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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot andyy15's Avatar
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    Hoping for some suggestions...

    Please take a look at http://www.nitacreations.com
    Nita Creations is an online jewelry store website that I have been working on for some time. It is almost ready to be launched to the public. (at that time I will probably start paying for google adwords)

    Known issues:
    -The blank box on the main page is for the bbb online reliability seal which I am awaiting to receive.

    -My website is best viewed in IE cause it may not work in all browsers correctly.(the main page the store should work on all browsers)

    -Slow on 56k.

    I have been working really hard to eliminate all possible bugs on the website.

    Please let me know what you think. I am also looking for some suggestions to improve my google page rank. I have just recently created a related link sections.

    Thanks in advance,
    Andrew

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot Some_Other_Nerd's Avatar
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    Just my 0.02$USD (2 cents):


    Get rid of the flash, it is distracting.

    The pages don't scale well (try the zoom function in Ff, O, Moz, K, G, or equivalent).

    Colors are not consistent.

    The site isn't standards compliant.

    It's not accessible and looks horrible in Lynx.

  3. #3
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    Hello Andrew,

    I think overall you've done a nice job. especially with the content.

    A few things I noticed after looking at the site for a few minutes:

    1) The colors are a bit drab. I would suggest more contrast (some brighter colors)

    2) Some pages are too busy. For instance, click on the Online Store link. There you will find a page filled with little pockets of text all over. I would streamline the text on this page and perhaps with some color contrast it would look more appealing.

    3) When you're in the Online Store and click "Home" it doesn't go back to the main homepage. It looks like you're going to the homepage of the cart instead.

    4) I would get rid of the "Latest News" scroll on the homepage. If you're going to have a news section, keep it simple. The slow scroll isn't something people will stick around for.

    Just a few observations...

    Thanks,
    Anthony Vita
    Web Feat, Inc. - since 1997
    http://webfeathost.com

  4. #4
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    Very nice site. I agree with the previous post. Some brighter colors and / or more contrast would 'grab the eye' more. I suspect you're playing off the ice / colorless features of diamonds. You're successful in that, but if you can work in something a little eye-grabbing, that would be nice, too.
    I also agree about dumping the flash banner. It's subtle and nice, but perhaps 'too subtle'. I noticed the graphic immediately, but didn't even pick up on the motion until later. The bandwidth of a flash file is probably not worth the subtlety.
    Scrolling content is distracting and is used less and less. Perhaps you could achieve the same effect with a 'sideblog' type of thing.
    The links in the top 'banner' area (home, search, and add to favorites) are not large enough / emphasized enough. The first two are great functions, but you need to make them more directly noticeable. You could change the top graphic to an h1 element with the gif file as the background, and use the gem picture and title as a constant link to the homepage. More and more users expect this from their site.
    I typically avoid the Add to Favorites link, as some users disable JavaScript, more users distrust it, and most users know how to bookmark a page.
    Good Luck!

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb Site Review

    I took a look at your site and think you need to ave more focus. You seem to have a lot of info that is not organized in a consistent way. I noticed that when I clicked on some of the navigation buttons it took me to sections of the siste that had a slightly different look and feel with differnt styled navigation buttons. I also think that the graphic for they header on the top just does not fit with the rest of the site. I can't really make out what the images are on top and it just does not seem to fit with the siste overall. I also noticed that once you enter the online store and hit the home button you can not get back to the page i origianlly entered. I think your customers are going to get lost with all the info and inconsistencies. Maybe try to trim down some of the info and give yourself a bit more focus on what you want your customers to do.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot andyy15's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone lots of good info here that I will take into consideration.
    My Jewelry Website (Nita Creations Jewelry): NCJ.US
    Visit Avid Website Design

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist adesignrsa's Avatar
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    At a glance, looks good, but took a long time to load on my 348 DSL connection.

    So much so that I closed it.

    Possibly a preloader would help?
    Ross Allchorn
    Web Consultant
    www.allchorn.com
    Twitter - @allchornr

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot andyy15's Avatar
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    It's pretty fast loading on my DSL connection:
    Main Page
    14.4K 73.14 seconds
    28.8K 36.57 seconds
    33.6K 31.34 seconds
    56K 18.81 seconds
    ISDN 128K 5.76 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 0.50 seconds

    Store
    14.4K 164.44 seconds
    28.8K 82.32 seconds
    33.6K 70.59 seconds
    56K 42.43 seconds
    ISDN 128K 13.13 seconds
    T1 1.44Mbps 1.32 seconds

    I really tried to make my site as fast as possible especially with the store and diamond section. I fixed all my thumbnails so that my site would load faster. It is really hard to sell jewelry and optimize your site for 56k users. Many customers really like to see detailed pictures before they buy, especially for jewelry since it is such a big purchase item.
    My Jewelry Website (Nita Creations Jewelry): NCJ.US
    Visit Avid Website Design

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    This is a very, very long post. It is a big site, and well, I went to art school where we are trained to critique. Anything that is good can alway get better. And I hope I help!

