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View Full Version : A website that convinced me NOT to attend.



Thirdrail
July 1st, 2006, 09:55 PM
Although it is quite far away, I would like to attend a National N scale convention one day, so thought I'd look at the website for the one in Denver this August.

Well, it's clear to me that if you don't have Adobe Flash Player on your machine and have a T1 line for your connection, don't even bother to try to look at the website, they're not interested in your attendance.

After waiting five minutes for the site to load on a 56K dial-up line, I clicked on "Radisson Hotel", hoping that would come up a little faster - it did, only took two minutes. By that time, I was thinking "Why am I bothering, it is obvious that if you don't have the latest in computer software and communication lines, this group doesn't care if you attend or not."

I was going to put the address of the hotel in Mapquest and see how many hours driving might be involved, but now I'm not even going to bother. :angry:

Conagher
July 1st, 2006, 10:36 PM
Actually, I believe they probably figure everyone has DSL these days. Most current websites are too graphics-intensive for dial-up to handle.

I'm sure they asked their web designer to develop a nice site and never though twice about connection speeds.

It's about 1777 miles from Apalachicola to Denver according to Google Maps from: Apalachicola, FL to: Denver, CO - Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&saddr=Apalachicola,+FL&daddr=Denver,+CO&ie=UTF8&om=1)
Cam

Benny
July 1st, 2006, 10:45 PM
The problem is, "Good" webdesign is not really Good webdesign anymore, its Graphics Loaded Junk. nothing has actally really changed Code wise in the last ten years...asside form some additional programming languages, which still take minilmal time.

You might try browsing their site with pictures turned off...which is pointless if they are not labeling their pictures!

Matthew Roberts
July 1st, 2006, 10:50 PM
You might try browsing their site with pictures turned off...which is pointless if they are not labeling their pictures!
or filled in the html <alt> tag!

Doug A.
July 1st, 2006, 11:01 PM
Why would you think that they are trying to exclude you based on your Internet access method?

How about they maybe don't have money for a development team on the payroll sitting around trying to build pages for the least-common-denominator?

FYI, I have cable, and the site is slow for me too. Must be a conspiracy against Trainboard n-scalers instead of dialup users.

Matthew Roberts
July 1st, 2006, 11:24 PM
3rdrail,

what really irritates me about this site is that it seems to have little to no information about much of the convention, and the website isn't laid out very well. The images, which take way too long to download even on my faster than T1 cable connection (300px by 150px in 10 seconds is way too slow.)

Looks like the reason the images are slow to download is that the designer was lazy and just used the <img> tag to resize the view without actually using a smaller image to link to a larger one. You end up with a 1.8MB 300x150 jpg, which isn't good. An image of that size, at that compression, should be less than 350 KB.

Thirdrail
July 1st, 2006, 11:51 PM
Why would you think that they are trying to exclude you based on your Internet access method?

How about they maybe don't have money for a development team on the payroll sitting around trying to build pages for the least-common-denominator?

FYI, I have cable, and the site is slow for me too. Must be a conspiracy against Trainboard n-scalers instead of dialup users.

No, I was just using a little hyperbole to make a point that it could be taken that way. I realize it is a volunteer organization, but it should realize that what folks want from the website is information, not slow loading flash and pizzazz. Perhaps if some of the organizers read this thread they'll do better next year. :shade:

Doug A.
July 2nd, 2006, 12:11 AM
There is no next year for the Denver group. They are just trying to put together a show to bring n-scalers together for the purpose of HAVING FUN.

Their website does need work. I have e-mailed them offering my assistance. Hopefully a better solution than "hyperbole".

doofus
July 2nd, 2006, 12:15 AM
The site works for me.........................

Doug A.
July 2nd, 2006, 12:26 AM
doofus,

The main page is almost 2.7MB in size...not exactly acceptable page size, even if you do have high-speed access.

If not for the delivery, Thirdrail's issue is somewhat a valid one.

Conagher
July 2nd, 2006, 01:19 AM
After reading the above responses, I think we should blow off Denver and all meet at Pete's in NM or Russell's in TX to have our own N Scale meet & some GREAT fun...:thumbs_up:
Cam

Colonel
July 2nd, 2006, 01:30 AM
Whats the link to the site please?

Matthew Roberts
July 2nd, 2006, 01:45 AM
Sorry, Colonel :teeth:

NScale Collector - Denver N-scale National Convention 2006 (http://www.nscalecollector.com/Denver_NSC.htm)

Powersteamguy1790
July 2nd, 2006, 01:52 AM
I had no trouble accessing the site at all. The page loaded in a matter of seconds. I do have high speed internet service.

