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Dorky

[SOLVED] fire away

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[...] but i would love more suggestions of what to do [...]

 

My suggestion is to hire a designer.

 

well i will implement that on my............. oh wait, i cant. its not actually about my site its about me! wow. almost got me there.

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It looks pretty unappealing. The loading screen that comes up all the time seems rather pointless, and the green color doesn't fit the white background. The lack of distinction between regular text and links is problematic, and the general lack of color makes it dull and boring. Also, why did you use textareas for fields on the contact form? Overall it looks pretty unappealing and unprofessional. I would never buy web design services from a website like that.

 

The thing about statistics also sounds lame. If statistics demand you have 15 seconds to catch my attention, then why are you wasting my time with information that is not relevant to what I'm looking for?

 

what on my site is not relevant to what i am selling?

 

Maybe you should re-read Daniel's post.  He was saying that if statistics say you only have 15 seconds to catch someone's attention than you just wasted about 3-4 seconds making the reader read that nonsense.  Besides the content you have is the same shit every other freelance site promises.

 

i do hear a lot of what bad about my site but i would love more suggestions of what to do instead of this or that. negativity for negativity sake is not constructive criticism.

 

We did give you suggestions.  One of them is a road block for more.  A lot of us, including myself, suggested using more real estate.  That means use your own brain to create something bigger and better.  Why cram everything in a little tiny box?  I've never worked for a company, or seen a website with that type of design and been successful.  It just doesn't make sense to me.  I urge you to expand your page and have links to other sections in your site. 

 

EDIT: Just saw that you changed the layout.  Finally!  More real estate.  A few things:

 

- I like the simple clean look but you should have some sort of container and maybe not such a black and white look.

- Try to implement a consistent color scheme (There are resources on this site).

- I'm not a fan of black arial (or w/e font that is) if you have a white background I would suggest dark gray and different font.

- Create a footer.  Looks more professional.

- Have you thought of putting the portfolio in a different section.  I understand it's the main point of your site but maybe have one "featured" site as a taste, and a link to the rest to reduce the scrolling and content on the main page.

- Try to create a professionally looking graphic for your header.  Again, keep it simple but make it look nice.  I'm sure you can find good tutorials online for PS, GIMP, or w/e you're using.

- Overall a bit more styling and separation, just don't go overboard with it, keep it simple.

 

my code is not blocked so if i had bad code why did you not post the code in question.

 

You should add a bit more style and rely less on
tags to margin areas.  Also, why don't you include your CSS instead of inline.

 

i could go on and on but really its a lot of nagative responses and implications with no suggested solutions or examples. if you dont post a suggested fix your just talking to hear yourself.

 

I think you're the one who stirred that up.  How about if someone doesn't have anything that you think is considered a suggestion, then you don't respond?

 

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thank you very much maq. i like they gray front idea and ill play with that a bit. and again the only place i use the br tags are for a loading cover div that goes away after the page loads. if you have cable you will probably never see the loading div.

i do understand making my site larger but honestly that wouldnt appeal to my target demographic, small businesses in my area. most of the people i talk to can hardly turn on a pc and are subject to information overload very quickly. i realize if you are selling to major brands this wouldnt cut it and maybe ill get to that level one day. but for right now im focusing on a more realistic goal for myself and need to consider things related to that goal.

most of that is making it easy to understand, affordable, and visually  appealing. i did make it more fluid in the chance i got a realy old customer tho. 

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Your contact form does not seem to send, the only error I am getting is "Your contact information was entered improperly. Please try again" which is not very helpful.

 

I see you sorted the scaling issue  ;)

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thank you very much maq. i like they gray front idea and ill play with that a bit. and again the only place i use the br tags are for a loading cover div that goes away after the page loads. if you have cable you will probably never see the loading div.

i do understand making my site larger but honestly that wouldnt appeal to my target demographic, small businesses in my area. most of the people i talk to can hardly turn on a pc and are subject to information overload very quickly. i realize if you are selling to major brands this wouldnt cut it and maybe ill get to that level one day. but for right now im focusing on a more realistic goal for myself and need to consider things related to that goal.

most of that is making it easy to understand, affordable, and visually  appealing. i did make it more fluid in the chance i got a realy old customer tho. 

 

okay but we are also saying to not only use more real estate, but to also simplify the content.  Info overload comes from too much information, not bigger layout.  People who barely turn on computers like big, easy to spot things.

