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  1. #1
    Junior Member Mune's Avatar
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    Current Rating

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    Greetings fellow forumers!

    I'm brand new here, and fairly new to the world of web design in general. I've just redesigned our company website and am looking for some feedback from those more knowledgeable than myself. That's where you guys come in! Thanks in advance for any suggestions or feedback, I appreciate it.

    Some concerns I have:
    • Color scheme isn't quite where I want it to be - too much blue, too many different shades.
    • Organization leaves much to be desired, but it was a bit of a compromise of conflicting concepts...
    • 'Contact Us' functionality is basic - I used a bit of open-source PHP code.
    • The Photo Galleries have no captions - I wanted some, but the boss does not.
    • Some pictures are old or low quality - They will be replaced as new pictures become available.
    • 'Graphics' section is currently rather basic - It will be expanded upon as that side of the business gets more fleshed out.
    • Having little web design experience, I'm sure the code may be somewhat convoluted - I'm basically learning Dreamweaver (CS4) as I go.

    And a bit of backstory for those who may be interested...

    Professionally I am/was a computer technician, CS major who dabbles in programming, but most of my career has been in fixing computers. Hence my inexperience with web design, which I have been learning as I go. Our company's old website was made in frontpage and didn't load properly in anything other than IE, so a new website was in order.

    Many of the images I had to work with were the old ones from the old site, as in, pictures taken ten to twenty years ago. I've gotten some new ones, but it all depends on whether or not someone thinks to take a picture of the fixture they made before it ships out. Replacing pictures is a priority of mine, but it'll take some time and requires some effort beyond my personal control.

    The organization scheme you see is a sort of convoluted mashup between my ideas and the way things were laid out on the old page. I like the idea of having two ways to navigate where you want (via the menu on the left or by clicking pictures/links in the content section) but the idea of having 3 categories with redundant subcategories between them wasn't exactly what I wanted.

    Note that I used Dreamweaver CS4 with the Flexi Menu and Flexi Layout plugins.

    Thanks again for reading this, and for any feedback given!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Without bashing you, cause you're doing the best you can with what you got to work with.

    Looks fresh for a 80's website.

    Just because someone can spend the money on the newer software, doesn't mean it should be used.

    Seriously, I hate it for you, I know lots of people who either by default, ended up getting the duties of creating and maintaining a company website, or they asked for it without really having a good grasp on design ( I don't know or care what category you fall into ), but this is the exact result I've seen time and time again from it.

    All of your comments about what you don't like we're right on...

    If the owners of the business have not realized yet, that a web site is the absolute cheapest for of advertising, but that doesn't mean the web site should be done by someone who doesn't have experience.

    Ok, I take the other statement back... Was this dumped on you ? As an add on to your job ? Or did you ask for it ?

  4. #3
    Junior Member Mune's Avatar
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    Being the only tech-savvy one in the company, web design was kindof an 'add-on' to my job. My previous experience creating websites includes writing HTML code in a TXT file back when I was a teenager (15 years ago or so).

    Anyway, I'm looking for specific suggestions to make it better. Anything helpful you could offer?

  5. #4
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    Hey Mune,
    What I am about to say is constructive criticism and I hope you don't take any of this to heart. The website is not the worst I've seen, But I've seen better. On the website it says "Store fixtures and vinyl graphics" and you have pictures of comic book stores etc. I'm not 100% sure as to why they are there. Maybe if you but a small description under each image to say what it is that you have done it would make more sense. When I develop websites, the first thing I want my viewers to see is a big heading that shows what we do. Maybe the sub-banner could be more "in your face" so to speak. Perhaps make it bigger, brighter and bolder. (I was always told the 3 B's when learning ) As you mentioned above, there is way too much blue used and it kind of gives me a headache looking at it.

    Other than that, Its good. Nice use of Javascript on the menu's and the layout is nice.

    Just change some stuff around and I thing you will be on your way

    All the best Mune

    - Brett

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webzarus, post: 244499
    Seriously, I hate it for you, I know lots of people who either by default, ended up getting the duties of creating and maintaining a company website, or they asked for it without really having a good grasp on design ( I don't know or care what category you fall into ), but this is the exact result I've seen time and time again from it.
    Dude, do you have any idea how many things I've ended up doing just because of "default"? That's how web development works...if you can develop websites, you can fix computers, market, answer the phones, prepare business plans, file legal documents, consult, and sell your clients' products. You oughta know that by now!

