This is most of it - I'm finishing it right now...
After tearing apart two websites, this time I've decided to present you all with a website that has been assembled way better.
"Above Top Secret" is a complete website constituted almost entirely by a gigantic forum. Almost, as contents are certainly not lacking! On the
homepage we can read that the website (commonly known as ATS) is one of the largest forums on the web and focuses on conspiracy, cover up and
alternative discussion topics. With over 2000 posts every day, the website might result too extended and confusing for new users. For them there are
some informative posts available on the forum. Very well: we know what the website deals with and the new user finds useful indications.
Their maxim is 'deny ignorance', 'you: deny ignorance'. That is perfecly coherent. The website is part of a qualitative network (see tabs above).
As ATS is almost only a forum, much of the content on the home page refer directly to it. I cannot but note a certain slowness in loading, even with
my ADSL, of some pages: 84 KB of home page...definitely too much!! We also note the adverts, introduced as a consequence of the high popularity and
elevated hosting costs, responsible for boring refreshes. Ugh...this is a bit of a PITA 'above top secret'...
Great care has been taken in the choice of colours (red, black, shades of grey) which make you think of a secret dossier, while the layout is well
thought out and neat: up above, nav tabs and site identity, using a font resembling 'X files', decorated with a magnifying glass. On the left info
regarding the forum, in the centre other recent contents and on the right adverts and other info on blogs.
Graphically, the website runs great and contains very few errors, and we're talking minute details here. One, for example, top right: the tipography
overlays compared to the length of the tabs. It would have been enough to create slightly longer tabs (Note: this doesn't make sense in Italian
We were saying: conspiracies, cover up and alternative discussions. We do infact find topics such as extraterrestrials/UFO but also terrorism,
weaponry, aerospatial, technology, star wars, etc. The black tabs at the top, under the red bar, guide us to the topic areas. In every area there are
various pages and cues for forum discussions.
For example, let's take Area51 and jump to www.abovetopsecret.com...
- second point to criticize: the tabs at the top
disappear, for no reason. Where are they gone? On the left, where it shows the hyerarchy of the chosen topic (in this case, Area 51)! The problem is
not that this visual solution doesn't work: nevertheless, maintaining the same tabs on every page, the authors would have maintained a better
coherence with the layout. The link 'ATS home', highlighted in red, could have been placed at the top, instead of the bottom of the area on the
We see the forum www.abovetopsecret.com...
: 17954 members, congratulations!!! Again, on the left, the contents tied to the forums
which in the Area 51 page were substituted by links of other topic areas... Strange... Another weird thing 'above top secret'...
We find a space filled by news from "Above Top Secret News Network" (ATSNN), site packed-full of news. Thanks, couldn't you place them just on the
homepage instead of all those link-backs to the forum? In its same place, there could have been the links for 'search', "recent posts", "blogs",
"2003", "deny" and "submit news" (that weren't there before) plus the Log In box! In this way, again, the above mentioned tabs could have
remained in their place up top.
Every section of the forum has a different colour and an icon on the left; definitely a good idea. At the bottom, we find three tables closely tied to
the forum: who's online, who was online in the past 6 hours and who's in chat. The length of these three tables is not equal to the page margins.