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rough draft


jcombs_31

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I'm trying to come up with a better and more professional look for http://www.bcastropics.com

This is my uncles site and he is getting more known and better at what he does.  I want a site to reflect his work.  Anyway, this is a rough draft that I've started.  It is missing the nav (haven't quite figured it out yet) and some data in the footer.  The content pages will also look different, but I want to make sure the index page is good to start. 

http://multimedia-technologies.com/misc/bclayout.jpg

The site will be optimized for a min 1024 resolution due to the nature of the site (not many people in this field will have a low res small monitor) and I don't want the trouble of a fluid site for this project.  Let me know any key points in the current draft to make this site really look great.
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My only complaint would be the size of the "categories" at the top.  Unless you plan to fill those in a little more, they take up more space than they absolutely need to, IMO.
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Well... and that's part of the issue with such a wide layout.  You end up coming up with "filler content".  You don't want to flood the user with too much text, but you don't want to get too heavy on graphics either.  I'd say you're borderline in both directions now.
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Looks good. A few things (I know its only image based currently):
I would like to see a a:hover on the 3 categories on the top. Either a shadow or a sublte 6px light border on hover would be nice.

What would be an idea: to better utilise the space that them 3 category boxes are using: is to put 1 or 2 bullet points in each. For example:
Equipment
Latest:
-> Lens
-> Telescope xyz

or for
Online Store
Last Purchased:
-> Image 1
-> Stars Image

etc. etc.

The header banner looks a little off. There are 2 different fonts used just in the header and are not used in the body of the text. The horizontal lines in the header image are a little different to the feel of the body and footer areas.

The center image needs some styling (as Im sure you had planned to do).

As for the Navigation - not sure. Unless you want to do some css roll out menu from the 3 Category boxes or something.

-steve

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The only font that is different is (THROUGH MY LOOKING GLASS), the font under is arial with some different tracking to space the text to fit.  The bullet idea is somewhat what I had in mind, but probably not the same details you listed, more of an overveiw/description.  Not sure what horizontal lines you are talking about.

Ober, I know it is a bit on the borderline in both areas, I'm not sure of the best solution.  ( I do know that he does not like the skinny 800 px solution).  A big reason I'm sure is because he has a huge monitor with over 1600px width... I don't really like the main page consisting of only the 'current highlight'.  I think the index needs to be more informative.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Much much nicer and better.

Is there any a:hover planned for the Main Text Nav menu?

Would you think of rotating the Main image for different pages? That would be v.good IMO. Especially if Brian has the images - it'd help sell them in full res.

Not too sure about the graphical Nav either. It'd be a lot of work IMO and Im not sure what it'd add.
They'd be too much if you put the icons beside the Text in the Nav. So I dont know either.... Simpler is usually best.

-steve
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I changed up the icons, what do you think? 

The menu has the little comet or flying star that will move to the current link, not sure about the hover...

The main image would likely change for each page.

I also need his work to stand out the most, any ideas without compromising the rest of the site? 
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I dont like how there is different size thumbnails on the Gallery page. I would *much* prefer if all the images were the same size.

Yes - the Graphical 3 Icon menu fits in better.

I had guessed the meteor would move with the main Nav menu - nice. I will look foward to see the xhtml version.

As for getting his work to stand out more -> do you want to sell his work (as in money wise) more? If so - you need to emphasise the "Buy this" more throughout. Perhaps a line in the footer saying -> you can buy any image on this website if you so wish.

Also - the images you use the header graphic -> were these taken using the telescope? IMO - they are much more attractive and I would like a high res. image of this. If these header graphics are not for sale - or his work - I wouldn't put them there. See what I am getting at?

If you want to sell his work more - do you need to provide a "search" area? Perhaps with tags or topics? E.g. Meteors etc. shooting stars etc. etc. I know you have categories - but Im getting at more concrete/common things people may want and pay for.

Anyways - looking nice.

-steve

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The problem with the thumbnails is that all images are taken at different resolutions, and to keep the proportions the same, the thumbnails are different sizes. It bothers me too, but GD does the resizing.  It isn't a huge emphasis on selling, more of a showcase, with the want to sell coming in second.  The header graphic is not his work.
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[quote author=jcombs_31 link=topic=119389.msg502406#msg502406 date=1168537202]
I put together a quick html/css page for better viewing, thoughts???

http://www.bcastropics.com/v2/
[/quote]

i like it. you should make the headings plain text (im sure you will though). I liked the first projected layout as well
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Thoughts:

Looks nice.
1 thing with your search box: Safari doesnt allow you to style input boxes. I tried tried and tried before. Safari just aint cut it. Ive a picture in Safari here: http://kartbuilding.net/misc/1168594100-full.jpg  (just in case you didnt realise this).

