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My Personal Site

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by 61pixels, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. 61pixels

    61pixels Member

    Hi everyone, just found this site and after browsing around noticed a lot of very nice work and feedback. I figured it appropriate for me to throw my work into the flow and see what this community thought.

    I launched the site a few weeks ago, and am quite happy with it overall. I have a long list of "to-do's" on the list to make it more versatile and dynamic in the future, but for now, "something was better than nothing".

    I know the style is not for everyone, but it fits me perfectly and I think conveys my style. I look forward to your comments.

    Online Portfolio of Orlando Web Designer Todd Adams | 61Pixels.com

    Thanks!
     
  2. berry

    berry Active Member

    Hi 61, nice name BTW.
    interesting site. Can i ask did you reskin something or did u build and design from ground up?
    Nice styling. great name
     
  3. 61pixels

    61pixels Member

    Hi Berry,

    I designed it from the ground up. All photographs were taken by me, and all elements were either created or heavily modified and composited by me.

    Thanks for comment!
     
  4. berry

    berry Active Member

    Then that's a cool site. well done
     
  5. Muse

    Muse Member

    It looks fantastic, honestly. I love the hover effect for the main navigation—like a visual metaphor for 'spotlighting' the links. And the inset frames around your portfolio pieces. You know how they say reading books is like taking a journeyto faraway lands?—well, your site is kind of like peering in through the window.

    On your pages you have a little blurb at the top (in between the stone borders) that I think should look much different from your body text, so I'd suggest you make the text there larger and a different colour.

    The footer & form on your contact page don't fit perfectly with your site's theme, and might possibly be integrated better. In the footer, I think your copyright text should go under the links, and both those might look good directly under your floating logo. In your form buttons (and the buttons on your front page for viewing screenshots & visiting the site), the blue text should be moved a few pixels down.

    The form fields look a bit bland as a solid grey, and this might be a nice place to carry on your site's theme and spice them up.

    Hmm, I'm not sure if that was clear or not, but those are the things I noticed. They're all pretty small things; your site still looks great. ^^
     
  6. 61pixels

    61pixels Member

    Muse, thanks for the very constructive and honest feedback.

    I definitely agree with you, and also got the same feedback from other professional designers as well. It is definitely on my to-do list. I'm considering deleting the entire second sentence from the homepage blurb and making the text considerably larger. For the interior page blurbs (about, portfolio) I do plan on doing some sort of better treatment as well. So you are spot on with your assessments there.

    I'm not sure I agree that the footer doesn't fit with my theme, as I feel it fits quite nicely as the "floor" or footer of the page with the same style.

    I will 100% agree with you on the input fields of the form not matching. I was debating doing something creative and more-matching the style, and ultimately for time sake decided just to make it simple and clean to stand-out. I would definitely like to spruce-up the fields though and make them match, as I do agree they stick out like a sore-thumb.

    In regards to the footer copyright position, I definitely see your point and angle regarding the copyright should be below the links, but in "my eyes" at least, the direction and lines of the current positioning forms a nice "Pyramid" shape which draws the yes down to the links. Where-as putting the contact links below I think would look obfuscated and more out of place (in the hierarchy of the logo, links, copyright forming lines).

    I also did initially have the copyright and links closer to the logo in the footer, but felt it covered the shadow to the point it was almost not recognizable, and opted for more of the distant positioning which allowed the shadow to be more recognizable. I do think it is a good point you bring up, and am curious as to what others feel in regards to the distance in this situation.

    I'm not quite sure I understand this. On my machine in, IE6/7/8 beta 2, Opera, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox 3, the blue text looks perfectly centered in the buttons and if anything, in 1 or 2 browsers look a pixel or two too low. Can you send a screenshot of what you're seeing, as well as OS/Browser? As it sounds like it's not rendering properly if it's appearing at the top of the button.

    Thanks again for the feedback, it's much appreciated.
     
  7. thomashodgson

    thomashodgson Senior Member

    Great site Todd, one question I have though - why did you go for the name 61pixels? I'm not criticizing, I'd just like to know your thinking behind it.
     
