Feedback on my portfolio website

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by RonCarr, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. RonCarr macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #1
    I am creating a website for school that is sort of a portfolio for my work. The site is still young, however, I would like to hear what you guys think about it thus far. The contact form does not work because the site is hosted via MobileMe. Let me know what you think... http://www.ronnycarr.com

    Thanks!
     
  2. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #2
    I'm picky on paragraphs and how they flow. Typing incorrectly is a pet peeve of mine especially if it's suppose to reflect anything professional. When I attended college, that was one thing we learned. Documents, letters, etc. should look professional. Every sentence should not start with "I". Notice how I've only started one sentence so far with "I".


    no

    yes Ron Carr is web design student enrolled at Tennessee Technological University. Here you will find completed projects and upcoming designs created by him. blah blah blah
     
  3. RonCarr thread starter macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #3
    ah, thank you very much. I will look over my text and make corrections. What do you think about the design aspect of the site?
     
  4. Cerebrus' Maw macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #4
    I enjoy the bare minimalist approach to the website. However, just something that bothered me slightly?

    I feel that you are giving too much screen space to your "RC" banner. I understand the idea you are trying to do, but I feel that there is not enough info above the fold of the screen before the user has to scroll down (see portfolio page) Maybe you could incorporate the "RC into the description that you have at the top? Put it right at the beginning, and then let the description flow on from it.

    And maybe for your links on top, chose a different hover on color? Maybe a lighter shade of black, so it doesnt break the head banner too much.
     
  5. RonCarr thread starter macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #5
    I really do agree about the banner. I will see about cutting the margin down around it to see if that helps out. The reason I went white was to create the tab effect so that it seems the nav link was part of the page. This is why there is a small amount of black above the active tab. Maybe if I had more black above it would make it look better. Thank you for your honest opinions! I really do enjoy the very simple look of sites like this.
     
  6. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #6
    I for one love simple, also. It's a great throwback to times when content mattered over theme and style. With the many open source CMS's and multitude of themes available these days creating a "snazy" web site is far too easy.

    However, simple is one thing -- starkness is another.

    I like the layout but not the design in this case. By that I don't mean colors, I have no problem with black and white and gray, that's classic. The issue I have is the lack of *any* detail in design, i.e.just make the square tabs with slightly rounded corners. Or add an almost invisible gradient on the tabs, or an almost invisible subtle inset single pixel border in the tabs (black or gray) at 50% transparency, or a very thin single pixel gray line at the top and bottom of the white content area where it makes contact with the black. Subtle. These are just suggestions to explain my meaning, I'll leave it up to you to the design.

    The site doesn't need much more, but a tiny little more wouldn't hurt to personalize the site just a bit. A little personality is still doable even in a classic retro theme.

    -jim
     
  7. RonCarr thread starter macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #7
    Made several changes to the site. I have not tested it in IE but I know the layout is correct in Safari 4 and Firefox 3.5. I added CSS3 elements for Safari and Firefox to make the layout look a bit better. With the -webkit and -moz the CSS does not validate, does anyone know a way around this?
     
  8. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #8
    yes, stark is a good word for it

    I would suggest you look for a more elegant font. It all looks a bit chunky at the moment.
     
  9. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #9
    The W3C validator does include CSS3 but not quirks like those, to the best of my knowledge. To confirm this, visit the validator and choose "CSS3" under "More Options..." If you used a different validator, please use this one as it has the the most up to date specifications.

    IMPORTANT: The W3C has not standardized CSS3 yet, it's still in revision mode ("Working Draft" status), and that means limited support and no validation for many of the elements and properties. Now, with that said, there is nothing *wrong* with using quirk mode/CSS3 styles -- so long as you know the implications.

    The kind of minor design suggestions I was making in my previous reply might involve images or adding a horizontal rule set 1px wide set to a given color, or maybe a simple as border effects using CSS1|2. I won't get specific, it's your site, just just throwing more "browser compatible food" for though at ya to bypass quirks (if you care). ;)

    -jim
     
  10. RonCarr thread starter macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #10
    I knew that it was still in working draft status but I have never used images to change the layout (such as using them to create rounded corners) This is something I really need to work on because as of right now I really only know how to use CSS to create these effects. I wish they would hurry up and standardize it so that it would be more widely implemented into browsers (though IE would probably take a few more years before having the support).

    As for validating I always use the W3C validators. For one they work extremely well and are easy to use. On top of what you said about them staying up to date.
     
