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homepage critique


Forge102
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Hi all,

I just wanted some feedback on my website. I've finally finished it, and I'm sure all the functionality works as well. Please try it out and tell me what you think. Comments on design/usability/functionality are all welcome.
the website is [a href=\"http://www.kingsands.com\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.kingsands.com[/a]

Thanks

Forge
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I'm afraid to say that I see absolutely nothing different from the last time I went there. Aside from the use of an image rollover for such a simple design, the occasional broken link that searches for an html file when it should say php, and the error message that just kinda float on a simple white page, and the incredibly poor forum layout design, it seems identical.
For the forum design: take a look at this site. This is what people have grown to expect from a forum, this layout. And there's a good reason; there's a healthy list of options that are applicable to the post, and the least-important information is placed in discreet spots. No one needs to know when the post was posted, which is why it's discreetly tucked away at the title here.
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I have done a lot with the home page, I nuked the site completely and redid the whole thing from the ground up. The site is not completely, I always get the homepage in place, completely, then the rest of the site falls into place quickly. I would appreciate any advice, critisicm, alignment issues, postioning problems, and overall any ideas as to make the homepage more accessible, and more user friendly, any ideas. The rest of the site I am going to start building right after I get feedback, thanks.
[a href=\"http://www.freelancebusinessman.com\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.freelancebusinessman.com[/a]
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right off the bat....it doesn't align correctly in Firefox or Opera. In IE6, FF & Opera your banner overlaps the main content area.

i like simple designs, but this may be a bit too simple.

the banner looks like you're attempting to have rounded corners on the right side, but the background of the image doesn't match the background of the body.

I'd also try the main text as white intead of black. Will give a bit more contrast & seperate it more from your menus.
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i will keep this in mind, but wildteen responded to another post a minute ago, and I was incorporating an overhaul on the css I am repositioning everything, I want to get the homepage perfect before I move foward, I know about firefox, I noticed that and opera at the last minute, I am working on some of the stuff wildteen showed me, that will get every reset position, and clear up all the issues in firefox, and opera
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[!--quoteo(post=372725:date=May 9 2006, 03:38 PM:name=businessman332211)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(businessman332211 @ May 9 2006, 03:38 PM) [snapback]372725[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
i will keep this in mind, but wildteen responded to another post a minute ago, and I was incorporating an overhaul on the css I am repositioning everything, I want to get the homepage perfect before I move foward, I know about firefox, I noticed that and opera at the last minute, I am working on some of the stuff wildteen showed me, that will get every reset position, and clear up all the issues in firefox, and opera
[/quote]

if you use floats for your page layout, you can very easily force your bottom nav down below all the rest of your content instead of having it hover up underneath like it does in FF right now.

anyway, a couple other ideas to consider, too:

1) colors are dark. not a bad thing if you have some highlights here and there, but with just the blue and brown, the colors really wash each other out somewhat.

2) i'd recommend going with a sans-serif font for your body text. it's MUCH easier to read on screen. in addition, i'd consider dropping your text down to about an 11px font instead of having it so big. also, your center content area around the text really needs to have some padding so your text doesn't bump all the way up to the edges like that. maybe just adding some margin to your paragraph tags will help that.

3) as mentioned above, consider different default font color combinations.

4) the menu needs some work. first of all, the title ("Site Index") isn't any different from the rest of your links, so it's a little out of place when you hover over it. also, you've got the right idea of getting the CSS navigation to be active, but the inverted idea really is overused, and it's not a very professional look in most cases. you really ought to check out some of the ideas at [a href=\"http://css.maxdesign.com.au/listamatic/\" target=\"_blank\"]Listamatic[/a] and develop your own professional looking menu.

hope this helps!

i am very pleased to see that your markup validates, though! that's a huge step that many people don't take the time to develop properly.
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