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My design portfolio site

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by jmarcus, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. jmarcus

    jmarcus Junior Member


    This is my second time posting a site on this forum, and I wanted to show my portfolio site. I got some good advice on the first site I submitted to the forum, and hope I can learn more the second time around!

    I just got my portfolio site up, and it seems to be viewing okay. I do have a basic css question that is driving me crazy...which is the bottom scroller is extended quite far...and I don't know why.

    here's the site:

    justin.marcus design

    Thanks for having a look!
  2. mrleesimpson

    mrleesimpson Guest


    I can't see at a glance but you have got a lot of floating divs and some crazy minus margins going on with '#cell_2'. Clean up your CSS, check it validates and thats likely to fix those problems.
  3. jmarcus

    jmarcus Junior Member

    Thanks! I figured out the width problem. It was the <hr>. My code was a bit of a mess.
  4. tim

    tim Senior Member

    I'd rethink a few things if I'm honest, but good CSS work.

    First, why is all text black, on a white background, and large? Some things should try and stand add, not all. But saying that, they don't really 'stand out' per say, they more repel me as of lack of colour.

    Try adding some colour to your DIVs, whether it's a simple pattern that isn't noticeable first time or just a plain but attractive colour.

    Whilst we're on that topic, the top quote is the first thing you notice. Not your logo, your header, anything. Why?

    Second, why is it justin.marcus design? your domain isn't is it?

    Despite that, your site is pretty reasonable. I'd just like to see it stand out. You won't attract customers if you can't get them to notice basics.

    Hope this helps.
  5. jmarcus

    jmarcus Junior Member

    no, thanks for your input. I'll try and think how I can incorporate some color...

    i have a tendency toward heavy minimalism - that look appeals to me, like The Morning News, New York Times, etc. I need to broaden my vision, perhaps.
  6. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I am an advocater of largish text, helps with accessibility and also helps the user find information they are looking for quicker.

    However I think it could be a tad to large also you have a black and red theme but the navigation hover background s yellow, it would be better if it was also red TBH IMO.

    I also don't get all the dots,,, outside of a coding perspective?

    SEO wise you need to sort out your conicailzation issue.
    To do that create a plain file and name it .htaccess and place this code in it ~

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.justinmarcusdesign\.com [nc]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L]

    Upload that file to your root directory.
    That will redirect both version of the domain and sort it out.

    You need to add alt attributes to your image tags so for example you have this ~

    <h1><img src="jm.png"></h1>

    But it should be ~

    <h1><img src="jm.png" alt="Justin Marcus" /></h1>

    However as that looks like it is in Verdana, I could be wrong witting it in textual format would be better.
    but it is better for the search engines and for accessibility if every image has an alt attribute, if it is just a background image just leave the alt attribute blank, but still include it.

    Again the quote should not be in an image it should be textual form with a font-size applied something like 2em would pull the same effect off.

    Also the text at the bottom will probably get you penalized for hidden text, i would make it darker.

    I'll have a proper look later but just my first impressions, think I have got everything though.


    Red ~ Mod_Rewrite
    Purple ~ XHTML
  7. jmarcus

    jmarcus Junior Member

    I took your advice. Thanks very much for your input. I added the alt tags and made an .htaccess file. Also, I removed the dots between the my work, etc. It looks cleaner. Also, changed the hover were needed to be consistent with the other colors. I think it looks better now.
  8. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I still think there is something missing TBH??????
    What about a background round the main content, light dropshadow that sort of thing????
  9. tim

    tim Senior Member

    okay then maybe it's just me, but I think there's way too much black and white. I also think that the size of the text should depend on the importance or whatever of the content.

    We, here, don't need to know your logo/name because we're not potential clients, but what annoys me is that you're more attracted to your quote than your name header.

    Back onto large text, why is everything so large? Add a larger/smaller text option if it's that important to you. at the moment it just confuses my mind, doesn't make me want to read anything.

    Maybe no-one else agrees, but that's my honest opinion.
  10. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I don't know TBH I know design is perspective, and for me personally, which doesn't mean that I am right of coarse, I kinda like it.

    I do think though that the text size of the author, Jamie Paolinetti, should be smaller, maybe in a slightly different colour and maybe in italics as well, as that would follow the conventions that I know about regarding quotations, and say that he was the author of the quote.
    By making his name the same size as the quote you are giving it the same importance, which it shouldn't have.

    It's one of those things, if it was in Chinese for example, you would still recognize it as a quotation and that that line was the authors name, even though you couldn't read it it is still clear to what it is.

    But TBH that whole section should be something like this IMO.

    <blockquote cite="http://some/website/that/can/back/this/up">
    <img src="path/to/decorative/image" alt="" />
    Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our <strong>imaginations</strong>, our possibilites become limitless
    <cite>Jamie Paolinetti</cite>

    Then style it with something like ~

    blockquote img{float:right}
    blockquote strong{colour:firebrick}

    That would give you roughly the same effect, you may have to change some sections of the CSS, and test it cross browser to make sure it is right, but that would give you massive benefits IMO TBH.
    Also the cite attribute, not the cite tag, of the blockquote can be left out if you don't have a reference to his exact quote.

    But regardless of that, in IE7 all the headers are slightly hidden.

    Your alt text for the quotation should be exactly what the quotation says not your name, that could get you penalized, for possible cloaking, as that is what you are currently doing.

    And in the code you have a few random <img> tags, like that, lying about for some reason.


    Purple ~ XHTML
    Green ~ CSS
  11. jmarcus

    jmarcus Junior Member


    i didn't actually get a chance to read you last post, which is also very helpful, before I altered the look a bit - in a moment of inspiration, just messing around. the quotes author does need to be smaller, I agree. the change is kind of significant in that it brings a bit of character to the page - don't know if it's effective...don't know if it's better than the last working...but I thought I'd try it out. I must admit I do like the black and white theme...some people may not, I understand. my code needs to be cleaned up again, as I just started piecing things together...
  12. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    Arr that looks much better, I don't like the black background on the copyright TBH I just don't think that goes IMO. But overall I do prefer it. :)

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