Before and after: rate my revamped site

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Devil's Refugee, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Devil's Refugee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    #1
    Ok, this is the current site which was knocked up using iWeb06

    www.paradigmshift.eu.com

    And this is the one I'm going to replace it with, still work in progress, knocked up using iWeb08 (runs a bit slow with .mac but bear with it)

    web.mac.com/theopriestley

    I think there's a dramatic improvement in style and visual impact (and the newer 08 template has been great to use) but I'm no expert.

    Comments appreciated.
    :)
     
  2. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    Speaking as a developer… don't put your styles in your HTML! :eek:

    Having said that, it looks better than anything I could come up with on my own. Fortunately I have a design department to thieve ideas from :)
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    I think it's best to get the prototype more finished before sending it out for CC. I have a feeling you're going to be posting a lot of "Yeah, I'm already planning to do that" replies, which is a waste of time.

    Anyway, my 17 second impression is:
    The title font and the red font on the gray box don't work. The organization/website name has to be more distinctive than Arial Bold. The red type is less than readable. Be wary of putting any type on a background where there is low contrast between the type and the BG

    The elements at the top seem randomly placed. The menus are off center, the logo looks like it got lost and just wandered to the edge of the page.

    There is a bunch of whitespace in the body, but there isn't any logic to it and it doesn't balance to the eye

    I'm reading the page and I don;t know what the #*$&^ this company does... it's 2/3 of the way down the fine print before I see it is a consultancy business of some kind to advise on change.

    What is the point of having three large (and completely generic and abstract) stock photos, if they push the main message below the fold?

    From a message point of view I like the first site better.

    But this -- "a consultancy driven by exceeding the boundaries of a clients expectations, delivering a robust framework that enables an organisation to tackle transformational change effectively and with confidence. " -- this is Dilbertesque.

    Please get an external copywriter / proofreader. If this is your writing, I am sorry - but you are much too close to the business to write about it. You need an external opinion to check what the reader is actually understanding from the jargon.

    I'm also going to pick on the over-use of stock photography. As a reader and potential client, a shot of blurry busy business people on the street, or three happy looking people standing around an executive desk, or (Oh Gawd, I knew it would be in there) a HANDSHAKE -- means absolutely nothing to me. An image to illustrate a point is useful -- IF the image has a strong semantic connection to the point being made and is positioned to reinforce it, and is not a cliche, OR if the image itself is sufficiently strong, unique and arresting to act as an interrupt and break into the reader's thought pattern with a new concept. These, aren't.

    OK: I have to ask, and this ain't gonna be pretty.
    Is this a professional business?
    Does the business bill more than $250K per year?

    If yes... ditch iWeb and hire a professional designer. The entire business is based on convincing clients of the professionalism and competence of the consulting firm. Why would the business risk their professional image for a $10K savings?
    (And why would the prospective client hire expert outside consultants, it those consultants didn't place value on hiring expert outside consultants themselves?)
     
  4. Devil's Refugee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    #4
    CanadaRAM,

    I thought your appraisal was excellent, thanks for taking the time out :)
    I think I needed someone to rip it apart for me to understand a real outside perspective.

    It's my consultancy (as in; me, myself and I, at the moment), so it's all my own work, design and verbal sh*t. I think I've been reading the likes of Accenture and KPMG websites for too long and started spouting the BS as much as them. Maybe a back to basics approach is best. I personally like the layout of the second though, and have to admit a love of random stock photos....what's up with a lovely handshake shot ? ;)

    Point taken about the background/ red writing, someone at work commented on it also.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    The first thing I would do in your case is to find a marketing coach: This is going to cost you a thousand or 2 but, literally, it could double your net income (in my case, quadrupled).

    The goal is to identify what your distinctive offerings are for your market, and then to communicate those in the way your potential clients need to hear it.

    To boil it all the way down to absurd simplicity, your message may be:

    "Stop!
    - S#&t happens in business, you already know that, and you know your business has to change to keep growing.
    - You may be worried that hiring a change consultant will cost too much, But what if you could make it easier for your business to manage change, and make money at the same time? We'll show you how.
    - We are so expert at helping business change and grow, and save money in the process, (and here's why) you'd be a fool to hire anyone else.
    - Call now"

    The principle is to do the following to the prospect, and in the following order

    Interrupt (do something to shake their complacency and make them pay attention)
    Attract (convince them within 10 seconds that there is something here worth reading - often with a provocative statement or question)
    Educate (tell them what THEY need to know, answer THEIR concerns why they are reluctant to hire any firm in your field)
    Present value proposition (what is your specific distinctive value you bring to them as opposed to the competition)
    Call to action (this is what you want them to do as a result - this commonly involves an offer of a free consult or whitepaper, resulting in a sales contact to open a relationship)
     

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