Prior to the design and front-end implementation of the Dog Sports Website the online research on identical websites has been conducted and the following features of other sites have been noted:
Lots of images on each page for adding greater colourfulness.
Some locally-specific websites such as Ottawa Dog Sports (Source: http://ottawadogsports.com/) are aimed at local audience and introduce dog owners to different sorts of dog sports through the side-bar navigation with each sport's name indicated on the navigation buttons.
Other websites, on the other hand, present clean designs with no distracting features such as videos or flash movies; for example, Modern Dog Sports website ( Source: http://www.moderndogsports.co.uk/specialist.html) allows viewing only two types of dog sports and both of them are placed neatly in the main header navigation; this is useful for static websites with no registration, forum and other options to place in the header navigation bar.
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Other websites offer only side-bar navigation for surfing through the site: this navigation may integrate every possible option including Gallery sections, Videos, separate section for Equipment and dog sports. Interestingly, most of the researched dog sports websites offer static rather than dynamic content and rarely features blogs and forums for dog owners;
Almost all of the researched websites have clear division of the basic page structure into header part, content part, optional side-bar part (for dog equipment advertisements in one instance), and the footer: header would usually contain the Website's logo, background with an integrated image, and navigation through main pages of the site; content or the main body of the page would usually contain some text related to the topic of interest and some relevant to the theme images on the side or bottom of the section; footer is featured with Copyright notification as well as a site map.
The majority of dog sports websites contain the Search feature either next to navigation bar of the header or on the side-bar of the page.
Some highly commercial and dynamic websites on dog sports with rich content featured navigation bar with the sub-navigation at the top of the page: navigation contained links to main options (Home, Advertising, Magazine, Contacts, etc.), whereas sub-navigation features links to additional complementary content. Further, these sites tended to have a user-interactive interface with lots of embedded videos or one rich and comprehensive flash movie.
The website framework is primarily sectioned into three main divisions: the header part with the Logo of the Website (SportyDog) located at the top-left corner, login open entries (user-name and password for existing users) at the top, and navigation bar, featuring Home, Dog Breeds, Dog Sports, Galleries, Forum, and become a member navigation buttons; the content body division featuring different content depending on the page's topic; and footer with Copyright notation and Useful links to other related web-sites.
The Home-page of the website features the flash movie at the top-left side of the content part together with marquees flowing next to it for adding greater interactivity of the content; right below there is an embedded link to Youtube video of the related content.
The video is not played on the website for access issues of the EMI publishing, and can be viewed only by clicking on the suggested link inside the Video for viewing it on Youtube itself.
The Introducing text of the Home page floats by the right side of the video and quite a large font-size for aiding user-readability. The text will have to communicate the purpose of the website or prompt the user to stay on the site with the attractive content.
Dog Breeds page will introduce some most common dog breeds and their sport-related characteristics (dog breeds, origin, FCI, AKC, UKC, and the dog's image) in one single table;
Dog Sports page will feature different dog sports with accompanying images and links at the bottom of each dog sport suggesting to obtain more information on this particular dog sport by clicking on it and leading to a separate page giving descriptions for that particular dog sport the text of which floats at the right-hand side of the embedded video.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Galleries page of the website will feature different image thumbnails placed neatly in two columns: click on each of them will transfer the user into a separate page showing that particular image in its full larger size.
The forum of the site will feature two main columns suggesting become a member of the site and consequently be allowed freely post and comment on the forum through registration first. The Sign-in option for the registered members is provided in the left-hand box, where members can log in and access the forum: the right-hand side box is featured with the contract terms and conditions agreement, tick on which will allow the new user access to sign-up form.
The final navigation button called "Become a Member" will transfer the user to a registration page for filling out the details of the dog owner and submitting them to the system. If the form is not filled correctly, the user is free to click on the "Clear Your entries" button for resetting the standard form and retrying the filling and submitting of the form. Once the user is confident about the entered details of himself and his dog, he can create his profile by clicking the appropriate button.
In total, the website will feature 27 interlinked pages (including 16 pages with enlarged images and five pages with individual descriptions of each of the dog sport).
Testing browser rendering
The trial of both IE8 and Firefox browsers has given satisfying results and the website should be rendered as is specified by CSS file in both browser windows. The width of the page should be fixed to a particular length rather than be distorted across different screens; however, those who might experience screens smaller than the given fixed width of 1000 px, are expected to experience a slight inconvenience in viewing the pages of the website. Both browser renderings appear identical.
Validation service output
The major error that almost all pages encountered was related to legacy character encoding declaration of UTF-8 in meta-tags. Those errors are presented in this form:
eta http-equiv="content-type" content="application/xhtml+xml; charset=utf-8" />
Syntax of legacy character encoding declaration:
The string text/html;, optionally followed by whitespace, followed by charset=, followed by an encoding name labeled as a "preferred MIME name" in the IANA Character Sets registry. Example: text/html; charset=utf-8
However, it is decided to leave this legacy character encoding due to the presence of platforms supporting only these types of encoding. The rest of the resulting errors were minor in nature and were attempted to be resolved and corrected.
The forum would have implemented probably the same way as the actual page with the exception that a separate page would have been provided for the forum and separate one for signing in or registering for new users. The forum page itself would have consisted of contributions of multiple users and comments that each left with indication of an Avatar (optional) and the user-name of the user.
Alvah Dog Agility Equipment for Modern Dog Sports. Available at: http://www.moderndogsports.co.uk/links.html [Accessed April 1, 2011].
Dog Agility | The Kennel Club. Available at: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/agility [Accessed May 1, 2011].
DogSport Magazine - Dog Agility, Flyball, Obedience, Splash Dog and more! Available at: http://www.dogsportmagazine.com/ [Accessed April 1, 2011].
Dog Sports Website Links. Available at: http://www.parvopuppy.com/dog_sports.htm [Accessed April 1, 2011].
Dog agility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_agility [Accessed April 1, 2011].
Equipment. Available at: http://www.dashnsplash.co.uk/equipment [Accessed April 1, 2011].
Flyball Training Tips. Available at: http://flyballdogs.com/training.html [Accessed February 13, 2011].
How to Train a Dog in Dock Diving | eHow.com. Available at: http://www.ehow.com/how_4479796_train-dog-dock-diving.html [Accessed April 1, 2011].
More Dog Sports - Dog Diving and Freestyle Flying Disc - petcentric by Purina. Available at: http://www.petcentric.com/read/articles/more-dog-sports-dog-diving-and-freestyle-flying-disc.aspx?articleid=6a097966-252e-49af-9a00-e0af9aff5172 [Accessed February13, 2011].
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