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  1. #1
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    Please review site. I made some changes and began a new design.

    I am in charge of this site as the web developer. This is my first large site as designer and webmaster, and I currently have zero web development skills. Currently the site is for informational purposes only, but I have plans to add to the community section as well as making it an e-commerce site down the road.

    http://www.naturalretail.com

    Also, if anybody knows or has the code to get a mail contact form to work for or on a microsoft exchange server, I would greatly apreciate it.


    Thanks
    Last edited by chrisOBrien; Aug 1, 2006 at 06:32. Reason: changing summary

  2. #2
    Night Elf silver trophybronze trophy Varelse's Avatar
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    The site is quite nice, but you are over-using the effects like bevel and shadow - they require much more attention paid to finishing if you want them to look well.
    Background image is quite interesting - a bit out of dat maybe, but it doesn't look bad - I'd keep it.
    After seeing how your navigation works, I think that you could use similar style for your beveled elements - more sharp and not so strong 3D effect.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    My main concern is that it took me some time to actually figure out what the site's about. All I see is first the background images, and then the large colour thingies. Then, I was automatically redirected after some time, so I figure it is supposed to be a splash screen.

    I would recommend that you make <http://www.naturalretail.com/htm/about.htm> the starting page. This page is excellent sofaras making the user aware of what the company does, but I agree with Varelse that some of the effects have been overdone a bit. Looking on the page in general, it has a very distinct 'confused grid' look, which I'd try sort out - I can't put my finger on what does this, though.

    Generally, the page is easy to read, which is good, but you might want to make the text scaleable. In the recipes section, I would also recommend against having headlines for contents which isn't there, as it makes the site look incomplete.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
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    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast syedasif's Avatar
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    The site looks bland. Would do it a lot of good if you sizzled up those bevels. Try making it look a bit dreamy maybe. Or just get the whole aqua effect.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict RRWH's Avatar
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    Lose the first page that re-directs - if you don't you will lose site visitors.

    The font is a little on the small side for the text.

    IN FF1.07 when I go to about then go to store locations the alignment jumps to the left by a huge amount...

    The Departments page has more whitespace at the top than all other pages on the site....

    The monthly specials page looks horrid with the section that has the cataloge thumbs having both horizontal and vertical scrolling - this page takes forever to load - put a strategy in place to optomize the graphics on this page.

    Terms of use page is messed up - the content pushes the right hand side out of alignment.

    Do you really need the corporate office details on most pages of the site? seems redundant to me.

    When I navigate around the site, the left side menu's appear to jump around from page to page - it is frustrating.

    Go back and get these basics sorted out.

    On a lot of pages, you have links to d/l PDF documents - they appear at different places on each page you go to - aim for uniformity - IE always have them in the same place page to page.

    Validate all pages - http://validator.w3.org BEFORE asking for a review - if you have not taken the time to validate and fix errors, you are simply showing all website visitors that you don't care about the user experience.

    I would say from the few minutes looking around your site that you have several hours of work that you need to do before launching it on your (unsuspecting) Customers.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input so far. Keep them coming. I will soon be gathering all feed back and begin making some changes.

  7. #7
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    The site is completely new design.i like it but it confusing on first viewing.

  8. #8
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    Is there anybody else who would like to offer their constructive criticism? I really need feed back on the usability of this site.

    Go ahead and dish it out! I can take it. I plan to take all comments and concerns into consideration and make the neccesary changes.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot greeneye's Avatar
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    Usability

    ...OK...Well I'm not really sure about the splash page, I do get told they are a big nono. On my little screen the links at the bottom I actuallly had to scroll down to. Having said that I really like the design with the blocks of colour and the Flash (even though I've been told many times that FLASH is BAD!!!)

    Ok sticking to usability here, the drop down menus are a bit weird on mine. You rollover one with a drop down but it doesn't disappear when I roll off. And if I roll ove a menu item with no drop down the previous menu's dropdown stays visible. Its also a bit jerky. (Is this more what you wanted?) (I'm using the latest Firefox browser if that helps too)

    Tiny bit slow to load at times, especially the specials page. Maybe optimise the images a bit more. I have 1MB broadband connection so dial up would be horrible.

    I like the way you have laid out the content. Really well thought out and easy to find what is needed.

