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  1. #1
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    Hmmm... thoughts please

    http://www.vocalistgray.co.uk

    First site I've done any work on in about 5 years, what do you think?

    Any constructive feedback negative/positive appreciated.

  • #2
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    It's pretty straightforward, which is good... but it seems to lack a "modern" feel. Simplicity is great but it's almost too simple. And why are nearly all of the photos in the photo gallery pretty much the same?

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    Dalziel (09-27-2010)

  • #3
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    Hmmmm... suggestions for how I could make it more "modern" and less "simple" please? Not knocking your comments could just do with a bit more feedback.

    More photos coming, that is just all that he has supplied me so far.

  • #4
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    Compare it to other sites of the same or similar genre... google some popular artists you know and look at their websites.

    Then look at this (sites from 1996): https://www.msu.edu/~karjalae/internet96.htm

    You should see what I mean. I hope I'm not coming across as an ***... you asked for constructive feedback.
    Last edited by tfburges; 09-27-2010 at 03:34 AM.

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    Dalziel (09-27-2010)

  • #5
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    My view when I look at other artists popular to this area's sites, they are all either template jobs or Frontpage jobs done very quickly by the person themself and very poor.

    My own view of my own design

    I'm a good coder and a very poor designer, give me 100 pages of design drawn on paper by the person that knows how they want their site to look, I will code it and make it look how they want.

    Give me the knowhow to code a site and ask me to design it, I'm crap!!!!

    In other words backend I'm good, front end I'm crap !!!!

  • #6
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    You should see what I mean. I hope I'm not coming across as an ****
    Not even slightly, I appreciate any feedback whether its good or bad as long as its helpful "that site is crap" or "love the website" (opposite ends of the spectrum from positive to negative) are neither particularly helpful in improving a site.

  • #7
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    I'm with you on the backend-frontend stuff... I have so much trouble deciding on how to design a site layout sometimes I end up googling something along the lines of "web design inspiration" to get ideas that suit the project - and I'd say that's perfectly okay as long as I'm not blatantly ripping off someone else's design haha. After all, we all basically rely on each other for feedback, whether it's on forums like these or looking at someone else's work for inspiration.


  • #8
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    I've found a good source for inspiration is concert posters. They often have a similar amount of information to display, and find creative ways to do it.

    CRITICISMS (intended to be constructive)
    This is sort of ticky-tacky, but I always like it better in show dates sections if they say something like "There are no dates to display." That way I know there wasn't some sort of mistake with the page loading.
    The title 'GRAY' at the top looks pretty rough. I'd like to see it look cleaner.

    I might consider making the song streaming available on all of the pages. Probably beneath the photo to the right. It would probably have to be more horizontal than vertical. You could leave the audio gallery for downloads.

    I don't like the look of the font over the picture very much. I can't put my finger on why exactly though. The page needs more color, so covering up the only picture with white text seems to take away from the look. There is a lot of blank space where that text could go.

    It's really awkward how the picture just cuts off at the edges. If it's a larger picture where you could see all of his head, or his hands, I think you should leave that in. His shirt is black, so you might be able to blend the bottom of that with a box below that has a black background (music player?). That will still look a little odd if his whole hand isn't there though. If the top of his head is in the picture, you should fix the image at the bottom of the page.

    You don't see the type of menu that you have often, and so I like that. However, at this point, it just seems to divide the site in half which doesn't make the site feel cohesive. If you can figure out how to do that, then do it because I like that it's different. Otherwise, I think you should just do something at the top.

    The main things to me are that the site needs to feel more together and flowing, and also that there needs to be some more color (doesn't have to be a lot). You probably already know about this site, but in case you don't this helps me when I'm looking for complementary colors: http://colorschemedesigner.com/

    OTHER
    I'm not sure if you'll like this because it could make it feel a little cluttered, but the image has a really nice white pocket of space in the top left that you could put text into. Next performance? Latest press? Maybe even the menu? I don't think you'll know unless you tinker with it, but that seems like a nice, unexplored area.


    I hope that helps. It was done with all the best intentions. I'm never sure how my writing (especially critical writing) comes off until people react. I figured that since I'm new here, it would be a good idea to emphasize that again.

    Good luck.

  • #9
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    I could also imagine it to have a little more “design”. For example, rather than a plain list of links you could make something out of it. I mean, like your list of albums. First it would add something to see the album covers themselves. You can then align them as in the image I attached to this post. With some CSS 3 magic (box-shadow) or a different border color (or both) you can highlight the item that has pointer over it. Then, for the detail page with the track listing you could also include a CD cover like on this website. Or you can save your extra detail pages and put each album on one page like on the mentioned website, since you don’t have any more info than the track list anyway.

    The song list could be divided in sections, for example, to make it a little more interesting to read, like a space between each new beginning letter of the alphabet, or something like that. Also, as this is a list (or several lists) it would be better to mark it up as such, i. e.:

    Code:
    <ul>
      <li>Addicted</li>
      <li>All About You</li>
      <li>Amazed</li>
      <li>Animal</li>
      <li>Another Cup of Coffee</li>
    </ul>
    <ul>
      <li>Babylon</li>
      <li>Bad Moon Rising</li>
      <li>Bailamos</li>
      <li>Be Mine</li>
      …
    </ul>
    …
    (the division into several lists also solves that spacing issue I mentioned)

    Then, it’s good that you have an audio player on your site. However, don’t write text like “if it doesn’t work blabla…”. That’s where graceful degradation/progressive enhancement comes into place. I see you are using SWFObject which is good. SWFObject is designed so that you provide plain HTML content which is eventually replaced by the Flash object. So, all you have to do is put a div with an ID of your choice in your document and then put the MP3 list in there (and again, mark it up as list). Then open the jukebox.js file, remove the first line and change the “player-holder” text in this line swfobject.embedSWF("jukebox.swf", "player-holder",… to the ID of the div with the MP3 list. Then the MP3 list will be replaced in those browsers that support Flash and JS. This way people won’t even notice that something isn’t working or whatever, they just get the content they are looking for in one or the other way.

    For the image gallery you could do something like my example of album gallery. However, don’t distort the images like that. If you want rectangular preview images, crop a section out of the regular ones and display them as they are. Distorted images look unprofessional.

    Next, for the detail images as they are currently displayed you don’t need an extra page, they would be displayed like that if you just put a link to the image file itself. There has got to be a little more content to justify a separate page. I would generally suggest a lightbox style gallery anyway (there are many more of those types like slimbox, colorbox, fancybox, shadowbox, and what not). Just make sure it does fit into your site design wise, as to not look too much like just taken from somewhere and put into your site in its generic form. All of these galleries can be custom styled if you know a bit of CSS.

    That would be the most important things for now. There’s more but we’ll cover that when you’ve adapted at least some of these suggestions.

    Oh and for some design inspiration there’s a great site called unmatchedstyle.com.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hmmm... thoughts please-ex1.jpg  

  • #10
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    Thanks for the input guys, like the idea about not distorting the photos for display in the gallery, like a dumb *** never thought of that.

    Not sure what to do about the background image, I agree that it would look better if it filled the whole screen but all I've got is the image as its posted at the minute, I didn't cut it down that is how he provided it to me (with the text on it) I've asked him and he hasn't got a copy of it without text either, if I try editing it out it looks odd.

  • #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrozwod View Post
    The title 'GRAY' at the top looks pretty rough. I'd like to see it look cleaner.
    Agree going to sort that out.

  • #12
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    I'm going to have to second some of the stuff VIPStephsn said. I like the idea of showing the actual album artwork. Also, having the pictures pop up the way he suggested seems like a good idea.


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