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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Azure Ronin Web Design

    Hello,

    I'm looking for critiques, comments, and help on my website: http://www.aggis-topography.com/azureronin

    Be brutal, and thanks.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Well, you asked to be brutal. This might be just my opinion, but looking at your site, the first impression I get of your business is that it's more like a teenager in his mom's basement rather than a professional web design company.

    If you're selling MySpace skins then this type of layout would be fine. But if you're looking for businesses, you'd have to up the professionalism of the site.

    The services page seems to run too long. Might be better to break it down into chucks (e.g. Standard websites is one page, Dynamic Content is another).

    Why are all your sites a subdirectory of http://www.aggis-topography.com? The root domain doesn't seem to have anything to do with web design. This is another minus point in terms of professionalism.

    It seems like you didn't have a particular target audience in mind when you designed this website. The result of neglecting that is you get a mediocre site that tries to please everyone, but ends up pleasing no one. For e.g. if you want web design clients, they wouldn't care much about the 'Freebies', 'Affiliate' sections. You don't seem to sell any products, but you have separate links for products and services, and they both go to the same page.
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  3. #3
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    One of the most fundamental points in design....ALIGN!

    Get your top nav links aligned with the start of the heading and your content text aligned with both.

    Also, create some space between page heading and body text.

    That should be a start...

  4. #4
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    I'd have to agree with jimbo_dk, your services page is far too long. You should create a page for each individual service.

    Until you actually have a portfolio, I wouldn't have a menu item linking to it.

    The graphics need to be professionalized too.
    The Critical Critics -- brutally honest movie reviews.

  5. #5
    Zero Point Zero Siebird's Avatar
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    I also agree with Jimbo, first impressions are that your doing websites for Final Fantasy fanatics or something. I think you could be more creative in styling the page elements like h1, h2, p, li, ect. Doesn't look like any styling was applied.

    The one thing that works, it that the copy and design go well together talking about samurai's n such, but I guess that would work if your targeting more people in the Martial Artist realm.

  6. #6
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    I agree with all of the above, the design/layout and implementation does not speak quality to me eg. the spacing of the title (being so close to edge and out of line with the paragraph copy below it).

    What is your target audience? If you know this you can at very least look into what inspires them... I would spend some time browsing this site, building your knowledge. While looking at other 'web design' websites, places like CSS Vault are a great place to start for everything from inspiration to a realistic comparison of how your design ability’s compare to others…


    Si

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Thanks for all the comments so far. Yeah, I kind of agree with you. Yesterday I was looking at it and I was like "I really don't like this design anymore".

    I had purposely made the header be more to the left then the content, but I guess that doesn't really work, huh?

    As for the whole subfolder thing, that isn't it's permanent location, that's just where I have it before I go and register the domain and all of that.

    I also agree that my services (and products) pages are much too long. I plan on making an individual detailed page for each of those. When I get those done, I'll probably shorten the descriptive text for each of them, or just eliminate it all together and make that first page just a menu. Also, those are different pages, though the content is fairly similar. I was trying to kind of cover my bases as to what people would consider a product or service, though I may just combine them into one and get rid of the nearly-identical content.

    Also, create some space between page heading and body text.
    Do you mean put some space between the <h*> and <p> tags? I read an few CSS articles that all recommended grouping them together so they appear as one unit, where if they were spaced more evenly they would appear disjointed from the content.

    The graphics need to be professionalized too.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by that? If you mean the hand-drawn images, they dont' get more professional then that, for hand-drawn images. If you mean those two buttons off to the side... yeah, those need help, but they aren't finished either.

    Thanks for all the advice. I think I decided yesterday to scrap the layout of the site I have already, though the header and the picture of the ronin to the side will be staying.

    Also, the free content will contain templates and such, but it was really meant more for things such as articles and basic tutorials on web related topics. Do you think I should put that in a separate site, or maybe just keep the articles and tutorials and get rid of the other free stuff (or move that to a different site)?

