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View Full Version : Site Review for PR Designz



_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 01:59 AM
I wanted my site review to be my 10,000th actual post. So here goes...

A little about my site. Its been in the making for about a year. Mainly because I hadn't had time to finish it. I tried going for the web 2.0 style. My graphics might be a little big in size but they only have to load once. Any feedback on load times would be great.

I've tested the site on IE6+, FF2+, and Opera 9. Everything seems to be working okay. The XHTML is valid as well as the CSS. There is a 3 second sound but it will only play once until you delete your cookies in your browser.

PR Designz (http://www.prdesignz.com)

Thanks

oracleguy
05-02-2007, 03:05 AM
Congratulations on 10,000 posts.

I like the way the portfolio page works but one thing that started to get a little old is having the page content fade in when you went to different pages. Maybe speed it up a little at the very least.

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 03:17 AM
Yeah I was having doubts about the fade as well. It seemed to take too long sometimes. I removed it all together. Sure it may have looked cool but its the users that I need to worry about.

Thanks for the review.

koyama
05-02-2007, 03:21 AM
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w54/koyama_01/aero.jpg

VIPStephan
05-02-2007, 03:25 AM
Hey Aero, congratulations for your 10,000th post. Now I see why you haven’t posted for a while. Must have tickled in your fingers, eh? :)

OK, to your site:

Not bad, not bad. The overall look is nice, clean, and simple - just as Web 2 is meant to be. :) The colors are used wisely and are used throughout the site which makes it look like one entity. I would use some more sublte gradients, though, for a more Web 2-ish look. I’ve found this great article (http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/web-2.0-design-style-guide.cfm) on that subject.

When I enter the site this sound comes a little surprising and I don’t know if it is of any use there… I mean it has no special meaning and I wouldn’t see any connection to your “product” or company. A nice example of matching sound is on http://newstoday.com
And if you’re using a sound and an animation you could connect it a little more (like not just fade the image in but give it some “life”). I’ve seen a site doing this but I can’t remember where it was. They had some kind of water drop effect like when the rings are expanding after you’ve thrown a stone in the water and they played a short matching sound in a way that the vibrations of the sound could have made the image vibrate too.

Basically for me the intro would work as well if there was no sound.

To me the fonts in the headlines and menu don’t look very Web 2-ish but that might just be my personal taste. More importantly the Flash headlines aren’t showing up properly in my Fx 2. It might be the Adblocker’s fault… I’m just getting the blocking tab and no headline at all until I click or highlight the text of the headlines.
[…]
Ah I just noticed it’s flashing for a millisecond after the page has loaded but the fade in of the entire text makes it disappear again and not show up then.

Other than that the info is structured nicely and I get the message. :)

I’m a little lost on the portfolio page. I would expect to have some link to the actual sites you’ve done. It might also be better for your reputation to put the site name. Maybe the site name as link put in a caption of the image on the details view will be a solution for all the things I addessed in this paragraph? :D

As to your HTML if I switch off styles I’m also a little lost… No title (comany name as h1?), those two images that shouldn’t be there, and also your form submit buttons are empty without styles…
Well, OK, it’s your decision as to what audience you wanna address but if I’d be someone professional looking for someone to do some coding work for me I would look if the site was coded properly and use this as first impression.

Other than that the site looks pretty good. :thumbsup:

Oh, P.S.: I just had a look in Safari, and the headlines didn’t show up either (as they don’t do in iCab). I couldn’t even make them show up… :(
It’s working perfectly in Camino, though.

PappaJohn
05-02-2007, 03:31 AM
Very nice design.

I looked at it in IE6, FF2 and Opera 9.

In IE, when changing pages, the section headers (ie: How to get a quote, etc) seem to duplicate themselves several times, just momentarily before the page changes. Not seeing this in FF or Opera.

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 03:44 AM
@VIPStephen
Hmm I guess you must have been looking when the fade was still there. The fade is no longer there.
As for my submit and reset buttons I put some values in them so when styles are disabled they still make sense. Hmm didn't think about the title thing though it is in the header as a logo. I'll probably put something in the top nav. Does the header text at least show up in Safari?

@PappaJohn Thanks for the review. I'll see what I can do about the headers duplicating.

