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Old Apr 8, 2003, 05:36 AM   #1
wsteineker
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Check out my new site

Hey folks, I just posted a new site and I'd love your input/feedback. It's my first site ever, so please be gentle. So, without further ado, my very first website!.

I designed it for my girlfriend's sorority in exchange for Dreamweaver MX (as a down payment) and Fireworks MX (to be delivered upon completion). I got a bonus for completing it a week early (Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition). I designed all of the site-specific images myself with Photoshop 7 and put the thing together with Dreamweaver (obviously).

Some sections aren't yet up (the members pages) as the content has yet to be delivered. Everything should be there otherwise.

Again, I'd love your feedback. Any tips or suggestions you might have would be more than welcome.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 06:16 AM   #2
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I think IMO it need to look better, (NO offense) Right now it looks kind of bland. The intro page is nice, but once you get to the main site it is kind of a let down. It kinda looks like it was made on a PC. No personality what so ever.

Might want to find a cooler navigaton or remote. Mabe a cheezy animated giff, you know, to break the ice. (joke) Needs more of a Mac feel you know aqua.

It does look very professional, and if you were going for plain and simple, you have achieved it. But still it needs SOME graphics.

AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, why is Internet Explorer only?
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 06:41 AM   #3
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Ha, I knew someone would comment on the IE thing. It's actually because I used mixed fonts on some pages to comingle the Roman text with the Greek letters. I tested it in 7 browsers (IE, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, iCab, Opera, and Safari) and only got proper text display with IE. If there's a better way to ensure proper display then PLEASE let me know. I hate having to shut out folks who aren't using a Microsoft product.

As for the appearance, I'm currently adding pictures to a lot of the pages, so I think that'll help liven it up. As for the overall feel of the site, the clients wanted to keep it looking pretty professional so it'd stand out from all of the "sorority girl" looking websites on campus. You know, no goofy fonts like marker felt and no animated gifs of teddy bears dancing around. But yeah, it is sort of supposed to look a little business'y.

I am planning on altering the nav bar as soon as Fireworks comes in (out of stock in the campus bookstore, so it may be a week or so). I'll keep the categories in their down state when the menu is displayed, and I'm hoping to give a bit of texture to the bar, menus, and marquee. Just not quite sure how, that's all.

Any more suggestions?
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 07:34 AM   #4
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Ha, I knew someone would comment on the IE thing. It's actually because I used mixed fonts on some pages to comingle the Roman text with the Greek letters. I tested it in 7 browsers (IE, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, iCab, Opera, and Safari) and only got proper text display with IE. If there's a better way to ensure proper display then PLEASE let me know. I hate having to shut out folks who aren't using a Microsoft product.
Can't you mix the text using PhotoShop, and save as a JPG? Wouldn't that solve your problem? It might be a little more work, but it would open up the browser requirements.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 07:38 AM   #5
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How do you mean mix the text using Photoshop? Should I create gifs for the Greek characters and insert them into the text? I'd think I'd run into text wrapping issues when doing that. Or do you mean to creat all the text in Photoshop and save it all as jpegs/gifs and just post the content as pictures of text? Then I'd lose all of my links. I'm confused.
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Last edited by wsteineker; Apr 8, 2003 at 08:38 AM.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 08:37 AM   #6
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Check it again now. I've updated a lot of the pages with pictures, so that should serve to liven up the site just a bit.

Anyone else have any suggestions or input? How about some of you certified Dreamweaver ninjas out there? Anything would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 08:58 AM   #7
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Ok here's a rundown of the browser compatability issues I'm having. Maybe the details can help you guys figure out a work around so I can get this site open to more browsers.

IE-Everything looks and acts exactly like it should.

Safari-Neither the main font set (Optima, News Gothic MT, Arial, Sans Serif) nor the Greek letters (Symbol) appear appropriately, and are instead all displayed as Arial. Behaviors function properly.

Opera, Mozilla, and Netscape-The main font set displays the text properly and the behaviors work, but the Greek letters are displayed as default font.

OmniWeb and iCab-All of the text is formatted properly, but the JavaScript for the rollover menus doesn't function at all.

The problem is really all over the place. I've no idea why IE is the only browser that'll behave properly here. Any ideas?
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 08:59 AM   #8
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How do you mean mix the text using Photoshop? Should I create gifs for the Greek characters and insert them into the text? I'd think I'd run into text wrapping issues when doing that. Or do you mean to creat all the text in Photoshop and save it all as jpegs/gifs and just post the content as pictures of text? Then I'd lose all of my links. I'm confused
What I meant was to make just the greek stuff in photoshop, and insert in the text (sorry forgot about alignement issues). It might work, thought, if you use a fixed table width, rather than a percentage. Or try keeping the table data width fixed, rather thatn a percentage. that might do the trick. BTW, good job on your first website.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 09:04 AM   #9
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I'll give the photoshop idea a run, man. Good idea. Thanks for the complement, btw. I'm hoping Fireworks expands my repertoire a bit. Not bad for a weeks worth of work with no experience, though.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 09:31 AM   #10
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I refuse to launch IE just to look at this webpage.

