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Site Redesign


steelmanronald06

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The Good

Nice, clean layout.  You also managed to pull off having a large header graphic by keeping most of your content short and to the point; kudos to you there.  The content topics flow well and you didn't forget to add the all-important direct link back to the home page from all other pages.

 

The Bad

You might consider bumping the font size up a notch and / or increasing spacing between letter; I found it a little difficult to read.  Consider pushing Verdana or Georgia higher up in the font-family list in your CSS.  Unless you're purposefully trying to attract major attention to it, your site search box is H U G E.  Consider having any links to external sites under software and portfolio open in new browser windows; people will tend to browse them and clicking back a dozen times to return to your site can be annoying.  Opening links in a new window is less of a nuisance now that all major browsers support tabs.

 

The Ugly

I'd update the following images with ones that look better at the resolutions you're displaying them:

http://www.netgeekz.net/includes/images/lapclosing.jpg

http://www.netgeekz.net/includes/images/lapkeyboard.jpg

http://www.netgeekz.net/includes/images/webdev.gif

http://www.netgeekz.net/includes/images/servers.jpg

All of them look great at their regular resolutions, but scrunched up when inside your content they look tacky when compared to that large, crisp logo.  I would call that a major detraction for a site trying to lure in customers with promise of, among other things, web expertise.

 

Overall it looks good.  Some of the issues I brought up (like the font stuff) could fall under opinion or just nitpicking.

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Nice job,

 

Looks good

 

These are the useless comments that we are trying to avoid.

 

steelmanronald06:

 

Overally I agree it looks pretty decent. I don't know what the main image is supposed to be. Is that supposed to be a globe?  Whatever it is, it should change on each page to keep the user a little more interested. It may also be too vertically big, especially for those using lower resolutions. I agree the search box is way to big, tone it down. I logo would be nice instead of just text. I would maybe consider rounded corners for the menu and header image, but you don't really have to. On the home page I think the 3 columns should extend to the same width as your header image. The about page needs something to break up the huge paragraph.  This is why using a horizonal nav without columns can make design tough. The services page does this to some degree, but still needs to extend farther horizontally, and remove the white background in the image and maybe increase the size.  The pen and extract tool in photoshp work nice to remove your backgrounds. In that case you can probably even use the magic wand tool. Portfolio needs some images to go with the links.  I have no interest in seeing text in a portfolio, get to the goods. The contact page needs to be balanced somehow. Everything is to the left with empty space on the right side.

 

That is my take on things.

 

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I don't have photoshop. Plus, i'm kind of fond of the image (personal opinion).  I agree the about us page is kind of bland. I'm considering having the text wrap around an image or something.

 

As for the scrunched up images, yeah, I need to find different ones.  Those were just some filler images till I had time to get me some good ones.  The main thing I'm aiming for is overall layout, content, and how I'm conveying my services to visitors (do they understand what I offer? etc).  I will mess around with the font type/size and see what I come up with, also.

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Hey, I just realized something. When I uploaded the files late last night I didn't realize that my CSS, which have static instead of dynamic paths, were still pointing to the background images in my localhost folder. I updated that, and now the background and stuff have updated to the way their supposed to be.  So tell me what you think on the design now :) thanks!

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There is no shadow around the bottom of the page, is this intentional, or is it just messed up on firefox, mac.

 

Just checked, looks the same in Safari mac.

 

Would look better if the shadow was on the bottom too.

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Ron, overall I'm very pleased with the look. My only negative vibe right off was the size of the banner in the middle. It doesn't do anything for the page, but it's so honking big! I think the image is great, but it's just too big IMHO. I would also recommend reducing the size of your search feature. It's a bit overpowering when your input field text is bigger than the text on the rest of your site. One other nitpicking thing that I noticed is that I expect for that big ol' banner to shrink within the site. Basically, I expect to see a more graphical front page, and that's great, but once I'm in your site, I expect to see more of a "reminder" banner that's a fraction the size of the front page one but carries the same image or feel. I really like the way you've handled your "Services" section.

 

Just my 2 cents ;)

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Thanks. I'm going through the design right now, making some edits to the banner. Trying to shrink it vertically.  Also, I will look into a shadow at the bottom of the page, as well as shrinking the text box.  Don't look for instant results..It is a work in progress, even these fixes, and I'm really busy with school work ATM to really put a lot of focus on my personal site.

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Take it back. Had a bit more time than I thought.

 

I changed the font to verdena and then gerogia (SP?).  I shrunk the header from 250px to 200px in height.  I fixed the search box as well.  Hope everything was addressed except the bottom shadow. Still working on that one.

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The site search box is still rather large, but it's better than before.  It does sit higher vertically than your logo and text on the left, which makes it look weird.

 

The only other complaint left over from my original post is those images, which you said you'd be replacing anyways.

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There are plenty of things that could be improved, but a very drastic yet simple change would be achieved by switching to sans serif.

 

Serif is fine for printed media, not for websites, period.

 

I think I've mentioned this before (can't be a 100% sure), but maybe it's time for a logo or trademark in some form.

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A logo, trademark and housestyle should provoke an emotion and association you want your company indentified with. You need to establish an identity.

 

I'm not a marketing expert by far, but I do know a thing or two about it.

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Throw in some keywords that YOU think identify your company:

 

What does it do, how does it do it (no details, keywords), and last but definately not least: in what manner (think keywords like "innovative", "creative", "trustworthy", etc - don't stray from the truth though, that's suicide on the long term).

 

Then you have an idea on how you want your company reflected in external communications.

 

A laptop with a face on a screen tells me (the client) none of these things. Well, okay, it probably reveals you're active in the IT sector, but that's it: it doesn't reflect the company identity. In rare cases such a characteristic is sufficient, but if you CAN insinuate some USP in external communications, you definately should.

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Serif is fine for printed media, not for websites, period.

 

I agree when it comes to content completely. IMHO, all your actual screen text (discounting headers and other specific elements of interest) should be something along the lines of Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif. I also like the look of Trebuchet MS for some things, but it can be overused. The Georgia, I believe, is about the best font there is for your headers, so I say leave them alone.

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Okay.  I'm getting very picky on the fonts. I haven't made updates yet. I'm at work and don't have time to do it quite yet, but I have taken notes.  Here is what I plan on doing with it thus far:

 

Headers: Georgia as primary font.

My unordered lists: Trebuchet MS as font

Text: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif

 

I will also re-write the about us page and a few other pages to include some keywords.  I like 448191's idea of the three keywords he suggested, but there are a few more that should be good to. I also have a link to a yahoo page that you enter a keyword and it tells you how many times it is searched.

 

On the logo.  That is why I didn't take the laptop with the face.  It didn't tell anything unique about my company.  That is why I'm waiting to see what logo pops out at me.  I'm in no hurry cause when I get a logo, i hate to change it when "the one" appears.  I'm looking, but just kind of flowing along waiting for the people I have sketching and my own ideas to throw up the right logo.

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