I tried to change the Portal:United States of America link to United States, but the preview showed the links would appear right after the Utah News & Events heading. I don't understand why editing the existing link makes the line drop down on the page. Therefore, I didn't complete the change. --Fran 20:53, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
- I don't know why the preview looked like that. I've made the change and there was no problem with the preview before I saved it. --Steve 21:24, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
- Maybe the preview looks different because I'm using a Mac OS X. I will test the preview on a PC. --Fran 21:53, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
First Things First
I'm uncomfortable with almost every element of design on this page. We seem to have put the unimportant and unnecessary things first. Even the right-hand flag box takes up an unnecessarily wide swath of expensive real estate without conveying an iota of genealogically useful information. The role of a state page should be to serve as a Table of Contents to the rest of that state's pages. It can also serve as an attention grabber. As a table-of-contents to the other state pages this design gets a poor grade.
On the the above the fold part of the page only 1/4 of the space is available for discretionary use, and even that is not used for attention grabbing or top priority purposes. The two most important parts of this page are completely hidden "below the fold." Our readers favor the county pages most, but all they get is a map below the fold. Our librarian-consultants spend a lot of time working on topics. In this presentation we see neither of these two elements on the first screen on the valuable real estate. The purpose of this page should be to move our readers to the places they can learn the-mostest-the-fastest or at least grab their interest. By hiding the important stuff (moving it below the fold) we have devalued this page.
The topics list in a horizontal layout have lost their table-of-contents look and ease of reading. The TOC layout is an important hint that they can use the topics to reach further pages of information.
Therefore, I propose that we should put the Topics in a table-of-contents style list at the top of the page. I also propose that we likewise move the counties list to the top as well. Let's remember the purpose of this page and put first things first.
I also have my doubts about allowing the automatic Table of Contents for the page to appear. On most state pages it is wisely suppressed. I say wisely because the purpose of this page should be to serve as a table of contents to the rest of the pages for this state. The page TOC is distracting under those circumstances.
The Counties of Utah section needs an alphabetical listing of those counties. Some of our readers are geographically challenged and would be searching the map for too long looking for Loa County when they could find it instantly on an alphabetical list. I like having both a list, and a map, but if forced to choose only one, the better choice is the alphabetical list of counties. DiltsGD 14:12, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
- I think you make good points. I agree that the most useful information should be listed first. For me that would include a brief paragraph about the article subject, in this case the state of Utah. I like the use of a sidebar with a list of topics, this page was set-up differently, to test a different layout, as some users had commented that they found having a topic sidebar, with the wider navigation bar in beta, squeezed the content in the middle too much. I agree that if a topics sidebar is employed, that it does negate the need for a TOC. I also agree that having both a map and a alphabetical list of sub-divisions would be wise. --Steve 14:20, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
- One point, it would be fine if it was still the Wiki skin but we are dealing with FamilySearch skin - squeezing the topic sidebar to the point it looks weird due to fixed-width right side box. Wdsamuelsen 15:51, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I would like to see all the State pages with the same format. I teach beginning genealogy and find it is easier for people to understand when things are uniform.
The Research Outlines were great because after using one or two, we knew what to expect. CyndisList is a great example of uniformity. I can go to her list and research something quickly because I know what to expect.
Please look at Vermont or New York State pages which mimic the old Research Outines. Please keep the Wiki Pages for the States in the same format so the newbies I try to help will not be having to constantly relearn how to access information about their area of interest.