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Active Member
Right I have taken on a friends site, pro-bono as TBH he needed help. :lol:

So he came round today and I did him a re-design while he hovered over my shoulder. Err....yeah, anyhoo he got quite annoying, quite fast, and rather than letting me finish the whole thing, then pass judgement on the finished product he was like I don't like that, yeah I don't like that and I was like yeah let me get rid of the crap you have done first and then see the finished thing then let me know, rather than seeing a 1/4 of the design with your crap still in their. :mad:
Anyhoo so we came to a final design, together {shudder}, at 1 point he wanted to add blue stars to the background and actually liked it when it was done, it looked pretty bad TBF and when he asked me what I thought I actually said well design is subjective, thanks for that line Greg, lol.

So here's what I cant change ~
1. The background, took about 30mins to convince him that was better than blue stars.
2. The logo,
3. The layout,
4. The main images.
5. The good dam colour scheme.

So surprise, surprise I'm not sure I'm that keen on the finished thing, he is and did leave happy so I guess it is not really my problem, that and I didn't charge for it, I honestly think I would feel bad if I did.

I probably would have liked it if he left me in peace TBH as I have learnt a lot from this community about design over the last few months, but I just cant seem to get the thought out of my head that it is not as good as it could be and I don't like leaving work that could be better.

So any ideas, with the very restrictive guidelines in mind, how I can improve it?
Here's his old site ~
Fancy dress costumes,

And here's my re-design ~

It may just be that I wasn't left in peace and I therefore didn't create what I had in my mind why this is bothering me so much.

Any comments good or bad? :confused:
All are appreciated and honestly none will be taken to heart.


PS ~ I did not code his site and I would honestly cry if I did, god knows how long it is going to take me to implement the changes TBH. :cry:


Active Member
No I suppose not, I take it you are on about the "borders" around the main 4 pics?
He wants something like what he did, so I guess I just gave up at the first attempt, but I think you are right, I really need a fresh pair of eyes on this TBH just for my own peace of mind if nothing else.
yea not a lot has been changed has it really/ search bars is a lot neater.

do you really really really need bevels with diffuse?......just looks like gone wrong grunge.

I think u should quickly bang out what you had in mind in the first place and try to sway him


Active Member
Yeah I know I agree not a lot has changed, tbh, as I'm stuck with the layout.
Thing is trying to convince him....last time he had a site, didn't last too long, may have had something to do with the fact that he changed the background to bright pink, with a blackish main area, convincing him would be hard, that and I'm not getting paid. :)

I just want to try to improve it for my own sanity tbh as I know I will probably get a client like him in the future, that will pay, and I sort of just want to be able to do it, I suppose in that case though they wouldn't be hovering over me though, mmmm.....

Any ideas on how I can improve this fresh pair of eyes and all?
I agree the borders need to be changed


Senior Member
Maybe you should go more in the direction of QVC.com but maybe that won't satisfy your client. It's a similar layout and it can't be too difficult to modify the color scheme.
Yea but in the future you'd be getting paid and wont feel as pressured, doing work for my friends is so much more hassle, and they always have 20million amendments cos they know that its free.

I'm not a web designer (yet) but i reckon having the top ten best sellers on the right hand side in a "sidebar" type thing.

TBH the top ten thing is after the pages fold and i can guarantee most people don't even see it.

Shorten all the left bars much more to make space for this.
The terms and conditions bar should be the guide as it is the longest subtitle. squeeze that bar down so there is equal space b4 and after the subtitle "Terms n Con"

Maybe havin the 4 main genres in a 2x2 formation rather than a 1x4
Shrink that star and bring up the header/search bar to allow this.

The vip bar hasn't got to be so tall either.

i just feel this page could all fit into the top fold of the page without having to scroll.
its all just there


Active Member
Are yeah cheers Onartis there are defiantly sections of that I could use, I may knock out another version along with his guidelines and see what he says over the next few days. I'm going to cross the, T's and dot the I's on the paid client I have first I think though, lol. :)

But I do want to improve this based in his guidelines tbh, I think it is more of the challenge aspect of it.

is he intent on havin bevel effect on EVERYTHING? its a bit outdated. Having flat colours or even well considered gradients with out the bevel would make it feel shaper and more professional.

