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Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Renderz, Aug 8, 2008.
It's finally done. My photography website is complete.
I like the design of your site. The only problem I had was the navigation, it wasn't easy to tell that it was the site's navigation.
As for the coding, it was the messiest coding I have ever seen for a css based website. There is a lot of redundant and unnecessary code.
Overall I think the site is very good.
Overall it's nice looking.
But the "TerryLee", "photography" and then menu all kinda blends in with each other.
nice looking site a few comments:
1) instead of shadowbox js for the pop up images you should try lightview you have to pay a little for the license but it would look a lot better! http://www.nickstakenburg.com/projects/lightview/
2) Some of the larger images do take quite a while to load perhaps they could be compressed just a little more without losing quality?
3) the blog - would be much better if integrated into the main site in terms of theme instead of a out of the box theme
4) meta tags, couldnt see any really get at least a description and a few keywords in there!
however that all being said a really nice sitee!
Thank you all for the feedback. I'm really surprised it has gone down so well. I am well aware of the weight of the site, it was a really hard decision to make it so heavy but I reallly wanted to implement PNG to use it's amazing transparency qualities. I have used every PNG crucher I can think of to try and reduce the size.
In the end, I make no apologies for the weight, I wanted that specific effect and design and this was the only way I could do it.
As for the Blog being a different design, I just wanted it to be a blog that was easy to use; trust me as a well experienced designer it does pain me that the blog does look different but hey... it's c'est la vie
Thank you all once again for the feedback, I will seriously look into changing what is changeable.
I have mixed feelings about it to be honest.
First 30 seconds: I thought, wow, someone on this forum who can actually design and create something original.
30 Seconds +: Still enjoyed it. However, the site doesn't follow much of a consistent theme. One thing that bugged me, was the flash reloading all the time. Yes, navigation was hard to find. Especially when I clicked your lightbox entries on your first page.
Final: I couldn't tell why I was there. I wasn't sure if you were displaying your personal photos, or if you were trying to sell me a wedding package. I think you need to reach out to the user and let them know why they've clicked on your website and what value you can offer them. People are lame, they need to be walked by the hand to the final destination or solution, and I don't feel like I found that.
Anyways, take it with a grain of salt, because I think you have a lot of talent, although it needs to be focused in the right direction in my opionion.
Nice site wish mine was as good.
Unfortunately you missed the 'f' out of 'shift' on the 'Photographing my Life' page
Steve aka Jakeblu
quite nice looking but a couple of things:
On the right navigation where you have an RSS and MailTo link, on hover there is no change of cursor to the "hand" which leads people to believe there is no clickable item.
The top navigation font needs to be more standardized, I actually couldn't decipher the "blog" link until i clicked it to see what it was.
Your footer clearly reads wwwterrylee.net, you need to either add the extra . or get rid of the one between lee and net.
On your wedding page, the line "to love and to hold", i believe to phrase is "to have and to hold"...
At the top you have your phone number then a mailto link, the mail to link has a linked space leading it.
When popping up an image on any page other than the home page the loading animated gif is missing.
From your "gigs" page. "If you are in a band or a solo artist", this doesn't sound quite right. Im not in a a solo artist Try "If you are a solo artist or part of a band".
One other note, your blog has a black background with Green and blue on it. Green/Blue colour blindness affects 8% of Caucasian males, with 60% of those affected finding both blue and green to be a dark grey colour...
Hope this helps you.
I find the text too small to read. I have to increase it two notches on my browser before I can read it comfortably. I'm on a 13" MacBook.
I'm not sure why the big image with the chain in it is clickable. Why does a visitor want to see a bigger version of that?
That handwriting font you use makes Gs look like Ps, so your Blogged! looks to say Blopped!. Though, even saying Blogged doesn't really make sense. It makes it sound like the link would take to you to a site where other people are blogging about you.
The text you have on the images at the lower left is hard to read on the of them.
The red text you have at the bottom right is a bad color. That read vibrates so much and is painful to look at. Also nothing there is clickable even though it looks like it should be.
Actually things are very bad on the page in terms of trying to figure out what I can click on and cannot. You lack consistency here.
You seem to have a lot of empty space at the bottom of the page and on the right-bottom.
Your email address in the upper-right hand side in orange lacks contrast making it hard to read.
On the "This/My Life" page (you use two names for the page) it feels very cluttered. I know you're going for artistic, but it reduces usability here. You also have larger size text here, though I prefer the size on this page to the others.
