Monday, February 15, 2010

New Look NSWCA

Finally back online after 2 days of going without the internet! I think that's the longest stretch I've been without some sort of connection. I'd have gone totally mad if not for smoking some shisha, drinking chocolate beer and some damn fine yakitori! Tokyo is the bomb.

First good news I spot is that the NSWCA's website has undergone an overhaul, apparently the handiwork of Quentin Reitmans who, I believe, works as a graphic designer. He's done a pretty damn good job and I can only hope that the NSWCA paid him well for it. The site is even coded using CSS, a big contrast to that awful specimen of amateurism, the Chess Victoria website (and Sydney FC rules). Mr Reitmans has thought a lot of things through properly, including even the itsy-bitsy icon in the browser's addy bar. Nice touch!

The logo, too, has seen an upgrade. It's thoroughly modern, but probably won't win too many design awards. What I find interesting is that Reitmans' bosses within the association have opted to dump their body's establishment date ("Est. 1900", I think it used to say), a feature that accompanied the last logo. I suppose that's them saying, "Look at us, we're looking to the future"!

But right about there I can hear some of the usual critics cry out, "Yeah right!" At least for the association, their usual nemesis happens to also be their present boss.

I only have 2 little whinges. The 'About' section seems a tad misplaced. The IA suggests that most content talking about the body are linkable from the footer. So why leave the 'About' page on the left nav bar? Surely it's not because it's more important than "NSWCA Council'. That saved space might be useful for 'News', for example. Secondly, the trio of square tournament adverts on the homepage occupy far too much space than they deserve. In fact, there's absolutely no reason to have these at all since the same pieces of info could be adequately presented under 'Coming Events'. Dumping the square boxes should push more of the content upwards above the fold.

And lastly, I couldn't help notice the number of current full members. I was genuinely surprised to find that this number is just a bit over 200 souls! Let's hope the new website will do something to boost membership. How? I do not know!

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