PappaJohn
05-02-2007, 03:53 AM
If your last post was related to mine - I just checked again in IE6 and am still seeing the duplicated section titles. It's only momentary (happens too quickly to grab a screenshot).

(If it wasn't related to mine - ignore this)

EDIT: I see - just saw your edits - ignore this

VIPStephan
05-02-2007, 03:53 AM
Hmm I guess you must have been looking when the fade was still there.

Yes, I was.


Hmm didn't think about the title thing though it is in the header as a logo. I'll probably put something in the top nav.

Ah I see now… yeah, actually you could just use the header image. However, I’d suggest you put some alternative text. In this case you don’t necessarily need the h1.
But those two big blue images are kinda hiding the actual content (I have to scroll down to see the title), that’s what I was mainly referring to. I feel kinda uncomfortable to criticise you, the king of the forum posters… but since those two images have a purely stylistic purpose they should rather be background images applied through CSS.

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 04:15 AM
Yes, I was.



Ah I see now… yeah, actually you could just use the header image. However, I’d suggest you put some alternative text. In this case you don’t necessarily need the h1.
But those two big blue images are kinda hiding the actual content (I have to scroll down to see the title), that’s what I was mainly referring to. I feel kinda uncomfortable to criticise you, the king of the forum posters… but since those two images have a purely stylistic purpose they should rather be background images applied through CSS.

@VIP Those images have been moved into the stylesheet. They were left there when I was testing different methods just forgot to make them background images. I did put in a title, its not visible for people with styles enabled but it is visible for people without styles enabled. As for the flash header I removed the sound. The way the header works is if its been viewed once then it gets replaced with a normal image.

@PappaJohn I think I fixed the header duplication.

PappaJohn
05-02-2007, 04:35 AM
@PappaJohn I think I fixed the header duplication.
Yep, all better now.

david_kw
05-02-2007, 06:59 AM
I'm getting that duplicating header problem in IE7 (as of a few seconds before this post), but it seems pretty responsive overall (maybe 1/2 second flipping between pages). But in FF2, although the duplicating header problem isn't there, it seems much slower (towards 4 seconds flipping between About and Home).

As for the look, I'm no graphic designer so take this for what it's worth, but I felt the contrast between the blue and some of the darker orange areas could have been crisper. It's easiest to see in the Copyright notice on IE7.

Oh and grats on 10k. That is a lot of grateful people you have helped. :)

david_kw

david_kw
05-02-2007, 07:09 AM
I don't know if it helps, but i just noticed that the first header (h2) is not duplicated. The second is dup'd twice. The third three times, etc.

Also I noticed in IE6 I keep getting press ok to keep loading content messages. I have a hacked version of IE6 on my machine so I can run it with IE7 so I'm never quite sure if a regular IE6 version would give the same problem.

david_kw

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 08:13 AM
Blah thought I fixed that. First time using sIFR so working out all of the bugs is time consuming, might update to version 3. As to that click ok message in IE6. Yeah that will happen in a standalone version (not installed normally). I like the gradient on the top nav, I was being lazy and just resized the top nav image to fit the footer. I'll make a seperate graphic for the footer.

Thanks for the comments.

ahallicks
05-02-2007, 10:17 AM
The image popup for the portfolio pages is very good, is that the jQuery Thickbox javaScript??

Page loading time was fine to be honest, I've seen a few sites load a lot slower than that and this is at work where the connection isn't great so I wouldn't worry about it.

One little thing I'm not sure about is the way the text is all squished together on the "About" page. You have lots of room to use and everything is tightly packed towards the top of the window. Also in Web 2.0 style I think your headings are a little ott? For example, on the "About" page again the blue headings just seem too much?

Meh, I like it anyways :)

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 11:55 AM
The image popup for the portfolio pages is very good, is that the jQuery Thickbox javaScript??

Page loading time was fine to be honest, I've seen a few sites load a lot slower than that and this is at work where the connection isn't great so I wouldn't worry about it.

One little thing I'm not sure about is the way the text is all squished together on the "About" page. You have lots of room to use and everything is tightly packed towards the top of the window. Also in Web 2.0 style I think your headings are a little ott? For example, on the "About" page again the blue headings just seem too much?

