Go ahead, hate this website! (Looking for a critique)

My employer wants to redo our website (http://www.indii.co.id/). It actually received a lot of accolades (within our immediate community of development professionals) when it was first designed, but since then it has perhaps gotten a bit out of control - ad hoc changes, and the addition of tons of new material, may have made it harder than it should be to navigate. (The content is outdated in spots as well, but that is a somewhat separate issue.)

Anyway, we’ll put out a Request for Proposal and will evaluate bids to redesign the site, but before we do that, my boss suggested collecting opinions about what is right or wrong with the site as it now stands - this will help us write a better RFP, and guide the work of whoever we select.

To be clear, I’m not looking for a lot of comments on the content. Yup, it can be kind of boring, but hey … exactly how interesting do you think infrastructure policy and investment issues are gonna be, anyway? Also, I’m sure there spots where the writing could use a good edit, but for the purposes of this thread I am soliciting opinions on design/navigation/overall presentation concerns, as opposed to specific editorial corrections. (Though if you do have general observations related to the content, it can’t hurt to hear them.)

So … I welcome your comments. I’m always impressed by the interesting website critiques that people post here, and I think they could be quite valuable to us. Thank you in advance.

Sorry, but it looks perfectly ordinary to me. I didn’t have a goal in navigating, so maybe there’s some obvious deficiency for someone actually trying to find particular information, But I wouldn’t change the design until there’s a more compelling reason to do so.

It doesn’t look great on a smartphone. As people increasingly access the Web from their phones, that might be something you need to decide whether or not to support.

Slight inconsistency in the menu behaviour - the second item (‘About Us’) has a dropdown - but I would normally expect the top level to be clickable, and take me to a generic ‘About Us’ page, with a summary and links to the three items on that menu.

Also, I would nest ‘FAQs’ and ‘Contact Us’, and maybe ‘Rationale’ under ‘About Us’, but that’s a personal choice. Actually, does the site really need both the horizontal and vertical menus?

Wait… and there’s another horizontal menu bar halfway down the home page, then a page navigation thing underneath that (I worked out that it relates to multiple items in the first tab of the mid-page navigation bar).

Maybe I’m easily confused, but I could easily imagine finding difficulty in navigating to the same place twice.

I think it looks good, but the photo montage that starts with the picture of the bus restricts the text to a small column that’s hard to read. I’d scale back the photo, maybe half it’s current size, and move it far to the right. Let the text below the photo scale to full width.

The calendar in the lower right is cut off on Firefox 12.0, you can only see about half of the last row.

Also, the Search function on sites is frequently disappointing. This might not be your department but searching for USA results in substring results, like Perusahaan or AusaID.

Using Explorer 8…

Seems to me you could use more the real estate in the middle section. In my widescreen monitor, there’s plenty of empty space below the (only) headline story.

Calendar is cut off

Bunch of duplication - Opportunities, activities, etc

There’s a lot of navigation - two sets of horizontal menus and a third vertical menu. Plus the calendar and news on the right. Confusing

FAQ is split in two, with enquiries being empty

E-Blast is a pretty informal title for a gov’t pub. I’d stick with ‘Newsletter’

I prefer when publications are separated by year, but YMMV. Also, try to get as many pubs on one page without having to click through dozens of pages to get a broad overview.

That said, it’s not awful. I’ve seen much, much worse.

I’m not big on the two menus - there’s now two different places to look for navigation. I’d consolidate it into one menu if possible.

It’s pretty busy, there’s a lot going on on the site without a lot of clear sectioning. What’s the most important things on your site? In a new design, those need to be given prominence. I’d enlarge the left menu text. If you judge the E-blast to be an important component, I would definitely ask for it to become more prominent in a redesign.

Links should have a hover state.

There’s a lot of text without anything standing out. More variance in font size/colour/background would be welcome.

I agree with TriPolar that the absence of a goal in navigating makes it more difficult to evaluate. One thing I like to see, in the event I am having a tough time finding something, is a site map or index, usually linked at the bottom of a webpage.