I wouldn't pass final judgment on a Trainshow because access to the site may slow in some instances.

The problem lies with some individuals method of access to the internet.


Stay cool and run steam.....:cool: :cool:

Steve 4 Painting
July 2nd, 2006, 02:28 AM
...the only so called "problem" with this site is the Colorado Museum picture (1,8MB size) and the steam engine picture (777kB size) all the other pictures and features are ok...

steve w.

TonyHammes
July 2nd, 2006, 03:02 AM
I thought the site was pretty good. Only wish that I was going now.

Gats
July 2nd, 2006, 03:46 AM
After reading the above responses, I think we should blow off Denver and all meet at Pete's in NM or....

Cam

That could be a tad dangerous... :eek:

:D

Colonel
July 2nd, 2006, 04:02 AM
The whole site loaded in a matter of seconds for me, yes I'm on cable however on the other side of the world :D

I dont think you can jusdge the convention by its website loading time, by the actual content I'd say itis well worthwhile attending.

Doug A.
July 2nd, 2006, 04:32 AM
Paul, I think you are right...regardless of the page issues it should be a goal of any n-scaler to try and make the convention if it is feasible. (it's not for me this year, but someday I hope to make it)

I contacted the convention chair and alerted him to the issue. He replied and said they were having "server issues", but I don't think he realized about the photos. I resized them and sent them back to him...dunno if he'll touch them but I tried conveying who I was so he wouldn't think I was trying to do harm. So we'll see.

SOO,MILW,CNW
July 2nd, 2006, 04:52 AM
I just visited the site, no probs for me. Just sorry for the mud slingin,,,I could say something mean and spiteful, but I will refrain.

I did manage to go when the national was in houston, But then again there was not a high speed low drag web site to deter me and spout off comments better left un-said

Adios Wyatt

Matt Burris
July 2nd, 2006, 04:58 AM
I have dialup and I didn't have any problems with the site. We can't get cable or DSL where I live.

jagged ben
July 2nd, 2006, 08:12 AM
...the only so called "problem" with this site is the Colorado Museum picture (1,8MB size) and the steam engine picture (777kB size) all the other pictures and features are ok...

steve w.


Yes, this is very poor work, since they are not using the pictures full size, and one can resize pictures in Windows Explorer in a matter of seconds.

Fotheringill
July 2nd, 2006, 08:19 PM
Where is this "Denver" place to which you are referring?

porkypine52
July 3rd, 2006, 02:01 AM
I would like to go myself, but too many other things to do, and cashflow is a little slow right now. No problem downloading anything, but then I'm on a very high speed DSL line.

We are going to have a N-Scale Convention in LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY in 2008. We plan on having another HUGE NTRAK layout, swap meet, and Train Show, plus much, much more. It should be a WING-DING! As of right now we are HOPING the N-Scale Collector Society will join in, but I cannot say yes or no here. The more the merrier!!

If nothing else remember: LOUISVILLE, N-SCALE IN 2008

Pete Nolan
July 3rd, 2006, 02:23 AM
After reading the above responses, I think we should blow off Denver and all meet at Pete's in NM or Russell's in TX to have our own N Scale meet & some GREAT fun...:thumbs_up:
Cam

Sorry, folks, I'm up in Alaska most of August! Steve, our wonderful house sitter, shouldn't be burdened with showing off the railroad.

Anyone who visits Albuquerque is welcome to visit my railroad. I'm usually here.

Pete Nolan
July 3rd, 2006, 02:26 AM
Where is this "Denver" place to which you are referring?


Go west to Albuquerque and take a RIGHT turn. It's 454 miles.

Rob M.
July 5th, 2006, 02:43 AM
The page is certainly less than informative if you block Macromedia Flash, as I do to avoid some of the nastier online advertising techniques:

http://lordzox.com/mrr/denverpage.jpg

Almost every "link" on the page is a separate Flash program! :(

David Bromage
July 5th, 2006, 03:45 AM
How about they maybe don't have money for a development team on the payroll sitting around trying to build pages for the least-common-denominator?
It doesn't take any more work to design a good site from the outset. Flash animations take more time and affort than plain text or simple graphics. What they've done with flash animations for every single button in the menu can be done just as easily with simple code and plain text. That's just poor design.

It has nothing to do with lowest common denominator, it's about knowing what is good and bad web design. It's not rocket science.

