Links Gallery Design - How would you do it?

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modelbob

Administrator
Now that the new server is up and running I'm going to add some new features. One of the first ones will be a links directory for model railroads.

Most of you should be familiar with our model railroad supplier directory, which lists hobby shops, manufacturers and suppliers. If not, you can visit it here: http://www.modelrailroaddata.com/

That list is for commercial interests, and I'm going to add one for non-commercial sites as well. My problem is figuring out how to lay that one out. Some of the topics are easy, for example we'll have categories for sites on weathering and scenery and DCC etc.

Two areas are giving me fits though.

The first is the layout pages. Lots of folks have websites for their model railroads. My question is how to sort them? Do I sort them by scale? HO, N, O, S etc, or do I sort them by theme Mainline, Narrow Gauge, Logging, Current Era, Steam... What about multi-scale layouts, or ones that don't really have a theme? If I go by category, what about layouts that fit a couple categories. For example, a narrow gauge logger, does it go in narrow gauge or in logging?

I need to find a way to sort the hundreds of layout websites, but I'm kind of at a loss for the best way to do it. I need some suggestions on what would work best for the folks who'll use the directory, and that's you...

The same applies for general model train sites, you know the ones, they have a bit about the layout, and a couple general features, and maybe some shots of full size trains. No real theme or main subject. Do I lump those all together under "general" or is there a way to try and sort them out?

Please post your comments, ideas, and suggestions here. I'll use your input to help decide how to lay out the directory.
 

Steve B

Firefighter
Thats a tough call Bob, when i'm browsing the net i tend to look for the roadname, but i look for the era as well, in my case mid 1970's onwards. i can see the problem right away, do i look for scale, era, Roadname or Theme well it's got to be a mixture of them all but how ???.

I recon "by scale"
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Scale seems to be the great common denominator, Bob, followed perhaps by simple aphabetical/numerical order for ease of searching in a pull-down menu.

That way, click on scale, click on index, and then scroll down the drop-down menu is fast and simple.

I may be indicating my inexperience navigating on this forum, but I have always had a stong interest in the prototype. I am always searching for archival information, photos, etc, and I know many fallen flags have their own historical society websites with fora and photos. Links to those would be very handy for a one-stop-shopping experience here.

-Crandell
 

Lady_Railfan

House Mother, Cheerleader
First, a question: Will the entire directory be searchable? If so, that may simplify things considerably. Think of Google's "search within results."

Second, I agree with Josh and Crandall --- Use Scale as the primary breakdown, with other topics (era, road name, gauge, theme, prototype examples) as drop down sub-categories. Even if it requires a little digging for a user to zero in on their exact query the first time, they can always bookmark it for easy retrieval later.

Large scale (G)
.....Standard Gauge
.........Fueled
.........Steam
.........Electric
.....Narrow Gauge
..........(by era)
......etc.
......etc.
HO scale
......(repeat categories as appropriate)
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I'll chime in with the others and say that scale seems like the ideal "first" criterion for sorting. Then era, roadname, region, etc.

-ken L.
 

grove den

naturally natural trees
even to me...very easy

Just like "Stripes" and "Steve B" wrote: easy to find/navigate:) Thanks BOB!
Jos,grove den
 




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