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Website feeback please

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by TomStutt, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Hey all

    Ive been 'bulking' my site up abit.

    Please can I have the good and bads about it please.

    www.tomstuttdesign.co.uk

    Ive only put a few projects on there for now just to see what it looks like and the testimonial page doesnt work yet.

    Cheers peeps
     
  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    scrap the testimonials they mean squat in this day and age - do you trust them on other sites, I don't?
    The big yellow dfh logo stands out and pulls the eye to it, the rest of the site doesn't have enough impact to compete with it.

    This will seem like a kicker but I've said this before to others. You're advertising yourself as a web designer, your site doesn't show that you are any good, the design is arguably far too simple (not a bad thing). A site for a web designer has to stand out, it's that simple with a field as competitive as it is.


    It looks like you're still using the old version of the Google Analytics code. The new one (below) is faster loading and thats a good thing for 2010 - goes top of <body>

    Code:
    <script type="text/javascript">  var _gaq = _gaq || [];  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', '[COLOR=Red][B]Google reference code[/B][/COLOR]']);  _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);  (function() {    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';    (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(ga);  })();</script>
     
  3. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Cheers for the feedback levi and thats for the google code. I just used that they provided when I set it up.

    Ive prob said this before, but I have only been doing web stuff since september last year so Im just trying to build the site up as I go along.

    Cheers
     
  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    my code is from google, it's the new and improved version :)

    As to the time frame of doing web design. Your clients don't care about that, they're only interested in how good you are and of course money :)
     
  5. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    What do you think it needs? Is there something specific
     
  6. davewill

    davewill Senior Member

    im not a web designer Tom, so feel free to ignore my comments, but my initial reaction as your page opened was that I didnt know where to look. the page seemed very busy, with lots of elements fighting each other for attention. I actually looked at the logo you had designed for disco's for hire before I saw your Tom Stutt logo. maybe you could do with a welcome/landing page explaining a bit about what you do, then leave your samples in the portfolio section?
    ________
    condominiums Pattaya
     
  7. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    I'm sure I said this before, but you have divs inside a ul for your nav. Delete those divs and apply to border bottom to the lis instead.
     
  8. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Maybe im making it too complicated. I might take off the news and twitter and extend the projects across to make it a little easier on the eye
     
  9. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Tom,

    My first impressions with the site is that I don't believe it will leave a lasting impression with potential clients, by that I think you should consider that a potential client may visit a number of designers sites before contacting any or going ahead with a project, I think your site is lacking some impact for it to be memorable. I don't mean design details for the sack of it, as I like simple, clean sites personally, but I just feel it's lacking some creativity.

    In terms of the projects on the homepage, if you're going to display your own logo/identity design I would personally use this image over the logo image you have currently:

    [​IMG]

    Infact looking at your business card design, is there something you can do with the orange box coming in at an angle on the site? Perhaps try something with that to create more of a header area, and then you can start to use the elements to break up the content and sidebars a bit more?

    I'd also take a quick look around at some of the CSS galleries that let you view by colour scheme, look for sites that capture your interest then start to dissect why and how they do, how they break up content, how they lead your eye through the content, and why you might remember them.

    Hope that helps to inspire in someway,
    Greg
     
  10. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Now my head is boggling. I dont know what to do now. I think I may just create a one page site for now just so im on the web, then spend time in coming up with a new site. something that I can take my time over and get exactly how i want it.

    cheers all
     
  11. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    i think with this one, i just went with what i know and didnt really be too creative with it.
     
  12. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Tom keep this one up whilst you work on a new one, my personal site has been through about 6 different versions over the years! As you do new projects and learn more your knowledge and skills will develop, and no doubt your tastes may change.

    You have a presence online and a place to display your work with this site, so in terms of function it's doing the job, I'd personally keep it live, work on a new site as and when you have the time, and then look to update/replace when you can :)

    If you're getting work, or being asked to quote for work then focus on that first.
    Greg
     
  13. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    I disagree. I think testimonials can still give you that little edge, although they probably shouldn't get a separate page. There are a few ways of integrating them. You could just add one or two on a related page such as the about or contact page, or perhaps if you have specific pages for each project. If you really like your testimonials—and if you have a lot— you could rotate two or three of them on a page. But I don't mean rotate as in, fade in–fade out; just have a script select two random ones on refresh.

