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  1. #1
    Member EdMarks's Avatar
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    Current Rating

    Visual Appeal:
    1.0 out of 5

    Accessibility:
    3.0 out of 5

    Website Speed:
    2.0 out of 5

    Compatibility:
    3.0 out of 5

    Overall Rating:
    2.0 out of 5

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    This is the only second site I have made so far.
    Ignore code, I know its sloppy.
    My main concern is whether it is aesthetically pleasing.
    I thought I liked it but then I looked at some of your sites and mine just doesn't please my eyes.

    What would you do?
    (other than start from scratch)

    P.S. I made this free for a friend so I could learn. Thanks to this place I can do all my html and css coding by hand.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member DanExcell's Avatar
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    Everything is too big, the Flash animation is not necessary. If you do want some sort of animation, Javascript libraries offer a great deal of animations for free.
    I have gotten into the habit of not judging other designers/developers work, but this is my Microsoft Meandering time so I'm MEANDERING...

    Oh, almost forgot: spammers are gender-less parasites...

  4. #3
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    I agree - the animation is distracting - it might have some value if Elaine were a visual artist and it was some of her work, but she's a songwriter.

    Do you have access to a graphic artist? I realize this is a free site, so maybe not. But I could see a header with a music paper background and her name flowing over it like a signature...

    Attachment 2519

    • Make the background lighter - that dark grey is depressing, and she looks like a happy person. Find a texture - paper maybe, to tie in with the writing theme.
    • Make your homepage font smaller (Bio page size). You'll also want to look at how your fonts are aligned, they're a bit messy and quite hard to read right now.
    • If the links to the music examples lead off the site, warn people!
    • You need a title for the page - make it something descriptive. "Home page of Elaine Macaluso, songwriter and composer" will do you a lot more good in the search engines than "Home".
    • Get some keywords into metatags, particularly a description. I know "they" say that the SE's don't look at them, but I don't know that's true, and better have 'em and not need 'em than need 'em and not have 'em!
    • Could use a little more information on the Credits - song titles? was it the music or the lyrics she wrote? or both?
    • Center the Contact page.
    • Rock'nBlues link from the Contact page is a dead end. not only no content, but no navigation either. Even if you have no content yet, give us a way to get back to the site without having to use the "back" button.


    OK - now for the stuff I like!
    • I like that the music doesn't automatically play. This is a real biggie for me. When I hit a site and any kind of sound plays automatically, I get out as fast as I can and I don't go back.
    • I like the "more info" on the media files. I always wonder about what I'm seeing and it's nice to know a little more.
    • I really like that the social icon menu floats with the scroll.
    • I love the Beatles quote - make it more prominent! (Maybe you could have a different musical quote on each page?)

    Above all, don't be discouraged. keep at it, and you'll end up with something to be proud of. You're obviously able to manage the code - yes it's a tad bit messy, but you're doing it right, with divs and CSS for layout, and it gets the job done. (It's not as easy as they make it sound to embed multimedia, it took me months to figure it out!)
    My final advice - surf other songwriter's sites - surf designer's sites. Make a note of what you like and what you don't - I mean it - literally write it down or at least bookmark them. Read some good design blogs. Come and ask opinions here. Stir that up and add your own ideas. This is not a skill that develops overnight - and the lovely part is that it never stops growing.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    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 EdMarks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMare, post: 233276
    I agree ..
    Quote Originally Posted by DanExcell, post: 233264
    Everything is too big..
    Ok. Sounds like nobody like the animation.

    The lack of autoplay was thanks to AlphaMare from a few months ago(blaster her eardrums out) on this same site.

    Right now I just want to get the landing page down tight and I'll use that as a template for the rest.
    I know the Rock n Blues links doesn't go anywhere. Ill remove that now.

    I agree with everything and will do all recommendations
    the only thing I think she's not going to like is the animation.
    I made it in cinema 4d to her specifications.
    It probably should be smaller.

    One problem Im having is with the text.
    I cant seem to change the font.
    I put "times new roman" in every tag I possibly could and still, no times new roman.

    Does anyone know why this is?
    Should I just change the font in the HTML as opposed to CSS?
    I didn't want to do this because my code is sloppy enough as it is but I cant seem to fix it.

    Thanks
    AlphaMare likes this.

  6. #5
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdMarks, post: 233282
    Ok. Sounds like nobody like the animation.

