Jump to content

 
Photo

mapformation.com FINALLY launched!


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

"Looks great, my university (Rutgers) could sure use your services!

Initial reaction to [url="http://"http://www.mapformation.com/services/campus_map.htm:"]http://www.mapformation.com/services/campus_map.htm:[/url]
You aren't capitalizing your firm, ""mapformation"", but reading through
the main content text, a browser should clearly be able to identify
your company name. If you aren't going to go with a capital, try
bold-ing it. "

#2
ELeFevre

ELeFevre

    Hall of Fame

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,050 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Louisville, Colorado USA
  • Interests:Cartography, Music, GIS, Coffee
  • United States

Derek,
This
looks really great. I love your choice of colors and the clean design.
The header graphic and the navigation menu on the index page are
perfect. Did you create the graphic with Sketch-up?

Suggestion and an additional comment:
You are probably already going to do this, but you should add a navigation menu to each of the Frequently Asked Question pages.

I
like the horizontal navigation in the sub pages as well. It is easy to
use and functional ... especially when your dealing with drop-down
sub-menus. However, I wonder how it would work-out and look if the
vertical menu motif was somehow altered and incorporated into the
sub-pages (sub-menus and all)? I just really love the navigation and
design of the index page. Maybe this suggestion will come in handy at
the end of next year or the year after...!

Once again, excellent work! You should consider adding web design to your list of services. Erin.



#3
DaveB

DaveB

    Hall of Fame

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,057 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Redlands, CA
  • United States

"Nice and clean, and interesting to look at.

One typo on the About Us page: The link in the text says New Releases, but the dropdown menu says News Releases

""zoomification"" :D made me laugh, I like it

The Fisher-Price page (had to check out what Fisher-Price had to do with mapping; interesting):
""While they are still loved for our classics"" (our?)""
""have only recently begun related to this particular product"" awkward wording, made me pause

Aside from these minor quibbles it looks like a very well-designed site. :D "
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#4
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

"Thanks for the quick feedback!

Dave:
Yes, this is why I've been asking as many people as I possibly can to
review the site...as some of those issues (wording and typos that slip
through SpellCheck) are things that are sometimes missed after staring
at my monitor for 6+ months! :D All the items you noted in your message
have now been corrected.

Erin: Yes, those ""FAQ"" pages have been
on my To Do List for several weeks...as the intended function of them
was to pop-out into a 400x400 pixel window (so it is obvious that it is
different from the ""core"" site structure). Your comment yesterday was
the perfect excuse for me to go back to the drawing board with that
pesky issue, and I think I finally was able to achieve the effect I had
been hoping for after about 90 minutes of trial and error last night.
If you give those FAQ pages another look, you should see what I am
talking about.

benbakelaar: Funny story! I got a referral last
summer from an institution in New Jersey. They said that a buddy of
theirs at Rutgers said ""you gotta talk to tonnhaus design, as they are
THE firm to talk to regarding campus mapping."" Strange thing is, I'd
never knowingly, directly spoken with anyone at Rutgers, so I'm not
sure how they could give me such a strong referral. At any rate, we may
still land a project out of that one...though I would also LOVE the
chance to work with Rutgers on a campus map design as well!


What we are really hoping to accomplish with the launch of our new ""mapformation"" web site is:

1.
""Shock and Awe"", related to the geographic diversity in our client base
(compared to the ""typical"" campus mapping firm), as well as roughly 300
different samples from our portfolio. From a competitive standpoint, we
want to make it more-difficult for other competitors/start-ups to try
and muscle-in on ""our turf""...while simultaneously working to enter a
few other target market groups outside of higher education.

2.
More of a ""Maps as Art"" look/feel to the site....as I think often-times
our marketing efforts in the custom cartography industry can look a
little too ""cold"" or analytical.

3. Interest from new business
partners, as well as (hopefully) getting a few other small, independent
firms out there thinking about the possibility of wrapping their
products/styles under our larger, growing umbrella. We are working very
hard to establish relationships in Europe and SE Asia at the moment,
and having a more-professional web site gives us a bit more ""leverage""
or credibility when coming to the table to negotiate.