On the Gips page, I mean Gigs page, the orange links are hard to read, especially because of the orange background.
Also, with the Gigs page I would figure that page would have information about what you charge for photography, or at least on some page. You don't seem to have any of that type of information on the site. You just ask people to contact you.
The site feels sluggish, especially when scrolling.
The page doesn't validate. You missed most of the alt attributes for images. There's other errors as well.
Your CSS doesn't validate either. Your CSS file is immense too. I'd try getting that consolidated.
The home page is measured at 2.5MB in size, ouch.
You've got an empty script tag at the top.
You really should move the CSS to a separate file.
The code has some serious divitis.
Really good design, great photoshop work, the chain integration breaking out of the picture into the design is done very nicely. I'm not gonna worry about the size of the or the code being 'messy'. To be honest I'm guessing most of the coders on here that tell people their code is messy aren't as clean as they demand you to be themselves. So we'll just ignore those comments.
So, overall, a really great design, looks good. Now, my critique would be this:
Your pictures, your gallery, your selling points need to be FRONT and CENTER. Having to scroll down 'below the fold' to get to your gallery pics is not going to work, and it's not clear that you actually are supposed to click on the pictures to see them bigger. Assuming people will know that just doesn't work. I know this because my wedding photo website got me no business until I finally moved my galleries front and center, easy to find. I was getting traffic, but if people had to search even just a little for my gallery they never found it and just moved on.
Nobody reads the text at first, so make that secondary to showing off your pictures. If they like your pictures and want to hire you, then they'll read the text.
This might be harsh, but as good as the design is, it's better suited for print, not web. Try to keep your main selling points 'above the fold', and keep them as your focal point. You have a terrific overall impression, everyone has been wowed by the initial viewing, but the functionality is where you need to step up. There is a point where you need to sacrifice some design to get the marketing and functionality of your site some room to do it's job. If you're creative at design (and you are!) it kinda sucks to do this, but if you want your website to do something for you, you need to make some design sacrifices. That said, simple can still sell. Well.
You have awesome design skills, and I can tell you put a lot of time and heart into this design. Don't throw it away, but you do need to make this more web than print, IMHO.
You'd be guessing wrong, at least in my case I simply offer comments as suggestions. I comment both on design and coding, unless asked to only comment on specific aspects. What people do with my comments is up to them. Different people have different priorities. Nothing wrong with that.
Biggest problem you'll have is people not viewing your site. If it's too slow to load most people will hit the back button.
Yikes, I hate to say it, but I agree. It's not the messiest I have seen, but could be interesting to see it across all browsers (IE6 for example...)
Looks good though - I do like the general design...
However... as a portfolio site... is it tooooo busy?
Like everyone else is saying, the design is really cool! But the home page is a bit too much, it reminds me of the godaddy.com website where they squeezed every bit of information known to humankind on there, it took me a while to find the things I needed. The poor image quality of flash photos stood out like a sore thumb, the speed of which the photos "flashed" was too fast, it's like a Rolls Royce with cloth interior.
I really like the site!
It was a broad statement, I've just grown a bit cynical towards the attitudes of some 'professionals' on forums. I just believe that the hypocrisy level can run a bit high when people can hide behind an IP address. I apologize for coming across a bit judgmental. You did give great feedback.
Don't worry, no offense taken, I know you weren't directing it solely at me. People should never take forum comments too serious. And I'm not professional, just a hobbyist, but have learned various things that I try to bring to light for people that are new. I can understand where your cynicism comes from, I find myself getting short tempered at times as well with some of the threads that get posted.
I agree with these comments and think the text on the left of the home page is too small/much. I did not know "Blopped" was "Blogged" until reading this post. My very first reaction was that I did not like the script font in this setting.
"Gigs" is confusing because the purpose is unclear. Expecting to see a list of upcoming or past events, the images made me think you were either showing pictures of performers who should be famous or perhaps your own band.
There's some nice photography going on but with a site this size, I am certain it will be missed by most iPhone users (because of the size). Even on an iMac, trepidation prevents one from getting real deep.
Modified & tweaked
I am listening to what people have to say on this thread, I hope you can understand I cannot implement or consider all the opinions expressed here but it has been valuable; even as a design of over 15 years the web is constantly changing. I remember just a few years ago there was a massive trend to make websites entirely in Flash but there is a slow shift towards a blend of HTML & Flash which is what I have always preferred.
Please keep posting your views, it is interesting and so long as it is constructive and professional then I will consider your views.