    The lack of autoplay was thanks to AlphaMare from a few months ago(blaster her eardrums out) on this same site.
    *bowing to the audience* LOL
    Quote Originally Posted by EdMarks, post: 233282
    Right now I just want to get the landing page down tight and I'll use that as a template for the rest.
    I know the Rock n Blues links doesn't go anywhere. Ill remove that now.
    I agree with everything and will do all recommendations
    the only thing I think she's not going to like is the animation.
    I made it in cinema 4d to her specifications.
    It probably should be smaller.
    Maybe you can work the animation in somewhere else where it will make more sense - perhaps somewhere on the Media page - it may blend in better there.
    Quote Originally Posted by EdMarks, post: 233282
    One problem Im having is with the text.
    I cant seem to change the font.
    I put "times new roman" in every tag I possibly could and still, no times new roman.
    Does anyone know why this is?
    Should I just change the font in the HTML as opposed to CSS?
    I didn't want to do this because my code is sloppy enough as it is but I cant seem to fix it.

    Thanks
    It could be the browser overriding the font - have you got a reset at the beginnning of your CSS to get rid of the browser default settings?
    If not, there's a good one here: http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/css/reset/
    EdMarks likes this.
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


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    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 EdMarks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMare, post: 233289
    It could be the browser overriding the font - have you got a reset at the beginnning of your CSS to get rid of the browser default settings?
    If not, there's a good one here: http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/css/reset/
    Thanks

    What is the web design view on sidebars?

    I just don't think mine flows.

    EDIT: LOL. I guess somehow my body style read

    body: 100%"times new roman";

    They font is working locally now.

  8. #7
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdMarks, post: 233292
    Thanks

    What is the web design view on sidebars?

    I just don't think mine flows.

    EDIT: LOL. I guess somehow my body style read

    body: 100%"times new roman";

    They font is working locally now.
    Well, I quite like sidebars, which is a good thing, since I work in WordPress a lot, and sidebars are a very common feature. The trick is to have enough stuff in it to fill it without being crowded. not as easy as it sounds...

    If you are hand-coding a static site, you'll be dictating the size and style of the sidebar in your CSS, so you could have the sidebar as a PHP include (I do this on most of my non-WordPress sites for the header and the footer as well) - not hard to do and it assures the sidebar is the same in all pages. Also, because it only has to load the first time it is asked for by the browser (the rest of the time it will most likely be pulled from the cache) this can speed up load times a bit.
    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 EdMarks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMare, post: 233299
    Well, I quite like sidebars...
    I think I'm calling it the wrong thing. I didn't mean the twitter/FB/mail thing on the left.
    I LOVE that thing. It's has more character than most.

    I guess I just meant dividing the page in columns, at least the way I have.

    FYI that mp3 player AlphaMare liked is just the Myspace player that I embedded on there.
    oops. I don't know if I'm supposed to do that or not but it works great and I'm pretty sure it syncs with users Myspace page.
    And making a user friendly GUI is always good for users to manage their content.

  10. #9
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Actually, I didn't mean the Twitter, FB etc thing - that's a widget in my book. I meant the sidebar with the photo and the mp3 player. (And I was all impressed with your superior coding - Mysapce player, eh? Huh! )
    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!

  11. #10
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    You'll learn more about do's and don'ts as you do more work on websites and analyze websites.

    For now, let me give you some don'ts:

    1. Don't add pointless flash animation. There's no purpose for exploding vectors on her page. I don't recommend flash at all, but here's an example of how it might be tastefully done: http://www.accuityllp.com (not mine).

    2. Don't design without considering how your page will look on other people's computers (esp. smaller screens). For my laptop, I see HOME MEDIA BIO on your menu, but the other two are on the next line and clipped.

    3. Don't blow up icons. Your icons on the left have been blown up, so they look fuzzy as heck. Please go to iconfinder.com and find the icon sizes you want. We want sharp pictures.

    4. Don't make all the text huge! Use H1 for headers, H2 for subheaders, H3 for paragraph headers...

    All I have are don'ts at this point. I don't browse music sites. My recommendation: visit sites of people who do work like Elaine. This is your research. See what they do. Note what you like. Make mental notes or write it down. If that sounds troublesome, just use a template design. They might look vanilla, but vanilla never fails.

    -R


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