Critique my online portfolio

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by troydonaldson, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. troydonaldson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #1
    I want to eliminate the weaker parts of my online portfolio. Which designs do you think are the weakest?

    troydonaldson.com
     
  2. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #2
    I think it looks great - very easy to navigate, and user friendly. What I noticed immediately though, was the use of an image for your name at the top. Perhaps this is from the pedantic mind of a text-purist, but I can see slight jagged edges on the text. It doesn't seem there is any reason to even have your name as an image, so perhaps consider changing to text. :) Another small (pun maybe) issue is the size of the text - it's certainly smaller than 12pt, so maybe increase it slightly to make your site better accessible.
     
  3. troydonaldson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #3
    Cool thanks! I'll definatly take that into consideration. The reason my name is an image is because I'm not a web designer and couldn't figure out how to make it look right with just text. The only web training I have is a basic HTML course where we used notepad to create webpages. :D

    I'll mess around with it and see if I can make it work with text, and make the menu text bigger as well. It will require quite a bit of work for a person with my skill level (or lack thereof), but I've been wanting to make the text bigger anyways to make it easier to use on iOS.

    Any thoughts on the content? I feel I have too many samples of my work and want to eliminate some of the weaker ones. I've read 7-10 pieces is optimal.
     
  4. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #4
    I liked both the site and your work too.

    That said, I do have a few quibbles (groan) ...


    Homepage > "This is my Graphic Design Portfolio." is virtually identical to the line above it, "This is the graphic design portfolio of troy donaldson." You've given yourself 6 lines to capture somebody's attention. Why repeat any?


    Navigation.1 > When you click one of the left-hand links you get a set of sublinks. But I would prefer to be taken to a new page. As it is you're requiring two clicks to get to your work. Either get me something with that first click (besides just sublinks) or just list the sublinks and save me a click.


    Navigation.2 > A number of times while I was viewing your portfolio the sublinks disappeared and I had to re-click the main link to get them back. Also, there were times the navigation seemed to jump. Something's going on there.​



    But they are just quibbles.

    You do nice work.
     
  5. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Hogtown
    #5
    nice work Troy ... not really the style I would pick personally but I am sure others would be interested.

    best of luck
     
  6. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    #6
    I could be totally misreading something, but you might want to change the following:

    Markian Silecky
    Brief:
    Designed an identity for a Real Estate Broker thruogh Imaginahome Inc.

    pH Equals Campaign
    Client:
    pH Prodictions

    If I see anything else, I'll let you know. As far as the work, it all looks great to me. I don't see a problem leaving it as is- I am also no professional.
     
  7. troydonaldson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #7
    Thanks all for the feedback. I'll make the necessary revisions based on your input. :)
     
  8. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    First thing that I note: the last line on the home page is really hard to read. Remember that non-designers usually have uncalibrated monitors so you need to be careful about contrast.

    If you don't mind, I noticed a few problems on the code side...

    I don't know why, but when I'm viewing the Markian Silecky Brand Design page, the menu on the left swaps the order of Markian Silecky and Veraflow.

    When viewing Adamson Shades Campaign, the order of Morphosize and Evolution Sports Training is swapped.

    And when I tried to view the print portfolio the menu kept closing by itself. The javascript is acting too slow/too fast to close the menu when the browser is displaying the page. If you want to display a closed menu, just don't display the items you don't want to show, with something on the server side.

    Then I disabled Javascript and while viewing all the portfolio the menu height (line height?) changed a bit for some items while viewing the following: Imaginahome Brochure Design, Adamson Shades Campaign and all three pages in the Info section.

    Going further, I would suggest to remove the "//" in front of your menu items as this is not friendly to people who use special browsers for different disabilities. Simply style your bullet with a graphic of "//". Another thing is that we lose the title of your page (Troy) when disabling CSS. You should use a H1 replaced with the current graphic, but I would suggest using actual text instead of a graphic. Same thing with the "Donaldson" on the home page.

    What was your question again? :eek:

    Oh yeah, the weakest designs. I would remove Cassl (too simple, gradients are old), Veraflow (neon glow looks dated) and Morphosize (too simple, 3D looks dated too).

