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Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by timmillwood, Mar 25, 2007.
The photo is fine but here it is (not to be mean). You're a design company (assumed) and you're using what appears to be either a real basic layout or something like Rapidweaver or iWeb for your web design. That is like a person calling themselves a painter and using paint by numbers. It's important as a designer to make it your own. If you use a template, make it your own. Originality and web design hardly mix, but at least make it look flashy without trying to be flashy. If that makes sense. The text is ok, I mean, bold then not...not very original but hey, I am fond of that myself. The SpunDesigns text though is a bit large though.
Personally it works for a real basic website, but if you're a designer and you use that site you better hope your portfolio kicks major ass to make up for it.
Second! Also that is A LOT of room for copy, are you designing websites, or writing a newspaper?
However with some tweaking I think this could be quit nice, it's simple yes but it's also fairly clean. I'd make the nav smaller (both the text and the size of the bar) And I'd divide up the big block of text somewhat, take a look at the front page of MR for example, it's got A LOT of text on it as well, but it's broken up into separate boxes & sections.
Consider the use of some buckets for your content.
I'm really sorry but I hate it. I know how hard it is to come up with something original, but everything about it is just wrong-its not as if there's anything technically wrong with it but its just the way it fits together. Don't get me wrong-it could be really good but it needs some tweaking how it is.
Firstly, please dont use Times New Roman-it is a utterly horrible font unless it is used correctly-and now is not correctly. I'd try Verdana size 10.
The navigation font is too big-and capitalized; its like the navbar is shouting at me.
The SPUNDESIGNS logo at the top is not right-it vertical space and the horizontal space from the top and left boarder is not equal. And it's too big. I'd also try varying the colors too-not just white would look cool, and try messing with the capitalization (ie, SPUNdesigns).
The drop shadow from the navbar is too heavy, as is the one from the copyright footer.
I'd also recommend rounding the corners and maybe having a drop shadow on the whole thing-it would look loads better.
Remember, it doesnt need much work for it to be great; its just a load of small things which are stopping it from achieving its full potential!
Nice and simple. Since you have a 3D-esque effect on your menu, perhaps give the background a bit of jazz or surround the main bulk of the site with something?
Have you taken a peek here?
Lots and lots of examples.
Its getting there.
I still dont like the navbar though, it seems a bit cheesy and a blatent rip of Aqua's Brushed Metal.
I think you should know that my friends tease me for finding "everything cheap and tacky".
Menu is a lot better. Maybe some black header lines on the content boxes? It's got a lot more structure to it than v1.
The third one is definitely the strongest out of all of them.
Agreed, this is _much_ better than v1 but I notice that you're using tables for layout - if your main trade is going to be web-based then I would suggest that you adopt some more 'modern' techniques, i.e. CSS. There is no reason whatsoever why that menu of yours could not have been made using CSS instead of rollover gif images.
Also, not wanting to be a web nazi and start an argument about hand-coding vs. WYSIWYG, but really, imageready?
I have to agree. Imageready is a great way to see how layouts work, but if you're going to start a web company learn some standards. The HTMLdog website I linked too is a great starter/refresher for this kind of thing. And it's true what they say, coding by hand is much better and lets you learn faster. Standards equals lightweight pages, accessibility and general cross browser goodness.
I have used tables all my life and find them a lot easier to get the basic design worked out, easier then pen and paper. but yeh i will be doing the finial thing in CSS, that will then give me the option to do high contrast and mobile versions.
and again imageready is so quick and easy to mock-up designs. but adding a:hover it will make it work a lot better. quicker load times etc.
Just gotta sort the business side now!
Just a note, i have a degree and computing so the code side is not a problem
Now do it in XHTML Strict 1.0! Or HTML5!
Web Standards is more than just replacing tables with div tags. It's about writing semantic html (h1 instead of span.title is one example) and bulletproof designs (you site breaks when you increase the text size). Your navigation would make more sense using an unordered list and the b tag is deprecated. Also, CSS has plenty of rules to replace the non-breaking space mess you created.
Instead of trying to rush start your business and prove yourself, sit down and read a book called "Designing with Web Standards" by Jeffrey Zeldman. You will be glad you did in the end. And you'll also learn a lot on what web design really is about. I hope this is taken as constructive. I've read it 3 times and I still browse through it when I'm bored. Great book.
I'll add my 0.02 here.
-Your design is evolving but the css nav looks a long way from your mockup.
-The size of your header image really bothers me. It's a nice pic but I really don't think you should give it that much headspace. Surely you are going to have more interesting things on your site than that pic???
- I'm not a big fan of your body layout. Maybe playing with the typography more would draw me into the site to read your content. This sort of thing usually takes me longer in css to get right than it does the header image or the nav.
- But most importantly I feel you really need to adjust the relationship (size-wise) between body & header.
Good luck with it.
I was joking about the XHTML strict and HTML 5, but hey, good for doing it!
I don't buy the "client is happy that's all that matters". Standards are there to allow pages to function in every browser, the more you support them, the more weight they get behind and (theoretically) the more browsers will become standards based.
Good code works in the majority of browsers and marking it up well and then applying your style via CSS allows you to totally change the look and feel of your site.
I'm really just repeating what I've read, but it really does make sense. Your HTML will look like the most boring thing ever - just text. Your separate CSS file (or multiple CSS files) will then apply your layout, design, colour scheme, with far more control than tables. Have a peek at http://www.csszengarden.com/ to see what separating everything out can do. Tables should be just used for tabular data. However if you feel they're the best option for you, well, go for it, but really you can take a lot more by separating everything out into <div>'s. Then you can really show off some fancy design to your clients.
And remember, web standards usually change for a reason and if you maintain standards based code, I'd reckon you'll find it easier to update your site when a new version of XHTML comes out.