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Website Portfolio critique.... again!

Discussion in 'Website Design Critique:' started by GilmoreVisuals, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    I'm here once again... this time I have started designing my site 100% in photoshop rather then directly on the web. I was looking for design/practicalities/content critiques to help me build it up further and know exactly what to have on it.

    The tricky part is then trying to create something as similar as possible for the web... i'm not too sure what tools to use but I am looking for a low budget site... I have my domain name ( so any suggestions how to get this design to an actual site would also be helpful.

    Anyway, this is what I have so far....

    Many thanks in advance!


  2. DeanZappy

    DeanZappy Senior Member

    You should be using a grid, absolutely nothing aligns on the above image.
  3. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    I used guides (in terms of sections) but mainly because I don't see if everything can be aligned in this case.

    The header is aligned with the slideshow. The slideshow (arrows) can't be aligned with the text but is with the corner of the laptop... and the footer would be expandable with the screen resolution of each monitor, but yes, I need to make sure that everything is aligned on every page, something I would have probably forgot when designing the rest of the site!

  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    got to agree here, it's not 'visually' aligned. If it was me I'd be aligning everything to the edges of the slideshow or similar...
  5. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    I agree with the previous comments, I can count at least 6 edges of content that aren't aligned. Generally speaking the less the better, and you can make an exception for the arrows of the slider. The 'visuals' of your logo also isn't aligned!

    On to the design itself. So obviously the first thing I notice is the first slide of the image slider. So, what that says to me is that you're someone who works with people ALL over the world on a daily basis. I would expect, therefore, that you would have a rather long list of clients from no less than 10 countries, especially as you've decided to make this the biggest message about you/your company on your websites most prominent page. So how many people have you worked with and from how many different countries in total? Also, I think the "..." at the end displays an unnecessary level of ambiguity, I think it would read better as a statement that ended with a full stop instead of an ellipsis.

    The arrows on the slider don't look great, I think you've got a lot of room there to display some designer flare to be honest. Also, the shadow of the slider isn't in the centre, for some reason it's been offset to the right. In Photoshop, select the slider and press ctrl + t, then by dragging out the rulers it will snap to the centre of the x and y axis of the image which you can use to better align other objects, like the shadow. I'm not sure how you did the shadow either, but I think you'd be better off going with a smaller, more solid and opaque shadow. Take a look at some of the jQuery slider plugins, like Nivo Slider, for examples.

    I don't remember the exact number of seconds that the average person browses a website before going elsewhere for the information/service they can't find and I'm sure with every new survey it changes, but it's usually between 2 and 5 seconds. I'm struggling to find out what it is exactly that you do even after reading every piece of text on that page. The text underneath About Gilmore Visuals is too small. It's fine if you're young like me ( :D) but I think people of older generations, especially under inadequate lighting, are going to have to strain/squint a little to read it properly.

    As the only CTA on your page, the Read More button needs a lot more emphasis on it to make it stand out and ensure the people aren't going to miss it. It would look quite good with the blue you've used for the rest of the page.

    Your footer text isn't vertically aligned. I'm buying you a ruler for Christmas! ;)

    In terms of you looking to create something for the web, that you're not too sure what tools to use and are looking for a low budget site, can you clarify exactly what you're after as that's a little vague and conflicting! Are you looking for someone to code your site or recommend a site builder to you? Do you have reliable hosting sorted out? What's your budget? As for transferring your design to a site, it would be a straightforward html/css/javascript job - unless you were after some kind of CMS/WP integration?

    If you have any further questions regarding getting your site up, just let me know. I'm sure I can offer you something to match your budget or at the very least recommend someone.
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I read this part and then looked and noticed something that would arguably be worse....a spelling mistake :(
    It's across, not accross
  7. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Ahh yeah, I'm surprised I missed that to be honest...!
  8. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I did the first time...
  9. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Thanks for the feedback.


    I have aligned everything I thought would work when it was aligned.. I think it does look better like this- although i'm sure I have missed some ;) The only one I have purposefully not aligned is the 'About GilmoreVisuals' with the laptop (on the y axis).

    The 'working with clients all over the world' was just added in for the time to fill in some text. I have done work with clients in about 5 - 6 countries, but yeah, it's not something I feel particularly I want to shout about. I changed it to something more specific, still not sure on the wording / artwork. I would like 3 (or 4/5 maybe) slides, all with a similar style but 'advertising' different aspects of what I do. I guess it can be risky, as I am not specified to one area, so maybe being so broad is not the best thing to show (ie: Print Design, Web design, UI design, 3D modelling, 2D game graphics etc) - also, when someone says they do 'web design' does that mean only the design, or the construction of the site too?