Meh, I like it anyways :)

The gallery is called GrayBox. I tried thickbox and lightbox but wanted to be unique. Page load time should be faster now as I got rid of the flash text replacement. As for the blue headers what color would you suggest? I was just trying to keep in theme with the site. I've added some larger margins on the content making it appear not so squished.

ahallicks
05-02-2007, 12:07 PM
Okay, no need to change the headers at all now. They way you've now laid everything out looks great. Each section is separated nicely and the colours look good.

Nice job!

rafiki
05-02-2007, 02:00 PM
Very nice site indeed
however are you falsely displayin the validated CSS image? (portfolio)

41 #wrap Value Error : background Too many values or values are not recognized : url(images/contbg.png) top center0 -10px no-repeat
370 #prevLink:hover, #prevLink:visited:hover Value Error : background Too many values or values are not recognized : url(../images/prevlabel.gif) left 15% -10px no-repeat
374 #nextLink:hover, #nextLink:visited:hover Value Error : background Too many values or values are not recognized : url(../images/nextlabel.gif) right 15% -10px no-repeat
XHTML passed
Result: Passed validation
although 46 warnings
# Warning Line 83 column 195: character "<" is the first character of a delimiter but occurred as data.

not to criticise though

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 06:46 PM
Hmm I did a mass find and replace, guess it didn't go as I planned. I removed that part of the CSS actually because it wasn't needed. It was part of the lightbox script. Its valid now. Thank for the comments.

I also redid some of the gradients, they are a little more subtle now, at least the orange ones. I'll probably leave the blue gradients as is.

david_kw
05-02-2007, 07:22 PM
You've probably already noticed this, but your portfolio button disappeared on the top navigation.

david_kw

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-02-2007, 09:43 PM
You've probably already noticed this, but your portfolio button disappeared on the top navigation.

david_kw

Should be fixed now.

Graft-Creative
05-02-2007, 11:22 PM
No phone number and/or address on the contact page? Not good.

Gary

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-03-2007, 01:39 AM
No phone number and/or address on the contact page? Not good.

Gary
Thats a personal preference. I would really prefer not to make my personal contact information available to everyone. If they need to contact me they can send me an email.

But thanks for the comments...I think. :rolleyes:

david_kw
05-03-2007, 03:24 AM
It is still missing in IE7. Also in IE7 the blue box around the form in your contact page is going out of the box.

Here is the pic I took like 2 min ago.

http://www.exfer.net/images/areo_ss.jpg

david_kw

nolvorite
05-03-2007, 05:03 AM
He has not posted awhile because of validation not content IMO . . .
Good luck on your 10000th post anyway.
Also the site looked nice.

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-03-2007, 08:28 AM
It is still missing in IE7. Also in IE7 the blue box around the form in your contact page is going out of the box.

Here is the pic I took like 2 min ago.

http://www.exfer.net/images/areo_ss.jpg

david_kw

Hmm okay I have never ran into that bug before. Apparently IE (both IE6 and IE7) have an issue with legends being position:relative as well as having a negative text indent on them. Issue has been fixed. Opera was also showing the default values on the submit and reset buttons. I changed the submit button to a type="image".

Thanks for the comments.

croatiankid
05-03-2007, 05:29 PM
Nice, 10 000 posts!

I don't know if you know, but I know that greybox breaks Firefox' back button. Idk why it's put as a supported browser on their site though...

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-03-2007, 08:00 PM
Nice, 10 000 posts!

I don't know if you know, but I know that greybox breaks Firefox' back button. Idk why it's put as a supported browser on their site though...

Blah was afraid of that. Okay so I implemented a different method for the gallery. Can I get feed back on whether or not it shows up okay for ya'll? I think you'll notice it right away if it works or not.

VIPStephan
05-03-2007, 08:38 PM
Uhmm… looks like not quite.
If I click on image 3 it’s just showing the plain image. On other images the page becomes dark but the image ain’t loading.

The back button is working, though. :D

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-03-2007, 09:16 PM
Uhmm… looks like not quite.
If I click on image 3 it’s just showing the plain image. On other images the page becomes dark but the image ain’t loading.

The back button is working, though. :D
Hmm should be working now. Stephan can you tell me what browser you are using? Version and OS?

Graft-Creative
05-03-2007, 11:39 PM
Thats a personal preference. I would really prefer not to make my personal contact information available to everyone. If they need to contact me they can send me an email.