    P.S.: I really like the "VIE/Torch" logo!
     
  9. troydonaldson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #9
    Great critique, thanks for that! As I mentioned earlier I'm not a web developer so this stuff is really over my head, I'm thinking about simplifying the menu and making it similar to the one on Apple's online store, but even that wouldn't be easy for me to figure out. It's all trial and error for me.

    Thanks for giving me some of the weaker designs, I was leaning toward removing Morphosize and Cassl as well. I've gotten a couple clients who said they were attracted to me when they saw the Veraflow logo so I'm more hesitant to remove it, but i'll consider it as well.
     
  10. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    Do you have access to any server-side scripting technology on your server? Even something as simple as SSI/XSSI (Server-Side Includes, which I think is part of all Apache installations) would help a lot. You code your menu once, set a few variables, then simply include the HTML file which has your menu code.

    PHP can also be used, but for a beginner I would suggest to go with SSI/XSSI first since it's very limited and lets you play around with the includes concepts without overwhelming you with thousands of functions which you may never use, or at least not at first. Finding help and relevant examples for SSI/XSSI will be easier too, since its limited in what it can do.

    Keep in mind that the Veraflow logo doesn't look bad, but it's the kind of look that's been over-used by demogroups in the late 1990's.

    If you want I can help you by setting up some basic XSSI or PHP documents for use with Apache. Just get back to me on which technologies are available where your website is hosted.
     
  11. troydonaldson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #11
    I'll look into what technologies are available through my host, but its a reputable and widely used company, so I'm sure any major standards won't be an issue.

    I see your point regarding the Veraflow logo. The 3 logo's you named happen to be the oldest designs on my portfolio, so at least I know I'm heading in the right direction! :)

    I'll get back to you on the technologies offered. Thanks again.
     
  12. Yvan256, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011

    Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    A quick "whois" tells me it's bluehost.com

    And here's something to help you get started.

    As a tip, keep the SSI parsing only inside .shtml files, do not enable SSI parsing inside .html files.

    You're already on the right path with the way your URLs are set up (such as http://troydonaldson.com/print-design/christopher-mckie-photography-invite/), it doesn't use the technology in your URLs which is a good thing (meaning you can switch to any technology, any time, and your URLs will still be valid on your website, on other websites who link back to you, and in already indexed search results).

    Small hint to help you get started on your dynamic menu: simply make a "menu" variable in each page before including the "menu.shtml" file, which will tell the menu to display an opened section or not. I would make the values of "menu" as follow: "none" (used by the home page), "logo", "print" and "info". Simply display the sub-items of a menu (or not) depending on that value.
     
  13. dccorona macrumors 68020

    dccorona

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #14
    It was very hard for me to find anything...all your designs are very good! Crisp, modern, minimalist...thats definitley how things are going these days

    I guess if I were to pick one to weed out, it'd be the evolution sports one (the last print design one). That seems the least unique of all your designs. Its not bad, per se, but it doesn't really show what you are capable of like the others do
     
  14. troydonaldson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #15
    Oh sorry Yvan, didn't see your post when I posted the host company. Thanks for all the help! I'll look into it further when I get home tonight.

    Thanks for the input dccorona. I never really liked the Evolution Sports Training logo as the client had a bit too much input on it for my taste and changed it quite a bit from my initial design. I actually like the postcard more than the logo, but thanks for letting me know you think its one of the weaker of my print pieces as I should probably thin them out as well.
     
  15. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    No problem, just send me a private message if you need any help.

    This cartoon is about websites, but it's the same problem anyway.
     
  16. NXTMIKE macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    With the screen calibration I use most (on my 27"), the bottom line of text is 0% visible. I only found out of it when my mouse accidentally highlighted your entire webpage.

    Otherwise it looks amazing! Maybe a Next/Previous button on the portfolio's independent project pages would help usability.
     
  17. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #18
    That is a really nice clean easy to read portfolio, there's really not much I can really comment on because it does look good works well on my iPad so all I can really say is well done :cool:
     

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