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Feedback on my site please

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by TomStutt, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Hi all,

    Finished the main bulk of the site now so please can I have some feedback.:clap:

    Tom Stutt Design | Graphic and Web design

    Just need to add some more of the projects I have done and I will be coming up with a form for the contact page but just need the time to do it.

    Thanks all
  2. tim

    tim Senior Member

    i like the background and the simplistic idea, but it lacks order IMO, and there's a few more things i don't favour particularly:

    - "designed by tom stutt design" - well, of course it was(!) so there's no need to list it in the footer. put your top links in the bottom too, instead of that "designed by"- it'll also help SEO.

    - it seems you've just pressed enter, then right align, then entered some text and added a hyperlink with your navigation. it needs more pizazz than that alone, right now i have no particular thought to click them, they just dont seem that attractive to me.

    - in safari 4 your "tom stutt design" image in your "recent projects" section overlaps onto the background (minor, easily fixed glitch, just a heads up really).

    - OMG "<font>" tag! WTF?! CSS replaced the <font> tag like 3/4 years ago...?

    Despite that it's got a reasonable amount of potential, just have a lot of patience with it.

    put yourself in your client's position and imagine you're flicking through hundreds of sites to find the right person for your project... does your site right here right now, make people think "YES, HE'S THE RIGHT ONE", or does it just fade away because it doesnt particularly stand out from the rest? you need to leave a hugely memorable, positive, and lasting impression.
  3. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    thanks tim for your opinions. i will be making changes to it. This is my first major website i have done so i know theres lots more to learn. I have taught myself so all of what i know is from some books, searching on google and asking you guys and gals(i appreciate the help).

    will make the changes tomorrow as its getting late now ( starting to need match sticks to hold my eye lids up).

    Cheers again.
  4. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    also ideally i would like that navigation so it lines up with the logo so i have logo on the left and navigation on the right but i dont know how to do it so im trying to work it out.

    i think i will eventually come up with something nicer for the navigation but im just trying to work out the form for the contact page.
  5. Aarlev

    Aarlev Member

    Hi Tom,

    For your first website it's a pretty good start. Nice and simple. Just make things line up. And perhaps style the menu a bit more, looks a little bit dull now. You could also introduce a heading above your intro text and break up the content a bit more. It needs some form of seperator between your intro text and your portfolio.

    The coding needs a lot of work. You have no H1, your menu should be a list and you're using inline CSS.

    You can line up the menu by having a header DIV and then floating your logo (as your H1) and your list right inside it (but there are probably better ways to do it). For example:

    XHTML:<div id="header"><h1><a href="" title="Blah">Tom Stutt       Design</a></h1><ul id="navigation"><li><a href="#">Your Menu</a></li></ul><div class="clear"></div> </div>CSS:.clear {clear:both;} /*put this in the top of your css and then you can use that for clearing floats*/h1 a{background:url(gfx/yourlogo.gif) no-repeat; width:; height:; text-indent:-9999px; float:left;}ul#navigation{float:left;} ul#navigation li a{font: blah blah}
    Hope that helps! (If it doesn't it's because I'm extremely hungover :))

  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Personally (and I mean no offence in anything I say) if you are advertising as a web designer you need to show what you can do as a designer and I don't feel your current site shows anything more than a basic understanding of web design. If this is an area that you want to work in, you need to put out a really good site as there is a lot of competition in this area.

    From what I can make out here (in this thread and on the forum) this is your first website and its not too bad in that respect although I would have done things differently.

    I agree with Tim in that its lacking order, I always associate the link to contact us as being furthest on the right, not in the middle like you have it. And that you don't need designed by Tom Stutt Design in the bottom right.

    The striped background, I cant complain over the use of the stripes as I'm using similar on my revised site, but I do feel that a whole screen with what is a relatively small page could be annoying to some people as it can cause eye strain, maybe consider adding a gradient to a plain colour for the larger pages (ie stripes blending into the darker colour)?

    Your main logo isn't crisp, there seems to be a border around the green text and it seems like its been scaled up and its got jagged edges.

    Your 'image' at the bottom, I'm going to assume the overhang is a design feature, is not consistent over all the images, the main page isnt as deep.

    On your portfolio, I was expecting a massive picture to pop up when I clicked on the thumb, it turned out it was only fractionally bigger than the thumbnail.

