First website - please review

  Nyck 11:50 21 May 05
Locked

click here

After many revisions this, I hope, is pretty much complete.

I've tried to build it using web standards and with accessibility in mind.

What do you think?

Nick

  AndySD 15:45 21 May 05

Yep nice clean and quick...just how I like websites.

  LeadingMNMs 15:49 21 May 05

The site does have a proffesional look, however I find the text hard to read. I couldn't work out why, but then I realised that you've used justified text. I know that justified text is supposed to look more formal, but most of the time it doesn't work on a website, and certainly doesn't work for me.

I also feel that the page looks very narrow. You've obviously designed it to fit to 800 x 600, but when I view it at 1280 x 1024, it just looks like such a waste of my screen, and especially when the main text takes up even less.

Also try and sort out the external link images. Presumably you've reduced there size to fit in your navigation bar, but there not very readable, and in there present format, don't need to be there.

Otherwise a proffessional looking site. I would say the obvious things like, check your spelling, but you shouldn't really have got that wrong - otherwise its £15 an hour for you to proof read it.

  Nyck 16:29 21 May 05

Thanks for the replys.

LeadingMNMs - the spelling mistakes are my fault. My wife had pointed them out but i'd forgot to change them.

On the screen width I agree there is a lot unused space with larger monitors but at the moment I feel there are more people still using a smaller monitor.

On the justified text I like it but if others comment that it affects readability I'll maybe change it.

Finally for the external links I have made them fit the nav bar. Unfortunately they insist on members using the logo rather than a text link. I think they look ugly which is why I have hidden them. I have inserted a title attribute to give a little more info because they are not that clear.

Nick

  Forum Editor 19:53 21 May 05

it has a calm, professional look, but I have a couple of comments:-

1. In common with LeadingMNMs I have an issue with justified text - it's difficult to read, and just doesn't work. Ditch it as soon as possible, and format it left-aligned.

2. I found my attention wandering when I realised that your services pages are much the same, with the exception of your charges, and a few words of introduction - why don't you collect all this information into one page? Potential customers could then see everything at a glance.

3. "As your Virtual Assistant you do not have costly overheads...." is grammatically incorrect. It's a nitpick, but you're presenting yourself as someone who knows about such things, so it's best to get it right. I suggest that you substitute "With me as your Virtual Assistant you will not have costly overheads ..."

4. I recommend that you lose the email hyperlink on your 'contact me' page - it will lead to a flood of spam. A good way to deal with this is to create the address as a graphic, and let your visitors type it into their email client themselves.

I hope the site generates work for your wife - Virtual assistants are the ideal solution for small businesses.

  spuds 22:16 21 May 05

Nice clean site, but have you tried different colour comparisons to see if the effect is more eye striking, perhaps a suble blue.

I would seriously consider giving less information in respect of age,sex and address. This could lead to unwanted contacts. Best to have initial contact by phone or email. People who use the service will get to know the personal details in time, via the work that is completed.

With regards to payment arrangements, I would not allow credit until you have established you contact with the client. Cash on delivery with part payment on long hour work. Nothing like doing a specialised job, only to have a client proving difficult with payment arrangement.

Hope my tuppenceworth helps.

  Nyck 22:41 21 May 05

Leading MNMs & FE I've took your advice re the text alignment.

I've also changed the email link to an image.

spuds, we put my wife's details as we want it to be a 'personnal' service. Maybe it's something we'll reconsider.

You make a good point re payment. My wife is currently seeking business advice and will be sure to bring it up.

Thanks for all the positive comments.

Nick

  Nyck 23:15 21 May 05

forum member, as usual you make some excellent points and I've noted the errors you point out.

However I have to disagree slightly with your comment regarding the layout. I think the layout looks fine. There are many fine sites out there with a fixed layout. I don't agree that all web sites require relative sizing to look their best. To quote from 'the Zen of CSS design' book "In the past two years, the popularity of fixed designs has increased again- particularly among standards-based designers."

Both fixed and liquid layouts have their strengths and weaknesses.

Nick

  PurplePenny 23:44 21 May 05

Lovely. You've got alts and noscripts and all sorts of other accessibility requirements and it validates as *strict* XHTML. Nice one :-)

Since other people have mentioned spelling mistakes I'll just mention that for accessibility a flexible, rather than fixed, layout is prefered. You might need to increase the contrast too. If you haven't already done so run it through the colour blindness filter here:

click here

  fly2hi 00:36 22 May 05

I have to agree with the others re the spelling and grammar as I pick holes in my children's homework for the same reason. If you were in any other trade you would be excused a few misdemeanours. If it was a job you had just completed in a hurry, you may be forgiven. As it is your web site giving us the only means of assessing your capabilities in your chosen field, which includes proof reading, then I feel you must be 101% accurate. Anything that casts the slightest shadow on your ability will blow a great big hole in your credibility. If I was in the market for your services, I probably wouldn't be unduly concerned about some aspects of web design. Most likely think 'good on you for having a go'. However, I would pay attention to the spelling, grammar and layout.

Your 'about us' page, second paragraph..I like to think that you should be able to read a single sentence out loud in one breath, pausing at the commas. Also agree with FE in that the duplication of text on each page makes it appear that there's not much more you can say about what you do. Just my opinion, looking at it from a potential customer's point of view rather than a web designer. Otherwise, it's quite tidy and gets the message across.
p.s. please don't go and look at my site or you'll give me a mouthfull! Good luck Nyck.

  Forum Editor 00:51 22 May 05

with left-aligned text, and the revised homepage paragraph. Those bullet points are a tad ugly though.

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