Building a graphic design site / Critque needed

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by razorianfly, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. razorianfly macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom
    Hey Guys/Gals,

    I recently posted this in the Graphic Design forum, but thought I'd post over here too to get your opinions / views.

    I'm in the midst of setting myself up in the graphic design market. I've been in graphic design now for almost 9 years,
    thoroughly enjoy doing it, and yesterday came up with this template for my new domain

    So far, I've just uploaded a test directory at some other hosting account I own,
    just while I test and iron things out. Note that the template is far from finished.

    I also currently have a teaser page uploaded as the index of

    Any comments, needed improvements or strong critique's are very welcome.

  2. dtyson macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2008
    You need to lose those splats.

    They make it nearly impossible to focus on any one element, let alone the fact that they just give the whole thing either

    A) a rather manic vibe, which isn't going to keep people on the site very long or

    B) a "look how artsy I am" sense that also may not translate into income very well. People want to know that their message is going to get through to their target audience - the message, not the mess (not being harsh here).

    If a designer can't get his own message through to potential customers either because it's way too artsy (at the expense of visibility) or because a potential customer clicked away from the site in less than 10 seconds (because he/she had no idea where to look for anything, due to the distractions of the splats), how will he get *MY* message through to potential customers?

    And any designer worth his/her weight in salt knows that *MY* message is the most important. It's about the customer, not our egos.

    Aside from that - clearly you've definitely got a lot of potential, if you just tone yourself down a bit. Keep a hint of yourself in the equation but content is king. If they can't see the content through you, forget it.

    Create a design gallery and go crazy with your splats and whatnot. That seems like an appropriate place for you to truly express yourself without getting in the way of your primary purpose.

    It's way too wide. Most people don't have enormous, wide screens. I initially clicked off of your site for two reasons:

    1) The width. I have a 20" iMac but don't have he browser window stretched across the screen. Your site content was half way out of my browser window.

    2) Three words: Attention.... Deficit.... Disorder. Those splats really threw me for a loop.

    Good luck!
  3. joes522 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2008
    Im certainly no expert, but I agree, definitely lose that paint-y background.

    Also as dtyson mentioned, the layout is wayyy too wide. You should be organizing your layout with divs rather than static jpegs.

    Apply a BG via CSS and style all your divs (you can create that 'Welcome' as a standalone image and position it relative to that div, etc), or align all the divs relative to the left side of the screen, about 900px wide in total at most.

    Remember, some users are still at 1024x768 (or god forbid 800x600). Your images are 1631px across, meaning that even at 1600x1200 resolutions, with the browser window fullscreen, your visitors are still seeing a scrollbar.

    I do like your style a lot though. Maybe for the BG, you could try the diagonal line-type pattern youre using in your title bar, only with the lines a bit narrower and placed closer together? Just an idea.
  4. razorianfly thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom
    Thanks both of you for the constructive criticism.

    As this has been my first real go with dream weaver I hadn't noticed the issue with the width of the images as a whole. I'll be sure to look into how to resolve this shortly.

    I understand the site design is abit 'OMG', but it's the way I intended it.
    Now you've all pointed out this is way OTT, I'll be sure to tone it down a bit.

    I just have wild ideas up there, and Photoshop helps me release them.

    Thanks for the information on the 'divs' joes522.

    Any further information as to how to perform backgrounds via CSS and/or creating/aligning div tags would be greatly appreciated.
    It's fair to say although i'm not new to the 'design' side of things, I'm a little sketchy on using HTML and text editors.

  5. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    The "splat" graphics can be done in Illustrator as separate objects, and even animated and exported as Flash MovieClips.
    For example, each "splat" could begin as a small colored dot, each "splatting" onto the background in a short (1-2 second) sequence.

    I think I would avoid compositing them into a huge static background.
    I really like the splat concept, but this implementation is not terribly impressive in terms of interactivity.
    It looks like there's something fun waiting to happen, but ultimately, the graphics are just increasing the file size and conflicting somewhat with the content layout.

    An interesting option would be to actually use the splats as transitions for site content.
    ie: when a page is requested, The current page scrolls out of view, new splats appear, then the content is loaded. This is relatively simple to code and set up.
    (The DVD menu for "Kill Bill" is an example of this type of effect).


    IMO, there's a bit of disharmony in the overall site scheme.
    • The "masking tape" images are a curious addition; I think I would remove these elements; they serve no purpose whatsoever and do not extend the rest of the graphical styling.
    • The striped header does not match the style of the rest of the site. Simplify.
    • The shiny black sphere RF logo is curiously static; use this as a link for the quotes or contact info.
      Users often expect graphics like this to do something interesting when they mouse over it. Shiny spheres practically scream "click me!".
      Lose the rectangular background object behind the sphere; it serves no purpose visually, and actually detracts from the rather nice sphere graphic.
    • I think you have to decide if this site will be a fun "outside the box" interactive experience in line with the splat graphic concept, or a static experience in line with the conventional layout grid of content boxes.
      I don't think the merged styles work as well as either alone.
  6. jdl8422 macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2006
    I'm assuming the whole point of a graphic design website is to show off your designs, so let the designs be the main focal point, not the splats. You can have an "outside the box" design that is still user friendly and easily accessible. The separated grid design makes its look like a bunch of random pieces of content instead of a complete site. I kinda like the striped background on the header, with the red strip. I think if you use that as the header and just a simple body, your designs will take center stage.

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