    Contact page - mobile number, why not a normal number (voip is good for this if you need another line), you can always redirect to a mobile if you need to (this will cost you some money though).
  7. Sneakyheathen

    Sneakyheathen Member

    I, personally, am not a giant fan of the background. It feels slightly too "generic web 2.0 stripes." I would make the colors with a less intense contrast, and maybe expand the width a little bit? White space is good, but your background is a little too loud right now.
  8. h_freezy

    h_freezy Senior Member

    too simple for me, size is too small also. You've got a long way to go mate. Don't worry about the coding too much at this time. Put some graphics on and improve the layout for now.
  9. Xenonsoft

    Xenonsoft Active Member

    I think it's a good start.

    Everyone starts somewhere and for your first website I think you've got some basics in place but still have lots to learn. Don't be daunted by the learning process though, it's a long haul and takes commitment but we all had to do it (and I for one am still on that learning curve) so it's more than possible.

    Regarding the site, I would just like to add (or re-emphasize) a couple of things:
    • The logo is jagged and needs to be rescaled again or possibly saved in a higher quality.
    • I agree that the links should go ' Home | Portfolio | Contact '. Although you want to get them to contact you it's practically universal to have contact on the far right and you need to promote your skills before asking them to drop you a line.
    • Go through the w3 validation tools for HTML and CSS, fix the errors and get it to validate and you should learn a thing or two in the process.
    • You could put a contact form in your contact page, as you have it currently you will get lots of spam at the addresses provided. Of course that depends on your preference but I would advise a contact form, it also saves the client the hassle of copying and pasting your address to their email client. We can install one for you, with javascript to stop people sending blank messages but you may want to do it yourself for the learning curve. If not, just drop me a line.
  10. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    If this is the first major website you've done how can you call yourself a web designer? Can I do my first ever operation on you please? I am a surgeon, just never really done operations.
  11. h_freezy

    h_freezy Senior Member

  12. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    Revise, revise , revise... you got a long way to go yet Tom, Good luck.
  13. Xenonsoft

    Xenonsoft Active Member

    You learn by doing though to be fair, or at least I do.

    As long as he charges low rates to make up for the fact he has minimal experience and is learning on the job I think it's fair enough, but then that brings in another whole debate about lowballing.
  14. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    thanks to everyone who has given me feedback.

    im not saying this is my first site ive done but its my first major one where i have done all the coding and designing alone and have had to do all the work. before i had a friend help me. i am charging lower rates at the moment because im learning.

    thanks everyone.:)
  15. Xenonsoft

    Xenonsoft Active Member

    Good luck to you.
  16. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Hey all

    Made some changes that you all suggested and it looks a little better now. Also got a contact form now:clap:which looks cool.

    Thanks everyone for your feedback.
  17. berry

    berry Active Member

    I think it's fair to understand that Tom is at the early stage of his design career, but obviously keen to learn to improve. The site doesn't ring my bells and I'm sure Harry is having an epileptic fit and frothing at the mouth like a mastiff. I'm sure in a years time with some experience under Toms belt, it will be improved no end. With different levels of forum member experience, ability, and expectations, it's important to remember that the word "Designer' is an overused generic term for people of all levels and abilities. Many have earned that title through coming through the ranks and getting paid by employers for their talents. At the same time, many give themselves that title out of neccessity. And sometimes that will get the established guys back up. We all have to learn somewhere and we all, as creatives are continually on the road of learning. We can be harsh too, but it's with genuine intention. Keep learning Tom, keep hungry and you will improve.
  18. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Thanks Berry,

    Its true what you are saying. I know that im not experienced like many of you on DF but im wanting to do design work and to do that I have to call myself and graphic and web designer. I know im a very unexperienced one and if people ask me how much experience I have i will tell them that I am new to this and im still learning.

    I also only do this in my spare time, as by day (sounds like superman) i work for Bristol University as an IT Support Technician, so i dont get hours and hours to practise and learn design.

    I think im doing pretty well for a novice and im happy with the site at the moment and your feedback was greatly appreciated. I have a couple of sites to do for friends so that will keep me busy for a bit.

    Thanks everyone.
  19. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    Few friendly pointers then:

    Use a Strict !DOCTYPE.
    align="" is not a valid attribute. Use float:; etc.
    Instead of div class="hover-buttons" you should use an unordered list.
    Don't type in capitals, use text-transform.
    Put some alt="" attributes on all your inline images.
    Use correct dashes (nit-picky one is that lol).
    Add hover states to text links.
    Don't use height/width/border attributes.
    Put <div id="logo"> around your logo for nothing other than semantic purposes.
    Don't use 'click here' for link text.
    Include your stylesheet using <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css.css" /> rather than @import.
    Don't use tables for layout (I'm looking at your form)
    Apply overflow:hidden; to your #container div.

    And a final quick tip to sort a lot of your code out, switch to the Strict DTD first, then run a validation of your page, then fix the errors :)

    Hope they help out (they should do).
  20. berry

    berry Active Member


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