New look front page for Spotlight


Better organized, clean and modern looking. 8)

I've got 3-4 little things I'd change but overall a substantial improvement.
the 'new' design has been in use for many months on our other sites. james has been devoting nearly all his time over the last few weeks rolling it out over the ibiza site - there was a lot more work involved becuse some of the stuff on the site was so old that it had to be redone from scratch.
Yeah - nice and clean!

It can be a challenge making community/social networking sites user friendly because of the sheer amount of info on the home page.

(geek moment)

What CMS is it built on? Drupal? Joomla?
we'll be totally revamping the nightlife/clubbing pages too, making it more magazine style rather than just being relatively static with the guide/info.

so in future, all the news, podcasts, calendar updates will be more visible.

also i quite like the podcast logo, it's like a banksy for beginners

someone post it please.

i posted it out to nearly 30,000 people this morning - anyone whose email addy we had from buying accommodation, car hire, club tickets, theme parks in 2009 and all those already signed up to our newsletter.
Just checked out the card.... I thought the only people on Ibiza were 20-something, wide-eyed young clubbers?! Everyone looks so....... normal! :lol: ;)

Not a pair of oversized shades in sight! :lol:
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what are they then john?
1. From a design standpoint, I would reduce the size and margin of the subcategory links in the menu on the left. Just to reduce the amount of scrolling necessary.
(Alternative would be to make them into folding or dynamic jump menus, but I think you want all the options visible from the start and I agree with that)

2. Under the category "Clubbing" I would include a Club News link.

3. Under the category "Resort Info" I would change "Ibiza" to "Ibiza Resorts" and move "Bars & Cafes", "Shops & Markets" and "Villages" up to the first subcategory level.

4. Change "Flights" to "Getting There" and make Flights and Ferries subsections (note: just looked again and I found a tiny little link at the bottom about ferries, but I think it warrants slightly more attention as was before)

And a bonus one: I would change the design of the clubbing section to be more similar to the main page in terms of layout, but keeping the difference color scheme.
in terms of content and as a resource the site is excellent

the aesthetics and layout however require a few amendments imo

the colour scheme whilst easy on the eye is slightly bland, the logo doesn't look sufficiently dynamic and some of the menu choices are too cluttered and not that well demarcated.

Obviously I appreciate you're catering for quite a diverse demographic but I think it could be jazzed up a bit

eg you could borrow a few ideas from lemon jelly's website

if you scroll down the left hand side, you come across a screensaver, which features an urban/rural landscape by day/night, which I feel could perhaps be a useful template for your site - only in your case with different clicks on different areas of the map taking you to various menu options. (Just a thought)
the colour scheme whilst easy on the eye is slightly bland
I used to think it was bland too but I've come around to it.

My designer friends tell me that softer colors are 'in' these days (I'm sure this differs from designer clique to designer clique) and the easy on the eyes part isn't a bad thing. I think the color scheme looks a lot better now that the design is cleaned up.

Also, note that the clubbing section has a bolder color scheme. Some sense in the differentiation.
great feedback, thanks. i'm going to read it all carefully over the coming days - at the moment i need a design break :)

warning: geek info:

What CMS is it built on? Drupal? Joomla?

no, actually custom built. when we started looking at databasing the site (some 7 years ago), there were no products sufficiently flexible enough to do what we wanted. yes we could have taken apart one of the CMS and edited it heavily for our purposes, but in my opinion the work was better spent doing our own.

from a security standpoint, i feel much more confident, because i don't have to update the software it is built on (our blog got hacked a few months ago, because i forgot to update wordpress!). plus it only contains what we need, nothing else.

we use php/mysql and smarty for the templating. smarty adds quite a bit of code to the site, but it is a dream to use for our non-geek designers. we also love jquery for simplifying the bells and whistles.