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How To Improve My Design?


TheScripter

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Hi, I am hoping to start up a micro-republic named The Independent Republic of Ursum. Obviously the site is going to be making the first impression and I want it to be a good one. Don't comment on the .tk domain...I know. Only the homepage is done. I wan't to know if my layout is good before I work on the rest. Scrap it or is it good?

 

theindependentrepublicofursum.tk

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I find it makes the title harder to read, actually. I've never seen a pattern like that on any other site, and that's why. Maybe if you lightened the grey substantially to reduce the contrast, and put borders around the white text areas it would help. Another thing may be to reduce the width of the stripes so they aren't quite so "in your face".

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I'd scrap that thing without even the slightest thought about recycling.  The box shadows are terrible, the standard facebook feed is amateur,  the nav hover color is so random it's not funny, links are not presented as being links, white shouldn't be used, find a shade of gray that compliments your font/link colors,  your paragraphs suffer from incorrect line heights...

 

the site is generally unappealing, and if i weren't writing this post, I would have only lasted 5 seconds on your page.

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I think you underestimate the use of empty space a little. Look at Google for instance. The links are clearly pointed out and I intended for them to melt into the text. I thought the layout was pretty good, other than suffering from a lack of content. I thought I would need a couple pictures. The facebook thing is just ridiculous. Its perfectly acceptable to put my feed into the side. Its a great way to show whats going on somewhere else without leaving the page in my opinion. The fact that you had nothing positive to say, I would almost say you were what they call a "troll".

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  • 1 month later...

Coding is my bowl of cherries, Java, PHP, HTML, CSS, Perl, C sharp, what have you! The designing thing however, that is most definitely not. I would really like to keep this design and not have to scrap it, but where do I make improvements? Every time I go there, it screams amateur. Obviously not a good first impression. Ideas? Things to study? Anything? Thanks guys.

 

http://independentrepublicofursum.tk/

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Monospaced fonts are awesome for coding, but not so much for basic aesthetics. That's the first thing I noticed. Try playing around with other serif fonts. Look into web fonts.

 

You need some padding at the bottom of your content box. Take a look at your 'About' page - the text spills over the drop shadow.

 

You should also not lock in the content box's height. Looking at 'About' again, it's awkward to see the overflow create a short, second column ("...international waters..."). One wider column, that can expand vertically as needed is the way to go. If you're concerned about the content box being too short due to a lack of content on other pages, there's always the min-height style.

 

You should do something to make the 'Read More...' links look like links. Maybe make them bold? A different color?

 

Color... I think the whole site could use more. Aside from the flag, it's black, white, and gray. And, unfortunately, the flag's secondary gold color doesn't really stand out on the white (it's essentially pale neutral on less pale neutral), so the link mouseover effect is a bit lacking. Try changing the mouseover color to the dark blue, or add some gold-on-blue somewhere else (a border or something). Anything to liven it up a little, and to reinforce the micro republic's branding. The flag and it's associated livery should be presented as being important, but not in a gaudy way. Right now, it's way too conservative.

 

That should get you started....

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Thanks for the reply!

 

If you go back to my site, you can see I changed the color of the titles to a dark gold, bolded all the links, changed their hover color to a dark blue, and had them underlined on hover. I also changed the format of the about, news, and donate pages so that the content was one wide column rather than 2 smaller ones and organized some content into paragraphs.

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