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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot Websiteguy's Avatar
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    Up for some critiques!

    This is my third rendition of my website. I have been in business for almost 2 years now, still on a part time basis. I just recently redesigned the site. Mostly so I could have a more fluid, elastic site.

    I would really like to know what other designers think of my site. I know the portfolio needs a complete change, but I'm up for suggestions.

  2. #2
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    First impression coming in cold:

    The design seems amateurish. The Xcel Webworks looks dirty. The curves do not connect smoothly to the straight line on your blue header. The stars and planets do not give you anything, they are too messy.

    A major mistake is to have too many highlighted little elements. The name should be the lightest thing, then all other elements should only be there as support. Now the eye does not know where to go first, because these elements are too equal in the way they draw your attention.

    What is this oddly shaped thing sitting above the curve under your name? Half a planet? Remove it, it does not enhance anything.

    I would suggest to clean up your name and not use this speckled black on the font, but instead a clear color. It can be a gradation of several colors. It could even be a texture, but it must be not chaotic the way it is now. You can have the planets and stars, but have them vanish a bit and clean up the planets. Connect the black lines (shadows) that run under the curves with an equal weight line under the straight line. That will eliminate the uncomfortable hanging of the loose ends. It will also give you a unified look instantly. You have created a dimension where the curves are and a flat where the straight connects.

    Always be consistent. Either go flat everywhere or go dimensional everywhere. A simple rule to follow and a step ahead toward a good design.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    I have to say that Datura is not wrong at all. Here are some of my points too:
    • the layout itself is not organized. It stretches too much and looks too simple for a portfolio
    • The design elements are not crisp enough for a designer. The effects show me you are still trying ti find a way in the image editor. Try some more, see more portfolios and try to understand what makes them look good
    • please lose those horrid buttons with valid code. Your clients couldn't care less about your coding skills. I do code div only now and still i don't put any "marks" like this on the sites


    Best of luck with this .. you'll surely do some excellent changes and I hope you'll let us know. We'd like to guide you if you need this anymore

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot NinjaNoodles's Avatar
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    It seems that you've overused some easy effects and bright colors - using them just because they were there. The same thing happened in the late 90's with animated GIF images and still happens with Flash sites. The point is, you can have a tastefully designed site without a single bevel or shadow.

  5. #5
    Design Your Site Team bronze trophy Erik J's Avatar
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    To start; I can't know if your design tells your intentions or company spirit. At first it seems very aged and somewhat unprofessional.

    Then I think the site is coherent in the whole. But there are some details that disturbs the picture of a serious web company:


    The environment

    I agree with Datura's view about the logo, it can be improved a lot. Very least if all of it was bright textured as the x-letter. The planet thing though, to me it gives some balance, keep it.

    Again I agree with Datura, all three top bg-images needs to share the curved continuing 3-D edge to make the page top complete. - I think that would make a huge change in appearence.

    Also, as now, the logo can get overlapped when you narrow the window. Witch I think is bad for your image. It's easy to fix; remove all z-index properties from the css, and change the document flow to:
    Code HTML4Strict:
    <body>
      <div id="topwrapper">
        <div id="toprepeat"></div>
        <div id="world"></div>
      </div>
      <div id="logo"></div>
    The nav-bullets arc alignment looks a little bit off; I would move #navweb towards NW a few pixel. One notice things like that unconsiusly.

    It is not much text to fill the areas, it will loose much if body font-size is smaller than the normal IE 12pt or 16px. Perhaps better locked to 12pt/120&#37;, or not , check with others. As now body font is not set.

    I think it's good to picture the pricing but it isn't expected that the navbutton Website Design will lead to it as top message. Let pricing get it's own navbutton and page.


    The selling

    My first language is not English, but said that I think about your front page copywriting:

    As it is the very first sentence to be read, I would clarify: ...our mission is to create for our costumers professional websites that will... e.g.

    For the Website Design and Creation! copytext:
    - Go from wide audience in the first paragraf,
    - keep (maybe extend) the selling i.e. the philosofy explaining in the second,
    - and close up to second person in the third paragraf.


    The invitation

    I think the contact page is importent when make the desicion. Your invitation is good. But it is diminished by the link request paragraf next to it. I would move that to under the form.

    The contact form is an importent interface. Here you have a potential customer at close. Style it properly. Make room for input of details. Don't hold anyone back with "Brief..", get them started instead. And if a field is obligatory, say so. Neccesary is really only what you need to get back, e.g. email or phone.

    The reset button is an annoyance if mistaken for submit - it can cost a costumer, so get rid of it.

    Then you can count on one certain thing: Your potential costumers will get the error message! Your current message is very rejective. It does not measure up with your previus statements about frendly and meeting your custumers.

    Instead, make sure they do try again. The very best; let it be a choice of that person if he only want to give feedback or get contacted, and if so how. Give them the choice, just remind that you want contact.

    If referer is disabled the details are not cached. That is annoing and is better excused than told referer is needed. Again, it is your potential customer at close.


    I understand you have worked a lot with it and I wish you good luck!
    Erik

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot Websiteguy's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who has reviewed and critiqued my site.

    Some of it I didn't see coming, but then these are the things I apparently have been unable to see on my own. I knew I needed an objective opinion. I have some obligations at the moment taking up my time, but a redesign is now a priority.

    Still interested in hearing more.


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