  8. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Todd,

    As others have already said, great site, the attention to detail is excellent, and very clever use of Javascript and CSS, very impressive! I like the footer as it is now personally, if you was looking to change it in someway how about having your logo cut out from the floor like an engraving/cut-out from the paving, just an idea :)

    Excellent work Todd, so now I'm not only jealous of you're location in the Sunshine state, but also of your design talent!! :rolleyes:

    Welcome to Design Forums by the way.
    Greg

    PS- Tom, for the reasoning of 61 pixels check the About page, "The name 61pixels is a reference to my perfectionism - an idea that good design is often found in the smallest of details, and balance can rest on the shoulders of just a few pixels. It is with this mindset that I approach every project, striving to help each of my clients achieve their goals."
     
  9. Aarlev

    Aarlev Member

    The style wouldn't be my cup of tea, but that's just my personal taste. It's definitely extremely well done with great attention to detail. And your portfolio is brilliant as well! Great work Todd, and welcome to Design Forums.
     
  10. furto

    furto Member

    Looks awesome! Reminds me of some sort of game website like Elder Scrolls or something like that :)
     
  11. 61pixels

    61pixels Member

    As Greg pointed out, the quick answer is on my About page. But the long reason is a little less exciting. A few years ago when I wanted to buy a domain name, almost every single thing I could think of that I wanted was already taken. I was set on having the word pixels in the name in some way, because I have the curse of being able to see things that are even just 1 or 2 pixels off.

    In the end I almost gave up trying to find something available, but then just decided to toss some numbers in front of pixels. 61 is actually a reference to my birthday, June 1st. Hence the final product of 61pixels. It had a nice ring to it in my ears as well :)

    Thanks for all of the other comments as well, they are much appreciated!
     
  12. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    This is a very nice site, love the navigation! Keep up the good work ;)
     
  13. Muse

    Muse Member

    To be honest, it's not near the top of the button, it just seems a bit off to my eye...in the screencap here the text looks like it's a bit too near the top and out of alignment with the little icons next to 'View Screenshots' and 'Visit Site'. I'm using Firefox 3 on a Mac, by the way...

    Also, I looked back at your footer and saw the pyramid, and it's kind of a delicate balance there because I'm afraid that any further suggestions I would have would probably 'break' something else (like covering up the shadow / destroying the pyramid shape)...
     
  14. 61pixels

    61pixels Member

    Muse thanks for the screenshot. I see exactly what you are talking about now. Not really concerned considering it is just a result of the MAC font rendering engine (I've noticed it is exactly the same in Safari PC which uses the same rendering engine for fonts).

    Personally, I hate the way macs and Safari quadruple bold all text even if it isn't bold, but I guess some people like it :) I did read and bookmark something a while back on how to pseudo-fix it with a css hack which would make the text much more legible and standard.. I'll have to see if I can find that and if that fixes it.

    If not, I think I'll suffer with the 2-3 pixel shift for mac users :)

    Great catch though, you seem to have the same curse I do with noticing even 1 pixel being off!

    Update: found the CSS fix, and applied it to my reset. Fonts look "normal" now in Safari, but still not perfect. Regardless it didn't fix the pixel shift in Safari. I might play with it over the weekend, but ultimately 2pixels off in Safari or on Macs is something I can live with.
     
  15. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I like it, it looks professional and well done.
    A few niggles though ~
    I would remove the meta keywords it is no longer indexed and is just a waste of time TBH.

    You have title attributes on your links that don't need them I would check out my thread on accessible web coding to see why that is bad.

    Your h1 tag IMO will be a breach of the guidelines and may end you up in some trouble.
    The image you has says welcome, your replacement text says Welcome to the Online Portfolio of Web Designer Todd Adams.

    I would add the h1 tag to your logo for the home page as that is then correct text, remove the welcome to the bit, and then of your other pages move the h1 down.

    Again the right link in the nav should say contact me as that is what the text says, or alternatively change the text to just contact, minor niggle, but it should be the same TBH.

