A Site Critique

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by MegaMan1311, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. MegaMan1311 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Hello everyone.

    I am starting my own freelance web development business, and I would like you guys to critique my business's site.

    My Site (Bluemoon Code)

    Obviously, I've taken some ideas from Apple by using the Aurora as the background.

    Any suggestions, comments, etc? Do you like the transparency? How about the color scheme? If you have to, rip it apart please!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #2
    I think it's too transparent. I'd notch it down a bit.

    I like the colors but a bit brighter blue might be more pleasing.

    I don't like the dotted lines, they look cheap, like coupons.
     
  3. MegaMan1311 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Done!

    The left side of the site (not the sidebar) is now less transparent. I kept the right side the same. I changed most of the dashed lines to solid. I also fixed some margin issues.

    What do you think? Thanks for your help, your tips really helped. I think the sight is much better now! A second opinion always helps.

    Anyone else have any other opinions? Thanks.
     
  4. JavaWizKid macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #4
    Still too translucent when reading text. Other than that, NICE SITE!
     
  5. benben macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    #5
    transparency looks good now. the background image takes a while to load, might want to compress it a little.

    i think there's quite a lot of wasted space - at the moment there are two blog posts and on my 22" monitor with a (nearly) full screen browser, i can only see the first post. the about and portfolio pages seem to fit much better. perhaps move the 'welcome' and 'more information' to the sidebar?
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    MegaMan.

    im not really an expert in web site implementation, but im currently at university and we have been taught to critique web sites based on a whole bunch of things, ill try my best to give recommendations for a few basic things :)

    1. if this is going to be a website for possible clients, i seriously thing that a redesign is in order. it looks excellent as a blogging website or similar, but as a professional website im just not that keen on the layout you are using.

    2. you have no menu!!!! i see a few links on the right side, but it took me a good minute to notice them, id much rather you have them either on the left side or up the top (following the eyes natural "F" pattern).

    3. i think you should have a nice introduction, which states what the purpose of the website is, and what you do and how you do it (possibly a short description about that)

    4. i like how the website utilises a very consistent layout, its good to see that, but perhaps you could try using a different default font

    5. the blog on the main home page isnt really a good idea (IMO), maybe have links on the side for it.

    very nice site but! good to see that you are trying to get something going and making some money!! im currently trying to implement a computer business atm, need to get a domain name and webhost server :(

    anyway, goodluck with it! if you have any more questions just ask.
     
  7. MegaMan1311 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Benben, thanks for the help, but I do not know how to fix it... Those two boxes need to be there, as it is my business, and it takes priority over the blog, but I do not want to remove the blog either...

    DoFoT9, thanks for all of your advice.
    1. I do see your point, and do understand where you are coming from, but, for now, I'd like to stay with this design, and make modifications to it where I can. I put a lot of work into this design, and I'd prefer not to scrap it and start over.
    2. I'll play around with that. Thanks.
    3. Thanks. I'll try that.
    4. I changed the top boxes' font to be more consistent with the whole site. Is that a little better?
    5. Thanks. I was thinking the same thing, but this site was born from me wanting to have a business, but also wanting to have a blog. If I move the blog, then it becomes more of an add-on to the site, but I can't remove the top sections, because it is my business. Basically, I wanted to make a blog site, but I also wanted to make my own business, so, I tried to combine the two the best way that I could.
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #8
    ok thats fair enough, you just need something that also cries "IM A BUSINESS" to people so that they know.

    sweet :)

    yup thats better, the white text of the top boxes is more effective, but isn't as universal, because you have headings (such as "The Blog Tips, Tricks, And More For Fellow Web Devs") as white.. but its much more stand outish.

    ok then do what you think is best, i sure if you play around with the layout a tad you will find something that suits your intentions.
     
  9. benben macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    #9
    Perhaps just reduce the line height/padding and the width of the borders then? quite a lot of block coloured space around!
     
  10. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #10
    On this point I also agree with DoFoT9. This is not at all to say your design isn't good, it's wonderful. It's just the wrong type of design in context to a commercial business for targeting such customers. I hope you know that's what we (well, certainly I) meant and nothing more! I suspect this is true when you said you do understand, but just making sure.

    With that being said, I saw this after the various changes you made and I applaud you for doing the translucent theme with the starburst pattern behind. It really makes people stop and take a look, since it's not too common to see it presented so effectively. Well done, it all works well with the cool palette and smart choice of contrasting colors. I wish you copious success in your business!

    -jim
     
  11. johnathan.macle macrumors member

    johnathan.macle

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    #11
    It looks pretty good, my only gripe is your logo, it looks a bit flat against the background.

    I remade one for you with a different font and abit of depth added. Same font I used in my header if you take a peak at the website in the sig.

