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  1. #1
    Senior Member waynarky's Avatar
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    Current Rating

    Visual Appeal:
    3.7 out of 5

    Accessibility:
    3.7 out of 5

    Website Speed:
    3.0 out of 5

    Compatibility:
    3.7 out of 5

    Overall Rating:
    2.3 out of 5

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    Hey guys

    I'd like your critique on my Extreme Sports Directory site. Its been a while, but I haven't really been trying to punt it. I've made quite a lot of design changes (namely flash animations) and I want to start selling space on it.

    Any help u can give would be appreciated!

    http://www.extremelysa.co.za

    Cheers
    Wayne

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  3. #2
    Senior Member minute44's Avatar
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    I have to say, I'm biased here because I actually hate seeing directory sites! They look like some kind or re-direct page that you'd get if you typed an incorrect URL.

    I am, however a fan of extreme sports so this has put me in somewhat of a situation...

    Do I rag on it for being a directory site or do I see past that because of my love of extreme sports...?

    I'll tell you what. I'll try and remain fair throughout...

    The good.
    • I quite like your logo dispide it being in flash (I'll mention this later)
    • Navigation is clear and gives enough feedback on mouse over.
    • Colours work well and the rounded edges on the graphics give a nice effect.
    The bad.
    • It's a directory site. To be honest there are quite enough of these out there already. I think this would be loads more usefull if it were a South African extreme sports community where athletes and hobbyists alike can share experiences and tips etc..
    • The use of flash on a site like this is kind of a bad idea. It's totally unnecessary and will almost certainly make the page difficult to view for some visitors. If you insist on using flash a good rule of thumb is to always make the flash compatible with one or two versions lower of the player ie. flash player 6 or 7. this way there is much more chance of the visitor having a compatible version.
    • Your code is one great big bloated giant of a monster! And I can sum up why in one word... Tables. You've used tables to achieve your layout but this is not what tables are for. You could make this site with XHTML and CSS and it would cut your markup down to about a quarter of what it is now and it would be a lot more accessible and would be standards compliant so it would validate.
    Suggestions.
    • Take a step ack and look into what valid markup and CSS can do for you. Go out and learn them because web design will get harder and harder until you do.
    No ma'am, we in IT don't have a sense of humor we're aware of.

  4. #3
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Nice review minute.........that does cover about everything.

    I do think there is an over use of flash on the site (just read the review again and that was covered).........soooo........

    Directories are created for one reason........to make money. There isn't much of a design element when it comes to the generic every day run of the mill directory.
    You have made good use of some design elements, but you just don't need that much "going on" in terms of movement on the site.

    Another thing that is "amatuerish"? Lack of forms in the contact page. Why even have a contact page if it is just an email link?
    Give a potential customer/viewer the ability to select and submit.

    Another note........you have a lot of custom graphics, so you should have your copyright info somewhere on the site.
    And before you just throw something up, look up copyrighting your site and know what it is you are doing.

    Lose the tables..........man, I could go on all day about this but I won't. Last time I made a reference that "the only time you should use tables is when you are eating dinner", someone got all over me saying there was a place for tables.........anywhooo...

    Good luck with your site.........
    GMan

  5. #4
    Senior Member waynarky's Avatar
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    Thanks for your comments guys!

    I used Dreamweaver. Is there any reason why the code would be a mess? I just found it easier than writing all the code out myself.

    I tried exporting as flash 7 but it gave me a msg saying that there were elements that weren't compatible with it. That is my one major concern. I noticed that when the site loads with only player 7 installed everything looks outta whack and I'm worried some people won't bother to download the new one, they'll just move on.

    I agree that theres too much flash! Im working with a partner that wants tons of flash and animations so we sort of got to a middle ground. I think I will work it down again.
    One reason i did want to use flash though is so that I dont have to update every page when I change something on one of the sidebars. is there another way of doing it?

    You're also right about the forms. Gotta get one up.

    The aim of the site is to get extreme Sports in South africa noticed. I find that a lot of people want to try something but don't know where to go. I want to work it up to having a forum etc. Each customer on the site will email me their news every month and I will compile it in a newsletter and send it to the mailing list. We want to try go to all extreme sports events and collect email addresses to grow it. While Im on the mailing list subject, Does anyone know of a good program (or tuts or something) whereby subscribers can automatically sign up or de-register without me having to do it? At the mo I just have everyone in my outlook addy book, which is a ball-ache!

  6. #5
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    I do like the flash in the banner (maybe not with the X in the logo), but I do like the sport names coming out of the banner.
    I think the rest of it is a bit too much though...........and I understand you have a partner who likes it, but maybe you should let him know that SEVERAL professional designers don't agree with him..........lol

    Sounds like you have a lot to add to the site and you are doing more than most sites like yours........good luck with it.
    Keep posting as you develop it.
    GMan

  7. #6
    Senior Member waynarky's Avatar
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    LOL.
    You guys don't like the X? That was one of the things I liked! What if I just make it spin every now and then?

    My partner is one of my best mates from back in the day. We ride MX together and are pretty stoked about getting this site pumping. Big plans dude! big plans. Anyway he's just excited about the site so u just gotta reel him in a bit, but its awesome, the energy is a good thing!

    What are the advantages of css? How does it work if theres no tables? Would I still split up the whole interface into separate images as with tables? I'm going to do the tutorials, but I would just like to get my head around what i'm learning it for.

  8. #7
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    Yes, I think if you slow it down it could be more effective.
    It is an awesome logo, so you want to do as little as possible to take away from it.

    Learning CSS is essential if you are going to do web design. If you are a hobbyist and putting up your own site, then what you have is adequate.
    GMan

  9. #8
    Senior Member
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    But! If you're a hobbyist and you put up a website done with good, clean CSS and XHTML, the occasional web designer who will drop by will probably have a glance and go `HOLY CRAP!!' and be all happy. And a happy web designer is never a bad thing, right? :-D

  10. #9
    Senior Member waynarky's Avatar
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    haha i get that, but how does the layout work without tables?

  11. #10
    Senior Member
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    Have a look over yonder :-)


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