    Okay, on to the website. Definitely don't agree with making it "bigger"....your header is really big as it is. I'm guessing it's because you used a prebuilt template...I might have done the same thing in your position, but it usually doesn't work.

    You're right about the blue. Blues closer to the ones used say on WDF, for example, would probably work better if you can still maintain a decent contrast ratio (ratio between foreground/background colors). http://www.colourlovers.com , using the right palette searches, should give you about a kajillion good color schemes to work with. Alternatively, a good red might go better against the grey as well.

    Arial or Times New Roman...pick one, or pick the other (and by "pick one", I mean "Pick Arial").

    Lose the folded in picture in your header...not sure what the point of it is, but it's not working. If anything, do a muted cloud background across the top (probably won't be perfect either, but it'll be better) and shrink down the logo so as to allow more view of your content.

    That should probably get you more on your way.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  7. #6
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    Okay, on to the website. Definitely don't agree with making it "bigger"....your header is really big as it is.
    I wasn't talking about the header. I was referring to the Sub header. "Store fixtures and vinyl graphics". I feel the website should tell me what the services are the second I view the website Thats all. Valid points in your post though

  8. #7
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Ahhh okay. That makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up!
    BrettSykes95 likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  9. #8
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    #1. When you open the home page of any site, the user should be able to:
    a. Know what the web site is about
    b. easily make a choice where they are going on the site

    Seriously... When I opened it up the first time... I went huh ? Fixtures and vinyl graphics ?

    So if you have 2 distinct lines of offerings... That should be your focus . Tell the user in a summary which is which and what you offer... Then give them a choice

    #2. Not all Logos are web friendly ... And not all logos should be used Ina web environment.

    I've had this discussion with many clients over the years, done lots of "proof of concept" testing to prove this out time and time again... Yeah, I know, it's on business cards, signs, letterhead etc...

    As suggested above, you might try losing the graphic behind the logo... Or try something else... But the logo is ( in my opinion ) a distraction, and on a web site, graphics should attract, not distract. And in its current state, its taking up way too much valuable space that visitors get no value from.

    #3. Agree with everything said about the blues already.

    Me personally, since you have 2 distinct product lines that really have little to do with each other... I'd split the screen... One side for one product with a nice picture and a nice short summary so the user DOES NOT have to scroll to read it. Perhaps a content slider to grab people's attention... Showing them the different offerings.

    I'm no going to get into the "generated" code from the editing software... But it's a bit much for what you're working with, but then again, all wysiwyg editors that generate code, tend to overdo it.

    I wasn't knocking you for taking on an added job, I got started that way... I was desktop support and internal applications programmer when I proposed an intranet to my boss... 6 months later i was working on the corporate web site. And I probably made a lot of the same mistakes you made, at the time there were no forums or DIY sites to talk to others that were doing this stuff.

    I used DW at the time to "re-make" the site... But I also had corporate marketing people telling me what thy wanted... I suspect you're in the same boat I'm in with many of my new clients "just make it work", I'll tell you what I don't like, when I see it.

  10. #9
    Junior Member Mune's Avatar
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    Thanks you guys for your wealth of feedback, I'll try to address them specifically below. I did indeed expect some negative feedback, it is not quite where I want it to be yet. This has been my side project for a better part of the last year, and I can be happy that it is certainly better than the previous version. It wouldn't load in a useable state on most browsers, so it needed a replacement sooner than later.

    One difficulty I'm facing is the development of the graphic design side of the website. The old website did not have this section, as it is a new venture for our business (and is my main profession here). Much of the work we do is custom order, as in, we can make whatever the customer wants and stick it to anything. I'm having trouble expanding on that concept in any meaningful way, via text or a catalog or what have you. The fixtures are easier because much more of it is a specific design, with dimensions and data that you can give.

    Going forward, my first goal I think will be to change the color scheme, because that will be easy and quick. Beyond that, it's going to take some more thinking, which I think I'll leave for tomorrow morning (and beyond). Thanks again for all feedback given and any more to come.

  11. #10
    Junior Member Mune's Avatar
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    Please excuse the double-post,

    Just wanted to show you guys a screenshot of the new color scheme I'm going to try out. Much more work needs to be done for sure, but I wanted to get your opinions of the new colors I'll probably be using. I went with "Winter Cold" (seen here) so as to keep with the obvious blue/white 'clouds' theme. Hopefully less headache-inducing!

    newcolortheme.jpg


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