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As mentioned in Progress report - the 10 stage plan last month, the next stage in the development of the Milamex website has been to come up with some visual designs for the site.

After battling through illness last month, and testing a shoot-out between graphics apps, I eventually came up with a visual design proposal for the new-look Milamex website. I presented the proposal to Sally, the mission director last week, and am happy to say she liked it.

However, that's not good enough for me, and I wanted to show the ideas here, to allow others to offer their feedback. I've presented the evolution of my visual ideas as a mini slideshow, with brief commentary alongside each picture.

To view the slideshow, cick on the button below, which will launch the show in a new window. Note: The pictures make better sense when you view them in numerical order - explanations and translations of key text are given as you go along.

View gallery

If your browsers doesn't allow pop-up windows, click here to view the slideshow in the current window. Please note, you will need a monitor resolution of at least 1024x768 to view the show.


Any feedback that others can provide is always really helpful, as otherwise I only have my intuition to go on. If you want to let me know what you think, I welcome you to leave a comment at the end of the blog, or drop me an email.

For the free-thinking, you can tell me whatever! However, if you want a bit of guidance on the sort of things I would like to know, here are some questions I've got for you:

  • From what you can make out in the pictures and my explanation, does the navigation of the site seem initutitive or confusing? (Slides 1 and 2)
  • Does the diversion into a micro site for each of our main activities and moving the 'breadcrumb' trail above the main page seem a good one, or would it lose you? (Slide 5)
  • Which of the blue gradients in the background do you prefer - the lighter blue (that is softer on the eyes) or darker blue (that provides more contrast)? (Slides 5 and 8 make good comparisons)
  • More broadly, do you like the colours, or would you choose different ones?
  • Which of the main title bars do you prefer - the floated grey box above the main page area, or the grey bar which extends the full page width but takes up less vertical space? (Compare slides 5 and 10)
  • The main page area (everything in the box below the title bar) is of fixed width. This allows me to do some pretty pixel-perfect picture positioning. Do you like this approach, or do you prefer layouts that extends automatically according to the width of your screen?

PS. If you're not 'tecchie', don't be intimidated by those who are - just drop me some thoughts - whether they be simple or clever.

7 Comment(s):

Blogger Martin said...

Nice work on the templates. Here are my thoughts:-

- I think the navigation is fairly intuitive

- I like the microsite idea. Just one question. Do you need to show the full site breadcrumb at all? How about just a "back to milamex" link? I would be interested to see a picture of this, as it may look wrong or act oddly, but I think it is worth mocking up.

- I am happy with pretty much all the suggested colour schemes.

- I quite like the main title bar full width at the top

- I personally have been going down the route of 'em's for height and 'ex's for width recently for text areas. 60ex is a nice width for a content area. Then again, in this respect I think I'm very odd! Thursday, July 06, 2006 6:07:00 PM  

Anonymous Dean Page said...

Hi ya Tim.

some comments for you, also just to say it's really good to be able to read about what your up to? and now the comments.

1. the navigation changed quite a bit through the slides, but the final ideas are the best.

2. I like the idea of the mini sites and the navigation as well as the main title allow you to always know where you are. and allow easy navigation back

3. I like the darker blue gradient it seems to fit with the blue in the Milamex, which ties it to it.

4. I like the colours i think the site looks clean and the colours contrast enough to allow it to stand out.

5. I like the title bar that stretches completely across the width of the screen, i believe as you mentioned it acts like an umbrella to all other sections.

6. I think as long as you stick to a standard size 1024 x 768 then a fixed width is fine... it never bothers me when i'm at a site as long as i can get the information i want.

Hope you find these comments useful?

Continue having a great time.

Dean Page Friday, July 07, 2006 10:03:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a very proud Dad. Keep up the good work Tim. Friday, July 07, 2006 3:05:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm getting the hang of this now, Tim and I think it's going to work well. It's a little frustrating at the moment that you can't navigate the site properly, so I'll look forward to that one day. Like the dark blue.
Mx Monday, July 10, 2006 4:07:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Hello Tim l think you are doing a very good job in Mexico. God most be so proud of you!! just keep yr eyes open to his will.