    Hope that helps a bit!
    Hello

  10. #10
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    This website design needs some work. It doesnt seem to flow correctly and i think it needs another navigation instead of just the text links at the bottom.

    It is rather plain, especially with that dull background and then the really bright coloured boxes in the middle.

    Hope you can improve on it abit more, especially working on the center peice.

    Good Luck!
    Aaron Luckie - Paid search and SEO blog

  11. #11
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    hey renlong, did you stop at the first page? It has already been discussed that that page may go. What about the rest of the site?

  12. #12
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    Change the home page

    I would make the "About Us" page the home page.

    At the moment, as soon as people visit your website, they have to click a link. I wouldn't be willing to click unless I knew what I was doing.

    Alex.

  13. #13
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    First thing is drop the intro page. While the animation is nice, this page serves no purpose and makes the user wait to obtain the information they want-need. I like the colors for the site they feel healthy.

    I think on your home page you should condense the text and use bullets to highlight the information that you feel is important- like why choose NRG? What is great about your products and why should I seek out your locations.

    Plus, the best parts of your site are not highlighted. The location finder, recipes, and specials could be a reason for consumers to keep coming back to your site. I would try to make these sections stand above the rest. Furthermore, you could tie them into other pages. Locations page has a coupon or next to the coupon you could give a recipe. Just because this is an informational site does not mean people only have to visit once.

    Overall the site is easy to navigate and has the look and feel of health food.

  14. #14
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    I am still looking for more feedback before I make any changes. Surely are are more people out their who have an opinion about this site.

    Please comment.

  15. #15
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    Home Page:

    The overall layout of the homepage is tastefull. I am a big fan of simplicity and I believe that a homepage should be just that. I am not sure that flash is really necessary...especially when it is so insignificant. I am also not sure that you need to use 5 different colors around the logo. Additionally, if you do not click on anything, the homepage will automatically direct you to the website. you can either fix it...or just do away with it all together.

    As far as the design is concerned...I am not crazy about the pink and how it contrasts with the rest of the site.

    other than that...great job.
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  16. #16
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    thanks for the comments so far.

    As far as color goes, I did not design, nor did I choose the colors in the logo(s). It is my opinion and what I was taught that the design should come from the logo. Hence the pink.

    I could also still use some help in a mail form script to work with a microsoft exchance server.

  17. #17
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    fantastic first attempt. but keep tweaking

    Hi, I think you did a great job considering your stated lack of expierience. You choose a pleasing color scheme that immediately makes me think of healthy food, thats a plus. You have the site broken down into useful sections and that is also a plus.

    Here are a few things that I noticed. I think that you should get rid of the splash page. The animation is nice and the bird sounds are relaxing. However if I weren`t going to your site to review it, I would have left, because the real page took to long to load. I think that splash pages mess up your search ranking as well, but don`t quote me on that.

    On your about us page the word NRG is larger and in a different color then the copy text. It makes the page kind of confusing. I think from a users perspective when text is a different color it is a link. NRG stands out on its own you don`t need to embelish it. IF you must, do it once.

    The bevels do make the site look kind of dated. Bevels are cool but if you over do it, then it is not so cool. I think you should make the large shadow behind your content box lighter and less noticble. Subtlety is beautiful, and will be appreciatred by teh audience your website is trying to attract.

    There are some areas on the first page where the text is hard to read. On the right bar the cupon text is too small, the yseem like really useful coupons so you should fix that. On the main title of the site the subheader is too light, there is not enough contrast from the background I have to look really hard to see A Division of United Natural Foods, the vibration actually hurts my eyes, it is distracting.

    Finally, you should really consider changing your layout from a table based one to one based on more modern css techniques, so that the site will be accesible on mobile devices such as cell phones. i use my phone to surf teh web all the time.

    THough I pointed out those things, let it be known that you did a great job. Teh hard work you put in is very evident. just keep tweking a web site is never truly done.

    Joey

  18. #18
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    Joey, thanks for your input.

    and yes, I plan to tackle the tables to CSS issue sooner than later.