    If you can't tell, which I'm sure you can, the page design isn't my forte, I'm more of the technical implementation (I'm a programmer, not an artist).
    Last edited by samanime; Oct 3, 2007 at 13:38.

  8. #8
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    Starting with the design, i echo what many have already mentioned, first impressions are, is this a kids website or a anime fansite? Nothing tells me its a web design firm

    Also the logo is un-readable...i know it says web design underneath the sword but only because you mentioned it

    I think you need to start over again - do a bit of research and look at some css design galleries for inspiration.

    On a side note also, the content youve got in there, i had a read through and it is worded and presented very very un professionally, and by reading through your services and about us pages got the impression you are not a web design firm, you are as someone mentioned 'a teenager in his mom's basement'

    Stuff like this:

    Music

    Another tool to use carefully and sparingly, but when it's used just right it can be incredible. One of the few web design companies that are even willing to help you with anything audio, we will help you find just the song you are looking for. Whether you are looking a little background music, or want a big sound to go with a song, we'll make sure you're covered.
    and this:

    A note about multimedia content: We are able to provide you with much of the multimedia content your website requires. However, if you have a large project that may be out of our scope to complete for you in a timely and high-quality manner, we will help find and work closely with an external company in order to ensure you get the highest quality product possible.

    This however does not mean any more work on your end, or any more money. We only work with like-minded people, those that want to produce the highest quality product at affordable prices. We will notify you if we use someone external, but that is all the involvement you have to have. We will act as the middle man, delivering messages and ideas back and forth. Of course, if you want to talk to them directly, we'll make sure you can contact them.
    ...Really send out an un professional image if you ask me

    My advice would be start again with your design (loose the hand drawn images) then work on your content alot (put yourself in a potential clients position - 'do this web design company look and sound like they know what they are doing?)

  9. #9
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    That's a lot of text. I'd recommend much less. Your entire 'Charities' page, for instance, its '10&#37; off for non-profits!' message could be distilled down to one of those shiny 'web 2.0' badges and stuck on the 'Services' page. A decent editor could probably get rid of a lot more.

    The text that is left would benefit from more line-height. Just to make it more readable.

  10. #10
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    Also, create some space between page heading and body text.
    What you read is right, keep them grouped together, but you still need 'white' space between the elements to make it easier to read.

    I just visited your site and it seems your making some chenages which is good...good luck with it

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Thanks. Yeah, I'm doing a major redo lol.

    I started a topic in the Design Elements forum if you want to take a peek.

  12. #12
    Designer
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    Man...
    I'm going to keep this short.


    Stick with coding.

  13. #13
    Non-Member DelvarWorld's Avatar
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    though the header and the picture of the ronin to the side will be staying.
    No, no they will not be.

  14. #14
    [Biped] LJK's Avatar
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    Hi -
    I think your graphics are okay, it's just that they have a lot
    of pale/soft colors, then that kelly green nav hits one like a punch
    in the face!
    It's too much a juxtoposition of styles: soft, fantasy-like and the
    glossy, colorful content on the home page - or rigid layout of sub-pages.
    [The logo could use better integration, too - as someone's mentioned.]

    Try one that goes all glossy and colorful, and another that sticks with
    softness and more of a Japanese aesthetic in the balance of the site
    elements = more whitespace, less symmetry, etc.

    Defininitely need a "less is more" approach in terms of content ;-)

    Good luck & have fun,
    El
    F-Fox 2.0 :: WIN :: el design :: US

  15. #15
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    1. At first glance this looks like your selling illustrations more than web design. The site lacks composition.

    2. Symmetry in design is never interesting to look at. It often give all your design elements the same weight and importance.

    3. The color palette isn't working. The default button link colors feel very unprofessional.

    4. Pay attention to your craft. Elements not aligning is no way to show your clients you have an attention to detail.

    5. Why is the format and look of the secondary pages so different from the homepage. An important aspect in web design is the ability to carry the design concept from page to page while offering variation to the design to keep things interesting.

    6. Finally, your offering a service you have no representation for. Where are examples of your web design ability? If you don't have any professional work use student work or even design concepts that represent you as professional designer.


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