  11. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #11
    I could not agree more as to CSS vs. graphics (when possible). Until the cool stuff such as rounded corners and filter effects are standardized and truly cross-platform compatible, if you want to work on doing some of this stuff in graphics to expand your skillset, might I suggest:

    1) If you have access to Adobe PhotoShop, get it (I use it, #1 in my book)
    2) Otherwise, plenty of Mac products i.e. this page lists a ton of 'em

    If you wish to implement one of my suggestions for rounded corner menu tabs, for example, I might suggest reading:

    Adobe Fireworks CS3 rounded corners tutorial (basic, very easy)
    Stretchable Table Curved Edges (good for content areas, blocks/buckets)
    How to smooth corners of a square, make rounded (gaussian blurred approach)

    Feel free to come back to the forum and post questions beyond the simple help and examples I listed here, as to rounded corners, graphics tricks, etc. as it's all part of design and development.

    Since we're kinda on that topic, I'd just like to add this last thought:

    When graphics are used other best practices come into play such as don't over burden the site with too many graphics, optimize the final images to save transfer time, be careful about PNG and alpha transparency and MSIE still, and so on. For your site, any images will be minor in size, nature and also they could be cached with the option to pre-load via JS, etc. So it works in your situation if you opt to do so, I think.

    But that's just my .02 - I'm offerig a slew of ideas and don't want to bury you in them! Thanks for responding! Cheers. :)

    -jim
     
  12. jaikob macrumors 6502

    jaikob

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Freeland, MI
    #12
    I think you have captured a pretty good minimalistic type layout, but...

    (Don't take any of this criticism personal, it is here to help you.)

    Lets face it, in today's "Internets" we see more and more graphics, more and more graphic design/flash incorporated into a website. This is done to capture the end users attention, your application doesn't incorporate this. I am an avid web browser, and looking at your website just makes it look terrible based on my everyday viewing spectrum. If we all viewed minimal websites all day, then yes it would be nice :).

    I'm not digging the black and white. It strains the eyes if you look at it too long.

    Your font choice is perfect, I like it.

    Sometimes, going with 100% width is not always the right decision, give the end user a little bit of a soft background so they can have just one area to focus on instead of the whole window.

    Just take these into consideration, you don't have to apply all of them, and like stated above it is only constructive criticism. :)

    Good luck!
     
  13. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #13
    One could argue with all the "graphic/flash" maybe its refreshing to run across the rare retro-minimalist site. Maybe it depends on the mood we're in, or the genre of the site (i.e. personal pages vs. corporate themes). I think the concensus of this topic so far is the site certainly needs a little more umph than the original version, but it sure grabbed our attention here by being different.

    Hey, this isn't to say you're right, I'm wrong, or the other way around. Opinions are like herding cats -- they're all over the place. :)

    You did make excellent points about the fluid nature of the content area, and how users focus on things. Great observations. I really enjoy reading feedback for sites, it always edumacates me. ;)

    -jim
     
  14. RonCarr thread starter macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #14
    Thanks everybody for the feedback. It really helps out a lot to hear some ideas and suggestions from other people especial a great community like MacRumors. The site still has work to be done but just the small changes I have made already make a difference. I am working on a logo to put in the navigation area, probably in the left margin of the black at the top.
     
  15. eleven2brett macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Location:
    H-Town
    #15
    It's a really good start! I would agree though that you defiantly need more homepage umph! Maybe have your most recent portfolio project on there or something. Also, your "follow me" is linkless.
    I think your on really good track. Keep it up.
     
  16. RonCarr thread starter macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #16
    the follow me is not supposed to be a link, it's more of a header. facebook is the link. I suppose I could type it this way "follow me:" instead. The addition of the colon would help distinguish this fact.
     
  17. jaikob macrumors 6502

    jaikob

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Freeland, MI
    #17
    Not to be nitpicky but I noticed another "flaw" if you will. Your form on your contact page is using validation via javascript. If/when you start learning a dynamic language, or if you already know one, add server side validation instead :) It can be easily disabled. But thats security and if your designing something simple you should worry about it "too" much.
     
  18. RonCarr thread starter macrumors regular

    RonCarr

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #18
    The WEBD class I just started covers PHP and MySQL so in a few months I will be able to do that. At the time of creating this site I knew JavaScript so I went ahead and used it.

    On a side note, I love reading the feedback for this stuff. It's really nice to see what other people have to say about their likes and dislikes. One really learns a lot from these threads.
     
  19. jaikob macrumors 6502

    jaikob

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Freeland, MI
    #19
    I'm pretty sure any web designer out there can say that designing the website is a lot harder than coding/programming it. You can learn to code in a few weeks, but it takes experience to create something the end-user will enjoy. Criticism is just one step to becoming a better designer. :) I'm glad you enjoy the suggestions.
     

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