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View Full Version : Help me make this design less pants



NancyJ
08-22-2007, 04:06 PM
I'm no designer but my dad needs a favor and I don't want to let him down. I'm happy with most of it but the area around the 'croal irwell valley volunteer rangers' and the nav I think are what's letting it down.

This was my original design
http://hazelryan.co.uk/rangers/rangers.jpg

and this is the build (still in progress)

http://hazelryan.co.uk/rangers/

harbingerOTV
08-22-2007, 04:26 PM
I'm at work right now so a few quick ideas.

Darken the background of the site. It's real washed out looking. Just darken the current green your using and it will probably look better. I'd use a fade rather than a flat colour but that's just me.

The nav is jerky and your right, nothing spectacular. First go back and close your <li> and see if that fixes the jerkyness. You have 4-5 open right now.

I would think a background hover on the links rather than a text colour change might be a better idea. And, #CCC470, has go to be changed. It's not a pretty colour in this scheme.

Maybe this can help, maybe not. I'll check in when I get off work if I have time.

bazz
08-22-2007, 04:31 PM
I'm sure you know I am no deisgn guru but, I would think about picking a colour from your photo, say the dark reflection of the trees, and fade it downwards so that at the bottom it blends with the grass.

bazz

lithriel
08-22-2007, 06:51 PM
Nancy your picture is taking up a lot of prime real estate for your website. Bless them, but anyone using an 800 x 600 screen resolution is going to get a whole lot of lake and not much content. Rangers who volunteer at this location may have this screen resolution.

The font choice for you banner is hard to read. Scripts are risky to use on headlines. I had to look at the title in the browser to be sure of the name of the website. If you are looking for contrast, yes red is a good bet with that green you've got going on but it's not harmonious enough for me. I think that bright red paired with the greens look a little too "Christmas" for my taste. I don't know what to suggest on that one. I just don't like the title font color. But I've noticed that sometimes what you don't like at first is actually the only good solution. You may in end need to keep the red. Font choice is my biggest issue with the title.

Also I agree with harbingerOTV, your rollover colors are not working. I'd go darker, not lighter because your background color is already relatively light.

The grass at the bottom is a little strange, but I kind of like it. It would "trim" it down a little bit as it becomes distracting at that size. You want the focus to be on the header and then the content. Right now my eyes are drawn to the bottom of the page to your grass which does nothing for me.

Overall the design is very amateur but I think it will get the peoplethe information they need which should always be a web designers primary concern.

NancyJ
08-23-2007, 04:30 PM
Either of these any better?

http://www.hazelryan.co.uk/rangers/rangers2.jpg
http://www.hazelryan.co.uk/rangers/rangers3.jpg

The nav is still pants IMO and I'm stuck for a hover style

harbingerOTV
08-23-2007, 05:43 PM
I think I like the lighter green background better but I like the header font from the dark green version more.

On the nav, maybe try making the text look like buttons rather than just text. Since you've added in some gradients and shadows, they should fit the feel nicely.

fl00d
08-23-2007, 06:48 PM
I like rangers3.jpg the best. I find its easier to read with that background.

bazz
08-23-2007, 10:38 PM
I like rangers2 coz imo, the page has more impact/stand-out.

I also like the header text, with the slight shadow and its colour is fine again, imo

I recall someone mentioning the size of the photo for 800x600 users. I don't know if you have to consider them but, I think that at that resolution, the page is cut off quite well at a sensible point. on my ff 800x600, it cuts off just below the nav bar - about a scrollbar width below it.

bazz.

twodayslate
08-23-2007, 11:23 PM
ranger3 is better than 1 and 2

NancyJ
08-24-2007, 01:57 PM
This is why I hate design. Theres no 'answers'. Code has answers, if it works then its right. It might not be as efficient as it could be and maybe your answer is the best answer but at the end of the day, no-one really cares as long as it works reliably and fast.

I spent hours looking at all these css galleries and best design award stuff and its all a total yawn, everything is the same - I haven't seen a site that made me go 'wow' since Joshua Ink's bus full of hippies - until yesterday where I saw a site that had a similar kind of thing going on but total 'wow' factor boldness - but thats just not something I can do because I can't make the graphics for it and this site really isnt that kind of 'wow thats so cool' kind of thing... so I'm left with mediocre and boring :(

lithriel
08-24-2007, 05:08 PM
Sometimes wow is not the answer. Sometimes you are just commissioned to do a site for a target audience that doesn't need and should not have colorful bad photography of flowers draping all over the place.

