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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2
    Member #
    21482

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    I've been dabbling in web design/development for a few years now, but this site marks my first attempt to start (and finish, to my liking) a complete site from scratch. That is, I did all of the design (including logo and other assets) and html/css/php development. The only thing I didn't do was write the text copy.

    I've gotten praise from family and friends (of course), but now I'm ready to bite the bullet and get a some real, no-holds-barred criticism (constructive, please), so that I can know what I need to work on to take it to the next level (and who knows, maybe get paid for this someday).

    And now for the disclaimer: I've never thought myself one to have a great eye for design, and I think my career will be headed more towards the development end of things, but I would still like to know how to design a pleasant, clean, and functional site that people like to look at.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member aeroweb99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Port Huron, Michigan
    Posts
    1,037
    Member #
    16468
    Liked
    1 times
    Appearance
    At first glance, I really liked the the split second appearance. But then I started reading that bright white text on that red background and it killed my eyes! Maybe I'm just a little tired tonight, I don't know, but something needs to be done with either the background or the text. I like the outer part of the background with the auditorium though, just not behind the text.

    The green headings are not doing it for me either. Also the neon blue headings on the fretboard are clashing too. Think about these colors... green, blue, red, and because of the fretboard, you also have brown. This would be considered a horrible palette without even seeing it! Red is normally terrible for the web, but yours may just be dark enough to be okay. The struggle is going to be blending other colors with red.

    Content
    I guess your call to action is the "schedule a lesson", as I don't see anything else that draws me to click anywhere really. But then when I click that, it just takes me to a basic form. If that's your call to action, then I would expect a more elaborate form with maybe preferred times, days, and try to extract more info out of the person filling out the form. Right now it just feels like "Email us and we'll get back to you".

    No pictures of the teachers??? Believe me, having played guitar for 18 years I would want to know what my teacher looks like. This school is guitar oriented and no pics of guitars either. Pictures of some REAL students wouldn't hurt either. Some testimonials would be great for a site like this. A picture of a real student with his/her testimonial, that goes a long way.

    Navigation
    It's easy enough to get around the site, so functionality is fine. The navigation on the left is pretty boring being the same size and color of the content text right next to it, not a big deal though.

    Coding
    Nice clean code, good to see! Your using Dreamweaver the way it was meant to be used. Maybe utilize the white space in the code to organize a little better, but I'm guilty of that all the time. It's like one of the last things I do to a site. The only thing you should do is add clear: both; to your footer to prevent any layout problems in different browsers.

    Overall It's not too bad, a little boring maybe and the colors need some work.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2
    Member #
    21482
    aero, first off thank you very much for taking the time to write your thoughts in such detail, I really appreciate it. I won't even try to defend my intentions, because most of your criticisms I have felt myself at one point or another each time I look at it with fresh eyes
    Now that I have some great feedback to work with, I'll take a more objective approach and come back with the results.
    I hope to get some more feedback from other posters out there...keep it coming, please!
    Quote Originally Posted by aeroweb99
    Appearance
    At first glance, I really liked the the split second appearance. But then I started reading that bright white text on that red background and it killed my eyes! Maybe I'm just a little tired tonight, I don't know, but something needs to be done with either the background or the text. I like the outer part of the background with the auditorium though, just not behind the text.

    The green headings are not doing it for me either. Also the neon blue headings on the fretboard are clashing too. Think about these colors... green, blue, red, and because of the fretboard, you also have brown. This would be considered a horrible palette without even seeing it! Red is normally terrible for the web, but yours may just be dark enough to be okay. The struggle is going to be blending other colors with red.

    Content
    I guess your call to action is the "schedule a lesson", as I don't see anything else that draws me to click anywhere really. But then when I click that, it just takes me to a basic form. If that's your call to action, then I would expect a more elaborate form with maybe preferred times, days, and try to extract more info out of the person filling out the form. Right now it just feels like "Email us and we'll get back to you".

    No pictures of the teachers??? Believe me, having played guitar for 18 years I would want to know what my teacher looks like. This school is guitar oriented and no pics of guitars either. Pictures of some REAL students wouldn't hurt either. Some testimonials would be great for a site like this. A picture of a real student with his/her testimonial, that goes a long way.