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ok i have made a little progress today. could you point out the part of content i should simplify? also i may have been working on the form when you tried it. i finished it last night. if it still doesnt work could you post the format you used to entered the info, i have strict char requirements on each field.

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I would personally suggest you just lose this sentence:

 

"Statistics demand I have 15 seconds to get your attention or you will lose interest and move on. I have decided not to waste your time with a reworded version of the same sales pitch you find throughout the web."

 

I realize you are trying to be clever, but the way its phrased doesn't work.  For example, "Statistics" is an area of mathematics, and as such, isn't capable of demanding anything.   

 

The main point in this regard, is that you're approaching things as if someone by accident is going to stumble upon your site, and it's your job to try and sell them on your skills as a web design and hosting provider.  Instead, I think you're better served focusing on providing the facts about your services and portfolio in a clean matter of fact manner. 

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Ok, here is abit of feedback on your contact form.

 

I tried to contact you with the following details

 

name - test

home phone - 123456789

cell phone - 123456789

email - test@test.com

 

This gave me an error "! Your contact information was entered improperly. Please try again !". You mention that you have strict char requirements on each field which is great, what's not so great is the error message I receive.

 

The error does not tell me which field is invalid and why its invalid, as a potential customer I may give it one more try before leaving your site. If you had a message saying "The Home Phone number you entered is an invalid format, please use the format 123-456-789" it would just be a case of adding some dashes and resubmitting. You have to make these kind of forms accessible for the least computer illiterate people, getting them to guess why the data is invalid is never a good idea.

 

I would add some client side validation which highlights the invalid field and gives a descriptive message of why its invalid, as well as tweaking your server side validation to do the same.

 

As for the form it self I would consider adding labels, imo it makes the form look more proffesional and accesable.

 

I normally use the following format for my forms (not saying you should necessarily)

<style type="text/css">
    
    .form_line {
        padding:3px 5px;
        border-bottom:1px solid #ccc;
    }
    
    .form_line label {
        float:left;
        width:200px;
        display:block;
        padding:3px 0 0 0;
    }
    
</style>

<form action="example.php" method="post">

    <div class="form_line">
    
        <label for="name">Name</label>
        <input type="text" name="name" id="name"/>
    
    </div>
    
    <div class="form_line">
    
        <label for="phone">Phone</label>
        <input type="text" name="phone" id="phone"/>
    
    </div>
    
    <div class="form_line">
    
        <label for="email">Email</label>
        <input type="text" name="email" id="email"/>

    </div>

</form>

 

Also you should change those textarea's to input's.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

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hmmmmm

did you enter

 

home phone - 123456789

 

or

 

123456789

 

and cv my roomy says the same but i am terrible at writing, im open for suggestions.

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The site is a lot better than it was when you first posted it. Although it is a simple design...it has a lot to improve on.

 

- Layout. The layout of the site is important, a bad layout can lead to your websites content not being read in a good manner...leading to a bad experience and could potentially lead to the user to leave. Look up grids for webdesign, and it will help you with the minimalistic design you are trying to create.

- Spacing. I have noticed a lot of inconsistant spacing within your design. Consistant spacing is important for a light design like yours. Try to keep the spacing as consistant as possible, to allow users to navigate your websites content more easily, this also fits into the grids for webdesign.

- Alignment. The alignment of the body of your design, does not match with the header and footer of your design...which causes it to look a little bit unprofessional.

- Typography. You only use two fonts within your design, arial and sans-serif. A good website design has around 3 fonts within the design. You can use on font for headings...which helps define headings within content. You can then have another font for body text. The line hiehgt of the body text should be about 1.5 times bigger than the size of your font. Such as if you use 14pt for the font size, the line height will be 21pt. This helps with the way the user can take in the content from your webpage.

- Colour. The green is a little too bright and can have an impact on some users eyes when they look at the page.

 

Here are some general things...

- Contact form. What exactly do you want users to contact you about? This is because all you are requesting the user to enter is their details. You could provide a text area or a drop down box which specifies what exactly the user is wanting to contact you about, such as design services, website feedback, website bugs or even just a message to say hi.

- Contact info. Why have your email at the top of the page in the header? You could possibly mention it on your contact page, or in your footer.

