Site critique, new layout design for an evaluation company

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by ezekielrage_99, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #1
    I'm helping out a friend rebrand their company (well so far I've done everything...) as a part of the entire branding overhaul I've created a very quick web layout of how the new web site might look.

    Some honest (not soul destroying) feedback or idea would be appreciated.

    Thanks :apple:
     

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  2. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

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    Southern California
    #2
    So far I think it looks real nice. I'd be curious to see how you carry over the design across multiple pages. Nice job though.
     
  3. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

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    #3
    So far I think it looks real nice. I'd be curious to see how you carry over the design across multiple pages. Nice job though.
     
  4. ezekielrage_99 thread starter macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #4
    Thanks for the great response. Just to give you an idea of the layout design the main image will be an animated flash file which will cycle through case studies and services. While the main information area (the big white box) wont have a set height but will extent for more info, hopefully no more than a page or two per web page.
     
  5. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

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    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    Too big a shadow on the page to background. It makes it look less professional.

    Its also not the best idea to use flash at all here you could pull the effect you want with simple javascript.

    More contrast with the body text and background and a little extra line spacing would make it much more readable and try to avoid serif fonts there really hard to dyslexic people to read at all and for most people to read on screen.

    Finally what is the use of the tab on the top left hand side?
     
  6. ezekielrage_99 thread starter macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #6
    This is more reflective of the build, currently it is still very much in it's infancy the thought was very much for Flash only because the copyright for images is a little better on Flash than java. I do understand there is a stock image there but this for the moment is just a design thing, real evaluations images will be here to resonate more for what the organisation stands for and does.

    Also Flash is being used for some other things I have in mind for the moment is it still secret squirrel for the initial stage of the project ;)

    I would have liked a little more space to work with however this design needs to be printed in a formal proposal, so I've had to sacrifice some padding so it will print neatly. I'm thinking 15px to 35px should be enough space when (or if) the site gets the green light.

    The serif font is Palatino, and for the overall branding of the site needs a serif font. This font was chosen because it best suits the style and images the organisations needs to portray.

    For the moment usability has been given much consideration.

    That's one of the logos considered to be used, there will be a vertical drop down that will have some icons of the most popular services etc...
     
  7. Me1000 macrumors 68000

    Me1000

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #7
    I agree, use Javascript instead of flash for that...
    If people wanted to use your images (most likely because they are a web designer) it would be trivial for them to get the images either way. Also one of the things you must accept when you make a site is that people might try to steal what you have done. You are just going to have to live with it...

    You are gaining absolutely nothing with flash, javascript on the other hand is a standard that will display in any out of the box browser, if it is written well then it will display even when javascript is turned off. And you gain the accessibility back!
     
  8. one3 macrumors regular

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    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver-ish
    #8
    Overall I like it. It's clean and has a nice layout.
    A few small things:
    • the shadow does seem a little strong. I would either lessen it by quite a bit or get rid of it all together
    • The copyright on the bottom is darker than the copy text above so it stand out way too much
    • To keep the Serif font for the titles 'nice' looking and yet still search engine friendly you may want to try something like: P+C DTR - it's easy to implement and works quite well.
    • I'm not sure if center alignment of the "Hotel Evaluations" works .. I would rather have it left aligned .. maybe with "New Reviews" below

    Good work though!!
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Look to the main message -- I think "Hotel Evaluations" needs some reinforcement. If I was coming to the page blind, would I instantly understand what it was for, and whether it was the thing I wanted to read? How long do I have to read the page before I 'get' what it's about? Is there enough incentive for me to continue reading?

    Consider adding something that relates the Function to the Reader's Benefit = why am I interested in reading Hotel Evaluations? What's in it for me?

    Why Evaluations not Ratings or Reviews?
     
  10. Col127 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    #10
    nice clean layout. :) i think with a few minor tweaks it'll look great. i agree that the hotel evaluations should be left aligned (perhaps with the photo). also, consider lessening the thickness of the bar for the navigation (the purple one). i find it a bit too strong & dominant.

    i'd also align your main body copy/header, etc. to the left of the about us word. since it's pretty close to it, it looks awkward and like a mistake.

    your headers look a little large too. maybe bring it a down a bit in point size.

    hope that helps!
     
