O.K. I think i`ve finished my site. Go easy on me!

  andyhuz 20:58 03 May 04
Locked

I wonder if you learned experts would give me an appraisal of my website. I think it`s finished but no doubt there`s something i`ve forgotton to check out.All constructive criticism is most welcome.

T.I.A. Andy

click here

personally I think you should reconsider your graphics, your layout and your choice of font.

there is no balance to the look of the site, the width is all over the place.

the way you have used drop shadows on your lettering has rendered much of it illegible, try moving the show closer in and increasing their transparency.

i would suggest trying to use the space more efficiently and get most of the information onto the page without scrolling, a simple change of font size would help with that.

still your spelling looks OK.

  woodbexhill 21:38 03 May 04

The content of the site seems good, and suitable. Also it seems well formatted and there is good use of things such as spacer bars. There are a few things that I feel do need improvements.

They are:

-At the bottom of the page the cyan-like blue colour for the text links does not suit the page and on its own is quite bright and in my opinion ugly. It would perhaps be more suited if there was this same colour featured in some of the site graphics.

-The image on the index page is in terrible quality, I'm personally not sure why but someone with expertise in Graphics will explain why I'm sure. I'd take a guess at the fact it's the colour depth.

-Also, the green ball-like things on the flash buttons don't really, in my opinion, suit with the rest of the colours in the site. I do however like the way they rotate around the button text, and perhaps they could be improved by changing the colour to something which fits in better.

  Patr100 21:40 03 May 04

Sorry but the picture(s) are not loading on my PC to complete the homepage. It may be just me but something is holding things up.It just hangs and won't load.Refreshing the page doesn't work.
The logo on the top right of the page is too small. Also. I have nver seen the point of saying "This site is best viewed at XX res using XX browser" I think it's unlikely that any one will change their settings for one site.

  Lionheart ? 21:57 03 May 04

You should look at this click here.

  IClaudio 22:03 03 May 04

that no-one is going to change their browser settings for your site, or disble their pop-up stoppers. They'll just move on.

And speaking of pop-ups, the fonts in Photo/slide Order Form are all over the place - serif, non-serif as well as differing sizes. And in Mozilla at least, some of the 'check' boxes sit a little below the text line... FOnts are more uniform in the other pop-ups, but there are still layout issues with them.

  spuds 23:17 03 May 04

A couple of suggestions:The homepage seem very bunched up in the services block, with video tape and arrows,to near each other. Perhaps a rethink in spreading the style out with a change of colour and font to make it more eye appealing.

At the side top, the company Media motif again requires more eye catching colour and spacing, as it appears as though it is lost in its own background.[nothing like letting the customer know who you are]

  PurplePenny 00:22 04 May 04

I like the whizzy round green blobs! They match the colour of the text on hover so the colour doesn't look particularly out of place to me. I don't see any cyan coloured links either - have you changed them already? On my screen the bottom links are the same blue as the buttons.

I do agree about the "best viewed in" - that is an immediate turn-off for me. I use Opera or Firefox and I don't take kindly to being told that I have to use IE. On the other hand because I use Opera the pop-ups wouldn't be an issue so that wouldn't deter me.

PP

  Forum Editor 00:45 04 May 04

with much of what has been said by the others. I hope you feel that what follows is constructive - it's intended to be so.

1. The layout needs more work - use multiple column tables to fit more into a given space, it will improve the look no end, and reduce or eliminate the vertical scrolling.

2. It's important to understand how some font styles can create stress when used online. Try rationalising your use somewhat, and stick to two font styles throughout - one for headers and one for body text. My favourite is Verdana - in my opinion it's the easiest of all fonts to read on screen.

3. People expect a 'Contact' navigation button to hyperlink to a page with contact details instead of a mailto that opens an email client.

4. The total lack of images makes the site a little 'dry' an uninteresting - there's nothing to entertain visitors, and draw them in. You're in the memories business, why not have some generic 'happy' images - people getting married, playing with their children, having fun on holiday etc.

