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Ninjakreborn

homepage criticism

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This will be the final time I need criticism, Especially ober, hopefully he will read this too, he has been helping me through this whole process, I am starting another thread, basically I got a logo, i just want criticism on the entire homepage, I already put in some of the javascript, all that's left is some css, and if I come up with any other pages, I am just wondering what do you think of the basic color scheme, especially for the links. And the general positioning of everything, and the concept, it hasn't been error checked or proofread I will do that tomorrow.
www.freelancebusinessman.com

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any particular URL you want a critique of?

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[a href=\"http://www.freelancebusinessman.com\" target=\"_blank\"]www.freelancebusinessman.com[/a]

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What do I think of the color scheme? Throw it out. It's a hideous merging of grey, black, and horribly colored links. You'd best start over, methinks.

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That was what I was thinking about the color scheme, I will redo the link coloring and things, tomorrow when I start on it again, I think I will go for more standard colors, less colorful, just to get the point that they are links.

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Also, I seem to have forgotten to metion this before, but get rid of that font you're using on the home page for content-it's very hard to read and fairly uncommon.

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I don't understand your layout whatsoever. The banner image is fixed width... and it's stretched to all hell so it looks like garbage. The font you're using is horrid and hard to read. And there's no styling otherwise to speak of. Work on the CSS and pick either fixed width or full and then get back to us.

And I'm not sure what Javascript you're talking about, because what you have right now shouldn't require ANY javascript.

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[!--quoteo--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Also, I seem to have forgotten to metion this before, but get rid of that font you're using on the home page for content-it's very hard to read and fairly uncommon.
[/quote]

I will redo the font. Aren't there some situations you would want to use other fonts. I always liked fonts that were less used but still supported by browsers, and I had some other fonts in there including old times roman as a backup for browsers that didn't have anything else, I will work on the whole look and feel of that, but I still want a font, primary font, that is rarely used and rarely seen, probably something with an old english tint to it.

[!--quoteo--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
The banner image is fixed width... and it's stretched to all hell so it looks like garbage.
[/quote]
I will see what I can do about that, but I want to try and keep the image that long, so I can have it match with the rest of the stuff on the page, I will mess around with it, see if I can strink it some and reposition some stuff to look better

and as for the javascript, someone told me about that yesterday, so I changed all the javascript to title="" and it worked out a lot better.

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I'll be honest, the site is pretty horrible. The "logo" is ugly. The colors are terrible, the font is barely readable. The menu is ugly. The entire site has no structure. Before you posted this, did you look at it and think it is a good site? Do you honestly feel there is anything worth a critique here? Why are your bottom links way down past the actual content? You have to scrap this, look around the web for some type of inspiration, and start all over.

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That's what is severely confusing me, and making me consider changing businesses. IT's not that I thought it was good, but it's some things. For instance I look at some of these sites on here, and I like the way they look, under website critique, and then all of a sudden like 10 people put down a bunch of stuff that is horrible on the site, then when I look at a site they say is bad, it looks good to me, is it just my taste in sites, or is it something else. What defines a site as good, and bad, I ahve a few things I notice that annoy me on sites, and I can comment on them, but for instance, my site, if I was to give it hard criticism from an external perspective, I would say something like the font is original, and the color scheme needs to be changed, the logo needs to be sharpened, and maybe not stretched as much, what defines "good" and "bad" and "horrible. This is what is confusing me, Ithink of what I cna do that won't classify as horrible but doesn't that severely limit what I cna do with a website, for it to be good. I am more of confused here now, lokoing for guidance and direction, I have poured over hundreds of websites in the past weeks, doing test criticisms on them and compariing them to other peoples criticism, I end up at the point where I like what other people dislike, Ihave had some people say that to me, the logo is blurry, sharpen it, redo the link coloring scheme. What else about it is bad, I seriously need some direction in this, advice in discerning what's good, and what's bad.

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Everyone has their own personal tastes, but I think a lot of what people post on this critique board is technical stuff (how the site works, whether it uses mailto vs a contact form, etc.). And certain fonts are just bad ideas... you want the site to be readable, easy to navigate, and have a good flow. The rest is just graphics and making the site appeal to the general public.

However, if you're finding that what you like is the complete opposite of what everyone else is saying, maybe you're in wrong business. Some people just have a knack for this stuff. It's all about style... people like jcombs have it and they know how to produce it. I'm pretty much a hack when it comes to style, but I'd like to think I know what works and what doesn't.

EDIT: for example... you obviously don't care about paragraphs and making sure your spelling is ok when you post on a forum. I do. It's little things like that that set us apart.

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Okay a few things, I know that you've been working on this for a while but I think you may need to take a good step back and rethink a few things:

Firstly, there is little to no layout or design on the site. Its easy to say that I'm not a designer and I'm no good at design but really it takes very little to make a simple effective design. It looks like you are going for a basic two column - fixed width site with a footer...

Best place to start is with an existing template, and work from it. If you google around you can find some excellent open templates which people have created for use by anyone. My site started from a template by Ruthsarian, who willing lets people use his templates for whatever they want.

For example [a href=\"http://blog.html.it/layoutgala/LayoutGala24.html\" target=\"_blank\"]http://blog.html.it/layoutgala/LayoutGala24.html[/a] is a nice, simple template that you can start with. Change a few colours, add your banner graphic and suddenly you have a well designed page.

Generally I think you have a good basis for a colour scheme. Light grey and Dark Blue can actually look very professional if its done right. I've attached a quick html demo template I whipped up with that template I pasted above.

For the banner. I like the pen and paper idea, but it needs some more impact. The banner should grab the readers attention and lead it into the content of the site. If you have access to a camera, you could try a few more dramatic shots. A large closeup of the pen writing something. Something with a little depth.

Hope this stuff helps

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perfect idea, I can use webcam to take a still image of something then fix it up in photoshop, the template idea, I like, but I am worried with that be a bad name for me, for instance, is it bad design to use another template and change it, or is that the way a lot of designers start things off, if so then I like the idea, and I am going to run with it

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I dont think there is anything wrong with working from a template, provided the template designer gives permission for it to be used, especially in a commercial situation. Also its often polite to credit a designer if they request it. Its how you take the template and rework it into something unique and attractive that matters.

You could check out some stock photography sites such as www.sxc.hu. These sites have loads of mostly free, high quality photos which you can use as a basis for your work.

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[!--quoteo(post=371581:date=May 5 2006, 11:46 AM:name=businessman332211)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(businessman332211 @ May 5 2006, 11:46 AM) [snapback]371581[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
perfect idea, I can use webcam to take a still image of something then fix it up in photoshop, the template idea, I like, but I am worried with that be a bad name for me, for instance, is it bad design to use another template and change it, or is that the way a lot of designers start things off, if so then I like the idea, and I am going to run with it
[/quote]

I think you are missing the point. Taking a still pic from webcam is not going to help you (probably make things worse, webcams don't produce quality images). You need some type of layout thought out first. Start without graphics maybe, like the template show in a previous post. Give your site some structure, and think more about some graphics once it takes some shape. I do the opposite and draw a complete layout (or at least partial) and break it up how I need to and then code my css/html.

Stop throwing some text on crappy images and calling that a logo, your approach is completely off.

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Thanks, I appreciate it, I will keep some of this in mind, when I start again today getting ready to start more on the site, I didn't like using php to create images, it didn't work out, so I am going to look around for a good photo to match what I want

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