HEADER main navigation separate secondary navigation for TRAC, PlanetWars and ladder search box central login for all integrated sites (if possible)
HOME short and prominent introduction text (what CA is about) billboard: general screenshot slideshow or short and intense promotional video event announcement (e.g. learn from the masters! join game "x" 29 august at 8pm) "we're currently looking for"-box download links latest news headlines with RSS-link short testimonial sentences
NEWS Extended list of news articles List of recent revision changes a weekly 'ask the devs' column RSS-link get notified of updates (subscribe by email) New screenshots New videos New artwork Latest posts on the forums Links to new battle report videos (similar to starcraft http://tinyurl.com/lmo3s9) Latest news at Planetwars Latest changes on the ladder Most popular articles
ARTICLE The article list of related articles a way to comment on articles list of replies List of recent revision changes RSS-link get notified of updates (subscribe by email) New screenshots New videos New artwork Latest posts on the forums Links to new battle report videos (similar to starcraft http://tinyurl.com/lmo3s9) Latest news at Planetwars Latest changes on the ladder Most popular articles
DOWNLOADS download links wallpapers (and other fanbased stuff) short testimonial sentences link to the guide
ABOUT introduction text (what CA is about) gameplay summary general screenshots list of credits link to the downloads link to the guide link to the unit listing link to the FAQ link to the wiki
GUIDE introduction/newbie guide links to more information at the wiki link to the downloads links to unit detail link to the FAQ link to the unit listing
UNIT LISTING introduction text Main unit navigation listing with thumbnail and/or name links to more information at the wiki link to the downloads links to unit detail unit of the day with short description/hints link to the guide
UNIT DETAIL Main unit navigation listing with thumbnail and/or name individual unit descriptions and statistics related units unit of the day with short description/hints unit specific videos unit specific screenshots link to the downloads link back to unit listing links to more information at the wiki link to the guide
FAQ FAQs link to the wiki for more information link to a separate section on the forums for asking questions link to the downloads link to the guide link to the unit listing
FORUMS Forums Shoutbox Tournament ladder top 5, 10, 20, 50 or ÔÇª link to planetwars link to the ladder
MEDIA list of general screenshots that open in a slideshow player list of general gameplay videos that open in a modal window list of best artwork/concept sketches that open in a slideshow player battle report videos (similar to starcraft http://tinyurl.com/lmo3s9)
WIKI (=Link to the TRAC wiki)
CONTACT Main contact information input box for contacting, so that no registering or email client is required List of developers that can be contacted with their respective contact information
TRAC (=Link to the development part of TRAC, like for instance bug reports)
PLANETWARS (=Link to the planetwars website)
LADDER CA ladder latest battles with their outcome (?)
RSS An automatically generated XML page for readers to subscribe to
Heh, I originally thought the "Bookmark This" was just some silly idea just to be put out there so we have everything.
I agree with Licho that it's useless. I've never seen any *worthwhile* sites have "Bookmark Me!" buttons/links on them; all sites that people would actually want to bookmark don't need to beg for people to bookmark them, people just do because it's a good site to go to often.
Also, I'm very wary of having a whole section dedicated to articles. Who is going to write them? What will they be about? If someone is actually willing to make some I can see the effort being made to put them in, but even then I can almost guarantee that people will lose motivation/inspiration and stop writing them.
I also think that there are far too many categories that could easily be merged. I cannot really tell though, as lists aren't really as good as trees for orginization, so it's kindof difficult to see where this is going.
I do understand that it's not necessarily important to put a bookmark/share-link on every page. Although, implementing such a button reminds people that there's a 1-click way to bookmark something they've seen and found interesting. Moreover, that button does not only offer a way to bookmark, it's also a shortcut to print, e-mail or even add the webpage to my favourites.
When I personally find a new great website, I don't want to do all the effort of opening a new window/tab, typing in the address of my favourite bookmarking service, log in and only then save the bookmark. That's a 4-step process.
It's all about user experience and usability these days, and making things easier is what people like. This button is an example of how to make a certain process easier. We do not beg, we make the process easier, more comfortable. You do like comfort, do you?
Chart and structure I normally use organisational charts to present the way the site is structured. In this case I wait because changing a pictures takes a lot more time and effort than changing text in the first forum post of this topic. When the structure is finished I will add a chart.
Don't let the amount of content intimidate you. It becomes intimidating because all content is listed in just one single post. For instance, there's a lot more information on many quality websites than you may think in the first place. Related content is displayed to give the user an incentive to continue reading the site. Primary content takes the most prominent place on the page, while secondary elements are stacked away in the right column. That's how many websites are structured and it's a very effective way to keep our readers on the site for any longer than just 2 minutes.
