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  1. #1
    Regular Coder BWiz's Avatar
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    Working on a design...

    Hi!

    I was just working on a design for a while trying to get over my creative block, and I came up with a design which I kind of like. I'm looking for any criticism or ideas on the site, as well as an idea on where to put the navigation...

    The site can be found here. Alternatively, you could go the board to post your ideas.

    Thanks!

    EDIT:
    Haven't goten down to making the opacity filter work on IE yet - should do that soon.
    Last edited by BWiz; 06-01-2008 at 03:05 AM.
    BWiz :: Happy Coding!
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  • #2
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    Technical:
    - Even without the filters in IE it degrades very nicely
    - Only 1 validation error, get that cleared up and it will validate! http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht....org/index.tpl

    Design:
    - The content is concentrated to the left, and I always want content concentrated in the middle.
    - Other than the concentration on the left, I love the design. Simple and clean yet nice to look at.

  • #3
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    Looks nice, almost didn't notice the navigation at the bottom left though.

  • #4
    The Apostate Apostropartheid's Avatar
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    - Don't hide the navigation: I didn't see it till Mwnciau pointed it out.
    - The content is too narrow, so the concentration to the left is more noticeable, especially on smaller monitors (mine being a 17" 4:3).
    - I would stick to Verdana or Lucida Grande/Sans Unicode on the body text: serifs look really out of place.

    - It's really pretty ^^
    - I would use alpha PNG transparency and give IE6 a solid colour. filtered opacity looks wrong in IE because it corrupts ClearType rendering.
    - Tasteful use of typefaces except from Georgia's role.

  • #5
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    It's a nice looking site, but as a visitor, I cannot find the navigation!

  • #6
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Even though the navigation has been noted, I would like to say anyone with a low resolution won't see the navigation. You can leave the links at the bottom, since that is a common practice, but put some useful links up in the top part of the page. Think if the content was 3 pages long...you'd never get any clicks!

    It degrades very cleanly without CSS, so anyone using a screen reader or with styles disabled would appreciate it. The page is very light, and only has two images! I count that as a beautiful design when it looks good an you use only two images, together under 60k.

    I could suggest some ideas to make it go even further. Right now it is very static. There are some great JS effects libraries out there which could help you add some pizazz. Having some dynamic effects, like using the top box as a featured news or content section, but allow it to scroll or have some neat fade effects. Your design screams sleek, and some nice fades on the menu links would be potentially nice too.

    I don't mind that it is aligned to the left, but your design could be an elastic layout. You could let the main content stretch left, since as it is now there is no real reason that the layout would break.

    You don't have any images, but if you put them I would style them to have a large border to fit the design, probably colored dark gray or something.

    I'm not sure what content would go in here, but adding some nice icons as part of the main content would be nice, especially if they had some good colors. I'm not talking photos, but cartoony iconic images. It might not be appropriate for your content, but wherever you decide to put any color on that page will be the first place people's eyes are likely to go. Right now my eyes tend to jump all the way left to the white box, because it is the only real contrast. The design is great, but the use of contrast will cause visitors to either look at items or miss them.

    I don't like the mixing of types of fonts like you have. I don't like a serif and sans-serif getting used in the bottom and not being mixed in the featured box.

    Lastly, using Welcome is just very common, I'm just advocating against using that as the large black box text, and I will assume you are planning on putting something that says more about your site there.

  • #7
    Regular Coder BWiz's Avatar
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    Thank you for the input. A lot of comments on the navigation - not the best idea I had I suppose. However, the current navigation at the bottom really wasn't supposed to be the real navigation. I'm confused at where to put it. Any suggestions would be great.

    Fonts have also been a hot spot. Typographically, I thought that using sans-serif fonts for headings and serif fonts for main text is stylistically ideal - however, this doesn't seem the best. Should I switch the fonts? Or keep it all sans-serif. I don't think all serif would look good at all.

    Layout wise, I suppose spreading it more out to the left would be more economic. However, the reason I left it so far to the right was the background image. Bad idea? All it really is, is a splat. I suppose I don't really need it at all, but I feel that it adds a little something something to the site. Another fear I have of expanding the wrapper further is the content itself. I would much rather have the content condensed, however spanning several lines, than only one or two lines across a page. Opinions?

    Thanks all for the input; more would be great as well!
    Last edited by BWiz; 06-03-2008 at 03:36 AM.
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  • #8
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    I like the splat, but you have the slightly transparent background which shows it. If you make it a little more visible and let the content fill the page, you might have a nice design as well. I would keep this copy of the design, and try it with filling the page to compare.

    I think you can mix fonts, but my point was that you mixed them in the bottom part but not the top box. Consistency.

    I think your navigation should go just to the right of the black Welcome box. Little tab like things or something, keep it blocky, but you know whats best - its your design!

  • #9
    The Apostate Apostropartheid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWiz View Post
    Fonts have also been a hot spot. Typographically, I thought that using sans-serif fonts for headings and serif fonts for main text is stylistically ideal - however, this doesn't seem the best. Should I switch the fonts? Or keep it all sans-serif. I don't think all serif would look good at all.
    As a general rule of thumb in print. On the web, the general consensus is that sanserifs are better for body text while serifs for headlines. But this is just a rule of thumb, and is specifically intended to be broken. Verdana and Helvetica are considered typefaces with very good readability, but most typefaces will suffice, e.g. Lucida Grande. Keep the headlines how they are: just fiddle about with the body font (I tried Verdana and Lucida Grande; both looked excellent.)

    If you want to learn more about typography (and I suggest you do, because it says a lot about you) I recommend The Elements of Typographic Style, by Robert Bringhurst.


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