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Old Nov 16, 2006, 06:54 PM   #1
the Western zoo
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Hey, just want an unbiased opinion on my website...

Hey people,

I just wanted to ask if you like the design or looks of my website?

http://west.users.whitehat.dk

The reason I'm asking is that I'm considering buying a domain because the place that hosts my page only offer 5 mb of server space and I wound really like to make it bigger than 5 mbs...

I don't really care if anybody visits it but I do care about the looks of it...

So what is your honest opinion?
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 07:00 PM   #2
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Well, it is hard for me to have an unbiased opinion since I don't really like red. Especially not that much red.

It took me awhile to realize I could click on the icons on the left. I had to read that part about it. They don't stand apart as if they were a nav menu.

Also the icons in the upper right are small and not many people will know what most of them represent until they click on them.
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 07:01 PM   #3
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my honest opinion. Looks ok, but all that red hurts my eyes.

I was going to mention that too, but I have this habit of hitting the wrong key and i have posted my reply already.
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 07:30 PM   #4
the Western zoo
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by unbiased I just meant from people I don't know personally...

I must admit it is very red, and I never gave any thought to whether the menu stood out clearly enough... hmmm... maybe you've got something there....
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 07:38 PM   #5
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It is very very red, but if that's what you were going for, all the more power to ya. I would make it so it automatically adjusts (wraps) to different browser window sizes, for example on the site if you resize your browser window the website will adjust with it. On this 12" screen it's a lot of horizontal scrolling.

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Old Nov 16, 2006, 08:10 PM   #6
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Well contrary to popular optinion I like the red(although it takes a few seconds to get used to).
But given that I do have some suggestions:
1) the nav bar needs some sort of rollover (see attached example, the black triange is supposed to be a cursor) this was done in Photoshop with a layer shadow, the shadow I used was the Outline shadow.
2) give the user color options (red, blue, green) let them pick the theme, and since every since object on the page is that color it shouldn't be thta hard
3) well, there is no number three.

But it is a good site, and if you use option #2, you may (most defanintly) need more that 5mb of space.
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 08:13 PM   #7
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Ow, my eyes!

Keep the read header and side bar if you want, but make the text black or dark gray. Red text is *not* fun to read. Honestly, though, solid red is not only hard of the eyes but it's a bit boring. How about using a slightly different red? A little more yellow or a little more blue. A little less saturated (just enough to take the "bite" off).

I would work on the kerning in the title a bit (mostly the word "Western"), the letters are a little loose. Also, because of the typeface you used, I thought it said "The Western 200" instead of Zoo.
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Old Nov 16, 2006, 11:05 PM   #8
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I like the masthead for some strange reason. Rather unique. I would lose the drop-shadow on the 'new' corner cut. It breaks the design.

Icons are HUGE and don't really read as a family, and don't tell me wtf I'm clicking on.

I think you mean to say 'Starring' not not 'Staring'?
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 02:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamindaines View Post
I would make it so it automatically adjusts (wraps) to different browser window sizes, for example on the site if you resize your browser window the website will adjust with it. On this 12" screen it's a lot of horizontal scrolling.
1. Absolutely do not do this. Horizontally scalable web design is awful and can't die fast enough. With the possible exception of large-scale text sites (forums, newspapers, etc) there is no reason to ever use a horizontally scalable design. It's akin to coming out with a brand new TV that has an extra large picture tube and only displays black and white images. Sure it works, but it's dumb and outdated.

2. Web sites, even experimental sites, are first and foremost about user experience. If people don't "get it", the site doesn't work. This is confusing and un-intuitive. Try interjecting at least a little bit of color somewhere other than read, get rid of the frames, and somehow draw attention to the fact that those large icons are in fact a navigation menu.

Web design is about elegance - even when your style is funky or original. There are plenty of designs that are incredibly unconvential, but still intuitively direct people to the content they want. Sit down and really think about what you're trying to accomplish with the site instead of just making something that looks funky in Photoshop and plopping the extra large images into a web page.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 05:25 AM   #10
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I'm not a web designer. Heck I'm not a designer of any kind actually.