I'm
doing my best to promote some of our other cartography firms too, as
well as CartoTalk! There's two ways to essentially grow a business:

1. Increase the size of your slice of the pie.
2. Increase the size of the pie.

Launching
a more-professional web site should result in ""#1"", but working hard to
promote the custom cartography industry as a whole should also result
in ""#2""...which is why I try to give out lots of referrals and tell
everyone I encounter about places such as CartoTalk as well! B)

My
$0.25. Sorry to be such a wind-bag! This kind of stuff is what I live
for though, as mapping has been a passion of mine since I probably
learned how to walk and talk as a child......

Derek
"
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#5
Rick Dey

Rick Dey

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 302 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Santa Rosa, CA
  • Interests:Illustrator, MAPublisher, GIS, Street Maps
  • United States

Very nice design Derek.

Nice
that the site is fully functional on PC and Mac platforms. I had a
couple cases where the pull down navigation didn't function quite right
but I love the fact that anytime something slipped through I ended up
at the site map and was able to quickly locate myself.

The pop-up boxes in the portfolio are great. Wonderful levels of information available with just a roll over.

The site should do a lot to help move you forward, there will be no doubt of your quality and professionalism.
Rick Dey

#6
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

"

The pop-up boxes in the portfolio are great.  Wonderful levels of information available with just a roll over.


Thanks for the feedback, Rick!

That
thumbnail gallery rollover effect is an interesting story too. That
effect was actually originally designed for Mozilla.org (makers of the
Firefox browser) a few years back, but was rejected after no one had
been able to make the effect work properly in MS Internet Explorer.
Well, after rolling up my sleeves and about two weeks of hard-coding
and chat room discussions with people all over the planet, we figured
out a way to get it working in MSIE! The beauty of that code is that
adding additional lines of information is as simple as adding another
<li></li> reference within the larger <ul></ul>
code. One of the things our new web site absolutely HAD to have was
""staying power"" and the ability to allow for growth and expansion! I
purposefully ""over-coded"" the site now, so I don't have to go through
this whole process again 2+ years from now. I love coding web pages
too, but this last development cycle has me SERIOUSLY in need of a
vacation from any web site redesigns for a while..... ;)

Derek "
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#7
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

"

benbakelaar: 
Funny story!  I got a referral last summer from an institution in 
New Jersey.  They said that a buddy of theirs at Rutgers said ""you 
gotta talk to tonnhaus design, as they are THE firm to talk to 
regarding campus mapping.""  Strange thing is, I'd never knowingly, 
directly spoken with anyone at Rutgers, so I'm not sure how they could 
give me such a strong referral.  At any rate, we may still land a 
project out of that one...though I would also LOVE the chance to work 
with Rutgers on a campus map design as well! 

Derek

http://


Actually,
while I was employed there (as IT for a specific dept) I took it upon
myself to redesign their horrible map interface. (Haven't checked
recently, maybe it's better now?) I managed to get as far as receiving
the PSD files from someone, but basically, no one is in charge of their
map portion of the site! The geography dept. (where I was a student)
has nothing to do with it, and their ""Campus Info"" dept. seems to be
non-existent. Maybe I will reach out again and try to connect you. "

#8
benbakelaar

benbakelaar

    Ultimate Contributor

  • Associate Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Brunswick, NJ
  • Interests:maps, information, technology, scripting, computers
  • United States

I
see you made separate pages for each of the sections, which link from
the front page. But on the roll-over menu, fly-out menu, whatever it's
called, you can't click on the section itself, only the individual
pages. Of course, right now, your section page only contains the same
links as the menu, but perhaps in the future it will contain more
descriptive entries for each of the sub-pages. Just a thought.

#9
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

"


see you made separate pages for each of the sections, which link from 
the front page. But on the roll-over menu, fly-out menu, whatever it's 
called, you can't click on the section itself, only the individual 
pages. Of course, right now, your section page only contains the same 
links as the menu, but perhaps in the future it will contain more 
descriptive entries for each of the sub-pages. Just a thought.


Correct.
I actually want to discourage the number of ""clicks"" or layers that
people have to use to get down to the core content of the site
(including section intro pages)....but I needed some very basic
category ""intro"" pages for people linking off the ""nav"" on the home
page. We wanted to ""keep it simple"" on the home page design....which
had the minor casualty of not having people directly link to the
sub-sections of each navigational menu option via our CSS structure.