    Regards the actual creation of this site, I think I'm looking for a tool that I can use to update/change design of the site if needed. I don't have hosting sorted out at the moment, but not sure to what extent I can afford it either... I can email you details, but basically at the moment i'm working for a company, so I can't do much freelance work, hence this being something I really want to set up over the next few months to have it 100% perfect (even 99% will do!) for when the 12 month contract ends so use this to keep me going until I find a full time job and use it as a portfolio for those potential employees. So the primary purpose of the site is for freelance work, but also keeping in mind that I want future employees to see it and want me to work for them, rather than myself, if you see what I mean :p

    Thanks again.
  10. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    Yeah it's certainly a lot better now. Although, you can remove the "All rights reserved" as that was made redundant a long time ago, it also only ever applied to America :p

    It depends who says they do web design. Technically web design is the creation of the visual elements to a site and web development is the coding of it. However, many people seem quite happy to use those words interchangeably and often use the term web designer as a generic title for someone who simply designs and/or develops web sites. If you are wanting to advertise the fact that you can design websites, you should use the phrase web designer and also possibly a sentence clarifying that you create the graphics, just in case some business know it all tries to hire you and expects you to do everything. Maybe you could have javascript hover tooltips on your services list that gives a little bit more info on what it is you do.

    As for your site, you have a couple of options open to you. Firstly you can set your site up on a CMS like WP. This will allow you to edit the content (not so much the actual design) of your site without technical knowledge, other than learning WP if you haven't already. However, you'll need to find someone who can build it with your desired CMS which will cost more initially, although you might be able to find a free template that is quite similar.

    You could learn how to use HTML/CSS which doesn't take too long, but you may run into browser compatibility issues and horrendously messy code if you don't know what you're doing.

    And finally, you could find web hosting that comes with website alterations/updates built into the hosting charge. Changes to basic sites like this really don't take very long and a lot can be done in an hour or two over a period of months. I offer this service as a reseller through

    It really depends what you want to be able to change on your site without help. You could always use one of those free site builders.. but then I would have to sever all contact with you, because free site builders are evil and should only be used by homeless businessmen!

    Feel free to email me if you have any other questions, or want to email me those details you mentioned.
  11. smadamij

    smadamij Member

    Just a footnote, to me if you have produced work for the NHS, shout about it as the very first image at the top and make sure everyone sees it. Clients love that in my experience - alot more than knowing you work across the world. A big recognisable brand makes them want to join in with you. Its also missing 'oomph' in my opinion. Its very, well, clinical. Show them your best design skills and if you dont have the time, get a designer friend to do it for you. I did that as my first site as i just fiddled too much and could never make the right call cos it was all about me. Getting someone else in can work wonders - sounds weird I know, but often true. Also, keywords. I dont see one. I see the word design once. Whats google gonna think you do? If nothing else make the navigation at the top a dropdown that then lists categories - ie logo design, website design etc..... Hope it helps.
  12. berry

    berry Active Member

    Oops! Basic typo - ' i' before' e' except after 'c' - achieved. Attention to detail is paramount in this business.
  13. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I have managed to start creating it using Google Sites (I'm aware it's not the top end, but it's doing the job and its free!) - so far I have created all the pages but only really designed the home page. Still trying to figure out how and what to have on the other pages, and like you said smadamij, I might add the drop down menus and focus more on the work I do on the home page.

    Anyway, here is the link, let me know what you all think so far! (and if it is working on your screens/web browsers)
  14. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    I have updated all pages... still not sure about the about me page. I think the portfolio is a bit too simple and in your face, but I guess it shows my work.

    Also, i'm not sure if I can put the logo of the NHS as I havn't designed for them through GilmoreVisuals, but through my employee... not sure.

    Any thoughts?
  15. Squiddy

    Squiddy Guest

    It doesn't look bad, but perhaps a little bland, although the portfolio page works well. I don't like how the two vertical lines on the edge of the page just end abruptly beneath the footer.

    In typical employee scenarios I believe that any work done for an employer remains with them, as in they paid you to design it for them, not yourself. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that you have worked with the NHS. You just wouldn't have any rights for the work that you did, but again, it's possible that as long as you're not selling that work or anything, just displaying it as a portfolio piece, your employers might not mind. You could try explaining this to your employers and ask if it's alright.
  16. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Yeah. Need to think of how to develop it... really don't like the about page. Anyway, it has been released and is live least, better than my free-site maker from carbon cookie :p I can't alter the actual template (ie: the size margins) so that's a bit of a pain but will do for now.

    Regards the NHS, I know for certain my boss wouldn't want me saying I designed for the NHS through his business mainly because he would treat it as potential competition... so at least until I have finished working with him I won't risk it, if you see where I am coming from!
  17. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    For future web design work, have a look at the 960 Grid System and Twitter Bootstrap. Two fairly good grid based starting points!
  18. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Will do. Thanks for the reference!
  19. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Guest

    Not a problem. If you feel like you need any help/assistance, don't hesitate to drop me a mail or a PM :)
  20. Jordan

    Jordan Active Member

    Good shout on the 960 grid system Tony. was just thinking same thing.

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