firefox, the best darned browser on the ‘net. Boo!
- They need about another 5 pixels of margin on the left-hand side of most pages for the main content area.
- The big red masthead is too huge by half. Or even two thirds. Again, don’t waste vertical page real estate on something like that.
- And speaking of the red masthead, the white text on red background doesn’t provide a high enough contrast to read. The smaller white text is almost illegible at higher resolutions, especially with the background image.
- There’s a “I-O and Workplace News” thingie on the bottom of the homepage, but it seems randomly tacked on. Move it to its own page and maybe post headlines in the homepage’s sidebar.
- And while we’re on the topic, where’s the RSS feed for the news? I hope they don’t expect me to visit the site daily if they don’t update daily.
- If you’re going to keep them, the menu tabs at the top of the page should change to tell you which sub-section you’re in.
- Okay, this one is kind of nerdy, but if you look at the source HTML code, they’re still using <font> tags, tables for layout, and other outdated HTML. This is 2006, so there’s no excuse for not having ALL the layout, typography, and presentation done in CSS.
But even with those nitpicks aside, things look good! And so much better than the old design, may it rest in peace.