There is no reason to make it IE only unless you wanna piss people off.

You need to make it non browser specific if you want it to be a good site. I hate when I have to use a browser other than Safari (which is very very rare).

you need to worry about that before anything else.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 09:39 AM   #11
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Hey man, I already explained the IE situation. If you've got any ideas for workarounds then please let me know. I'm not trying to piss anyone off here. I just want to make sure that the page is displayed properly, thus ensuring a quality experience for the viewer. I'd love to be able to allow users of other browsers to view the site. Hell, I use Safari as my primary browser, so I understand your beef. That said, please don't berate me over an issue that I've tried to fix and haven't been able to overcome. I'm quite sure that I'm not the only web designer who's had problems with "alternative" browsers displaying pages as designed. Like I said, if you've got any suggestions then fire away.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 09:43 AM   #12
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Originally posted by wsteineker
Hey man, I already explained the IE situation. If you've got any ideas for workarounds then please let me know. I'm not trying to piss anyone off here. I just want to make sure that the page is displayed properly, thus ensuring a quality experience for the viewer. I'd love to be able to allow users of other browsers to view the site. Hell, I use Safari as my primary browser, so I understand your beef. That said, please don't berate me over an issue that I've tried to fix and haven't been able to overcome. I'm quite sure that I'm not the only web designer who's had problems with "alternative" browsers displaying pages as designed. Like I said, if you've got any suggestions then fire away.
Sorry if it came out harsh. [embarrased]I should have read the whole thread before posting[/embarrased] I hadn't had my coffee yet, I didn't mean to be harsh, I was just saying. Sorry if it came out wrong...

Wish I had a fix, but alas, I don't. pm RowerCPU. He's a web wiz... designed my webpage for me, it works with all browers and is pretty complex(I think). He'll have a way.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 09:47 AM   #13
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I probably shouldn't comment at all... i think most people here know my predlection against non-designers pretending to be designers.

I don't pretend to be a poly-sci student...but its ok for anyone to be a designer, design a web site, lowball prices and make the whole industry a little worse the wear for guys like eye, myself, et. al. who do this stuff for a living and constantly put up with the "i'll have my secretary design it"

Yea. And watch it look like crap. THEN call me....



"it's one thing to put words on a page. It's another to put them on a page in accordance to an aesthetic"
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 09:58 AM   #14
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Teabgs, don't sweat it. It's totally understandable. I pulled an all nighter to get the site live, so I'm dragging myself. Thanks for the input and the suggestion.

Moxie, I understand where you're coming from too. That said, I really enjoyed building this site. I also learned a lot that I'll be able to use in building my next one. I'm planning on taking some design courses this summer and fall, so that should help me a bit. I'm only 22 and this is my very first site, so cut me a little slack. I'm seriously thinking about trying to do this for a living and you basically just told me that I lowered the bar for an entire industry. Give me a break, man. I think that given my limited experience (I only started this a week ago), resources, and tools, I did a pretty good job. It's not professional because I'm not a pro. The client needed something delivered at a certain price point (sub $250) and I met that need. I like to think that while it doesn't have any pretty logos or Flash menus, the interface is clean, intuitive, and understated. That's what the client wanted. I do wish I could have done it better, but everyone's gotta start somewhere.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:07 AM   #15
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Originally posted by wsteineker
Teabgs, don't sweat it. It's totally understandable. I pulled an all nighter to get the site live, so I'm dragging myself. Thanks for the input and the suggestion.

Moxie, I understand where you're coming from too. That said, I really enjoyed building this site. I also learned a lot that I'll be able to use in building my next one. I'm planning on taking some design courses this summer and fall, so that should help me a bit. I'm only 22 and this is my very first site, so cut me a little slack. I'm seriously thinking about trying to do this for a living and you basically just told me that I lowered the bar for an entire industry. Give me a break, man. I think that given my limited experience (I only started this a week ago), resources, and tools, I did a pretty good job. It's not professional because I'm not a pro. The client needed something delivered at a certain price point (sub $250) and I met that need. I like to think that while it doesn't have any pretty logos or Flash menus, the interface is clean, intuitive, and understated. That's what the client wanted. I do wish I could have done it better, but everyone's gotta start somewhere.
I didn't say you specifically... but there's a lot of this out there... people throwing low ball prices for web design. And it hurts everyone.

While I do admire your spunk in trying something new, and seeing if you have what it takes/would enjoy the field/etc, there's more to the design biz than just putting together a layout.

You're aesthetic on the front page is good. you could have followed it up with something that was business like but a little more dynamic than what you have. (not taht what you have is bad)

You could do something a bit more dynamic with the type-- and not just adding pictures. Perhaps staggering columns, or something, so it doesn't look so top-down.

You could alos remove the margins of the page (top, left and right) to make the color bars bleed across.

i would have also recommended that you take the lighter blue and make it a different color (maybe use that dark blue and toggle with the colors-- yellow on blue to blue on yellow) as opposed to that light blue--a bit too constrasty making the yellow appear thinner and less legible that it could be.

