APOD assessment poll #2

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The text on APOD is easy to read and understand.

Poll ended at Mon May 28, 2012 1:49 am

Strongly disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Strongly agree
Total votes: 1908


Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by Mr.Mike » Thu May 24, 2012 4:03 pm

The explanations are clear, informative, and entertaining. Linking the same word to different places by context is not confusing to me. My bifocals would probably like a slightly larger font, or perhaps one without serifs. High contrast and readability are important to those with less than young eyesight.

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by jlbundy » Thu May 24, 2012 5:37 pm

Yes, the explanations are easy to read. I immediately understand about 80% of the explanations. As for the the links, they are directly helpful about half of the time but when the link is a phrase sometimes is requires more work to track down an answer.

Overall, this is one of my favorite websites. I really appreciate your time and effort for APOD. I have learned much and am taking your astronomy class.


Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by Mike-Urilorib » Thu May 24, 2012 5:47 pm

The texts are indeed easy to read and understand. What I don't like much are the hyperlinks. APOD should use a more "wikipedia" like approach on hyperlinks and make them point to an article that is really focused on explaining and detailing the underlined words. Almost every time I click on a hyperlink APOD takes me to a page somehow related to the subject I was reading, but it is rarely a page that goes directly to the point.

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by Freefall74 » Thu May 24, 2012 6:57 pm

For those of you that have commented on the size of the text, if you hold down CTRL on your keyboard and scroll with your mouse, you should be able to adjust the size of the font (on most websites). Otherwise you can adjust them in the bottom right hand of the screen with the "zoom level" (this is true at least of Internet Explorer, I don't use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari so i can't offer any advise on those browsers).

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by flieg » Thu May 24, 2012 8:26 pm

I love APOD and have been reading it for years.

My feeling on readability(1) is that the text is sometimes too simple, and like one poster I would really rather not have hyperlinks that do not aim at deeper information. If you want to point back to earlier images of a similar thing, make sure that we know they are that, don't just hyperlink Europa. That doesn't tell me whether it's going to go to an article or a picture or a Wikipedia article on the Roman goddess. I realize that it's possible to tell where a link is headed, but sometimes the URL is ambiguous. Like several previous commenters I would prefer some links that went to publicly available scientific literature. (Full disclosure: I am a PhD chemist and my father and mother were both professional astronomers.)

In terms of site layout, a slightly larger font wouldn't be a bad thing. However, the layout is such that the picture usually takes up most of the room on my display with white space to either side and I have to scroll down to read the description and to find the navigation buttons. For me -- not necessarily for everyone -- it would be much nicer if the text were to one side of most of the pictures. For panoramic shots, of course, that wouldn't work, but most pictures aren't panoramic. I echo the request for a navigation bar on the top as well as the bottom.

Lee G.

Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by Lee G. » Thu May 24, 2012 8:32 pm

Homepage on every computer since 199X (whenever you started). Been hooked since then. I like everything about the site, except my ADHD in having to visit each link, and even research terms related to a daily post. Always a learning experience, though!

Thank you!!!

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by Tara_Li » Thu May 24, 2012 11:56 pm

I have to agree in general on the over-all readability - it's good. However, the linkage within the explanation is often somewhat problematic for me, as it's often pure guesswork what I'm going to find at the other end, even though I know what site specifically it's going to. I would like the explanation fleshed out a bit more - so that I don't *have* to go off to a dozen other sites to figure out why you linked them in. (Truth is, most of the time, I don't bother. It's a case of "pretty picture" or "oh, yeah, yet another spiral") Sometimes I find it difficult to figure out why the image is supposed to be interesting.

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by DaveMortonGCC » Fri May 25, 2012 1:36 am

spacegeek wrote:...And making the paragraph narrower will make it easier to read. Thanks
This is my only "pet peeve", and is especially true for extended width images, such as panoramas, when I'm viewing APOD from my laptop. I might make the font a point or two larger, but it's more due to laziness (my reading glasses often have to be sought out) than anything else, and the Control key plus a tiny bit of scroll-wheel action remedies that nicely. :)

I must say that I've been visiting APOD for nearly a decade now, and while I'm no astronomer by any stretch of the imagination (I am, however, a lover of astronomy), I find the paragraphs to be understandable, informative and educational. In the rare event that I don't understand something, I can usually find the means to expand my understanding either through the links on the page, or from a quick Google search. Many, many kudos for such a fantastic effort, from a dedicated and skillful staff, and I hope to be able to enjoy visiting APOD for many years to come. :)


Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by Justdiscovered » Fri May 25, 2012 4:13 am

Previous poster correctly pointed out that in terms of content, the descriptions are readable to a level comparable to scientific american. My non-science students in university can understand the descriptions well.

In terms of sheer ease-of-reading, I've recently learned that line-length and line spacing can mske a big difference. So I'd recommend a shorter line length and a line-spacing of about 130%. Better still, consult with someone who really knows about what factors affect how well we can read stuff on a screen.

mrs. linda sinha

Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by mrs. linda sinha » Fri May 25, 2012 4:25 am

Dear Apod, may i through you thank freefall74
for the simple solution to font adjustability. my way was a
sometimes way which is fine on apod but not everywhere.
mrs.linda sinha.


Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by mikato » Fri May 25, 2012 1:57 pm

Only thing I would change would be to make the font some kind of sans serif. No likey serifs.

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by rstevenson » Fri May 25, 2012 11:56 pm

The width of the text block is unconstrained, and therefore much, much too wide for ease of readability on most screens. Also the code which makes up the page does not validate. It should be updated while you're fixing up the text width.

As I do web work most days (and have done almost since there's been a web) I could quickly and easily fix up your template for you if you wish.


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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by geckzilla » Sat May 26, 2012 1:08 pm

APOD is still using a design conceived in the days when "as wide as possible" actually did closely correspond to the optimal line length. That said, there are reasons they leave it like that. Mainly because lots of people have come up with ways of parsing through the APOD page every day to create a mirror or do whatever else (desktop wallpaper?!). Any template changes are supposed to result in mass hysteria and temporary disability of the Internet as a result.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by rstevenson » Sat May 26, 2012 1:19 pm

Yes, I suppose so. I realized after posting above that the APOD page is part of a large site, all of which looks like the web equivalent of a '58 Edsel -- no offense RJN!

But I don't think mass hysteria would result if the template was updated. My suggested changes involve things like replacing in-line styles with CSS, and adding missing closing tags. The content can remain exactly where it is, and can even be tagged with comments which could make it easier to abscond with the image as required. And all the changes can be encapsulated within the APOD page, so no site-wide changes need be made -- though that Edsel could sure use a paint job.


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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by roeboat » Sat May 26, 2012 6:54 pm

Would that Boyd's posts of May 24 be turned into rules of composition
to be followed by anyone who creates anything to be read on the WWW.
Thank you, Boyd.

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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by owlice » Sat May 26, 2012 7:50 pm

I found Boyd's post more difficult to read than other posts which display text the way the site intends for it to be displays.
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Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by Dave » Sun May 27, 2012 2:17 am

To make APOD more user friendly, you need to give distance in miles as well as in kilometers. I am an Amateur (Ham) Radio Operator. I use metrics in my radio hobby; however, in everyday life, I use English measurement. I live 7 miles from the nearest post office, not 11.265408 kilometers.


Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by domine » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:46 am

there's too many links and each is more than a word long which makes the text a little less fluid
the quality is always vey good. Thank you all!


Re: APOD assessment poll #2

Post by DaveXe » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:56 pm

A nice thing would be to replace the white background with a black one. This improves the contrast and color in a image rendered on a monitor.