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behindspace

Critique: Shroud of Bereavement

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now, I know we're not all designers, and we're not all coders, so I'm curious as to get some input on my bands website that I developed.

[a href=\"http://www.shroud-of-bereavement.com\" target=\"_blank\"]Shroud of Bereavement - Official Website[/a]

forgive the dashes in the URL, I did not buy the domain name, the other guitarist had it for a while before I took over the site overhaul/development

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Um... what was the point of that front page?
Now, for a band with the name "Shroud of Bereavement", it sets up expectations for a very dark site. That doesn't mean it has to be that colorless though-try adding a bit of color here and there. On the downloads page, why is it in an iframe? Also, hosting your music on MySpace doesn't seem very professional. But then, neither does using an outside forum in a new window. For what you use, it would be much simpler to just write an integrated forum system.
It's good, but not the best band site ever made.

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Oh... the stuff these kids put on the web:

1) It's a dark band... yeah... I get that. That doesn't mean you have to drown the site in black. Use a gradient in the background instead of plain black, spice up the menu with some color or a reflective look or something... anything besides a simple gray underline.
2) Box it in. Nice header, but then the rest of the site just kinda floats under it, with nothing to hold it in. It's VERY boring and needs some definition.
3) Splash screens... I don't get them. Everything that is achieved with a splash screen can be achieved by a fixed announcement on the main page.
4) Images page... I assume there will be more, but why do they open in a new page? Why not just open in the same window or let me choose if I want to open it in another window?
5) Contact pages with no form. Why? You have an email address, tie it to a form so I don't have to copy your email address and open my mail client. That's just lazy and leaves you open to spam when the bots steal your address when they scan your site.
6) What I like to call "zero links". In your nav, it links to "forums". When I click on that, it opens a page that says "click here to open forums". WTF. If I want to go to the forums, and I click on the link to go there, WHY WOULDN'T YOU JUST TAKE ME THERE INSTEAD OF MAKING ME CLICK AGAIN!?!
7) Poor table formatting. Your upcoming dates: the date column is too skinny and it forces the year to the next line. Why? You're not even taking up the full width of the main container with the width of the table. At least do that, and force your date column to a width where the date won't roll to the next line.
8) Last but not least... I'm not surprised to find tables in your layout. Tables are for tabular data, not layouts.
9) Mention of things not found. On the splash page, you rattle off browsers you support, that you use CSS (who cares from a viewer's standpoint?) and that you use flash.... yet I don't see any flash, and if you're using some, shame on you, because you're not making good use of it.
10) Finally... validation. It's not even close.

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to: moberemk
just a couple of things. The iframe was the only way I could get the "snif" (simple nice index file) to work properly (if you click the little copyright symbol in the footer you see that I indeed credited using 2 different open source applications in the construction of the site)

About the forum, my guitarist has been paying for our slot on that forum for a long time, and he didn't want to create a new forum (his choice, not mine)

as far as "colorless" again this was not my intention, but it's what the rest of the band agreed on. I had a couple, more graphic styled layouts, with more color but of course, being a metal band, they were still dark. But alas the bands final decision rested on this layout.

The splash page (though it seems like there's no point) is actually the cover art for our upcoming CD (yes, the splash was rather 'thrown together', but it's worked as far as pre-sales of the CD).

I am working on a new layout already (even though that one has only been online since mid-January) because I'm not overly happy with it.

Thank you for your critique and constructive criticism, it has been a help :)

[!--quoteo(post=352486:date=Mar 7 2006, 08:18 AM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Mar 7 2006, 08:18 AM) [snapback]352486[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Oh... the stuff these kids put on the web:[/quote]

Thanks for the condescending attitude.

1.) I'm not a kid, I'm 27, so don't treat me as such.

2.) comments such as this, no matter WHAT you say afterwards make me just want to flat out ignore you, which I will do. so without further statement, I really have no desire to read what you had to say. if you hadn't have been so "oh look at this childish display" I would have been inclined to read what you had to say.

thanks, have a nice day.

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[!--quoteo--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Thank you for your critique and constructive criticism, it has been a help :)
Thanks for the condescending attitude.

1.) I'm not a kid, I'm 27, so don't treat me as such.

2.) comments such as this, no matter WHAT you say afterwards make me just want to flat out ignore you, which I will do. so without further statement, I really have no desire to read what you had to say. if you hadn't have been so "oh look at this childish display" I would have been inclined to read what you had to say.

thanks, have a nice day.
[/quote]

I may be wrong, but I think that was more or less a little sarcasm. Anyway, he makes pretty good points if you actually read through the post, which I'm sure you did. I will not repeat all the stuff that was said as it would be redundant. My main concern is that your main content area should stick out a little from the background. It all blends together and is really dark. I can read it fine, but it doesn't make it a good idea.

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behindspace, if you can't get past a little sarcasm, I don't really care if you read my thoughts or not. Get a pair of balls and take it like a man. No one said I had to be nice (although, considering some of the other sites I've critiqued on here, I think my critique of your site was fairly well-mannered).

Besides, I put a fair amount of time into creating that post to try and help you. There are 2 ways to be constructive:

1) Tell you how it is or,
2) Sugar coat it and make you feel pretty.

I opt for option number 1.

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