    If you like the depth and not the font, just let me know and I will change it for you. Hope you like :)

    The one with the white background has the transparent back.
     

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  12. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #12
    I think you could use a little less spacing between blog posts, especially since you have an hr element delineating the posts.

    Personal taste- the font for the sidebar and h* elements look a little clunky to me.

    What CMS are you using? WP? Or did you design it yourself?

    I like the overall layout, but as people have said before me at first glance it looks very, very much like a blog and not like a business website.
     
  13. torndownunit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #13
    What is the 'important browser update' popup I get when I view the page? It pops up in a yellow strip across the top of the page. Or am I the only one getting it?

    I kind of agree with the other posters regarding the 'blog' look. If it is a business site, I would make your front page static and have more info about the business. Make the blog page another part of the site.

    I recently redid my business site in Wordpress and did the same thing. Static home page, moved the blog to the menu, and I called my blog section "Articles".

    If the articles are the main focus of the site though, it's an irrelevant suggestion I guess lol.

    I agree as well that with such a nice looking vibrant site design, your current menu design does look like an afterthought.
     
  14. jordanste macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #14
    I like this a lot actually. Way to go. Transparency looks solid. A few things, the alignment on the RSS and Twitter links above the search field look weird as they down appear to be left-aligned... and when I hover over the links in the side bar I get a weird blue background... looks like you didnt mean it to be that way, if you did... sorry. I would change that. looks to clunky. I also dont care for the lighter blue border around the "welcome to..." and "the blog" sections... Maybe try a non-blue border or just removing the border all together. just my two cents.
     
  15. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #15
    Are you using IE6? I've just checked the site in IE6 and the yellow strip looks like one of the WordPress plugins that tries to identify IE6 and previous and suggest the user switches to IE7/8, FF, etc.
     
  16. torndownunit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #16
    No I am running Camino on Mac. I only use Camino and Firefox.
     
  17. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #17
    Yes, it appears in Camino for me too, and I'm up to date (1.6.6). May be a defective plugin? It doesn't appear in Safari or IE7.
     
  18. torndownunit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #18
    Could be.

    It's just my opinion, but I don't know if a plug-in like this is the best idea for a business site. Seeing that popup could confuse or turn off a client who isn't very web literate.

    Plus it obviously has some sort of bug if it's popping up when I am browsing the page using Camino (and the most current version). Could it be happening with other browsers?

    The web literate people and designers browsing the site know what it is, and can appreciate that people need to update their browsers. But it could confuse other people.
     
  19. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #19
    Agree. It also resembles those Windows security scams.
     
  20. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #20
    it's a blog site! sure there's a small blurb about services you offer and links to other pages for more info, etc.......but it's all overwhelmed by the massive blog

    and what's the topic of the blog? is it anything that's going to be of interest to potential customers? or is it going to be technical stuff that'll come across as mumbo jumbo to a small business owner who might be looking for somebody to make a web site?
     
  21. MegaMan1311 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #21
    Thank you everyone for your comments.

    SrWebDeveloper, thank you for your comments. Yes, I am aware, and I am trying to fix it.

    johnathan.macle, thank you for the logo. If you do not mind, I would like to take some of the improvements you made (I like the "indent" effect and the font), and make some changes, and build it myself. I really appreciate it, and I think that your suggestions will help improve the logo greatly.

    miles01110, I've removed a lot of the extra spacing between posts, thank you. I'll work on the fonts, thanks. I am using Wordpress, actually. I'm working on the bloggy feel, thanks. I just need to find the right balance between blog and business.

    Everyone who said something about the yellow browser update strip, thanks, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but I have now removed it. It was supposed to only appear for IE6 and below, FF2 and below, and old versions of Opera. I had no idea that it would affect Camino.

    torndownunit, thanks. I wanted to get the blog on the front page, but, right now, I almost feel that I need to move it to another page. I'm going to try to find an alternative before I do though! Yeah, the menu was kind of an afterthought. Anyone have any suggestions on this one?

    jordanste, I completely changed the RSS and Twitter areas, so take another look. The blue background was originally unintentional, but I liked it, so I kept it. Again, the navigation was an after-thought. I'll play around with the borders, thanks.

    Macky-Mac, I see what you mean. I'm still trying to find a way to balance the blog and the business parts of the site, but, if I fail, I'm planning to move the blog to another page. The topic of the blog is Web Development tips that I come across. So, yeah, it'll come across as mumbo jumbo.

    Thanks for all of the advice everyone.
     
  22. dwcasey macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    #22
    what are you selling?

    I agree with dofot9 and that it probably should not be a blog, but rather more business card/brochure in that it provides a bit more info on what you do.
     

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