5. Definitley remove that 'best viewed in' warning.

6. The homepage graphics made my eyes struggle for focus - the drop shadows are fuzzy, and do nothing to improve the look. Either sharpen them up, or do without them altogether.

  andyhuz 09:27 04 May 04

Thank you all for your thoughts. Some were more constructive that others(!). Overall, I`m not too disheartened by your comments. My aim was to have a site that loads quickly and enables the viewer to receive information easily, hence few images. The images that are there I feel are O.K. but I accept that they could be in better quality. I have tried to make sure that they load quickly with small file sizes. I`ll have to work on tidying them up.

I have to disagree slightly with those people who thought that the layout needs work. I don`t see too much problem with having to scroll down a page. Personally, I would rather do that than have too much information on screen at once. I find that sites that cram every inch of screen area with text and graphics are difficult to read and glean information from. That`s not to say I won`t try your suggestions.

As for the fonts, I haven`t noticed that they are strikingly different but maybe that`s my eyes! I did have trouble with my web editor changing them without any input from me. Perhaps I haven`t quite mastered all the intricies of it`s configuration yet.

I guess that I`ll ditch the "best viewed" warning and reduce the amount of pop ups. Some I feel are needed as I don`t want the viewer to be directed away from the main pages. I`ll hide the counter too as it`s really just for my own information.

I appreciate that certain sections of the community may have problems with aspects of the site but unfortunately you can`t be every thing for every man. I have tried to make the layout as clear as possible but obviously you can`t please everyone. I hope you can appreciate that I am doing my best and you realise that as a beginner that there is a lot to learn.

I thank you all for taking the time to critique my efforts so far. I`ve got more to do than I thought.

Andy

  Taran 10:00 04 May 04

Part of the layout problem is that a fluid layout has not been used.

Your page does not resize from 800x600 screen resolution to higher resolutions. The result is a large and very empty white border down the right hand side of the page in any monitor size over 15 inches. 17 inch CRT and 15 inch TFT monitors have been standard with new PCs now for a year or two, so you'll find that more and more web surfers are on 1024x768 or larger. I also found this curious after seeing your "Best viewed using Internet Explorer 6 at 1024x768 resolution" statement, since it works fine at 800x600 but does not actually need 1024x768 at all.

There are ways of getting Namo Web Editor to take fluid layouts into account and it can create percentage value table layouts for you which resize to the viewers screen resolution, adjusting the page content to fit, so you might want to look into that.

When people suggest another look at the layout and that there is too much scrolling, I think their point was perhaps that a large amount of available screen real estate has not been used efficiently, or even at all.

Think of it like this: someone opens up your page and what do they see ?

Left navigation panel with a bunch of buttons.

Left hand top logo.

Centre top logo image (different to the left top image).

Then you have that large "Keep all your memories alive on DVD" image that takes up almost all of the screen space on any 17 inch monitor and more than half on a 15 inch monitor.

If we ignore your "Best viewed in" statement, a visitor to your page has to get rid of the top half of the page completely to see the text information in the bottom half.

You could have achieved a better effect in a number of ways.

A two cell table row with a slightly smaller "Keep all your memories alive on DVD" image on the right and some dexcriptive text on the left could work well and you wouldn't need anywhere near as much scrolling.

A homepage should be a synopsis of your entire site. It is your store front where, with a few well chosen words and perhaps an image or two, you try to capture your visitors and tempt them in.

I think you'll find that the comments on your layout were meant along those lines.

I'd dump the 1024x768 statement for several reasons: it turns off anyone who uses anything but Internet Explorer, it turns off anyone who does come to your site with a smaller monitor since they often feel deliberately left out and/or excluded, and it is completely inaccurate since the site is, in fact, designed for 800x600 and is fixed at this resolution.

In fairness there are a lot of things going for your site and when you ask for feedback in here you more often than not get the negatives since that is what we do - we pull the site apart and critique what we see.

Don't get too disheartened.

You've obvioulsy spent a lot of time on the site and it shows, but there are some things that could be improved upon and you may want to sit down and have a think about some of them.

You don't have to agree with an opinion, but the views you get in here often come from people with a lot of design experience, from commercial desifgners to those who specialise in accessible sites for disabled viewers and so on. There is not so much a right and wrong in the views aired here, rather they are based on what many designers have found works in the real world and what doesn't.

We'd be doing you no favours if we all said "well done, it's fine, wouldn't change a thing..."

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