That said... I love the design of your website. I like the bold look of it. And the all red interface is cool in my opinion.
I don't get why everybody is bashing this one. The design is simple and crazy, perfect for a blog-style website. And it is original looking too.
Who cares if the icons don't tell the visitor where they land after clicking them, it's not meant to be a tool of any kind. It's fun in my opinion instead to let the user discover what's behind the icons for this kind of website.

The only thing that i don't like so much is the scrollbar within the page, i think you should get rid of it.

Apart from that, great stuff.

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Old Nov 17, 2006, 05:39 AM   #11
the Western zoo
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First and foremost thank you all for you comments! They are really insightful! When ever I ask my friends I always just get the "oh yeah, thats nice..."-comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamindaines View Post
I would make it so it automatically adjusts (wraps) to different browser window sizes, for example on the site if you resize your browser window the website will adjust with it. On this 12" screen it's a lot of horizontal scrolling.

--Cheers
I must admit I have no idea how to do this - I learned HTTP a very long time ago, and I think if you take a look at my coding you would be horrified - I don't use CSS because I've never learned how to use it and also when I want somthing to look in a certain way I always just try my way there. Also I think it's hard - maybe even too hard for me to make a design that will look nice even if you change the dimensions, I have played around with this before bu always ended up dropping the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emorydunn View Post
1) the nav bar needs some sort of rollover (see attached example, the black triange is supposed to be a cursor) this was done in Photoshop with a layer shadow, the shadow I used was the Outline shadow.
2) give the user color options (red, blue, green) let them pick the theme, and since every since object on the page is that color it shouldn't be thta hard
I really like both your suggestions they are certainly something I will try and work with!

Quote:
Originally Posted by apfhex View Post
Ow, my eyes!

Keep the read header and side bar if you want, but make the text black or dark gray. Red text is *not* fun to read. Honestly, though, solid red is not only hard of the eyes but it's a bit boring. How about using a slightly different red? A little more yellow or a little more blue. A little less saturated (just enough to take the "bite" off).

I would work on the kerning in the title a bit (mostly the word "Western"), the letters are a little loose. Also, because of the typeface you used, I thought it said "The Western 200" instead of Zoo.
Now on the red issue - I really like the one color-theme, but I guess you might be right, personally I like red and I don't think it's hard on the eyes - but I guess it might be because I'm used to it. Also I choose red because, firstly I think it's a cool colour and secondly because it is a bit boring, although I don't think of it as boring but as neutral because I didn't want a colour that's hard on the eyes - hehe ironic that I ended up doing the exact opposite!
I don't understand the word kerning...? But I like the the typeface very much and I'm pretty sure that will never change!

Quote:
Originally Posted by decksnap View Post
I like the masthead for some strange reason. Rather unique. I would lose the drop-shadow on the 'new' corner cut. It breaks the design.

Icons are HUGE and don't really read as a family, and don't tell me wtf I'm clicking on.

I think you mean to say 'Starring' not not 'Staring'?
Yup, it's supposed to be starring, I didn't even see that misspelling before you pointed it out - staring makes no sense...
I was kind of both for and against the shadow but just chose to put it on, but I guess you're right on that one - I've also tried putting shadow on all of the header but that's an absolute no go!
Again the menu is in focus, guess I cut corners on it because I couldn't decide on a family of Icons and also I think icons are rather hard to do - infact if anybody got suggestions on what the icons should look like they are very welcome to speak up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintob View Post
2. Web sites, even experimental sites, are first and foremost about user experience. If people don't "get it", the site doesn't work. This is confusing and un-intuitive. Try interjecting at least a little bit of color somewhere other than read, get rid of the frames, and somehow draw attention to the fact that those large icons are in fact a navigation menu.

