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07-06-2007, 04:50 PM   #1
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Feedback on a website

What do you all think of the most recent version of my website?

post oak studio



07-06-2007, 06:03 PM   #2
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You are a really great photographer - there is no doubt in my mind!

I want to change my website too so I am kind of critical of certain designs.

I find the home page simple - maybe a bad thing, but I'm ok with it - and the thumbnails in the gallery are all at the top of the page and really small. If you could move the thumbnails toward the middle of the page, make them a bit bigger and separate them a bit it might be better. Just my humble opinion.
07-06-2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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lost interest immediately. Had to go through choices before I found any photos, although the dust storm was nice. Wasn't sure which textual choices to select.

I think a photo website should have photos right away, and further gallery and image selections should be visual, not textual.
07-06-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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Well, I changed it to where the gallery is all one big image pile. I still don't know if I like it that way Donald. Nice view, anyway.

Thanks, Jeff. Take any inspiration you'd like.

07-07-2007, 05:45 AM   #5
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And, I change it again, where now all of the pictures are only one text link away.

What did you think of the actual site?
07-07-2007, 08:55 AM   #6
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Hi, as a graphic designer/web designer I have some expertise to share. And some personal comments that you can take or leave.

1. The portfolio page is throwing an error "The requested URL /portfolio.html was not found on this server."

2. I personally dont care for the indentation of the paragraphs. If you choose to start using a manual of style approach to web text then you should go with double spaces between sentences etc. IMO.

3. I'm not sure I care for the color chosen for the gallery section and the centering of the choices. I too feel there should be some sort of imagery on this page immediately. Now wether its one of your favorite photos or perhaps the latest gallery items or whatever is your choice.

And really i'm being nit picky. Its overall very clean and easy to use. THere's nothing glaringly wrong etc. I didn't go into the code to check for CSS/XHTML or browser compatibility. Otherwise its pretty good. Good job.
07-07-2007, 09:46 AM   #7
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Matthew,

I enjoyed looking at your site. I never know whether people that ask for input on an image or website really want critical input or are just looking for compliments. However, since you probably know much more about computers than I do, I’m not going to cut you any slack just because you are only sixteen :-) I’ve been interested in looking at sites lately because I’m trying to get around to updating and redoing mine. (Mine is certainly not an example of what a good site should look like, but I do have a little experience with marketing.)

I really think that uniformity and continuity are important. While your home page is seems OK, there is somewhat of a jarring transition in going to your gallery pages. The style is completely different and I think that this distracts from what you are trying to accomplish. On the other hand, I like the simple and obvious navigation. The exception is the “Portfolio” link which leads to a 404—at least link it to something before you ask people to look at your site. (Remember, I said “no slack”!)

I like the idea of having a link that explains the “Texas Hill Country”, but do you really want to invite people to leave your site just when they arrive at the home page? You may want to consider having this link open up in a separate window.

Most of what I might say about the gallery pages is pretty much nit picking. I like the simple navigation except maybe the “Up a Level” thing, but that’s probably just me. The thumbnails aren’t always a big help in selecting the images to view, especially the night images at Lost Maples. I’m not sure how much trouble it would be to make them larger. I noticed that the frames you used varied from gallery to gallery but, while I would like to see more uniformity, I don’t think this is all that distracting.

Anyway, these are just my opinons. I think it is probably better than many of the the personal websites I see. I had prepared my critique before seeing the previous posters remarks and there is some overlap. I'd certainly bet that he knows more about web design than I.
07-07-2007, 05:39 PM   #8
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c.r., I haven't uploaded a portfolio page yet, but as of now it will comprise both my web design and sculptural portfolio, which will be showcased using Lightbox JS 2.0.

I've fixed the indentations, as I found that I agreed with you, and I also moved the headers over to the left. And I increased the line spacing in the paragraphs.

As to the gallery, I've changed the background color back to what it had been for along time, chocolate, and made the links a contrasting light blue; I added my favorite pictures to the root directory of the gallery, and indicated which sub-galleries they came from.

Joe, definitely more interested in the critiscism than the meaningless "good job"s (although praise is good ). Said above, the gallery's background color is dark, to provide a good contrast to the photographs themselves, whereas the link colors provide a commonality with the other pages.

I'll fix that TX Hill Country link, right.

By the way, the site (besides the gallery, created with Qdig) was created with metapad (XHTML) and TopStyle Lite (CSS).

Thanks for the detailed responses.

07-08-2007, 07:49 AM   #9
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I think the photography is great. The overall design is good, but the main thing I would I would improve is the home page. think of the home page as a book cover.... If someone saw a book cover that didn't catch their eye, then they are unlikely to open up the book. same deal as a home page. If someone thought the home page isn't interesting, they wouldn't go any further.
as for the gallery page, It could be more appealing if you would use thumbnails with the name of the link at the bottom instead of a list.
A very helpful book is called Web Design Workshop by Robin Williams. It is a few years old but designs haven't change that much.... the basics are still the same.

Of course the above is just opinions and not the bible.
good luck

randy
07-09-2007, 10:08 AM   #10
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Well, one recent update on the gallery, made the thumbnails about 25% larger, so they're easier too see. Will update the homepage and add a portfolio, too.

All in good time.

Randy, I am using Qdig Gallery, which although extremely compact (only one file, index.php, is required to manage an entire gallery), there is no capability yet for thumbnails to be links to subdirectories.
07-09-2007, 10:19 AM   #11
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Your pictures are great, but the overall display of them needs some work, if you really want to get into the deatails I would change the backround colours to coinside with the type of picture...brown just really doesn't go with everything. Also you're front page tries to be really simple but then you have all that writing, maybe move that somewhere else if you really want it.

Also your contrasting colours for links isn't there....it's very hard to read them as they are small and very close to the backround colour.

it is a good start to a site but just some ideas for you to ponder
07-09-2007, 10:42 AM   #12
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I do see what you're saying on the link colors, but the gallery is about as close to perfect as I can find by fiddling around with all of the different properties.

Actually got the inspiration for the background color from the biography of Ansel Adams, where he talks about how he only once had a gallery display his photographs with a wall color he actually liked, a deep chocolate brown.
07-09-2007, 11:59 AM   #13
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Sorry to say but, the background in combination with the blue links makes it almost unreadable for me. Not much a problem just change the links to a neutral gray (#cccccc) this wil enhance the brown and make it readable for most.

I understand where you got the idea for the backcolor, but that also leaves me with a wrong feeling for the first pages. There you work with a white background and as soon as you link to ex. the gallery you're in a complete different site. I looks or a different site, or a site that is being updated and not finished yet.
I think it would already help if you changed those static html pages when entering the site.

And then a last one, sometimes you have to click multiple times to get a images, the inbetween pages are menu's I know but it would lighten the site a lot if you added some images in those selection pages.

Just an extra question, have you already taken a look at your site from another pc. This might give you a better insight in how other people might see you site.

PS - nice shot's on it.
07-09-2007, 12:25 PM   #14
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If you want to use the dark backround then you might want to carry it to the front page too

here is one i made a while ago for my friend...we never finished it
Click here
07-09-2007, 02:59 PM   #15
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Ronny, I've been looking at my site using Firefox 2.0 mostly, which seems to render the colors better, but when I showed my dad the gallery on his computer, he pointed out the low contrast between the visited links and the background (on IE6), so it seems as if you're right. I changed the link colors from blue to orange (matching the color of the button on the homepage for the gallery). Can you see it better now? Thank you for the compliments on the photos.

Gaelen, (and Ronny, too) I've changed the background of the main page to the dark brown, too.
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