  19. #19
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    Viewed in Safari

    1) your site doesn't even run here www.websiteoptimization.com because it is so large
    2) As stated, I have no idea about what this site is, on the front page.
    3) There is no navigation on the front page

    About us page --------
    1) still doesn't run on that page (you must have some background processing going on)
    2) "A division of United..." is very hard to read
    3) The menu system is a little confusing, I am assumming that some items don't have sub menus, but the menus that have sub menus linger when i scroll to the next button.
    4) The drop shadow around the page is a little harsh
    5) The text on the right is very hard to read
    6) The bold words are a different green than the left panel
    7) The header "The natural Retail Group" 1 is a picture and 2 is a different font than the rest of the page.

    Locations page --------
    1) Looks different than the About us page, I have to learn all over again. Sitepoint recently sent out a designview newsletter stating "Do you underestimate you users? are your users over-tired, disinterested, browsing multiple windows, watching tv, listening to death metal, chatting, eating pizza, writing an assignment, drunk, and dyslexic?" Don't make things more confusing for you customers.
    2) The palm harbour and sunsplash - Port Charlotte pictures are horrible
    3) There is something in the bottom right corner. What is it? (I know what it is but it looks terriible)

    Departments ---------
    1) Not all of the pictures load for the individual departments.
    2) Why is there produce at the top of the personal care page?
    3) Every new page I go to the whole thing moves (ex. going from the departments page to the personal care page), if you use your css correctly this shouldn't happen, and will be more enjoyable to the viewer

    Coupons --------
    1) maybe put an <hr> between each coupon

    That's all I have time for now... but your doing a great job! Keep it up!

  20. #20
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    Hi Chris,

    I'll get right to the point. Your content is excellent however the design is not so great. Green and Pink have never gone together and never will.

    Also it took the menu images a very long time to load.

    The index.htm "splash page" has to go. It serves no purpose and will cause more harm (seo wise) than good.

    As far as color goes, I did not design, nor did I choose the colors in the logo(s).
    Usability is the base line for effective web design. Asking us to review your site is a type of usability testing. Many people have commented on the color scheme. You need to make a strong case with your usability results as evidence, to "who ever" made those color choices, to persuade them to "think again".

    This site has A LOT of potential. I wish I designed it. I have been looking to do an Organic Produce / Store project. We should chat privately.

    Regards,

    Mike.

  21. #21
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    I guess I should just quit my job! If I go to the president and tell him i can't design a good web site unless he spends thousands of dollars to change his brand and identity, i'd get thrown out on my keester, and someone else would come in and design with the color. --('You need to make a strong case with your usability results as evidence, to "who ever" made those color choices, to persuade them to "think again".'
    )

    sorry Mike. I like my job. and by all means, there are plenty of places you can contact to possibly get a contract to design an organic/healthfood store.

    go to www.livingnaturally.com these guys design a template based site for a lot of them. all they change is the color and pop in a logo. my employer could have this for free if they wanted, but look at it. and don't go in to deep, the only way back is the browsers back button.

  22. #22
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    Chris, did they ask for the green or did you add it, cause I don't see it in the logo. I agree that when working for a large company, you can't just change stuff all the time. Just do the best with what you've been given

    What if you were to make the rollovers there yellow instead of the pink?

    is their logo always behind a tan background?

  23. #23
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    i see you do not know anything about the going green movement. and yes. there is green in the sub logos. Also when hired I was told the only thing they wanted to keep from the existing site was the background, and I pulled the green from that.

    the tan comes from the "parent company" no yellow in the logo pink is.

    I wasn't too happy with the color choices either. but the pink as it is being described is a predominant color.

    And I like web sites that have navigation that stands out as far as letting me know what page I am on. That is why I chose to use the pink color for the highlight. The orange gets lost.

    The pink is there and it isn't going away, but I will take other comments into consideration.

  24. #24
    Non-Member Musicbox's Avatar
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    is that intro on the main page ? if it is then you need to link in bold as enter to main site.....

  25. #25
    SitePoint Zealot mbm's Avatar
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    I would suggest:

    1. The green border - it is too bold and too dark at the same time. May be you can try to decrease the line width or to use different green level. Also, try to remove the shadows.
    2. Fix the different pages position. now, some of them "move" a little bit when switching from one to other.
    3. Some links in the menu do not work (locations and specials)
    4. The navigation menu in the left column - its color is too dark and its shape is rather rough. Try to make it different way.
    5. Text size - it would be best if you allow the text to resize according to the visitors browser settings.
    6. The "entry" page is absolutely not necessary. For most of the visitors it would become an exit "page" too.


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