    Again you h2 of featured projects should again say the same in the code, it currently doesn't.

    Wording wise someone who is going to come to you 9 times out of 10 is going to have no idea to what XHTML/CSS coding is. I would change that to ~

    Coding to the highest standards using XHTML and CSS, or something similar.

    As that qualifies to your future clients what that is, high standard of coding, otherwise it is just gibberish you may as well just put web coding.

    The code is clean and is semantically correct which IMO is a good sign of quality TBH.

    Anyhoo hope it helps.

    Jaz
     
  16. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hey Jaz,

    I thought some search engines still used the meta keywords? I know Google doesn't any longer, but Yahoo and MSN/Microsoft?
     
  17. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    Google and Live don't, Yahoo! used to as in last year I'm not sure they still do, they may.

    The problem is that most people over stuff them as they think that is the way to go, which will still land you in trouble with the search engines, and any benefit you get from Yahoo! TBH will be so minor it wont move you up a place.

    There is only 1 professional SEO who I know, TBH, that still uses them, and he uses them not for SEO but for double checking to make sure he has covered all the words in his keyword cluster for that page, that means even for him they are very short amount of terms in there, not a list of words.

    So for best bets, ie no penalization for overstuffing, I wouldn't have it, waste of time IMO.
     
  18. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Cool, just goes to show I'm out-of-date on my SEO knowledge :)
    (Useful information to know, thanks Jaz)

    Sorry guys, back on-topic... :)
     
  19. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    Arr no worries, it was a question other people were probably thinking as well TBH, so glad to help, and there is a lot of old info out there. :)
     
  20. 61pixels

    61pixels Member

    Jaz thanks a lot for your comments. I'll post my thoughts to some of them below.

    While I do understand what you're saying, after all of my research and reading, it seems there are still some search engines that use them. Sure google does not, but it seems some still do, and it doesn't hurt anything to have them. So why not have them for the search engines that do use them? I also only put them on the home page, and left them off of the rest of the pages since you are right in that they aren't "really valuable".

    This is actually very interesting (just checked your article out) and not something I have ever heard before. Everything I have read/heard/learned in the past always pointed to title tags being a necessity for accessbility (also makes the nice tooltip pop up which I like for some links). It appears maybe I've been wrong all this time! I did just re-check the W3C accessbility guidelines though and they state: In addition to clear link text, content developers may further clarify the target of a link with an informative link title (e.g., in HTML, the "title" attribute). at Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 . That makes me wonder, is it really a huge issue if the W3C mentions that you should use them?

    It's funny, because I initially had the logo as the H1, but the more I thought about it, it didn't seem semantically correct. Since the logo is on every page, it obviously tells nothing about the page that you're on, which as I understand it, the H1 should do. Hence why I opted to remove the H1 from the logo, and instead, apply it to the actual text/image that represented the page, ie: Welcome, About, Portfolio, Contact etc. That made much more sense to me semantically.

    You mentioned something that I never knew either, that the "hidden link" text should match the image exactly. I never really thought anything of it before and always thought it was a great way to get more detail in there. But I guess it does make perfect sense as people could easily exploit it for SEO. I'll definitely look into making them match.

    This I actually am going to disagree with you on :) In almost every professional portfolio I have ever seen, including the brilliant Cameron Moll, coding is listed exactly in that way, XHTML/CSS. Yes average lay people will not understand it, but thats fine to me. I would rather clearly state what languages/services I performed, than make it layperson vague and not clearly defined. I doubt most laypeople understand CMS, javascript, Ruby, etc. either, but I will most definitely use those terms in the services description for projects that used them.

    As far as laypeople are concerned, most don't even understand the difference between design and coding, they just see the whole thing as a "website". The listed services or more for professionals, companies, clients in the-know, who are looking to know what exactly my role on the project was or what my skill-set is.

    So lets just agree to disagree on that one :)

    Again thanks a lot for the info, I'll be looking into making some of those changes shortly.
     

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