Regator is a very bright and friendly site from the first look. I like the simple color scheme. Even though there is a lot of text on the screen, I do not feel overwhelmed by it at all.
The tag line “The Web’s Best Blog Posts From The Web’s Best Blogs” tells me that this site is an aggregator of blog posts.
The center column is filled with the top rated posts.Unlike other aggregators, I find it interesting that these do not have counters, so you can’t see how many people have voted them up.
When you click on one of these posts, instead of being taken deeper into Regator’s site, you are instead taken to the actual blog post. This is great as it allows blogs to get real traffic, instead of the self contained article within the aggregator site.
My only concern here is that you are then navigating away from that window, so if you close out, you are away from regator again.
You have the option to alter those top 20 posts by New, Audio, Video and Directory.
The navigation on this site is very simple and elegant. To the left, you have blog categories and to the right, you have the hottest tags and whether or not they have moved up or down in their popularity.
The categories make perfect sense. Going in to one category makes way for deeper navigation, allowing you to refine what you are looking for. The further you get in, the more information on the page until when you are at the bottom of the category you get the most recent images on one side, and buzz term on the other.
Registration to the site is easy and will allow you to vote up stories and store favorites, turning this into more of a Feed reader than an aggregator. You can also save posts that you want to come back to later. There is a captcha on the signup form that isn’t as easy to read as I personally like. I’m a fan of the ones with typed numbers, but it’s still a nice coherent form.
Moving back out to the front page, I’m happy that when I click on the company logo, a big alligator, I’m taken back to the home page.
The advanced search allows me to look using more terms and keywords, very neat.
Moving on to the top navigation, the Frequently Asked Questions section is very detailed, but very long. I would rather see two columns here to shorten the time it takes me to find what I am looking for. Also, when I get to the part I want I am taken to the relevant place below with the information that I am looking for, but there is no “Back to Top” button for me.
Regator’s Own Blog
Moving on to the blog, I was expecting something a little…. fancier. The blog is pretty plain. It also isn’t updated regularly, which is fine and all but I am curious about their posting schedule.
They have a tab called “Behind the Blog” and I click it expecting to find information on the Regator Team. Instead, I’m taken to what looks like a secondary blog about what goes on behind the scenes of blogs that are on Regator. Unexpected, but good to have I suppose.
The next section is a “Top 10 Posts of the Week” section, that hasn’t been updated since December, with a prior entry in October.
My issue here is that this feels like a broken promise. If you are going to state that it’s a Weekly Top Ten, you do need to keep it consistent.
To get back to the homepage from here, all we have is a tab that looks like part of the blog navigation. I miss the funky awesome alligator!
Finally, I’m heading to the bottom navigation at the foot of the homepage. At long last I find the About link so I can get some information on the faces behind the site.
This section is great. The story behind “Reg” the Regator spokesperson is wonderful and we get just enough information about the other people involved. This is where I would like to see a nice contact form.
The press section is well put together with lots of great information. When I click on feedback, finally I get a contact form. This confuses me though, because when I click feedback I expect to see what other people have said. So maybe this should be the “Contact Us” link.
I really love this site. I think it is well designed and does a really good job. With a few minor teaks it would be practically perfect. It’s a great resource and a very usable site. The other thing I like about it is that makes finding blogs really easy and user friendly.
– Look into a way that we can get back to Regator easily after clicking on a post.
– Use a more readable captcha
– Add in a clear Contact Us Link (or rename “Feedback”).
– FAQ section could be less cumbersome and needs a “Back to Top” function.
– Jazz up the blog, including adding better home navigation.
– If you have a section called Weekly Top Ten, update it weekly.