Web design is about elegance - even when your style is funky or original. There are plenty of designs that are incredibly unconvential, but still intuitively direct people to the content they want. Sit down and really think about what you're trying to accomplish with the site instead of just making something that looks funky in Photoshop and plopping the extra large images into a web page.
I guess my major problem is that I know how the site is supposed to work and therefore have a hard time see that the site is not that intuitive, but it's really nice to hear other peoples opinion cause now I know!
The reason I used the iframe is that otherwise the site gets pretty graphics heavy and might take a long time to load - if that is what you meant?
Also I guess when I really think about it I've always thought it a bit cool when you're not completely sure where the next click will take you but I'm getting more convinced now that I need to make navigations more intuitive!
My problem might be that I'm really not trying to accomplish much more than making a pretty site... I don't find my self that an interesting person, and haven't got strong oppions about much that I would like to share with other people on the net, but I think it's nice to have a website just so I have somewhere where I can speak my mind and if at some point in the future something important to share with the world I would have a place to put it!
As I said in the start I don't care much if the site gets any hits - it's more for my own piece of mind...

Once again thanks for taking the time to give me some respons, I really appreciate it!
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 05:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Revlimit Punk View Post
I'm not a web designer. Heck I'm not a designer of any kind actually.

That said... I love the design of your website. I like the bold look of it. And the all red interface is cool in my opinion.
I don't get why everybody is bashing this one. The design is simple and crazy, perfect for a blog-style website. And it is original looking too.
Who cares if the icons don't tell the visitor where they land after clicking them, it's not meant to be a tool of any kind. It's fun in my opinion instead to let the user discover what's behind the icons for this kind of website.

The only thing that i don't like so much is the scrollbar within the page, i think you should get rid of it.

Apart from that, great stuff.
Thanks! Your opinion is very much like that of my own but I think these people might be onto something! So I am definitely going to try and make some of the changes they pointed out...
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 06:51 AM   #13
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It's ummm very red. I like the retro look with the section graphics being simple and the link "Dock" at the top right hand corner is great.

Thankfully, some of the other pages have content that isn't red because it's just so strong.

If I were doing something like that, I would keep the front page neutral, colour the section graphics in the navigation bar with a single colour each and change the colour for each section's pages.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 08:24 AM   #14
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It's nice and simple, but it is RED! I HATE red!!!

And the icons at the top are hardly noticible, they should be bigger
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 08:40 AM   #15
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Unbiased and first impression: Yuck.

Sorry.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 09:13 AM   #16
the Western zoo
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It's nice and simple, but it is RED! I HATE red!!!

And the icons at the top are hardly noticible, they should be bigger
I'm not sure if those icons are gonna stay, I think I'll take the suggestion to make different color-themes available and put the color change option up there instead of the icons...

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Originally Posted by iGary View Post
Unbiased and first impression: Yuck.

Sorry.
Well although not very constructive criticism opinion apreciated!

I've been trying to dim down the red and put in some black. Also I have removed the scroll bar from the iframe except when dealing with the "frontpage" of the blog...
Going to work a bit on the menu... Still having problems figuring out how to make it more menuish and the icons more "same family"-ish...
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 09:15 AM   #17
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I'm not sure if those icons are gonna stay, I think I'll take the suggestion to make different color-themes available and put the color change option up there instead of the icons...


Well although not very constructive criticism opinion apreciated!

I've been trying to dim down the red and put in some black. Also I have removed the scroll bar from the iframe except when dealing with the "frontpage" of the blog...
Going to work a bit on the menu... Still having problems figuring out how to make it more menuish and the icons more "same family"-ish...
You should be commended for your ability to take feedback, however. Many people ask for crits here and then go ******* when they get criticism.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 09:21 AM   #18
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I like the design, but the blind navigation is a no go. You need to label the icons/buttons that lead people to other pages so they know where they're going without having to interpret the icons. I love the red theme, though, especially as the only color. It looks retro and cool at the same time.