    Navigation
    It's easy enough to get around the site, so functionality is fine. The navigation on the left is pretty boring being the same size and color of the content text right next to it, not a big deal though.

    Coding
    Nice clean code, good to see! Your using Dreamweaver the way it was meant to be used. Maybe utilize the white space in the code to organize a little better, but I'm guilty of that all the time. It's like one of the last things I do to a site. The only thing you should do is add clear: both; to your footer to prevent any layout problems in different browsers.

    Overall It's not too bad, a little boring maybe and the colors need some work.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    488
    Member #
    11940
    Schedule a Lesson looks like a captioned photo, not a link to a form. Try less clever, and more plain vanilla "this is a button because it looks like a button."

    The header area has a top "bar" and bottom, the broken line of the top bar led me to think maybe something didn't load. I am not sure what I'm looking at but it looks "off."

    Customer testimonials should be a priority to get, and a necessary addition if you have them.

    Professional Instruction is meh, not much of a headline, but gets the basic "open for business" point across. Few (I mean really few) want to pay money for learning music theory.

    Benefits Of Having a Teacher comes across as the demerits of having a teacher write the copy that has to put food on the table. Starting with a huge, impenetrable block of text that lectures the reader. So many, many mistakes and so little time....

    Let's focus on breaking up the text and objection handling.

    Short paragraphs. Less unwieldy language like "unwieldy."

    You talk about scams but then don't do anything to suggest why you are legitimate. This really reads like a high school term paper, empty filler, looking to glide by on generics.

    You are selling guitar lessons. As much as it is evident you would rather not anyone use the unpleasant word "sell," you are selling guitar lessons. Say it out loud three times.

    Then read the copy for "the piano guy" Scott Houston's Play Piano in a Flash!

    Bio

    Scott "The Piano Guy" Houston

    Author of the book and Host of the highly successful television special on PBS called "Play Piano in a Flash!", Scott Houston's background combines a degree from Indiana University with over 15 years experience in the music industry. From teaching, to playing professionally, to managing a music publishing company, he has experienced a well-rounded view of the music world.

    Realizing that most students do not aspire to become concert pianists, but rather want to enjoy being able to sit down at a keyboard and play their favorite music, he has taught thousands of students in person at university and college workshops nationwide and millions on public television!

    Scott truly believes that anyone can learn to play well enough to have fun and sound good at a piano or keyboard. Just ask one of his students!

    Product Description
    For about the cost of 2 piano lessons, this video (both VHS and DVD formats are available) will provide readers with years of musical enjoyment. If truth be known, there is another way to learn how to play piano rather than going to weekly lessons and spending thousands of dollars in the process.

    The secret is learning to play the way the pros play. Learning to play in that style is enormously simpler than traditional classical piano lessons. Even better, it takes an absolute minimum amount of note reading ability.

    Best of all, your tour guide for this adventure, Scott "The Piano Guy" Houston, forces you to have fun along the way!

    Is this DVD going to prepare the viewer for a career as a concert pianist? Absolutely not! However, if you simply want to play some piano for the simple goal of enjoying yourself, then get ready to knock a lifelong dream from your "to-do" list. Have fun!

    This is the same presentation as seen by millions of viewers on public television stations for their fund raising pledge drives. In addition there is another 80 minutes of bonus material never seen on TV!

    There is also a "Play Piano in a Flash!" book and a "Play Piano in a Flash!" book examples audio CD available from Amazon to help round out your instructional collection.

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    72
    Member #
    20085
    Just looking at your meta data I find the title short. You used 22 characters out of the recommended 66. If you want Amarillo music academy to be your main keyword phrase it ought to be used in all your tags including heading tags.

    I like the overall design and the logo is very good especially since you worked it up yourself.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    415
    Member #
    17793
    Liked
    1 times
    To my mind the style of the background does not correspond with the style of the main elements on this page - it looks scattered and doesn't make an impression of the whole site.

  8. #7
    Member tayzor17's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    34
    Member #
    21996
    Good design, and nice colors none of them conflict with anything, good work


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