I
think my favorite feature of the entire site, believe it or not, are
the 85+ random header graphics that appear on the top of every page!
Basically, you'll never see the same web page twice unless you hit the
back button...plus it places small tastes of our portfolio on every
page. One of the comments I received on our old web site is that we
needed to do more to put our work in front of people's eyes (and not
have to click 2-3 layers down to see sample designs). That was the best
advice I ever received related to our new site....and every page
(except the FAQ pop-outs) have a sample of our design work on them.

We
got a fun cold-call from one of the largest design/ad agencies in
Minneapolis today...saying that they stumbled across our new web site
and might have some projects for us to work on ""after seeing the
quality of our work."" That type of thing makes the incredibly hard
design work of the past 6+ months worth it! We've been out there for 6+
years, but only after our new web site was launched did they find us
and/or take us seriously. B) "
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#10
Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,324 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Playing in the mountains and rivers.
  • United States

It's not very simple.

Depending
on your client base, it might be a little sophisticated. I would have
to spend more time fiddling around figuring out what flipped what roll
over, etc. before I felt comfortable navigating and knowing where I was
on your site. The different random header graphics are nice to show
your work but it also sometimes makes you feel like you are lost.

If this site is to illuminate your sophisitication then I think you did a great job.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#11
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

"

It's not very simple.

Depending 
on your client base, it might be a little sophisticated.  I would 
have to spend more time fiddling around figuring out what flipped what 
roll over, etc. before I felt comfortable navigating and knowing where 
I was on your site.  The different random header graphics are nice 
to show your work but it also sometimes makes you feel like you are 
lost.

If this site is to illuminate your sophistication then I think you did a great job.


Yes,
I agree that the site is not always 100% ""obvious"" in all of the
features that are available for visitors to use. However, that is at
least partially by design, per one of the goals for the site:

2. 
More of a ""Maps as Art"" look/feel to the site....as I think often-times 
our marketing efforts in the custom cartography industry can look a 
little too ""cold"" or analytical.


Most
of the folks who hire our firm tend to be ""creatives"".....graphic
designers, PR directors, web developers, admissions folks, etc. That
group tends to want style as much as substance. Consequently, we are
trying to deliver exactly that with our new site. I really liked the
simplicity of our old site, but it just couldn't hold a candle to our
new site when it comes to ""style.""

We'll see how it all works
out in the months and years to come! I really do appreciate all the
feedback from folks over the past 24 hours though. B)

Derek "
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#12
mike

mike

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 320 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto, ON
  • Canada

I think your site looks great! very clean design.

#13
Matthew Hampton

Matthew Hampton

    Hall of Fame

  • Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,324 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon
  • Interests:Playing in the mountains and rivers.
  • United States

I
guess I should be more specific. When I first came to your site I
initially checked out the Virtual Tours (flash based tours) section,
and I think the UI for the Floor level, Bldg level, etc. are still
needing a little content and context, although the bones are there and
it looks promising.

I just checked out the other (main?) areas
of mapformation and really like what you have done with respect to
organization, layout, and navigation. The mouse-over info in the
portfolio's is a nice touch..

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#14
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

    Legendary Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 455 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Springfield, Minnesota, USA
  • United States

"Thanks
for the added info, Matthew! The virtual tours site is still a work in
progress, but we wanted to at least get some ""teaser"" information out
there as we prepare for our busiest marketing/sales/design time of the
year around here (April 1-August 1).

""Continuous improvement""
is our mantra related to our own web site design....as I've already
made about 8-10 little, subtle improvements to the sites since they
officially launched. That's the beauty and the frustration of web
design: you're never, EVER done! :)
"
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#15
waypoints

waypoints

    Contributor

  • Validated Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Atlanta, GA
  • Interests:Geospatial Technologies, Cartography, Geography
  • United States

"

Thanks 
for the added info, Matthew!  The virtual tours site is still a 
work in progress, but we wanted to at least get some ""teaser"" 
information out there as we prepare for our busiest 
marketing/sales/design time of the year around here (April 1-August 
1). 

""Continuous improvement"" is our mantra related to 
our own web site design....as I've already made about 8-10 little, 
subtle improvements to the sites since they officially launched.
That's the beauty and the frustration of web design: you're never, EVER 
done!  :)

http://


ah,
so true! Check out this part of the Sydney Opera House. It is one of my
favourites and has me hooked on blending maps with other types of media:

[url="http://"http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/sections/tours/virtual_tour/?sm=3&ss=11"]http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/sections/t...our/?sm=3&ss=11[/url]

Once you check it out ... notice the date it was produced. "




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

-->