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Old Nov 17, 2006, 09:31 AM   #19
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You should be commended for your ability to take feedback, however. Many people ask for crits here and then go ******* when they get criticism.
Well I think that if you don't want to hear people opinion then you shouldn't ask! And also I don't think I have to make all the changes people speak about but only the once I find to be an improvement!
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 02:50 PM   #20
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Unbiased and first impression: Yuck.

Sorry.
I second that, "Eww..." Sorry.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 02:58 PM   #21
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Not that a non-professional (or at least non-regular) designer could recreate sites like these, but do yourself a favor and browse through some of what is widly considered the best design so you get an idea of how things are best accomplished. Rip-offs are VERY bad, but web design is an organic medium... it's constantly evolving and when people come up with new or clever ideas, they inevitably get engulfed into the mainstream and start popping up everywhere.

That said, check out sites like:
Standards-Based (CSS) Design
www.stylegala.com
www.alistapart.com
www.9rules.com

Interactive (Flash) Design
www.thefwa.com
www.****star.com (<-- this one gets blocked here for some odd reason, but it's f c u k s t a r . c o m)
http://www.thedreamer.com.br

These are galleries of great design, and browsing through will do wonders for your work.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 04:00 PM   #22
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you have a .gif at the bottom of the page that says "W-SPAY" then underneath it calls it "W-SPRAY"

just letting you know
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 04:10 PM   #23
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I love red. I think your site looks different from a lot out there, which is good. I personally would be tempted to push it further things like the icons in the top corner that are in full colour dampen the effect of the red and white design. I'd make it all red white and black, simplify the icons further (look at some old information design symbols, such as for airports, stations, sports centres, etc) and get some really crisp Swiss typography going on. Look at everything and think "do I need this?" and simplify it all down, and maybe give everything a bit of space (i.e. reduce the size of some of the type). If you're going to do bold red and white, make it really simple and bold. I think you're on the right track though, and again, I think it's different to a lot of sites I've seen, which is great.
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 04:20 PM   #24
the Western zoo
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Originally Posted by clintob View Post
Not that a non-professional (or at least non-regular) designer could recreate sites like these, but do yourself a favor and browse through some of what is widly considered the best design so you get an idea of how things are best accomplished. Rip-offs are VERY bad, but web design is an organic medium... it's constantly evolving and when people come up with new or clever ideas, they inevitably get engulfed into the mainstream and start popping up everywhere.

That said, check out sites like:
Standards-Based (CSS) Design
www.stylegala.com
www.alistapart.com
www.9rules.com

Interactive (Flash) Design
www.thefwa.com
www.****star.com (<-- this one gets blocked here for some odd reason, but it's f c u k s t a r . c o m)
http://www.thedreamer.com.br

These are galleries of great design, and browsing through will do wonders for your work.
Whoa!! Yeah you right those sure are some pretty sites!! But I don't even know enough HTML to use CSS so I think these things are way out of my reach...

But I'm pretty pleased with the changes I've made so far, and glad I asked people their opinions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by emdotdee View Post
you have a .gif at the bottom of the page that says "W-SPAY" then underneath it calls it "W-SPRAY"

just letting you know
hehe... that animation is like 3 or 4 years old, can't believe I haven't seen it before... since I don't have the source files for the content I'll just leave it... thanks for pointing it out though!
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Old Nov 17, 2006, 04:33 PM   #25
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Whoa!! Yeah you right those sure are some pretty sites!! But I don't even know enough HTML to use CSS so I think these things are way out of my reach...
I thought that, but CSS is actually quite easy! When you get more confident with HTML it's well worth looking into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the Western zoo View Post
hehe... that animation is like 3 or 4 years old, can't believe I haven't seen it before... since I don't have the source files for the content I'll just leave it... thanks for pointing it out though!
Just to point out that to "spay" is to, er, stop your girl cats having babies, so it's maybe not the best typo to leave on.
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