Cheers
David

BALOU LINE
July 5th, 2006, 08:38 AM
A handy tool for anyone who is designing a web site is Vincent Flanders' webpagesthatsuck.com (http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/)
Sometimes it is easier to learn from the mistakes of others and why their site doesn't work well. Proves that just because someone can design a website does not make them a web designer.

Doug A.
July 5th, 2006, 12:51 PM
David,

You are absolutely correct. I based my initial assessment on the assumption that it was only a dial-up issue, and considering the history of certain poster's "sky is falling" mentality.

But, I will say that "knowing what is good and bad web design" isn't necessarily picked up in a "Learn HTML in 24 Hours" book. Keep in mind that these sites may be developed by complete newbies who are handed a book and told "go for it!". Someone may have shown him how to make a hyperlink in Flash and it seemed easy and everyone told him to use Flash on his website, so "voila", there you have it. My ultimate point was not that it requires a web design team or that it takes a long time to do, but that with the first (or at least an experience HTML writer) the second may become an issue, and vice-versa.

I sent the site contact the reduced JPG's hoping that would help, but the site is still painfully slow to scroll. (It does seem to load a little faster, but it "redraws" with every click of the scroll bar...not good)

DiezMon
July 5th, 2006, 03:12 PM
The problem is, "Good" webdesign is not really Good webdesign anymore, its Graphics Loaded Junk.

Exactly.

At least some loaded sites give you a link option to a version that's geared towards the bandwidth challenged.

I've been in software/web areas for a good 15 years now, as I'm sure many of you have. The thing that's always proven to work is K.I.S.S , period.

Tim :)

Tim Loutzenhiser
July 5th, 2006, 03:27 PM
As the administrator for probably the largest internal websight for a large aerospace company, I have learned that K.I.S.S. is the way to go. I have simplified my site over the past couple years - no more large graphics, no "flash" plug-ins required, etc. I have some pages that do reqiure some java, but I'm even working to get around that. With multiple sites around the world accessing my site, I need to keep the maintenance down as much as is possible. Simple is also so much easier for people to navigate - you would be surprised at how many "highly degreed" and supposedly computer savy engineers (and especially upper management types) can get confused easily!
:teeth:

traingeekboy
July 6th, 2006, 02:55 AM
First off.
I understand your frustration. Just when it seems like the technology has caught up with the data transfer rates... Suddenly everyone ups their graphics content. So we end up back where we started.

WWW=World Wide Wait

FYI japan and other developed countries like thailand boast 200 megabite transfer rates as opposed to our 2 megabite. We're technologically behind the times.

Second.
Most browsers have a text only mode so you can just load content and not fluff. Try to locate that and see how it goes.

I plan to attend the show,it's easy cauze I live in Denver. Most tours I want to see are already filled up. I still need to call John Widmar and simply visit his house one day.

Pete Nolan
July 6th, 2006, 06:25 PM
I used to manage one of the largest government sites. Our motto was indeed KISS--small graphics, simple structures, and multiple tests on different platforms. But someone always missed something. I personally didn't have much trouble with the Denver site but I could see that someone might.

Route 66
July 8th, 2006, 01:07 PM
"I was going to put the address of the hotel in Mapquest and see how many hours driving might be involved, but now I'm not even going to bother".


I can see you like to get places fast,your computer connection is slow and so is your mode of transportation for a 1700 mile trip. You weren't planning on going anyway were you?, since how long could you sit driving in that nash metropolitian BEEP, BEEP!

Thirdrail
July 8th, 2006, 01:21 PM
"I was going to put the address of the hotel in Mapquest and see how many hours driving might be involved, but now I'm not even going to bother".


I can see you like to get places fast,your computer connection is slow and so is your mode of transportation for a 1700 mile trip. You weren't planning on going anyway were you?, since how long could you sit driving in that nash metropolitian BEEP, BEEP!

When I retired, I swore I would never get on an airplane again and with the TSA Gestapo at airports I certainly won't. And a Chrysler Town & Country is a far cry from a Nash Metropolitan. I never said I was planning on going, only considering it, as I am also considering driving to Santa Fe and Chama. My wife wants to see Santa Fe and I want to see the Cumbres & Toltec.

I notice that the N Scale Collector's website for the convention has been improved, eliminating the multi-megabyte graphics, so "mission accomplished". :cat:

E-8
July 8th, 2006, 01:30 PM
This thread has played out as far as any useful information. I see only the potential for arguing so..... closed.

Charlie