    Brand. I don't get a "feel" for you, Nita. Are you classy, sassy, cheap, expensive? Your brand needs to be stronger. Your logo is almost, hmmm, elementary (?) for expensive jewelry. Try making the logo bigger, do it with a think white outline, or keep it white instead of yellow. A good use of this contrast is Jaguar. Look how the jaguar is so powerful with its shadows. You don't need all that imagary in the top banner. There is so much that it almost becomes nothing. I always say, "make your real estate count".

    Which leads me to... Eliminate the "Welcome to Nita Creations.com". Not needed. Look at the top sites out there. Gap, Victoria's Secret, Dell, Apple, FedEx... Do any of them welcome you? Sure, they do... by their content, by their appeal. You don't have to say it. Prove it. By offering good products and service and navigation to get it.

    The actual content is good. It is just organized wierdly for me. And a lot of the stuff is wasteful- meaning it is useless information or better off in a different section.

    Dump the "latest news section" and replace with the Store highlights. Bookmarking your site isn't as important as specials or features. The goal is to sell, right? By eliminating this section you not only free up this prime area, but you tighten up the site as to not scroll. Your front page should be short and sweet! That you use fedex or SSL or are member of the BBB Online is not important yet. That all comes later in the store section, after you lure them in with your fine products.
    Again, with the Information sections, try to tighten up the page. Dump the latest news. Pull up the New products and slip your highlight under that.

    The Store layout is good.
    The Information navigation section that is currently way down on the left side as a second bar top navigation- Maybe you could move the "Home Ľ Catalog", etc right above the main title of the page in a nice 8pt normal font and place the "information" navigation in that space.
    Lose the "online" in online store. (just a pet peeve. Sorry!)

    Don't switch your central navigation links because you moved to the store. You already have the links under the main navigation, why did you add it the the main navigation? Perhaps someone might be in the store and looking at a $1500 ring and go, hmmm. Do I know what size I am? What is Lisa's birthstone?

    Search is duplicated. Pick one. My vote is for the box for it is more familiar and obvious to the user.

    Fire engine red. "With thousands of diamonds to choose from, check out our Diamond Database!" Hmmm. this red is sooo out of line. Find another way to call attention. (replace the image that you have) The text can go right under the photo and still maintain prominence. It's all about placement.

    Headers. Lose the "..." after your headings. Not necessary.
    Why is Diamonds a header for Diamond Infromation and Information is a header for Jewelry Information? And lose the flash part for the page titles (not the diamond/jewelry flash images) of on these two. First because of load time, second for because it looks awkard on the right like that and third, this should be your H1 tag for the search engine spiders.

    Drab. I agree with the grays. Too much that it looks drab. I like the color on the right better than I like the blue up top. Try putting the background black. It might even make the images stand out more since it will relate to the black background there. In fact, it does look better with a black background in the store (I just tried it). It even changes the look of the logo.

    The End. I am sure you've had enough of me by now. I hope provided some helpful suggestions and didn't go on too much. Remind me not to drink a third cup of coffee when doing this stuff.

    Good Luck! You are off to a great start!
    --Karin

    ___________________________________________

    Black Diamond Consultants Group, LLC
    Solutions for Web, Print and Branding
    ___________________________________________

    Work is art... "When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece." -John Ruskin

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict
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    Nice smooth design, but sorry, not fit for jewelry store website. Putting grey becomes a trends now a days but jewelry site is something where designer gets ample opportunity to put their skills. I would prefer less text but more design and accomodate everything on a screen viewabale range without scroll, only in regards to home page. If you remove backround grey color, it will make a dramatic change in appearance. Once this is done, remove two vertical black stripe from your main body area and make the inner color blend with the background color. Logo looks official so make it little colourfull with a glimmer effect. Just a view. Keep it up !