- Footer. Get rid of that huge chunk of text at the bottom of your page...and make a new page for the terms of service and legal information. Then in your 'footer' have maybe on the left...design (copyright symbol) 2009 STUDIO378D. The on the right side have something like Email: YourEmailAddress, the link to the new TOS & Legal Information page. This is to tidy it up a bit.

- Links. Why do you have a '?' after some of your links on your website...is there a need for it?

 

I hope this helps as that is about all I can think of.

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the width of all my content is 70% so im not sure why it would look to you out of proportion, screenshot would help. the email is a mailto: so it can be clicked and thats why its up there. the only links are home and ways to contact me. legal info can be found at the bottom of many web site. im not sure i want to invent content for a footer. do you mean a graphic at the bottom? the minimalistic design would make that look out of place. the red question mark is there for contrasting color without overdoing it by making all the links red, i feel that would be abrasive. im not sure the red question marks are a real issue. while i am looking to make my site more appealing(researching all day today to do so) i certainly dont want to look like every website on the net, you will not make an impact that way. all im selling is web design and management. im not a multinational company with all that much info and filling my site with stuff for the sake of stuff will stand out as bad as any of the things you pointed out.

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If you didn't actually realise it by now, I am trying to help you build a better website. It's just at the moment, your website looks like it was put together in about 5 minutes. If you do not have a good website yourself...then how do you expect users to have the perception that you can create good enough webdesign. I am not saying you are a huge site, but the things I have mentioned help users stay on your website...so you get business. Just look at Smashing Magazine for example...it's a simple design...but it uses nearly all of the things I have mentioned. If things are presented well, then users will interpret you as a person being able to create a good enough webdesign for their needs.

 

You can actually get some useful advice from all of the people that have critiqued your design, or you can ignore it. But the only way you can push the boundaries or design (creating something unique etc), is to know what those boundaries are...so you can experiment. You have to weigh up the functionality and design of the website to help the user have a pleasant experience. Maybe this could help you. (If you decide to take the information in)

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You may not want your site to look 'typical', but adding extra bits like bright red question marks as hyperlinks is not the way to go.  Red is the color of attention, but also of failure.  Also, the question marks themselves don't give a hint that they're links.  Overall, they're distracting, and should go.

 

Why do you have a contact form if anyone can call or e-mail you given the info in your header?

 

You should rewrite your introduction.  You may not like writing a sales pitch, but they're necessary.  Statistics don't demand anything.  And telling potential clients that you only have 15 seconds to make a good impression, then essentially say "This is what I can do.  I'm not going to go out of my way to convince you to hire me," is a very bad decision.

 

Let me put it this way: if the choice is between hiring you based on your site, and another person/company based on a site that appears to actually want my business, I'm going to pick the second choice every time.  Especially if the former has nothing more than a few links to incomplete sites as their portfolio.

 

And, yes, the footer looks chunky.  At the very least, use a smaller font.  Footers like yours are a site's fine print.  Emphasis on fine.

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  • use more space, im using to much space
  • its boring and plain, those things are pointless

i dont see as much of a consensus as you all are eluding to. in fact your opinions all pull back and forth and other then the scaling issue are just opinions and not backed up with any facts or even links to any facts. i love that you all are helping but im done with this thread.

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Hello, i have skimmed through most of the replies on this thread, it's an interesting one.

 

I didn't see your first version, but here are my thoughts on the current one, excuse me if I repeat what other people have said:

 

1) Get rid of the loading screen, it's almost as annoying as a flash intro. If the website is painted gradually then I can start to figure out the layout before I hit the content.

2) Get rid of the 15 seconds paragraph, as someone already mentioned I have already spent 5 seconds reading that paragraph and it's difficult because it's white on black... oh, and also it's more like 5 seconds, believe me if I surfed in from Google I wouldn't stick around for more than that.

3) Your thumbnails for your sites are too small

4) I wouldn't bother with a coming soon section, to be fair your design work isn't that great, so your work in progress stuff isn't going to be much better.

5) By all means have a T&Cs link in the footer, but put that info on a different page.

6) On your contact page your form of captcha is bloody hideous! I don't even know where to start, let's spare a thought for those who don't own a Phd in captcha forms, or even for those who use screen readers. Personally I wouldn't bother with one, just filter out the spam manually.

7) Put your CSS in a separate file

8) This is just a point, but your mark-up is pretty poor, consider finding a basic CSS template and learning by copying.

 

ILMV

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