Estoy muy orgullosa de ti tambien, eres un hombre que quiere amar a Dios, Gracias por estar cerca de mi y enseniarme muchas cosas, aun en la distacia...tq
Dios te bendiga siempre!!

MUNIEKIS!! Friday, August 04, 2006 1:28:00 AM  

Anonymous Julio said...

Hi Tim, we met at Redcliffe last year, good to hear your news and theexcellent work you're doing over there.
God bless you

Julio Robles Friday, September 08, 2006 5:47:00 AM  

Anonymous Wyn Williams-Kallio said...

I think you could use tableless templates and consider a full intuitive face for the site, it looks a bit plain as aposed to simple.
I do alot of work with Plone and know a few tricks (not trying to get a job just like lending a hand to ploners!) my latest site is


Wyn WIlliams-Kallio Wednesday, October 25, 2006 2:34:00 PM  

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Half-time in Xochimilco

Last month marked the end of the road for Graham and Joey - fellow Latin Link volunteers who have been with me here in Mexico City since September/October last year - who returned to the UK after completing their 9 month placements.

See my photos on and videos at the end of this blog.

As one last get-together for us all, Paul and Nydia Johnson, our Mexico team leaders, took Graham, Joey, Myself and a few others out for a daytrip on the canals of Xochimilco - a district of Mexico City which lays claim to the last few remaining canals that, centuries ago, once characterised the whole area on which now sits the famous urban sprawl.

The daytrip was a fascinating insight into the contrasts of Mexican culture itself. As we ventured into the idyllic canals of Xochimilco (pronounced 'sochi-milko'), it could have been as though we were in England. For a moment, it was impossible to believe you were in this shanty-town-clad urban metropolis. But then came the street-sellers and the mariachis - all floating towards us on boats. Can't quite picture it?

Reflecting on the last 9 months and looking ahead

Seeing Graham and Joey head off home has given me much pause for reflection, as I realise I am now half-way through my 18-month placement, and if the next 9 months goes as quickly as the last, we'll, get me a beer in, I'll see you in 5 minutes.

I am left with a very big question as to whether I have a longer-term calling to serving God out here in Latin America or not. I hope to have a better idea on that after I return to the UK. However, it is quite possible that my work might be extended here for a further 6 months, as the 'Stride' programme I'm on allows me to stay for up to 2 years. This is something I plan to review after I've got 'version 1' of the Milamex website up and running, still on course for a mid-August launch.

It certainly has been a mind-blowing past 9 months. I've seen so much here in Mexico that has put my past life in the UK into a different perspective. All the things we take for granted in the UK are luxuries for many over here. Even down to basic things like social security, or having a toaster. From my excursions to Cuba and Guatemala, to the sleepless nights of Mexico City, for good or bad, it has been a great privilege to have had these experiences.

I am deeply grateful to the many who have encouraged me to do what I am doing, and who are providing support either in friendship, prayer or financially. I'm not only fulfilling a dream of a lifetime, but it's also a privilege to serve God using my vocational skills in this way.

I have a lot more planned yet for the next 9 months. In addition to the completion of the Milamex website, I'm looking forward to a possible project in Costa Rica and a return trip to Guatemala. Of course, my Spanish still isn't what I'd like it to be, so I'll be taking some more lessons in there somewhere as well. I look forward to reporting on all this in due course, stay tuned in the meantime. Just don't count on it seeming more like 5 minutes until l return home again.

Xochimilco Videos

Here's a few sweet clips of the Xochimilco canals for your delight. If you see nothing else, at least take a look at the Mariachis - not to be missed.

1 Comment(s):

Blogger Martin said...

Wow! Those boats go on forever in every direction. Wednesday, July 05, 2006 4:52:00 PM  

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