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  1. #1
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Current Rating

    Visual Appeal:
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    Hi - I have been a member of these forums since '09, when I was still a student. At first I mostly read and learned, but over time I became braver and started to post when I thought I had something to say. My first student site brought out some very useful comments. I have changed the name, edited a lot, and demoted that site to a sub-division of what I do now.

    I would appreciate some feedback on my new site, always bearing in mind that it is a work in progress, and knowing that I take very seriously the good advice I get here.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Not bad. In general, I'd say your drop shadows and other layer effects are a bit too drastic. Try reducing them to < 20% opacity and increase their size for a softer spread and see how that looks to ya.

  4. #3
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll try that.

    Any comments on layout, content, etc?
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  5. #4
    Member rickidoo's Avatar
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    Hi Alphamare,

    There's a lot to like about the presentation and approach. One small thing I've never seen before that I thought was a nice touch was the "you are here" under the main menu items.

    But...

    I feel there is one part of the layout that needs rethinking. You have a main menu at top - which I thought was the only menu, until I realized you had a sort of 2nd main menu at the bottom of the page. That 2nd main menu holds some important stuff!

    I was in "examination mode" looking at your site as a friend and I missed the 2nd menu for a while. I have done a number of web usability tests over the years, and I have to tell you that putting stuff like that "below the fold" is a big mistake. It will be overlooked by 50% of first time viewers.

    And so I would suggest that you rethink the top menu, and bring the most important menu items from the bottom menu up. You might want to employ some kind of drop downs along the top to make it easier for users to eye-scan available content. But that's of secondary importance. The most important thing is to get the important things above the fold.

    All the best,

    Rick
    Rick Dieffenbach
    www.ProfessionalWebsiteReview.com
    Tutorials for reviewing your website

    www.allureiw.com
    Web Design and Development

  6. #5
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Rick - thanks for the input. I like the you are here thing too - appeals to the tourist in me...

    About the layout - I was in two minds about where to put the stuff from the "footer menu". I decided to go the way I did because I kind of felt I was targeting two levels of client.

    The ones who knew little or nothing about the way the web works, and don't really care to learn more, who were only interested in the services I offer. The main menu is for them.

    The second group would be those who wanted to explore on a deeper level, and were interested in the process. Hopefully, those folks would look at the whole page, and notice the links at the bottom.

    I am constantly updating and changing things - soon (as soon as I can figure out the coding for the maintenance) I'll be replacing the blue contact box in the lower left with a newsletter sign-up form.

    I think maybe it would help to make the text stand out a bit more or maybe even get the articles up into a menu item - much of the rest down there is duplicate content or stuff you'd expect on the footer (privacy etc.) My main problem is that the menu is getting pretty long - I might have to cut it like I did for the blog...

    Thanks for the thoughtful feedback - and yes, the form did work!
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  7. #6
    Member rickidoo's Avatar
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    AlphaMare -

    Based on the assumptions of two levels of users, I can understand why you did what you did. However.. (there's always a however...)

    If you were to test this approach using volunteers from your target audience, (of both types based on your assumption), what you would observe is a chunk of people from either audience will not find your lower menu. By test I mean sit them down in front of the screen, ask them a specific question (e.g, what to look for in a web designer), and watch them as they go looking for that information. This is a truly humbling experience!

    (I have done many such tests over the years, so I speak from direct observation - stuff below the fold is usually lost more often than not.)

    Now, combine the above with this fact - stay - no - stay decisions are initially made in seconds not minutes...

    ... then putting important stuff below the fold will cause otherwise good potential customers to make a 'leave' decision without even knowing the information exists.

    That's my 2 cents.

    All the best,

    Rick
    Rick Dieffenbach
    www.ProfessionalWebsiteReview.com
    Tutorials for reviewing your website

    www.allureiw.com
    Web Design and Development

  8. #7
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Rick - I've been looking closely at the pages, and I think you're right about the layout.

    I can just remove the redundant links to the home page, blog, etc, and keep the usual suspects like privacy policy and terms of use in a more conventional one-line text footer menu.

    Now how to get the other stuff up "above the fold" so people can find it. I really don't want to make a menu with eleventy-one choices - I read somewhere that odd numbers were best and 7 should be about the max. And I want people to find the info, but I don't want the less interested ones to be scared away by too much.

    Maybe a sidebar menu... It would mean a redesign of the index page for sure, but I've been considering that anyway - I'm not as in love with the layout of the slider and the tagline text as I was when I started out. I think leaving the slider where it is, with a sidebar menu to the left, and putting the text into an actual paragraph would maybe be better, and I could work in some more keywords for the SEO at the same time.

    I'm going to play around with it and see what I can come up with - I'll repost when I have something new. I just have to be careful - I enjoy this stuff (playing with the layout and changing things around) so much that I could do it forever and never be finished....

    Thanks again, :-)
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  9. #8
    Member ScienceGuy22's Avatar
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    nice job

  10. #9
    Member Fraze's Avatar
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    Hi AlphaMare,

    I like your website. I would possibly consider 'modernising' your logo but apart from that I like it.

    I only have one query and I hope you read into it as me helping and not being pernickety.

    Your slogan is as follows;

    Here at DigitalInsite, we believe that “good enough” is just not good enough...


    “Outstanding, amazing, and brilliant” are good enough.


    Let us make something good enough for you!
    The first line: Here at DigitalInsite, we believe that “good enough” is just not good enough... I assume means that you consider 'good enough' not to actually be good enough.

    The second line then goes onto say “Outstanding, amazing, and brilliant” are good enough. , meaning that these define something that is actually good enough.

    Unfortunately i then feel you ruin the slogan at the end; Let us make something good enough for you!. As this read to me as you are now wanting to make a website that is 'good enough', which you actually defined earlier as not being good enough.

    I really hope this doesn't come across badly, I'm honestly just looking to help and it was how I read it.

    A suggestion from me to avoid anyone else getting confused would be to change the last line to 'Digital insite, lets you be Outstanding!'
    | Todd Fraser
    | http://www.toddfraser.co.uk
    | toddfraserdesign.wordpress.com

  11. #10
    Junior Member Slayer's Avatar
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    very nice try, I guess. content is strong


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