But thanks for the comments...I think. :rolleyes:

That's a good point and, I must admit, it took me a bit of thinking as to whether to put my phone number out there or not - but I decided to do so in the end, as I want potential clients to be able to contact me in the way they feel most comfortable with.

I also feel that having 'real' contact details makes you look more upfront, approachable, and confident: in a business setting - and people want to hire upfront, approachable, confident people.

To avoid giving out personal contact info, maybe you could use a spare cellphone as a work-only phone?

Anyway, the rest of the site:

The copy really needs some work, it all sounds kind of abrupt and obtuse at the moment - how about inject a bit of personality and pizazz into that?

With the gradients, you've kinda made the common mistake of thinking that light hitting an object makes it lighter, it does kind of - so you have a light orange fading to a darker orange. In fact, if anything, light intensifies colour - maybe try a really vivid orange grading to a dark orange. This is the trick to get those deep vibrant web 2 type gradients you want ;)

One thing that kinda bugged me is the blue outlines - I kept thinking I sould turn of 'Outline block level elements' in the FF web dev extension :) ... or is it just me?

Logo looks really jaggy too.

Sorry if that sounds all negative, just my gut thoughts...

Kind regards,

Gary

Fumigator
05-03-2007, 11:42 PM
Not really a fan of the font you used for the menu and paragraph headings, but I guess that's just a matter of opinion.

The blue is... too blue. The orange is... too orange. ;) I'm under the impression that Web 2.0 is about bold direct colors but... that bold?

Also your links don't light up (change color) on hover... not a big deal but it would be nice.

Also I'd expect to be able to go to the actual websites in your portfolio, not just view a thumbnail image of the websites. If you are worried about what the clients have done to your original code, you should host the original site on your own domain with dummied up data with a note that it is just a demo of the original site.

Overall the design is nice-- I love the stretchy graphic at the top!

Fumigator
05-03-2007, 11:45 PM
With the gradients, you've kinda made the common mistake of thinking that light hitting an object makes it lighter, it does kind of - so you have a light orange fading to a darker orange. In fact, if anything, light intensifies colour - maybe try a really vivid orange grading to a dark orange. This is the trick to get those deep vibrant web 2 type gradients you want

Man I wish I were good at that kind of graphic stuff...

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-04-2007, 12:49 AM
Not really a fan of the font you used for the menu and paragraph headings, but I guess that's just a matter of opinion.

The blue is... too blue. The orange is... too orange. ;) I'm under the impression that Web 2.0 is about bold direct colors but... that bold?

Also your links don't light up (change color) on hover... not a big deal but it would be nice.

Also I'd expect to be able to go to the actual websites in your portfolio, not just view a thumbnail image of the websites. If you are worried about what the clients have done to your original code, you should host the original site on your own domain with dummied up data with a note that it is just a demo of the original site.

Overall the design is nice-- I love the stretchy graphic at the top!

I'll think about redoing the gradients. As for the nav not changing color on rollover. It does at least in all the browsers I tested it in. What browser are you using and what OS? I might do that though some of the sites I don't have any more. Reformatted and lost a few. I do give links to the sites that have them. I just don't actually link them.

ahallicks
05-04-2007, 11:36 AM
I'll think about redoing the gradients. As for the nav not changing color on rollover. It does at least in all the browsers I tested it in. What browser are you using and what OS? I might do that though some of the sites I don't have any more. Reformatted and lost a few. I do give links to the sites that have them. I just don't actually link them.

I think he was referring to your normal page links, not the navigation links. They currently on have an underline disappear and he's suggesting that a colour change may also add the the impact of the hover state?

croatiankid
05-04-2007, 01:40 PM
The new method for displaying images is good, background color doesn't "skip" (although the image itself does) when scrolling, and doesn't break back button functuality. It's a shame all these scripts have a drawback (being something of the above, or file size).

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-04-2007, 03:01 PM
I think he was referring to your normal page links, not the navigation links. They currently on have an underline disappear and he's suggesting that a colour change may also add the the impact of the hover state?
Ahh that may be. Okay they should turn orange now unless visited in which case the underlines will disappear.

As for the gallery. Yeah I liked lightbox but it seemed like everyone was doing it. I wanted to be different.

VIPStephan
05-04-2007, 05:02 PM
Hmm should be working now. Stephan can you tell me what browser you are using? Version and OS?