And I think your designs here, ranger 2 (minus the header font), is better than "Joshua Ink's bus full of hippies" honestly. But like you say there is not one "right" answer because everyone's opinion is different.

I think it is wise to choose based on accessibility if you get stuck on a couple of designs.

fl00d
08-24-2007, 05:32 PM
Ask the people that matter. The Rangers :) They'll be the one visiting it :p

Mwnciau
08-24-2007, 06:03 PM
In 800x600 for http://hazelryan.co.uk/rangers/ the shadow on either side of the main panel creates a horizontal scroll bar and you can only just see the first 2 lines of text before having to scroll down. Also I think the yellow nav buttons stand out a bit too much on the white background.

NancyJ
08-24-2007, 06:08 PM
I agree that Bus ful of Hippies is not really the right style for this but everything online is so drab and mundane, I've seen it all before. I guess I'm just old, grumpy and bored with it all. But I want to do something really great - I dont get to design a lot - mostly cos I suck.

The thing is, they've not actually agreed to have a website yet - they know nothing about it, but my dad thinks they should have one, cos currently he gets his roster through the post every 2 months and he has to check the boxes and send it back in the post and he'd rather do it online. So he wants me to do a mockup site to show them at their agm next month.

I want it to be really great because I want to impress my dad (sad isnt it?)

I think I'm going to go something like this http://hazelryan.co.uk/rangers/

I tried to do a nice little css dropshadow on the text but it wasn't right in IE7 (the shadow was on top of the text) I know I've done it before and I'm sure I had it working in IE6 (this was pre-IE7), I posted it here on the forums but it seems to be lost to the archives.

NancyJ
08-24-2007, 06:13 PM
In 800x600 for http://hazelryan.co.uk/rangers/ the shadow on either side of the main panel creates a horizontal scroll bar and you can only just see the first 2 lines of text before having to scroll down. Also I think the yellow nav buttons stand out a bit too much on the white background.

I think you caught me mid-upload, should be ok now.

NancyJ
08-24-2007, 06:16 PM
Also, lithriel, as I said in your other thread, I think you might need to recalibrate your monitor colours. It's not red, its orange.

Mwnciau
08-24-2007, 06:51 PM
I think you should use the green bar for the main links, as it seems more important in the page than the yellow bar, and maybe tabs or something underneath the green bar for the sub links.

lithriel
08-24-2007, 07:38 PM
Nancy- if you had read my post correctly in the other thread you would have seen that it was my husband's monitor that had calibration problems, not my screen. I fixed the problem for him. My screen is fine.

Oh by the way, I like the design you chose.

NancyJ
08-24-2007, 08:40 PM
Nancy- if you had read my post correctly in the other thread you would have seen that it was my husband's monitor that had calibration problems, not my screen. I fixed the problem for him. My screen is fine.

Oh by the way, I like the design you chose.

I read the part about it being your husband's monitor showing it differently that you were seeing but that doesn't mean it was his monitor that was wrong ;) If you've only got 2 monitors how can you say which is right? The values on your gradient aren't even - blue is about 30 points short - which as I said - may or may not have been intentional.

Either way, its still orange ;)

lithriel
08-24-2007, 11:33 PM
You know Nacy, you are right. It is red orange- now that I have looked at it with my nose to the screen I can tell that it is. It's so red though I'd call it a very red-orange. From my color theory background I'd have to conclude that using the contrasting green makes it look more red than it really is. Relative color they call it.

I've looked on other monitors and they all show the same almost orange so it's not my screen.

Oh and the gray being "short" on blue for my website was completely intentional. I picked it from the red spectrum on purpose to give it a warm hue. If it were on the blue side then we really would have a monitor calibration problem. Oh and I knew it wasn't my monitor but my husband's the second someone replied that it didn't have a green tint on their screen. But thank you for your concern over my monitor. I've checked everything- it's fine. :thumbsup:

Graft-Creative
08-25-2007, 12:01 AM
Hazel, I have a site knocking around that is no longer in use that you could have gratis, as it's for a good cause.

The site was designed for a similar subject too: water lodges/nature etc.
All coded up already etc. and even has a bespoke simple php cms for latest news and a picture gallery - you'd just need to set the DBs up I guess, and make a new header, change the nav links etc.

Let me know,

Gary

srule_
09-06-2007, 02:32 PM
Nice CSS Nav, Don't you just love www.cssplay.co.uk?

ahallicks
09-06-2007, 04:33 PM
One thing I've noticed on the example page as it is at the moment... you only have a few images but the site size is still 180k, which is quite a lot considering. I'd have a quick look into optimising a little for the web especially the header and the grass images?

(I've been optimising today... bleh)



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