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[SOLVED] moon dance


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#1 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 12:44 PM

After a lot of work, "on a free site" this is what I came up with.  Any advice on this one
www.moondancedesign.com
I made sure now every page is totally xhtml valid, and the css is 100% valid without any warnings as well.  Everything has undergone massive grammar checks, and changes, plus alignments.  It is a free project, just a portfolio builder, so for now on this one I didn't want to pull out the php gd library I have had a few suggestions to do that so I may in the future in my spare time

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#2 lead2gold

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 12:53 PM

Having the hyperlinks underline is nice, but don't you think you should turn the underline feature off for menus and images.  Moving the mouse over the left menu bar causes some crazy vibration.  the same thign occurs when you mouse over the Graphic on the top of the page.

Other then that it looks nice.

#3 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 01:00 PM

actually you are right, when I have some more spare time and go back over the site, I will remove those underlines on both of those, any more advice or anything, thanks for what you have said so far.

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#4 obsidian

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 01:02 PM

overall impression: not a bad site at all.

however... there are a few things that really caught my attention that i would recommend some work on:

1. navigation. i like the menu, but i hate the way it jumps (both in IE and FF) when you hover over a menu item. it pushes everything in the left column down the page 1-2px every time you hover over a link.

2. banner. i like the idea of linking a banner back to the main page, however, i really don't like how the border appears on the banner when you hover. banners should be stationary and rock solid. they should not change. they are not your typical links, and as such, they really don't need any visual aids when you hover over them. also, in FF, when this appears, it pushes the whole page down a few pixels... not pretty.

3. image links. the only place this really bothers me is the galleries, and again, it may be a preference thing, but i really don't like underlining or bottom-border as a :hover attribute on images. personally, i like to see full borders where the border changes color slightly or something more subtle like that on images. also, in your galleries, i would love to see some more space between the images... space things out a bit.

4. text links. on the home page, you have a link to "Wicked Stones." the text color on the link is the standard browser default blue... to me, that doesn't fit your page. maybe a lavender or other purple-ish color would be better as the default? just a thought ;-)

hope these thoughts are helpful.
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#5 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 01:27 PM

When I do another reworking on the site I Will take all of this into account. I may go ahead and program something on the site, where she can add in her own pictures, but the thing is with each picture there has to be a .htm equivelant in this case all of those would change to php, but there has to be a php version that is created that has the paypal information on it, as well as the picture, and a few links, I don't know how to get this to work right through her admin page.

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#6 pixy

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 08:46 PM

The top graphic is kind of blurry, especially around the text. Maybe try saving in a higher quality JPG setting?

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#7 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 04:19 PM

perfect, it'll be a little while before I overhall the site again, when I do, I will be correcting a lot of these issues, and ask here again for more advice, I will fix everything that was brought up here when I have enough time to work on it again.  Thanks

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#8 obsidian

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 04:50 PM

one other thing i would recommend is to change your favicon. bluehost has the bad habit of displaying their own favicon for all sites hosted on their servers without their own declared.
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#9 448191

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 08:38 PM

Honestly, the site sucks bigtime. Anyone claiming otherwise is probably confused with the quality of the artwork, wich is amazing.
I almost considered getting me a "Golden Lily" for myself.  :-*

Fix image sizing, it's terrible!

I have a ADSL2+ connection that usually does about 1500kB down, but your "thumbnails" are loading slow.
Consider using actual thumbnail files.

Optimize the full sized images. Geez.

Can you believe my "Golden Lily is" actually 423.01 kB ?????? No way it has to be that big.

I can recognise you want the artwork to look good but you have to consider latency and bandwith usage.

You can hardly see the diff (only if you look very very very closely), and it's well under a 100k:

Posted Image

#10 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 09:41 PM

You do understand as I said 4 times, this entire website, was built for free.  It was a first timer type project, portfolio builder, recieving 0.00 for the whole entire thing, i still work on it occassionally, more of for a favor, but she returned the favor with some graphic design here and there. As for the site, if I had been getting paid 4-600 it would have been ironed out a lot more, but I haven't done things I normally would do, like optimizing images, and preloading images, or both.