Articles With the news and article page I try to implement a mini-blog. Blogs are immensely popular and tend to attract and keep visitors due to the regular and interesting news.
The type of content I'd like to present as news may not do justice to the word 'article'. What I mean by an article, is a short paragraph, maybe 2 about something new and interesting. No more, no less. Even me, who writes relatively slowly in English would write such a post within less than 30 minutes.
Are you sure nobody is willing to write such a mini-article on a regular base? Once every 2weeks? That can't be hard, can it. I'm sure there's someone out there willing to help us out with his/her writing skills.
@Licho: Yes, I understand, the short-term goals are not to create a website the size it is presented right here. A mini-blog is a serious plus though, as mentioned above. It's a way to help increasing the size of the community. And increasing the size of the community is a short-term goal, right?
re: Articles - that cant be hard, but check how we fare so far :)
We made 2 community news posts - one me and one maackey, then all lost interest..
Our files on jobjol dont havey any description at all.. CA news thread here does not have proper news posts etc :)
Basically CA devs are very lazy, most of them idle most of the time. So we would need highly motivated people which stay with the project for long time to be able to really add articles every 2 weeks..
Well yes, exactly, until we've found dedicated writers we may not be in the most ideal situation to implement such a "blog". It's listed because it's a solution to our demands. That doesn't mean it needs to be implemented in the first version of the website.
The idea of the listing above is to present the website as if it would exist in its full glory. It remains flexible/modular, also due to the fact that we have short and longterm goals. I would suggest we start by implementing a series of the pages above, and gradually add more when the time comes around. It's a similar process to software development. Iterations make it better.
I like the chart. I still don't like the bookmark thing
I'm also trying to think of a different word than "About". It just doesn't seem to fit. Right now I've got "Guide" as the top-menu item, but I don't think that fits very well either.
"Help", "Info", ?
Perhaps it could be changed to Help - Introduction - FAQ - Guide - - General - - Logos Units - - Nova Units - - Economy - - Combat Just an idea.
Also, I would prefer "Contact" to be at the bottom of the page. I don't really think it should be in the main menu. The "News" I would also prefer to just be on the main page, unless we actually do get some contributers to write articles and stuff. Until then its not really deserving of a place on the main menu.
I'm also assuming the Trac, PlanetWars, and Ladder links would be on the front page? I was thinking that each could have their own little info box on the right, (I've already got a couple things up on the test site.)
How would you link/get to the Independent pages? Links at the footer of the page? (its what most of those are currently)
I suppose, but I'm not sure if I would expect a game/unit guide in the "About" section of the website.
The spring site's "About" page has an intro thing (like what we have on the front page) and some system requirements (ohnoes! we forgot those they might be good to include) but nothing about how to play, guides, etc...
The wording "about" can be replaced when there are enough people wanting to change it. Currently it serves its purpose.
I was merely brainstorming to come up with something better.
I've started working on the flowchart. The current structure stays as is. We need to move forward.
lol, I am utterly perplexed. Move forward with what? Isn't this thread supposed to be for coming up with the structure of the site? Am I missing something here? I recall you mentioning something in the lobby that we are "working independently" when I've been trying my best to work *with* you. Do you already have your own version of the website coded already? Is my help not wanted?
I fail to see how developing the site in a strictly linear fashion is beneficial. I've already got a rough prototype here that had most features in it before you even listed out all of the possible needs.
I can't say that it's been *easy* working with you. If we're even working together at all. If you don't want to work with me that's fine, I would just like to know. I don't want to waste time when I am currently very pressed for time as it is.
I wrote a large amount of articles and requested others for the now defunct CA Zine I wanted to launch in a two-pack with KP Zine in 2008. I might write a few articles when I have the time to play again, but I make no promises.
Go on, V1ntage.
Added a chart. I'm convinced that the current structure is hard to improve.
You can merge Downloads and Media, or drop the Wiki under About, but I agree, for this sort of project this should work better.
@maackey Don't understand me wrong, your feedback is well appreciated, but 1) you replied after I was already convinced the structure was more than good enough to continue the analysis with. We can always make changes in a later iteration, but not now. 2) I don't see a reason to implement it when I'm not convinced that these changes are worth the effort and time.
And yes, I explained you both in a PM (from 27th August) and in the lobby that I indeed prefer to work independantly. I also mentioned that I hope you don't mind me doing so, because it is how I work best.
@neddiedrow Thanks mate :) Having some small articles would be a great help!
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