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View Full Version : Site Reviews Wanted (Friends & Family Need Not Apply)



nki
04-24-2004, 09:36 AM
In the process of rebuilding my site I've been seeking criticism from friends and family.
The only trouble is, they're all being so terribly, terribly Nice.

Over to you...

http://drawingboard.npugh.co.uk/

nki
04-24-2004, 04:14 PM
Sorry, thought the site review forum might be the place where I could get my site reviewed ;)

I'd just like some feedback on content from people who don't already know me or my work. Feedback on coding is always good...

Nightfire
04-24-2004, 04:29 PM
It's kinda plain and boring for me. Guess it not designed for my screen res (1280x1024) as there's more whitepsace than content and it's all spread apart. The images you're using to go to pages are a bad idea as they're not saying what the link is going to, it's known as mystery-meat navigation and it's a big no no

nki
04-24-2004, 05:47 PM
I just added links to the images so people can find out more...

All the navigation navigation is text link based - thanks for the feedback though!

So much of my content is image-based by nature that I'm wary of putting too much on one page... If anyone can refer me to any neat display solutions they've come across I'd be grateful!

surgeproof
04-24-2004, 06:42 PM
a lot of whitespace, a cool thing but maybe a bit too much here. navigation seems ok, yet again it's all a bit plain. why not add a background image or some sort of texture? just a suggestion... :)

nki
04-24-2004, 07:06 PM
Hi surgeproof,

are you using 1280x1024 too?

I need to be really carefull about the website not distracting from my work so I'd be cautious about backgrounds... (still, dull is dull - maybe I've just been surrounded by the white cube gallery space aesthetic for too long!)

More words to go with the pictures might be useful - if I could find the ones that don't sound too patronising!

Cheers

JAVAEOC
04-24-2004, 07:54 PM
You really should add a background image, but get one of your art works, and put it on no repeat and water mark, then it looks really really proffecional, and not so dull anymore :D

but it looks good other then that, good job

redhead
04-24-2004, 08:05 PM
I think that the space and the colourlessness combines to make it look a little... bland. Space and colourlessness both have a time and a place, but together they can join forces to create a slightly bland looking site. Try adding some more colour, even if its just some pastel tones or something - Just a thought.

nki
04-24-2004, 08:24 PM
OK, back from work now so I can have a play...

I'll experiment with some gradients (if I were to use a background image, which one would I choose?! Sometimes I wish I just did paintings ;) )

krycek
04-24-2004, 08:31 PM
hmmmm...

Personally, I quite like it. Well, parts of it. I think it has promise... I don't think it needs a background texture - sometimes backgrounds can take it the wrong way, but of course it depends on what background you need.

Whitespace is good, but you have to use it correctly. I think that your site has a whitespace problem simply because you have not set out thinking about the whitespace, and making it a feature, and that becomes apparent...

I think that I would recommend using more whitespace around some elements, such as the bar on the left, which would narrow the space in the middle... however, at larger resolutions, you will always have some trouble because of the liquid design you have used. So... how about deciding how much whitespace to use, and setting a fixed width for the page? Then define the page edge somehow. Part of the trouble is that there is not a lot of text to fill up that area. That's what leaves it looking rather empty, which makes the viewer think 'bland'... it's amzing how even the addition of fine lines to define areas etc. can make a difference! :)

Oh, a word of warning. Stay away from 1280x1024 - it's a BAD (but unfortunately, popular) resolution to use. Instead, use 1280x960. Why? Aspect ratio... 1280x1024 gives 1.25 ratio rather than the 1.33 ratio shared by 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1600x1200, 1920x1440, etc. etc. Personally, having two 19" monitors, I have 1920x1440 on the left and 1280x960 on the right, which I use for previewing.

So, not bad overall, but more thought is needed on fonts, colours, images, etc. It does look a bit unfinished, and it doesn't flow quite right yet. I look forward to seeing the finished result :)

::] krycek [::

PS - What redhead said, too ;)

nki
04-24-2004, 08:48 PM
Well, here are screen shots of two gradients:

http://drawingboard.npugh.co.uk/grey_gradient
http://drawingboard.npugh.co.uk/green_gradient

don't think more grey is what's called for!
the green's a bit more successful - but would need some tweaking... (points taken about introducing more colour)

I kinda like the idea of defining the navigation area a bit more (but without getting too boxy)

I've tried a horizontal gradient coming in from the right: interfered with the content too much :(


krycek: I particularly like the sound of your arguments - I guess I know how I'm spending my Saturday night... :p

squirellplaying
04-24-2004, 09:16 PM
I like the green gradiant. I think a blue would like nice to. Though I am partial to blue.