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#11 akitchin

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:21 AM

don't post a site for a critique if you're not going to accept the feedback, citing not having been paid enough.  if you want a critique, you'll get a critique, whether you were paid for the site or not.

it's a waste of peoples' time if you're not actually going to heed or at least consider the negative feedback.

#12 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 03:39 AM

I think criticism is good, it has nothing to do with that, almost everything that was offered here will get changed, I thought

Honestly, the site sucks bigtime

Was a little unfair.  As for what yuo said about the images, you are right that is unacceptable, I am putting that on my to do list for the next work through on the site, I will optimize, and pre-load all images.

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#13 448191

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 06:04 AM

Ok, I admit, I was being a bit harsh. It's just that it doesn't look professional at all, and after comments like "it looks nice" and "not a bad site at all" I thought you needed a realitycheck. Since you are trying to be a professional website designer, you need those.

I could give you a detailed critique, but there would be no end to it. If you want it, I'll do it anyway. Just let me know. I promise I'll be 'fair'.

#14 steviewdr

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 07:46 AM

This page doesnt look great!
http://www.moondance...allery1info.htm


#15 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:02 PM

actually if you could give me a full critique, no matter how harsh it's a critique, I would love it, any constructive criticism, or anything I can work with I will cahnge.  So far I have a huge list, when I overhall it everything that was mentioned will get fixed, I was waiting for a full-blown criticism.  It is on my portfolio, the better it looks, the better it'll be in the future.  Whether they paid for it or not?

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#16 Ninjakreborn

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 06:28 PM

I did a bunch of stuff to this, I changed those underlines on the links, I am about to optimize ALL the pictures for now, then later I will try to pre-load, I have to set up some more images on the site here in a little while anyway.

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#17 448191

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:29 PM

I haven't looked at the changes, I was to busy writing your full lentgh review.  :P

Categories:
  • Performance
  • Layout
  • Color scheme
  • Content
  • Usabilty


#18 448191

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:32 PM

Performance

Latency
As I pointed out, the file size of the images are outrageous. Preloading doesn’t help, you have to compress. Trust me, nobody will see the difference.

Also setup image caching to an eternity, just don’t use the same filename twice.

<?php
header('Cache-Control: max-age: 31622400, must-revalidate');
echo file_get_contents($file); //PHP5
?>

Edit: If you use php to setup caching, make sure the url for every file you ever use is unique. You pass the filename through 'get'. The file is refered to by this url. Be sure to validate before usage...

31556925 seconds, one year.

That’ll get proxies caching you images. Other than that, response times for the site are fine, as to be expected from a site with virtually no (or none?) server side processing. There is one more caveat though: Paypal. Paypal can be very slow. I think you should use a ‘local’ shopping cart, and submit it to Paypal upon checkout. That will prevent a lot of irritation.

SEO
This site is SE junk food. No dynamic links, clear meta tags, plenty of keywords in content (art, artwork, fractals, gallery), plenty of internal links. One thing I càn suggest is to use more descriptive titles (and add some of those keywords). Also, use more descriptive filenames.


#19 448191

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:33 PM

Layout

Containers
Important things on top, things of secondary interest below them. That means your ‘shopping cart’ has to move up and your ‘more info’ box has to go down. Limit scrolling down when it’s not necessary,  for example, on the index, ‘open edition’ and ‘limited edition’ prices can easily be placed next to each other. This is also a usability subject, I’ll get back to that. Gallery information pages: there is absolutely no need to make ‘naked’ pages for that info. Incorporate it into your layout.


#20 448191

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 10:33 PM

Color scheme

Mood/Matching

Argh….

Color schemes are THE way to set a certain mood for something viewed. Your friend Carolyn can probably open a book on that for you. Talk to her about what mood she wants to set for the site. I reckon she wants it to look fresh and natural as most of her artwork is about flowers. Purple is one you should keep, but ditch the yellow/orange variant, it doesn’t match AT ALL. It’s probably matched best with white and if you can do it right, blue.

The color scheme you’re using currently makes me picture custard with artificial flavoring, not flowery artwork.

Look at this image from Carolyn for inspiration (only use a lot more white):
http://www.moondance...rningflower.htm





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