Thoughts about my new art website?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by MacBook-Gal, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. MacBook-Gal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    LOA&C (The land of art and computers)
    #1
    I have been working on building a new art website, and finally got around to uploading it this week. :D There are a few things that are still "under construction"...like tables that I plan on replacing with divs as soon as I get the chance. I'm also going to try figuring out how to change up the guest book a little, and possibly do something else with the front page.

    The url is www.amberartist.com. I would love to know if anyone has any comments or suggestions!
     
  2. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    I like it except the inconsistency in size when going from one page to another. I suggest picking a uniform page width for your site.
     
  3. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #3
    I think it would be improved with a unified look throughout the site. For example, at the moment the contact and guest book pages are a different design than the rest of the site.

    Also, the counter at the foot of the homepage looks garish. Try and use a style that is more in keeping with the look of your site if you feel you need one. Counters aren't generally seen as a professional addition though - only serving to try and show off to visitors how many people have visited your site. For your own tracking of visitors, try looking at http://www.google.com/analytics/
     
  4. MacBook-Gal thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    LOA&C (The land of art and computers)
    #4
    Thanks so much for the suggestions! I worked on it a little more today. I tried to unify the widths and design, and took off the hit counter as you guys suggested. I am still considering working on the contact page and the guestbook page a little more...mainly the contact page. I am also trying to decide whether it would be better to use a script or something to enlarge the paintings without opening a totally new page when they are clicked on.

    Thanks for the link to google analytics! I will definitely check that out.
     
  5. Wee Beastie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    In the snow with Rosebud
    #5
    Hi there,

    I had a chance to peruse your site. Before I jump into criticism, I'd like to say that you are obviously a very skilled painter. Keep up the good work!

    Now down to business.

    I suggest using a solid color for the background. I like the muted green, but I think the pattern is detracting from the overall design. If you would really like to use a pattern, try seeking out one that is truly seamless. Something low impact. Remember, your paintings are the star of this show.

    Just google "seamless patterns." If you want a place to get started, check this guy out (plus I love the way his site functions): DinPattern

    I'd like to see the main navigation in the sidebar centered within the column it occupies (in my browser it is shifted to the right). You might also try right or left alignment, as opposed to centered.

    I'd also left justify all text that is in paragraph form, such as your bio and statements. Nothing really gained by centering all that text.

    Also be sure to title all of your pages. A number of them show up as "Untitled Document."

    Okay that's all I got for now. I hope this helps. Just my opinion, by the way. Overall I think things are looking pretty good.
     
  6. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #6
    For this, you can look at Lightbox or one of it's many clones. They are used widely throughout the web and create good effects.
     
  7. MacBook-Gal thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    LOA&C (The land of art and computers)
    #7
    I worked on it a some more this morning....changed the background and titled the pages as Wee Beastie suggested. I think that made a huge difference. I will be sure to check out Lightbox. Thanks so much for the info and suggestions!
     
  8. Wee Beastie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    In the snow with Rosebud
    #8
    Hey,

    I have been thinking a lot about Lightbox. I am a painter as well and I am maintaining my own portfolio site. I also like to look at art on the net. I just wish there was more. I think the previous generation of fine artists are slow to get on board. But I digress...

    IMO Lightbox really disrupts the flow of certain websites. This may be a symptom of my browsing habits. When I am presented with a grid of clickable thumbnails, I tend to skip around, without regard to the order in which they are presented. Whenever I am on a site and the screen darkens and that familiar loading animation starts, I groan. It just isn't conducive to that kind of browsing. I am not sure how many others out there share my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

    One javascript solution called FancyZoom (there are other implementations of the same effect around if you search) is nice and doesn't feel as disruptive.

    That said, I don't see anything wrong with the way you have it set up currently (separate page for each image) as it is loading quickly. A CSS solution is another possibility and may be better suited to the look and feel of your page. Check out this guy's CSS image galleries to see what I mean. Simple and no loading animations...
    Don't look at them for design tips though—they aren't very pretty. Just check out his source code. He also goes way overboard with all of the rollovers and popup menus. Those can be a major pain, so use sparingly. That said, he is doing some pretty slick stuff with CSS that I wouldn't have thought of.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Regarding your site: I think it is coming along quite nicely. The navigation links are still bouncing around a bit in sidebar as you move from page to page. I think you should try to get those guys in line. I would also add 10-20 px of padding on either side of your bio text. Okay sorry for the long post. Good luck!
     
  9. MacBook-Gal thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    LOA&C (The land of art and computers)
    #9
    Thanks again for the suggestions guys. I have been out of town for Thanksgiving, so I haven't had the chance to work on it anymore. I hope to add some more artsy content as I get the time, and maybe give the menu bar a different look.

    I agree that some javascript galleries can be maddening, esp when you have slow internet like mine usually is. Thanks for the links! I really like the effect of FancyZoom.

    I also like the look of some of the slideshows I have seen on some art gallery sites. Is it better to use flash or javascript to create a slideshow that would automatically start when someone visits a page?
     

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