I see you have a new gallery script there now. Looks like a extension of lightbox? … Ah I see, flashbox… So there’s Flash involved? Because strange things are happening… I’m using Firefox 2.0.0.3 on a 13" MacBook with 1,25GB RAM and OS X 10.4.9 installed, by the way.

This happened when I first clicked a thumbnail:
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/th_1.png (http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/1.png)

This happened after clicking “next” (sometimes also if clicking a thumb on the page):
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/th_2.png (http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/2.png)

And this when I scrolled down:
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/th_3.png (http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/3.png)

I suspect that it’s the Adblocker because sometimes when there are flash videos embedded on a page, and I’m scrolling it makes the objects disappear and only reappear if they hit the edge of the viewport.
And the fact that my vent goes off when using the gallery is a sign for a high CPU usage. In fact, just having the gallery open and doing nothing is using 12-15% of my CPU already. Don’t know why this is.

However, just notied this is in part happening in Camino too (which is based on Gecko but using the native Cocoa API instead of Firefox’s XUL UI), and there is no Adblocker, hmmm…

To say something positive: It’s working perfectly on Safari and Opera (but still using a lot of CPU if the gallery is active). Even in IE 5 (Mac) the website shows up perfectly fine, except the fieldset extending to the right out of the container a little. The gallery isn’t working but it’s showing the plain images which is an acceptable alternative.
In iCab the gallery shows the gray background too but otherwise it’s working except the background not extending if you scroll down (stays at 100% height of viewport and scrolls up with the page).

Hope that helped a little?

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-04-2007, 05:26 PM
I see you have a new gallery script there now. Looks like a extension of lightbox? … Ah I see, flashbox… So there’s Flash involved? Because strange things are happening… I’m using Firefox 2.0.0.3 on a 13" MacBook with 1,25GB RAM and OS X 10.4.9 installed, by the way.

This happened when I first clicked a thumbnail:
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/th_1.png (http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/1.png)

This happened after clicking “next” (sometimes also if clicking a thumb on the page):
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/th_2.png (http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/2.png)

And this when I scrolled down:
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/th_3.png (http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s277/VIPStephan/3.png)

I suspect that it’s the Adblocker because sometimes when there are flash videos embedded on a page, and I’m scrolling it makes the objects disappear and only reappear if they hit the edge of the viewport.
And the fact that my vent goes off when using the gallery is a sign for a high CPU usage. In fact, just having the gallery open and doing nothing is using 12-15% of my CPU already. Don’t know why this is.

However, just notied this is in part happening in Camino too (which is based on Gecko but using the native Cocoa API instead of Firefox’s XUL UI), and there is no Adblocker, hmmm…

To say something positive: It’s working perfectly on Safari and Opera (but still using a lot of CPU if the gallery is active). Even in IE 5 (Mac) the website shows up perfectly fine, except the fieldset extending to the right out of the container a little. The gallery isn’t working but it’s showing the plain images which is an acceptable alternative.
In iCab the gallery shows the gray background too but otherwise it’s working except the background not extending if you scroll down (stays at 100% height of viewport and scrolls up with the page).

Hope that helped a little?
Blah kind of had doubts of whether or not it worked on a mac. Back to the drawing board. Might use thickbox.

croatiankid
05-04-2007, 08:15 PM
For my own site I'm thinking of using slimbox (http://www.digitalia.be/software/slimbox). Sure the background skips while scrolling, and the image stays in place, but if you're not worried about scrolling (and on my portfolio there will probably be little if any available, depending on resolution), it's something to consider.
I also like the browsing for the gallery (the next and prev when the mouse gets close to a side).

I just love greybox's captions though.

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-04-2007, 08:31 PM
Hmm I might write my own. I know what I want and kind of have an idea of how to do it as I've dabbled in scriptaculous.

KevinG
05-04-2007, 10:20 PM
i'm not keen on the look of the website, no disrespect but there is something 1980's computer brochure about it. also the home page does not tell me what you do. i can see your goal is to get it right, but get what right? should it not say 'this is what we can do for you' and then goals, rates and quote?

congrats on 10k of posts.

_Aerospace_Eng_
05-04-2007, 10:24 PM
Good point on the home page. As for the layout ironically that was the impression I was going for. I was kind of going for the 80's look. I went back to thickbox for the gallery. I think I'll be staying with this one.



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