Regarding my post above. i just looked at the original site again and there is A LOT of white space on the right to play with.

This whole page deff could be all above the fold


Active Member
Yeah I agree with most of those comments if not all,he wanted the link on the banner to say click here, I mean click here for Christ sake. :mad:

I think you are right TBH, I think I'll redo the page twice 1 as you rightly suggested with what I had in mind, now he is not here, and secondly within his guidelines and let him chose at least that way I'll have peace of mind hay. :lol:

But I agree it is outdated and believe me when I say this is an improvement over his last site.

The other thing I have to think about is that the code is a total mess and any major changes that he likes mean a hell of a lot of work for me with no financial benefit. :confused:

I really didn't think this through :cry: lol.
maybe he sort u out some kind of discount at his store or somethin in return or at least buy you a tshirt or something.

LOL yea i noticed that by pressing on the "Plus size link" i got to the kids section. lol
gd luck, let us know the results.


Active Member
I think I'll be dead by then buddy, so not sure I'll actually be able to get back to you about it, lol.

But I just want to say thank you to everyone who posted all your comments are very much appreciated.
Jaz :)


Active Member
Hey Jaz,

Sorry to hear you're in this predicament! Having someone hover over your shoulder whilst designing is not fun in the slightest, I used to have the same thing happen in a previous job I worked in.

As for the site design, in terms of the layout/structure I think the site would work better with a horizontal menu at the bottom of the header with all the main site links 'Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact Us' etc, and then all the product related links in the left hand side menu, so the user can see the product menu straight away. Then put the less important links such as 'T&C | Sitemap' etc in the footer.

I think the design lacks any direction due to the lack of logo/branding... hence why he feels the need to use effects such as bevels and drop shadows, you need to say nocomic!! They make the site look unprofessional, especially when you compare it to some of the competition out there - FANCY DRESS Costume & HALLOWEEN Costumes - JOKERS MASQUERADE

I hope that helps in someway, and let us know how things progress!
Cheers, Greg

PS- Good Luck!


Active Member
Thanks for the time Greg.
No I agree, after talking with Calvin_T and Onartis yesterday I went for my normal 4 mile run, which always gives me time to think and clear my head you know.

And it came to me would I take my car into the garage and then tell the mechanic how to fix my car?
No, why?
Because I'm not a mechanic and it would come out as it went in....broken, which is what has happened here.

I know, I know I'm turning into Berry, lol.

That and I wouldn't use that as my site, due to many things, but 1 reason is the design, so why should I do work that I personally wouldn't use myself?
To me I shouldn't so I've sodded off his restrictive guidelines and gone with tried and tested conventions, call to actions, better keyword prominence and keyword order, shifted the layout around, gone with a better colour scheme, my background rather than the 1 I settled with and I have come out with a design I would use and thus my mind is now at peace.

So here is what I have ~
His design ~
Fancy dress costumes,

Our "re-design" ~

And my latest concept ~

Which I'm currently happy with, it may be due to the fact I've been comparing it to my other designs TBH though, lol, but for it's current rough state I'm happy with it, if I'm honest there is still the odd section I would probably change but for it's current state I like it.

Anyhoo thank you all for your time, I definatly think that even though this has been a hard lesson I definatly think it's one of those learning moments you know, in this case that the client has no idea about anything, lol.



Senior Member
Much prefer the new one, really do, looks much less dated, but I don't particularly like the background. It kinda wipes the "less-dated" thing away IMO. The dropshadow on it looks nice though, adds a bit of extra style to it.

What about separating the left column and the main content column with a nice little border? Just a few ideas :)


Active Member
Thanks for the comments Tim, very much appreciated.
Yeah maybe as I said this is only rough and they tend to be the little things I tend to pick up when I code it, not that I'm going to code this one though, don't have a year of my life to spare with sorting out his awful coding, lol.

I'll leave it to his "web designer" hay. :D


Active Member
Hay funny how things turn around. :)
Just showed him my layout, explained the code issue and he has offered me £10/hour to code it, plus back pay for the hours already put in. Huh didn't see that coming TBH, lol, nice a free job has now turned into a paid one. May get those extra bits done on the layout now.