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Celbre - My Website


ryanfilard
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I spent over 3 months coding and planing this website with other and I expect it to be done in about 1 more week. I was contacted by a school teacher with 200 students in total, she was asking me if it is okay for students to register. I said yes because I am adding a lot of new privacy features. She is going to use it in about a month. Do you think it is ready for action?

 

http://www.celbre.com

 

Demo User: ptest

Demo Pass: ptest1

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Well, the layout begs for a change and just by the look of URL's it's probably not a top-notch code. I definitely don't think it's ready for action, blogging sites are usually traffic-heavy and it doesn't look like that site could handle traffic-heavy (if any) sites. I know you must hate me for having nothing good to say, but coming from various web agencies that demand top quality, I also provide a lot of criticism. Oh, and on the URL's ... use some of that sweet mod_rewrite will ya?  ;)

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I think something you need to realize is that design is about more than just having a non-ugly header, navigation, and content.  Design is supposed to be informative.  Your end users need to know the following information at a glance:

 

What is Celbre?  The name of the site itself gives no clue, as 'celbre' isn't a word.  A second glance shows it's a blog.  Okay....

 

Why use Celbre over other blog options?  What do you offer that's different than the competition?  Does it cost money?  Where are the screenshots of how individual blogs can look, or how the back end looks?  Where's the feature list?  Saying that your blog solution is good for business and educational use implies that you have some additional features that make it a better choice in those settings than, say, Blogger.  Don't use marketing speak if you can't back it up.

 

And, all that is in addition to general, nuts & bolts design issues (ginormous header for no real reason, aside from thinking it's modern looking, no clue as to what the 'Username' input on the landing page is supposed to do, mis/non-aligned form inputs on the register page (I keep saying it, but center alignment is ugly... use CSS to align your inputs in a uniform manner), etc.).

 

I'm not trying to be some stalker asshole who shits on all your sites.  The problem is, to date, all of your sites have had some serious UI flaws.  There's a distinct theme of either throwing a bunch of stuff on the screen and hoping it works, or, in this case, attempting to mimic more modern designs and hoping it will work.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of critical thought behind the decisions themselves, or how they act in tandem.

 

So, some general advice:

 

Stop listening to what your friends and family say.  They will not be critical of your work.  Ever.

 

Also, stop giving into your clients 100%.  Remember, you're supposed to be the hired professional help.  Most clients have horrible tastes, and think that the internet hasn't evolved since Geocities.  Most wouldn't know good design if it bit them in the ass.  This isn't to say don't listen to them.  Rather, try to incorporate their ideas in a tasteful manner.  And, if something they suggest would work against the site, have the balls to disagree.

 

Do attempt to learn modern design and tricks.  I have the feeling that Celbre was your first attempt after looking at some modern sites.  It definitely has flaws, but it's much better than your previous efforts.  Some more links to help you out:

 

http://css-tricks.com/

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/

http://tympanus.net/codrops/

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

http://designmodo.com/

http://designfestival.com/

http://www.uxbooth.com/

http://doctype.com/ <-- Stack Overflow for HTML/CSS and general design

 

Read through the tutorials.  Read the blogs and (often more importantly) the comments.  Engage true UI/UX professionals on those sites' forums (if they have forums).

 

Finally, keep in mind that as harsh as my (and others') criticism may seem, it's certainly better to hear honest reactions now than to be mislead by those around you with good intentions.

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