The image roll overs for the top 3 graphical Nav items didnt load up initially. Therefore when I went hovering them, they totally disappeared while loading the image.

How about a similar roll over on the search button graphic?

Im not too gone on the meteor a:hover for the Main Nav. I think a simple 2 or 4px coloured line/border under each of the items would be better.

Your "see image details" link has no a:hover while the link in your footer has an a:hover (just a minor thing).

Also - you said you wanted to "showcase" his work as much as possible. Well then, I think you should use his images in the header graphics. I know they mightn't be as pretty as the satellites, but I think them flashy header pictures take away from his normal star pictures. - my two-cents.

Overall site looks well. I would experiment with a small amount of line spacing, and maybe a very very light grey instead of white for the text. To me - the body text is a little glaring to read.

-steve
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[quote author=steviewdr link=topic=119389.msg502951#msg502951 date=1168594771]
Thoughts:

Looks nice.
1 thing with your search box: Safari doesnt allow you to style input boxes. I tried tried and tried before. Safari just aint cut it. Ive a picture in Safari here: http://kartbuilding.net/misc/1168594100-full.jpg  (just in case you didnt realise this).
[/quote]

I know, I hate that about safari, I may look for a workaround, because I don't want a standard input box

[quote]

The image roll overs for the top 3 graphical Nav items didnt load up initially. Therefore when I went hovering them, they totally disappeared while loading the image.

[/quote]

Yes, I know this too, but haven't gone around to fixing it yet.  I'll probably set them up for the sliding doors technique, I first wanted to check the layout.

[quote]

How about a similar roll over on the search button graphic?

[/quote]

I was planning for this

[quote]

Im not too gone on the meteor a:hover for the Main Nav. I think a simple 2 or 4px coloured line/border under each of the items would be better.

[/quote]

chances are I'm going to remove it for hover and leave it for active, only change the color for hover

[quote]

Your "see image details" link has no a:hover while the link in your footer has an a:hover (just a minor thing).

[/quote]

Yea, I'll fix that too

[quote]

Also - you said you wanted to "showcase" his work as much as possible. Well then, I think you should use his images in the header graphics. I know they mightn't be as pretty as the satellites, but I think them flashy header pictures take away from his normal star pictures. - my two-cents.

[/quote]

Makes sense, but I don't think it works for the site.  It would also be repetetive.

[quote]

Overall site looks well. I would experiment with a small amount of line spacing, and maybe a very very light grey instead of white for the text. To me - the body text is a little glaring to read.

-steve
[/quote]

I could tone it down slightly, but I won't make it a grey.

Thanks for the feedback. I'm a little tired of working for now so i'll update later.
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[quote author=AXiSS link=topic=119389.msg503061#msg503061 date=1168608382]
For me, (IE7) the footer is in the middle of the page covering all the content right below the header.
[/quote]

That's not good, I'll look into it.  I still don't have ie7 on my computer, but looked at it from another and see what you are saying.
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Love love love the new design.  That looks fantastic!  I'm curious about where you get your background/header graphics.. probably some photo repository like sxc.hu, but I still want to know.  And how do you always find these backgrounds that repeat well?  That's my biggest problem with designing full-width sites.

My only complaints have already been covered (the main being the text location vs. the box location for the search in Opera).
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[quote author=ober link=topic=119389.msg503274#msg503274 date=1168623284]
Love love love the new design.  That looks fantastic!  I'm curious about where you get your background/header graphics.. probably some photo repository like sxc.hu, but I still want to know.  And how do you always find these backgrounds that repeat well?  That's my biggest problem with designing full-width sites.

My only complaints have already been covered (the main being the text location vs. the box location for the search in Opera).
[/quote]

I didn't see that before, opera has the text under the box huh?  I also can't figure out why the fvck IE& doesn't clear the float for the footer. 

What background image? The star field? I created it myself and it is actually a pretty big image so you don't see the repeat really. I found the header graphics in misc places and usually edit some stuff out of them. Some I get from google (hope I never get any copyright notice ;)
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