    Design-wise though I'll start off by admitting that I never really liked the previous one either. The entire... theme is kind of the word I'm looking for I guess, is very bland and definitely not—like Greg said— and eye-catcher. But then again, a lot of the freelancer portfolios nowadays aren't, which is a real shame. And I know that I'm the guy with no portfolio online right now, but in all fairness I could pull off a dozen sites like you see around these days but I've chosen not to. Aside of that, see me as a future employer... will he think differently than me right now?

    Don't get me wrong though. You're a great guy and you seem to like what you're doing right now, so you will get there. I just think you need to drop what you have right now (keep it online though) and work on a new design rather than revamping the current/old one.

    Just my two cents.
     
  14. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    But do they really help in design where your work is realistically what speaks more about your skills.

    I could add numerous 'testimonials' to my site saying how good I am, that I worked on time and budget etc but 1. I can't due to my privacy/non disclosure policy and 2. I'm far to sceptical when I see them on other online retailer type sites. A testimonial via word of mouth is different to a testimonial on a screen, you can't see who wrote it etc, even more so if there's no pictures.

    If Tom want's to keep them thats his decision but I still can't see the point in them online.

    As to the site and how it can be improved: I'm with the others, I'm not sure if your site can be improved from where it is without starting over as in some respects the current branding isn't strong enough to compete with some of the work that you're showing. Moving the sample work onto a different page may help on the home page but it will also cause the home page to be very empty and it will need to be worked on.

    I'd suggest maybe sitting down and doing some photoshop ideas and then seeing what we think of them etc
     
  15. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I'm with Levi, unless you have a video of Richard Branson saying you are awesome, its a bit of a miss for me. Let your work do the talking.
     
  16. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Ok, well I've come up with a new design and would love to know what you think.

    Tom Stutt Design :: Graphic and Web design

    I made it less complicated and the images on the home page are greyed out so they dont directly draw your eye to them straight away. Then when you hover they turn into colour.

    I dont have any portfolio stuff up yet and the images are there just for show at the moment. should have it finished by the end of the weekend.

    i would just like to know what you think of the new layout. :D

    cheers all.
     
  17. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    little things that would bug me personally are that it's all left aligned meaning I have a massive space on the right of my screen.

    Also vertical alignment is off.

    I'd also suggest maybe changing your rollovers to css rather than javascript to speed up loading times etc :)

    You will need to be careful with the current arrangement as if you have an overly white image it will draw your eye to it - your laptop is currently doing that to me as it sits smack bang in the middle of my screen.

    I have to say I'm 50/50 about not having any info text on your first page, theres nothing except your links for google/bing etc to index.
     
  18. TomStutt

    TomStutt Senior Member

    Cheers Levi

    I try and come up with something to put on the home page. Im just always unsure of what to have on a home page in terms of text??????

    As for the laptop, these images are not going to stay there. They are just there to see what it looks like.

    Il also look into the css rollover. chose javascript as i didnt know how to do the css rollover.

    cheers again levi
     
  19. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    css rollovers - that should get you going loooked into it a lot while I've been revising mine as I was initially using javascript and then decided to remove as much javascript as possible for people with javascript turned off :)

    I know the laptop is a temp image but the same issue will arise with any similar imagery

    First page - personally it should sell what you do using the keywords that people would search with in my opinion - so something like (I'm simplifying) Hi I'm Tom and I'm a graphic and web designer based in wherever. etc etc.
     
  20. tbwcf

    tbwcf Active Member

    I like it generally Tom,

    I'm not sure on the logo at the bottom of the page.. might be better at the top? or perhaps just at the top of the left column.

    The rollover technique Levi is reffering to only really appropriate for navigations and the like as it requires your image to be a background image - they need to stay as inline images really. You could hack about with it but probably not worth it in my opinion.

    I think once you have your work up it would be good to include larger versions of the images when clicked - this is a nice jquery plugin you could use - jQuery lightbox for images, videos, YouTube, iframes | Stéphane Caron ? No Margin For Errors
     

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