Life in the Past Line is a genealogical and photographic glimpse of the South African branch of the Goodway family and a very interesting idea for a website it is too. Not only is the name exciting and apt but the website itself is of interest to not only Goodway family members but those who need an idea of how to go about publishing their own family website on the net.
The layout of the website is a two column affair, and with good content in both the main left and right columns (usually it’s mostly advertising in the right column so this is a refreshing change). Loading time is adequate and navigation is consistent and easy to follow. It was good to note the website strived to conform to W3C standards and was classified as a “safe surfing website”. This would open the door to advertising on family friendly websites and assist in generating traffic.
Design for the site is a mixed package – the simplicity of the colours and images works well for family friendly viewing and also to impart an olde worlde style (especially the use of old black and white family portraiture). The design also works well in that the reader can see what to read and where to read it easily and the text is very readable. However, help I felt that the colours could be made just a little more exciting – maybe a background colour (deep crimson + pattern) on the left and right sides of the page could add to the design, and the text logo of “Life in the Past Line” could be a bit fancier so it is not a standard-looking text. Curlier, but still legible text would help the olde worlde genealogical aspect of it.
The photo galleries were sweet and had nice photos in them and the comments were helpful. The site map was also very helpful and useful for browsing with. Content was well researched, helpful and very useful.
In reviewing this site, most items appeared to be functional (including the css and html code) and overall there were no major issues, so I would like to make a few suggestions for extending the site in the future:
– A family forum could help people communicate to other members of the family (officially). There could always be a password to help with security issues so that members of the public could be barred (you could make the forum a subtle element that only members of the family would locate.
– A list of the family’s email addresses and/or links to myspace profiles etc.
– A bigger library of past photos.
Life in the Past Lane is a very pleasant site to visit and is likely to be of interest to quite a number of people, both family and those into genealogical and historical research. Creating a family website for the reading of all generations is a good concept and in this case was well executed. With a few more design elements (background, logo and images) this will be a shining example of what can be done with your family tree. A well designed website with nice content indeed.
fig 1. A photo gallery
fig 2. Nice old photos
fig 3. Example of a different background