nki
04-24-2004, 09:20 PM
partial to blue too
(it has been pointed out to me at great length - trying to break out of the mould!)

nki
04-24-2004, 11:03 PM
hmmmmm....

http://drawingboard.npugh.co.uk/3

ronaldb66
04-26-2004, 09:35 AM
Good, good, a header was what I was missing; it doesn't need to be that obvious (like a gradient, or a dividing line as you suggested), but something to distinguish the page head from the main content will provide sort of a starting point and will make the navigation catch a little more much-needed attention.
I always am fond of a footer as well, since it marks the end of the page and indicates the reader that he/she can stop trying to scroll down... :D

The "n" logo is very subtle, and not very pretty at that (rough edges); I feel you can easily get away with making that a little more prominent.

About the imagery on the home page: I'd suggest taking the "mystery" element out of it by supplying a caption referring to where the link is pointing, and making the caption part of the link as well.

Lastly, code-wise you must have heard of the drawbacks of using tables for layout purposes; in the case of your layout, I think they can be easily be replaced by structural markup and a little CSS positioning. Floating the vertical page title bar for instance would be perfectly feasible, and it being first in the source order is completely logical as well.

nki
04-26-2004, 11:18 AM
The "n" logo is very subtle, and not very pretty at that (rough edges); I feel you can easily get away with making that a little more prominent.



Yeah - I'm struggling with the logo*. At the moment its a repro of the stamp I use for my ceramics, but I'm not convinced it translates to screen very well.

I've tried it at different sizes, but as you make it larger the oval area just becomes too plain. I've tried various pen/ink drawn versions but nothing's grabbed me yet! Access to a scanner is suddenly possible again this week so I'll keep trying...



*amongst other things :(





Lastly, code-wise you must have heard of the drawbacks of using tables for layout purposes;

I'm a complete novice when it comes to css layout - but yes, I've read enough to wonder why we haven't been doing it that way all along and I [I]know its something I will need to master.

The main objective of this rebuild is to replace the cringe-inducingness of what's running at the moment (bad, nasty, evil code and 'design' - what's on the drawing board might not cut the mustard, but its still a hell of a leap forward!)

I'm viewing it as fairly temporary until I've got spare time and brain-cells to make the switch to css.

There are soooo, many things design-wise that I'm not-entirely-happy-with-but-can't-see-why that I'll probably want to start again from scratch anyway! :)


Sooooo many questions about css, but I need to educate myself a lot first and I guess this isn't the place to ask them anyway. How about if I make this version presentable enough to go live, get through the next month or so of Stuff (finding somewhere to live - technicalities like that :eek: ), bury myself in css resources for a bit and then meet you all back here again for version III?!


Thanks to everyone for feedback and opinions - see you when I know my z-index from my elbow :thumbsup:

ronaldb66
04-26-2004, 11:55 AM
I'm a complete novice when it comes to css layout
That's okay; just thought I'd mention it.
Actually, it's a perfectly viable approach to make incremental improvents to your site: first tackle the obvious eye sores, next work on the design niceties and then get down to cleaning up the code, in whatever order makes most sense to you. However, getting the basics (the code) right and then style to taste usually is a more efficient order.

I guess this isn't the place to ask them anyway
Actually, that's exactly what these forums are for. To avoid the obvious ones and to get some basics down though, the HTML & CSS Documentation (http://www.codingforums.com/showthread.php?t=20862) sticky in the "HTML & CSS" forum contains a lot of online resources.
To really get to know CSS inside out, I'd like to recommend Eric Meyer's (http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/) "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition (http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/books/css-tdg/)", but the mentioned online resources will get you a long way.

nki
04-26-2004, 12:37 PM
Actually, that's exactly what these forums are for. To avoid the obvious ones and to get some basics down though, the HTML & CSS Documentation (http://www.codingforums.com/showthread.php?t=20862) sticky in the "HTML & CSS" forum contains a lot of online resources.
To really get to know CSS inside out, I'd like to recommend Eric Meyer's (http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/) "Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition (http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/books/css-tdg/)", but the mentioned online resources will get you a long way.

!

I was looking at that sticky last night but my mind boggled so first thing this morning I went to the library and requested... Meyer!

Got back and found your first post, responded, made a valiant (but brief!) attempt at doing what I was supposed to be doing, but ended up back here again. Why do I get the feeling I couldn't turn back now, even if I wanted to?! :eek:

Really must try and put this down for a bit - if I fail my course I might have to go and get a [pause] Proper Job. Shudder.


Useful to know I can go incremental - thanks again!

surgeproof
04-26-2004, 07:41 PM
nah, i'm using 1152 x 864 - probably worse! :o

i don't like the gradients though, maybe listen to krycek... :p maybe not! :>



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