I'd also like to see you play with the photos a bit. You have a generally soft feel with your color scheme, opening graphic and font choice of Optima (a softer version of a trad serif font) and as such, i'd like to see photos with a vignetted or soft edge.

as i said, you're not off to a bad start. But I do think that if you wanna get into this sort of thing, you could benefit from a little study (we all could) and refine your technique a bit.

not bad for a first try though.

**edit**

Check out the cleanliness of some of these sites:

http://www.cnn.com/
http://www.dpreview.com/
http://www.billabongeurope.com/index.cfm

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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:13 AM   #16
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Now that's what I'm talking about! Excellent suggestions all around, man. I really appreciate it. I'll be able to implement the menu color changes (color toggling) as soon as Fireworks comes in, and softening the lighter blue had already occurred to me. The photo idea is also excellent. I'll check into the columns, too. All great ideas, man. Thanks!
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:17 AM   #17
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Originally posted by wsteineker
Now that's what I'm talking about! Excellent suggestions all around, man. I really appreciate it. I'll be able to implement the menu color changes (color toggling) as soon as Fireworks comes in, and softening the lighter blue had already occurred to me. The photo idea is also excellent. I'll check into the columns, too. All great ideas, man. Thanks!
Here's a nice site a friend of mine did showing the vignetting/softening of photos... and what you can do with LOTS (and i mean lots) of text:

http://www.nationalroadpa.org/
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:23 AM   #18
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The vignetting on those photos is gorgeous. What kind of filters did he run to achieve that? I noticed that some of the images are only softened on two sides. What kind of Photoshop sorcery is that?
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:27 AM   #19
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The vignetting on those photos is gorgeous. What kind of filters did he run to achieve that? I noticed that some of the images are only softened on two sides. What kind of Photoshop sorcery is that?
Generally she uses the dodge or burn tools (depending on the background) and the eraser tool set at various opacity levels in the top toolbar.

Play around with one or two photos...

Take note of how she also staggered photos and text-- one section has photo on left, text on right and vice versa.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:32 AM   #20
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I'm definitely going to play around with the layout this afternoon. The menus will get a fix with some softer colors and the aforementioned color changes soon. I think that will go a long way towards making this site worth a spot on the old resume.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:36 AM   #21
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I'm definitely going to play around with the layout this afternoon. The menus will get a fix with some softer colors and the aforementioned color changes soon. I think that will go a long way towards making this site worth a spot on the old resume.
If it's not worth a spot on the resumé is it worth doing? ya know?

Make it a spot on the resumé... if not, it doesn't matter if you did it for free or a million dollars.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:42 AM   #22
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If it's not worth a spot on the resumé is it worth doing? ya know?

Make it a spot on the resumé... if not, it doesn't matter if you did it for free or a million dollars.
I knew I liked you. I just knew it.
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:43 AM   #23
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Not a bad site design...

On my own site, I hope to be changing the header graphic soon. Not only will I have a real logo to place there, but I also hope to have a graphic that is more in line with what the site is all about. Once I have the main pages updated (graphically) I will proceed to make the other sections match as close as possible. The store should be easier then the discussion boards, but who knows.

As far as a site working with Safari, I really wouldn't worry about it until it is out of beta and the full version is released. Safari STILL has problems with sites that use CSS (which mine does). EVERY other browser that I have tested my site with has 0 issues with the CSS, but Safari does. Gee, a BETA application has problems with something that the other full release applications doesn't... go figure
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:45 AM   #24
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If it's not worth a spot on the resumé is it worth doing? ya know?
good point man...

I didn't even get to look. I'm running Safari, and while I have IE installed on here, I'm too lazy to launch it while running this browser. See the biggest problem encountered already? Just imagine the people who will navigate away because they are lazy asses like I am!

a side note...and this is something that I see A LOT from amateurs...limit your font usage to 2-3 styles...

u have a couple sans serif fonts in there, and there's not need for it..not when most users won't have all of them installed anyway.

don't try to make up for design by dressing it up with too much font...
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Old Apr 8, 2003, 10:50 AM   #25
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I didn't even get to look. I'm running Safari, and while I have IE installed on here, I'm too lazy to launch it while running this browser. See the biggest problem encountered already? Just imagine the people who will navigate away because they are lazy asses like I am!

a side note...and this is something that I see A LOT from amateurs...limit your font usage to 2-3 styles...

u have a couple sans serif fonts in there, and there's not need for it..not when most users won't have all of them installed anyway.

don't try to make up for design by dressing it up with too much font...
You lazy bastard... heh...

As for the font thing, I went with arial since it is a cross platform font that EVERYONE has on their system. It's also easy on the eyes, which will keep people more then a font that is too thin and difficult to read.

[slightly off-topic]Anyone know when Opera for the Mac will be updated?? Unless they have released a new version in the past month, I'm on the latest (v6). The pc version is up to 7, those bastards.[/slightly off-topic]
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