View Full Version : Association website--please review

05-02-2004, 04:44 PM

Please review site. http://www.il-iada.com

05-02-2004, 05:33 PM
Its okay... Id give it a 5 out of ten.

Frames arent really the best things to use when making webpages, and I dont really like the background music, its a little distracting.The menu does look pretty cool though.

05-02-2004, 06:02 PM
thanks for review. 5 out of 10 is actually what I'm looking for! this
isn't meant to be a flashy site, it's mostly a portal.

I disagree with your comment on frames--at least for our applications.

Again, thanks for the looksee!

05-02-2004, 08:17 PM
I'm from Chicago, so I'll try and be nice :thumbsup: (actually, my parents live in Gurnee, sister in Lake Forest, I was in Evanston during college -- I was a Tribune Libertarian Political Editor, used to meet in your Rockford once a month):
1. No, he's right, the frames have to go. There are easier ways to build a website without frames -- plus, I can break them easy (which is gonna happen alot when people link to your page), it doesn't get indexed nicely in google (which will kill your marketing right there as an internet presence), and no one can bookmark the individual pages! You're going to hate these in the long wrong and wish ya didn't do it.
2. HTML code is poor, not accessible. Where's your doctype? Did you validate? If you're site is not accessible to other users, you've lost a 13-20% marketing audience, not good sales. Not to mention, the lack of cross browser support -- who will want to use your site if it functions funny not only because it's in frames but because it was coded poorly.
3. The flash site will not be indexed by google -- but even still, the quality of the flash animation is newbie, looks like the first years of design. Low res images, cheap animation... and that background music is infomercial bad.
4. Quality of design is poor, graphics are low (shadows and bevels don't look professional in menu bar), color scheme is poor -- the red, gray, black is a common scheme, but loses it's clarity by the multi-colored image in flash document. Your black background in the flash image is a different shade than your actual page (not a rich black), common error.
5. On refresh, your menu bar shifts left in Safari, Firefox, OmniWeb, Opera, Internet Explorer.

It doesn't look professional. If it's just up for information and the design is not important, but the content is -- then you should code it without the frames, with a doctype, that validates. If it's for design, it needs improvement on the look all around -- some of us design managers hang out on graphicdesignforum.com if you want some professional critique.

If I were to rate it out of ten, you'd get a two. And I'm still being nice :) I'm not trying to be harsh, don't take it that way -- but I honestly see there needs to be a lot of room for improvement, and I have a feeling you may not want to. It pains designers to see that.

P.S. -- I had to turn mute on because I visited your site over and over to test the menu refresh. That music will be very annoying if people are going on frequently -- much less, it's not a good way to express your information. People can't turn off text, but they can turn off the sound.

05-03-2004, 02:40 AM
Hi Bradyj,

Thanks very much for taking more of an indepth view of the site.

Some of the stuff won't change--like the opening Flash presentation
which contains the background music and voiceover. The source
file was lost during a reformat of my hard drive after a system crash.
All the low res images on the site could be redone but, since the
association does not have a budget and all work is donated, that
will have to wait until dollars are available.

Your comment on cross browser compatibility was viable. I quickly
downloaded a copy of NS7.1 to see if they threw something else in
over the past year. After a quick check, I found that everything works
on IE and NS (the only two browsers I intend to support). I would be
very interested if you can duplicate the "menu shift" under IE and
give me the version used.

Without going into a longwinded explanation of my use of frames, several
years of experimentation has resulted in a standardized approach used
in our network system. We don't link to pages with "breakouts" and
this particular site is not intended for consumer viewing, so we're
not concerned with Google.

I agree that the HTML code is pretty funky. If and when I need to
submit the site to any search engines, I'll do a full code sweep and
make it pretty for the spiders, etc.

Your rating of 2 out of 10 is taken in the context that you're accustomed
to seeing the latest and greatest as a designer. Since my audience
consists mostly of people who wish computers had never been built,
the site is "state of the art" to them. In short, these are used car
dealers and not the new vehicle manufacturers with multimillion dollar
budgets. In that regard, thanks for the 2!

05-03-2004, 05:33 AM
my rating of 2 was not actually rated to a designers standards, I assumed it wouldn't be that audience -- I rated it on par with regular sites, and how it averages to common users. As a side note, there's a mac program called Flash Decompiler that can turn your .swf file into a working flash document, there may be a PC equivalent, not sure.

I would say then use the code how you wish, it was a suggestion for improvement in both creation and technique to advance only.

No PC browsers caused a problem in IE or NS 7, but firefox (pc and mac, which is built on the same engine as Netscape/Mozilla) and Safari showed this:

05-04-2004, 06:12 AM
Hi Bradyj,

Thanks for the recheck on the menu shift under other browsers. I'll
throw in a browser sniffer and redirect.

There's a couple of decompilers that I've used on the pc but, again,
any change to the original Flash routine will require cash inflow. Since
the advertising sponsors like what they see already, a new Flash intro
won't be necessary for a while (money will be used in more important
functional areas such as email broadcasting which will, in turn, generate
more revenue).

I don't expect any graphic design awards from this project, just acceptable
functionality in terms of navigation ease, useful information projection and
loading speed.

Again, thanks for the review.