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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast arthurakay's Avatar
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    Why I Love Chicago

    I've been working on my site a lot lately to improve both its layout and content, and I was hoping to get some feedback.

    Site: www.whyilovechicago.com

    The website is basically a local resource for restaurants and things to do around the city. It has a message board and a calendar of events.

    In the future I hope to add sections about local bands, but I suppose one thing at a time...

    What do you all think?

  2. #2
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    The site has some great potential in its niche.

    Layout wise, the green background doesn't seem to "go" with the rest of the colors on the blog. Maybe a dark blue or purple to go with the night skyline?

    Make sure that the graphic cues remain the same between parts of the site. The blog doesn't look like it's part of the main site.

    I'd like to see what the calendar looks like.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist Pixelateur's Avatar
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    Looks very neat to me, everything is where you would expect it to be.

    However, the colour scheme seems a bit awkward. Maybe you want to have a look at this colour schemer. Basically what it does is it generates complementary colour schemes for you that are more pleasing to the eye than randomly chosen colours.

    Another thing I don't like is the logo, which seems far too simple. Actually, it's not even a logo, it's just a piece of HTML text. How about creating some nice piece of artwork instead of just using text?

    The main heading ("Attractions...") is not aligned to the left and actually there's no obvious reason for this to be so.

    Hope this helps, I have never actually been to Chicago, but maybe one day I'll pay a visit...

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast arthurakay's Avatar
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    Wow, I like that color scheme generator. I revised the green background to a more complimentary tone.

    I originally had some artwork in that space (it's on the forum), but I removed it as it pushed my content down a little further than I wanted it. I may create something new, or use this text for SEO purposes.

    Thanks for the awesome feedback! Keep it coming if you can!

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Somebody got my attention (lives in Aurora). I'll be back later for a "local" review - especially considering how I'll be back in Chi-town in a couple weeks.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot Jay-S's Avatar
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    Why I don`t love this site, cuz design is very old... try design something new ( w2.0)

  7. #7
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    How about providing constructive comments and criticism instead of slamming him, Jay-S?

    And if you'll bear with me, remember there is no such thing as "Web 2.0" as far as design is concerned. The whole term "Web 2.0" is about sharing information and making it easy for people to create that information. It has absolutely nothing to do with design.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot Jay-S's Avatar
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    i think on easy design, with hot colors...

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast TannerC's Avatar
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    Hey arthurakay, the overall design is pretty good, but it could use a lot of work.

    Right now it looks like a basic blog that you customized by changing a few colors here and there. While a blog layout is great for a website - for several reasons - you should add a bit more custom feel to it.

    The menu is very plain and boring. I didn't even recognize it as being a menu when the page first loaded - definitely a problem that you don't want site visitors to experience. Try making it look more like a menu, even separating it from the main content of the page would greatly help.

    The background color is very distracting, in-fact: it's the strongest element on the entire page - something you don't want. Try lightening the background up, or add more dramatic (red colors or big images) to the main section of the site.

    Try stylizing the site a bit more. Simple is definitely good, it makes your visitors feel welcome and it helps them to focus on what the website is for, but when it's too simple it looks unprofessional and can often scare visitors away (they'll think your site isn't trustworthy or respectable).

    Hope I've been able to help a bit, good luck.
    Visit Creative Something, my creativity blog.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast irodgers's Avatar
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    When I went to this page -
    http://www.whyilovechicago.com/Revie...estaurants.asp
    it never finished loading! It looked as if it had finished - in fact it had finished - but it was still waiting for www.blogskinny.com and then it was waiting for google analytics and never finished. I don't know what it was doing with them that was taking so long.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist webfreebies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    And if you'll bear with me, remember there is no such thing as "Web 2.0" as far as design is concerned. The whole term "Web 2.0" is about sharing information and making it easy for people to create that information. It has absolutely nothing to do with design.
    Er, what???? There is a look that everyone has come to recognize as "Web 2.0": an emphasis on shininess and glossiness; star badges; imitation print media; subtle gradients; an even greater emphasis on white space; reflected lettering; soft glows and shadows; rounded corners; etc... That "design" stemmed from what you're talking about ("sharing of information") because designers wanted to find a new look to complement this new technology.

    Back to the site: My feelings? Not "splashy" enough. By "splashy", I don't mean in terms of graphics. Right now it looks and feels too basic, like a personal blog. Sites such as yours, I expect them to be "buzzing"-- in other words, to look a bit busy in terms of layout (but not too busy), like there's a lot to see and discover.

    At any rate, here are my suggestions:

    1. Switch the sidebar, so that it's on the left rather than the right. Putting it on the right makes your site look too much like a blog.

    2. Make a header. You don't really have one at this point, just space.

    3. Have a different page graphic for each section. For example, for "Museums" have a picture of a museum. For "Colleges", have a picture of a college.

    4. Have a better graphic altogether for your home page. The picture of the skyscrapers are beautiful, but it doesn't say "Chicago" or "Attractions." It's too generic.

    5. Incorporate more graphics that make visitors feel like it's "Chicago." Perhaps have a state flag or a map outline of Chicago somewhere. Or some graphics and colors that instantly "feel Chicago-ish." By that I mean, when you think of cities, they each have a particular design/ image that goes with each one where as soon as you see it you're like, "Oh, yes-- that's Paris." Or, "Oh, that's New York," or "Oh, that's Chicago." What are the images and colors that come to mind when you think of Chicago? For NYC, I instantly think of pizza slices, the colors yellow and black (for taxis), broadway signs, and art deco buildings. How about Chicago?
    Retro-Ads.net- vintage ads from the 20s-80s.
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  12. #12
    [Biped] LJK's Avatar
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    Hi -
    I was expecting a bit of the personal on the home page - a grabber/reason why I should stick around to find out more...
    Looks like an expired domain URL at first glance; needs character-building to make it unique.

    Never heard of the forum script you've chosen - not as user-friendly as phpbb or some other common ones. Overall, great niche but design and content need some tweaking.

    Have fun,
    Chitowner
    F-Fox 2.0 :: WIN :: el design :: US

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard Darren884's Avatar
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    I think the site is great. If I was going to visit Chicago it would be a great resources. Its not too cluttered an the navigation is very easy. Only thing I would change is that teal background, ewww. It does not conform to the rest of the site. I would change it to a light gray if I were you. Good site though.
    Have a good day.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast t47lor's Avatar
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    Firstly Arthurakay i apologise if i have gone over some things that have been said before

    My opinion is firstly that the green is far too strong and combined with the blue it makes it more diffucult for your user to pinpoint the desired content.

    Also take a little time with aligning your images and text within the site. If you are padding text by 10px then be consistent throughout, also centralise images/adverts. You will be surprised how much improvement all these little tweaks will have.

    Also spend time designing elements within the site e.g. logo, menu. Giving the website some impact and attracting users to stay longer.

    The concept is nice just needs to be updated

    Regards
    LT
    Taylor

    Portfolio at Coroflot


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