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A Site Review Of Gaslamp.org By Julian Tandy of Nissan-Dakar.com.

Let me start this review by saying that I am based in Europe where 56K modems are the norm and broadband is unavailable for most users. I therefore always have download speed at the top of my agenda for websites and Gaslamp Org passed my first test with ease. The site downloaded quickly enough through my slow gateway, the home page is a mix of text and images so I knew what I was getting whilst waiting for all the images to download.

My first impressions of the site were that it was an informative site that told me everything I needed to know about the GasLamp Quarter. This site had obviously been designed by a professional organisation (even if the webmaster may have a touch of colour blindness) and by extension that the Gaslamp Quarter would be a well run place rather than a cheap shopping complex. I could quickly see that things happen there all the time and when I had looked through the site I felt that if was in San Diego I would like to visit the GasLamp Quarter, have a meal there and be entertained. So job well done overall.

The pages within the website (with the exception of the home page) do fell part of the same site using a new window for the retail sites which tend to be of different designs gives the site separation. My biggest problem was the colour scheme. 30 seconds after getting the purple background area I had to move on as my eyes couldn’t take it. Rather than redesign the whole thing just modify each section to a white page background and use the “section” colour for the top bar, headers and highlights. The only part of the site that failed was the historical tour pages where the pages change style, shape and design and go to a left-right scroll bar.

The organisation of information was fine. If you ask 100 webmaster to design a category system you will get 100 different answers and 75% will work fine. No matter what you do there will always be a few square block pages to fit in round hole categories.

I didn’t spot any glaring code errors and even with Active X turned off the pages all loaded and the site was still navigable from the bottom menu on each page (even if some of the navigation is missing without the Active X top banner). The only links that give problems are the store links that go to corporate home pages rather than the San Diego branch page but that is Hard Rock Cafe’s problem not GasLamps. The only other error was that I checked the site in June and the “special offers” page still had Easter and Mothers Day specials displayed.

What would take this site to the next level? In my opinion very little is needed. Change the home page, change the historical tour to match the rest of the site and get rid of the bright background colours. Other options to improve the site would be to provide at least the historical tour in other languages for tourists; get the stores/restaurants pages to match the GasLamp design and allow on-line shopping but the latter two options are commercial decisions rather than web issues and its a good site as it stands.

Regards,

Julian Tandy
Nissan Rally Raid Team Website http://www.nissan-dakar.com

Peer reviewers volunteer their time and effort to help other ebusiness owners with their websites. Please take time to visit this reviewer’s site and say that you think what they’re doing is valuable to the web business community. For a complete listing of sites reviewed, visit the Peer Review section. If you’d like your site reviewed, send an email to editors@ientry.com.

Subdue Your Color Scheme
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About Peer Reviewer
Peer reviewers volunteer their time and effort to help other ebusiness owners with their websites. Please take time to visit this reviewer's site and say that you think what they're doing is valuable to the web business community. For a complete listing of sites reviewed, visit the Peer Review section. If you'd like your site reviewed, send an email to editors@ientry.com. WebProNews Writer
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