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Critique No.2


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A while ago I posted a critique about my syracuse bands website. Back then I didn't do much about validation and this and that. But now I am doing all the stuff that you are supposed to be doing with sites. SO...I made a new version.

The old site: www.syracusebands.net
New Site: www.syracusebands.net/new

Everything validates with no errors or warnings in both XHTML Strict and CSS. (except for some user database input)

Here is what I would like:
- General critique on design and functionality
- Ideas on how to make the site better
- Ideas on what I can do with the front page (I like the "plates" on the front, but I need some design ideas for them, they don't quite fit)
- Any other comments you have about the site.
- How to fix the poll on the front page in FF.

Please keep in mind that this is not the finished product and I have a whole list of new features and fixes for the site and I will probably post that at a later time because it's a little long.

I am going for somewhat of a local "MySpace" pretty much just for a challenge and it would look good in my portfolio (cause that's what people are going for now a days)

Thank you for your help and time.

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I'll take a closer look later, but for now a couple of obvious points.

#1 - tiny dark grey letters on a pale grey background are hard to read, light grey letters on a pale grey background are almost invisible to me (but I'm well out of your visitor demographic)

#2 - the links on the calendar are almost as bad

#3 - a little styling on the 'vote' button is needed

#4 - the mouseOver behaviour on the top navigation bar is slightly weird (in FF). Sometimes the black stripe below is aligned, sometimes it appears under an adjacent link!

#5 - oooh, can we have a 'back to top of page link, please?'
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Yeah I haven't done anything with the colors for text, links, or really ANYTHING with the calendar.

Also another thing that I forgot to mention is that the whole layout is CSS, so is the front page. Pretty much all of the other pages have tables in them but I will eventually convert everything to CSS.

as for the top navigation i don't really see what you are talking about with the top nav. Can you take a screen shot or something?

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1. If you MUST have a black background, I think you should use some brighter colors to compliment them. I don't really see a colorscheme, only a header image and a bunch of boxes below. I think you should select some colors that go well together and work on implimenting them throughout the site.

2. One great example of a website similar to yours is purevolume.com (which you, no doubt, have seen). I think you should group together and rearrange the boxes. Honestly, I really don't like how they're big and grey--they look a little empty.

On that same note: it seems like headlines should be towards the top and that the calendar doesn't need to be so big--maybe just make a little calendar that tells what's happening on a day when you hover the mouse over the date?

3. I like the "top of the page" link. You could do that easily with anchors.

4. That is all. Most importantly: choose a color scheme.

(I think maybe you should go with a dark grey background instead of black...I think the black is a little too intense looking, I've never been a fan of black backgrounds)
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top nav screenshot (composite of three) - 'bands' is where the mousepointer is in each case  and depending on whereabouts over 'bands' I get laterally and vertically displaced black 'things' appearing below the navigation words.
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Hey, Thanks again guys.

I will work on getting more of a color scheme.

Those black boxes are the "sweet titles" that I'm using, unfortunately they don't like images very well. If you moseover any of the links on the front page you should see the same thing, just with text in it. I will be messing with these a little more too.

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I think you should try a neutral background color (maybe a light beige or gray) and then possible color schemes:
- Burgandy, red, slate gray
- Dark green, sage, white, grey
You'll want to make sure your header matches.

Instead of using image rollovers, have you ever considered using Flash? They're really easy to do and quite a bit more flexible. If you need the program, let me know. I've got both MX 2004 pro and 8.
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I think its pretty good.

On the main page - try looking at your site in 1024 x 768. The heading images Band and Fan Registration are pushing the content way down the page causing me to scroll lots, and not see any other info in the beginning.

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I updated the front page a little so that it doesn't have those "plates" any more. I didn't get much of a chance to mess with a scheme yet, but I did a little.

I'm doing more programming right now, and I'll worry about the scheme and little css stuff later.

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