  11. &Ingonyama macrumors member

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  12. ezekielrage_99 thread starter macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #12
    Hi people, thank you for the great feedback.

    When I get the time I'm going to do a few tweaks to the design, which will mainly be:
    - Lesser the drop shadow
    - Play around with the alignment of the top header
    - Lesser the purple navigation button and copyright thing
    - I would like to add more real content but for the moment the project is in the overhaul stage and old stuff wont cut it...

    This has been part of the BIG branding report that I've completed for them. They have always been know by this and th reasoning for Evaluations is that the quantitative testing suggests that evaluation refers to a more in depth way of critiquing a service and facilities. They also have a ratings system and reviews product so in theory evaluation makes it "middle ground" and doesn't compete with their product range.

    To give you an idea what the company does it evaluates in very precise detail top hotels and gives them very in depth report about what they do well and what isn't so good. The online service is more the general public this gives hotel deals, in depth reports and ratings for the hotels they have evaluated. Unlike wot if, hotels . com this is a premium service and wont list any hotel not reviewed.

    It's aimed to make sure you get the very best out of a hotel stay.
     
  13. notnek macrumors 6502

    notnek

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  14. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    Tucson AZ
  15. ezekielrage_99 thread starter macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #15
    Well, for me it's back to the drawing board. I did submit the design which they didn't like.

    Improvements are:
    - A logo that looks like a hotel
    - The use of papyrus (yucky) font in the logo
    - Red to Blue gradients
    - Bigger logos
    - Replacement of the main image with a heap of banner ads (they really missed the point here...)

    When done I'll post this abortion to design
     
  16. Me1000 macrumors 68000

    Me1000

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    Jul 15, 2006
    #16
    Though they are the client, I would create what they want. But then show them the many advantages of your first design. After all you are the designer and your first design was/is great...
     
  17. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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  18. ezekielrage_99 thread starter macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #18
    I totally agree but like with any profession if you employ someone for their expertise you should be listening to their advise.

    If I go to a doctor I don't tell him what I have then tell him what medication to prescribe, with graphics in general it seems as though it's ok to get the designer's input but completely change everything (make it look crap).
     
  19. Me1000 macrumors 68000

    Me1000

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #19
    You are right, and I agree! Though you do tell the doctor if you want to feel better, you might say treat the problem not the symptom, or treat the symptom not the problem etc... (this is a horrid example, but nayway... hahaha)...

    The doctor can comply, but then at the same time tell you what he thinks is best, but ultimately the choice is up to the end user.

    Like I said, just sit down with them and show them why your design is better than what they want, point out that you are the designer and the professional, and be friendly. Just let them know that you will do whatever they want you to do, but tell them that your first design was/is the best one.


    Of course if they are not happy with it, then they will probably not ever come back to give you more business (in which case you can give them my name and ill be happy to take them! haha :p )
     
  20. Col127 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 13, 2003
    #20
    definitely agree on this. whenever our clients ask us to do something that is not a good move design-wise, we always show them what they ask for and then what we propose instead. if you articulate why you feel your option is the better one, they will listen! give the client what they want and then give them one up!
     
  21. bjett92 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Indy, IN
    #21
    That's horrid. Papyrus? Red to blue gradients? Heat of banner ads?
    They should stay away from web design and listen to one who made a good design.
     
  22. ezekielrage_99 thread starter macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #22
    I know, bad example.... But with designers part of the job is educating your employer and sometimes producing a nice design and have it "clientfied" feels like trying to nail jelly to a tree.


    And why am I reminded by this....
     
  23. mac 2005 macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #23
    Agreed. Classic look. Clean lines. Good structure. Show us more, please.

    Remember, you can walk away at any time. You don't have to accept the work that client wants done -- especially when they're wrong.

    Just ask "Howard Rourke" from Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead."
     

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