    - Experienced WordPress Consultant.
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  11. #11
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    I checked out your site and it seemed to load ok on my dsl connection. One of the things that I found while navigating around was that your menu's were not consistant. Also, personally I think it needs a bit more color because there is so much information. Also, the latest news section seems to have pretty old news in it. Are you going to have news listed that is almost a year old? It makes it seem like the site has not been up dated in quite a while.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot andyy15's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions especially karenwaz!!! This forum is so so helpful. I really appreciate all of the comments. I think the two thing I have to change ASAP is the logo and the menu problem. I will get to work on that ASAP. The only problem is that I still have to go through all the prices to makes sure there are absolutely no mistakes and due to the amount of jewelry we carry it is really time consuming. I also am working on expanding and adding a Moissanite jewelry section. The owner of the business considers these two things to be more important then the design. But after these things get done I will be sure to look into the color scheme and replacing the news scroll bar. Few comments though I donít think the BBB logo should be removed from my main page. My business has paid so much for that logo that it is worth putting it on the main page. The search thing is really not duplicated since the box is a quick search and does not search the descriptions. I have to somehow modify it to do that (good observation karenwaz) Also I am really hesitant on removing the top flash since it took me weeks and weeks to design it. It would really really make me feel like I wasted so much time :-(. Anyway thanks for all the comments if anyone else has any comments I would really appreciate it.
    My Jewelry Website (Nita Creations Jewelry): NCJ.US
    Visit Avid Website Design

  13. #13
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    Hey, I like the site but on the opening page toward the bottom I don't like how Rings, Earrings, Bridal, Necklaces, Pendants, Gents look. They all look very plain and I think that it would work alot better with real pictures. If not, maybe some different colors. The site also looks very gray and boring. Also, when I click on those links they go to pages where there's stuff written on the left and the right and it's very distracting. If you want people to buy stuff, try to put it on it's own page. Good luck

  14. #14
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    My kneejerk reaction to your home page...

    It looks fairly attractive, but I think it would better represent a legal firm than a jeweler. Jewelry is supposed to be exciting, but your color scheme is a bit dull.

    One possible solution is to simply float a few images of jeweles around the page - a bright red garnet, a piece of turquoisel somem gleaming yellow gold, etc.

    Good luck.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    the header is very nice!

    anyway i'd make a rollover effect on the buttons so that the text change colors.
    a blue would be good

    another thing I'd make is on the icons on the top right: when u pass the mouse on them let them say what there is in the links

    that's all!

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast Onur's Avatar
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    For the news section:
    Instead of saying:
    "Visit our newly improved bridal section by clicking here"
    Say:
    "Visit our newly improved bridal section" and make "bridal section" clickable. Lead your visitors without them knowing it.

    My 2 cents,
    Onur

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast newsmith's Avatar
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    I liked it overrall. But do something about the gray background, it's plain nondescript.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Member virtualval2001's Avatar
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    I like the site. I especially love the header...
    -Not sure I like the java scroller on the right. It has that flicker to it as it moves and it's very distracting
    -I agree about the grey...it leaves the site kind of cold and industrial
    -The image of the lady with the jewelry to the left...it's kind of dark. I think a little bit of brightening in an image editor would help it.

    I love the overall layout, and it looks very professional. Other than what I mentioned above, I wouldn't change anything

    (DSL connection/IE6)

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot andyy15's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Onur, I changed the wording in the news scroll. The owner of the site likes the scrolling news so it has to stay :-( I also improved the logo by adding a sparkle to the diamond. As for the new products I implemented cgi to make it randomly display multiple new items. I am still trying to figure out the best way to modify the navigation on the store to match that of the site :-( anyone have any suggestions? As of today our diamond database is down due to me adding new Moissanite jewelry. Also anyone have ideas to improve PR? I am submiting the sites to all possible directorys with little success. Also have a links section so if you want to swap links in any of my categories let me know virtualval2001
    I brightned the picture and it is flash news scroller not javascript. Karinwaz I got rid of the "Welcome to Nitacreations.com"
    *Fixed Navigation on Store to match the one on the site.
    Thanks alot everyone for your help
    Last edited by andyy15; Nov 18, 2004 at 23:36.
    My Jewelry Website (Nita Creations Jewelry): NCJ.US
    Visit Avid Website Design

  20. #20
    SitePoint Evangelist Crusader's Avatar
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    I took a quick glance. It looks very good. My only gripe is that it's extremely slow loading on 56k modem. So you might have to rethink it a bit. If your target audience all have broadband, then it's not a problem, but otherwise it might need some work.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Zealot andyy15's Avatar
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    Crusader I know how you feel :-( I have DSL and it is fast but when I go to my Aunt's house it is so slow. I tried my hardest making all pics thumbnails. It's quite hard selling jewelry without many pic's. I use to have all the pics in the store auto resize which ment that 56k users were downloading the full size pic. Now that was slow!!! Anyway anyone have any suggestions for making my site faster on 56k?
    My Jewelry Website (Nita Creations Jewelry): NCJ.US
    Visit Avid Website Design


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