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  1. #1
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    Hi, everyone!

    Finally got my three reviews in, so I guess it's my turn!

    I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a design I was contracted to do on a very tight schedule (not due to launch date pressure, but because the customer was on a limited budget). I'm pretty happy with the results, and would appreciate any comments you may have as I finalize the design!
    http://kyank.homeip.net/bibliaff/


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    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

  2. #2
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    ~~~ This site is approved ~~~

    Review to be posted later.

    ------------------
    Wayne Luke - Sitepoint Moderator/Internet Media Developer
    Digital Magician Studios - Making Magic with Web Applications
    wluke@digitalmagician.com

  3. #3
    mouse monkey
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    Hi,

    Either I'm getting worse at reviewing sites or the designers are getting better (probably the later) as I have been having trouble with finding much to say about peoples sites. Your site is no different, the only real trouble I can find is the loading time. Your graphics are brilliant but are very slow loading.

    Other than that I can't really find anything wrong.

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    Fletch
    http://www.web-headz.co.uk http://www.web-headz.com Both Coming Soon!
    adam.fletch@web-headz.com

    P.S Before you ask I am not doing quick reviews so I can get a site reviewed.

    [This message has been edited by adamfletch (edited May 22, 2000).]

  4. #4
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    Glad you like it!

    Yes, the main thing my customer wanted was a graphically intense look. Since most/all of his customers will be in the corporate sector, I figure it's safe to assume that bandwidth will not be an issue for most of the site's visitors.

    Nevertheless, I've used limited colour palettes (128 or even 64 colour GIFs) wherever possible to keep file size down, and the high level of reuse in the graphics should help to alleviate any slowness once the front page has been loaded.


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    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

  5. #5
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    I viewed your page in IE4 and 800x600 resolutions. I also viewed the homepage in 1024x768 and 640x480.

    In general, site seems to work well and looks professional. I think your client will be pleased, especially since you said it was done on a limited budget.

    Load time does seem a little slow and I am on a DSL line. However, it varied a lot despite the fact that pages looked to be essentially the same size, so it may be a problem with our internet service. You may want to get others' opinions on the load time.

    I only read the English section since I barely know a handful of words in French. There were a few misspellings and problems with grammar. You might want to have someone do an in-depth proof-reading, butthe ones I noticed were: diversification (Topics page, under Administration heading), equipment (Topics page, under Data Processing heading), change "the" to "a" in the phrase "An increased annual book selection for the fraction of the acquisition cost." (Benefits page). You may also want to consider changing "allowed" to "required" in the phrase on the benefits page that refers to search time. There were a few other words I wasn't sure about, but perhaps they are business-speak that I am unfamiliar with (costing and planification).

    The "Bibliaff 40-book unit" gif on Benefits page looks like it's broken. All other gifs displayed fine. I checked most of the links and they all seemed to work.

    The only other problem I found was when I tried to display the page in 640x480 resolution. A little bit of the right size gets cut off at this setting.

    Good luck with the site. Your client should be very happy!


  6. #6
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    Thanks for the proof-read! The text was actually copied directly from the client's promotional material. The client is a native French speaker, so his English is a little rusty. The text will definitely be getting a once-over.

    The 40-book unit image you refer to does show some artifacts from the descreening I did on it to get rid of some of the edge pixels that were the wrong colour. I'll go back and redo the graphic since the effect is more visible than I had hoped.

    The decision for the design to "not quite fit" at 640x480 was a conscious one, as we expect a large proportion of corporate (i.e. big screens, big bandwidth) visitors.

    ------------------
    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

    [This message has been edited by kyank (edited May 22, 2000).]

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Hi Kevin,

    Easy to follow site and it is reasonably fast, though the front/splash page could do with a bit of streamlining to speed it up a little...

    A couple of minor comments.
    1)Non standard link colours and they don't change once they have been used - this is a poor navigation feature - that being said they were easy to follow and there was not too many of them so it wasn't a major issue.

    2)The book icons on the left hand side look like they are straight out of a cllip-art gallery (are they?) and contrast poorly with the graphics on the rest of the site - I'd consider redoing them in a more common theme to the rest of the site.

    3)As already said some of thelanguage could do with a once over

    Other wise easy to sort out sight.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    I never use clipart--I designed the book links by hand in Flash. I would have liked to do a more photographic style of menu, but unfortunately my client cannot afford the time it would take me to do so. Maybe in the second revision.

    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your insight.


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    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    I've never been a big fan of Flash on websites...but yours definetly comes across well. It's obvious it was done by a professional.

    My only recommendation would be to make sure there is some alternative for people without Flash...is there?

    I love the fact that designers can now sucessfully shun plain white backgrounds. Makes the web much more interesting, and I think it definetly enhances your site!

    Fabulous job!



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    Chris Bowyer
    MyCoding.com: Under Construction!
    "I'm not an insomniac, I'm a web designer."

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Kevin,

    Sorry if offened re the book comments


  11. #11
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    Chris, thanks for the praise. At our initial meeting, my client told me two things: 1) make the site graphically rich, and 2) make it look different. From your comments I gather I succeeded.

    The Flash menu indeed degrades to a static GIF image map when the plugin is not detected.

    No offense taken, Dr Gonzo -- you raised a valid point: that the book graphics stand out as iconic and cookie-cutterish compared to the photographic look of the rest of the site. I justified this in my mind by deciding that it helps them stand out from the rest of the page, but your feedback indicated to me that they stand out a little too much.


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    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

  12. #12
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    kevin,

    nice job!

    I think that {contrary to previous opinions} your books look good. Gives it a clean cut look, I think that if you went for more 'photographic' style, your menu would have looked too cluttered.

    :::

  13. #13
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    Thanks for your opinion, temis! Anyone else want to comment?


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    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    If thats what the client was looking for, then it appears that you've nailed it!

    What happens if the user is without Shockwave/Flash? Does it prompt them to download, does it load alternative navigation?



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    Chris Bowyer
    MyCoding.com: Under Construction!
    "I'm not an insomniac, I'm a web designer."

  15. #15
    SitePoint Author Kevin Yank's Avatar
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    Internet Explorer 4+ users are prompted to auto-install the plugin, after which the Flash menu is displayed. Netscape users without the plugin, and users with browsers that don't support JavaScript or plugins will get an image map version of the menu (they'll never know that there was meant to be Flash there).


    ------------------
    -Kevin Yank.
    http://www.SitePoint.com/
    Helping Small Business Grow Online!

  16. #16
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    I love your site. I have no problem with the books on the navigation bar. I particularly like the horizontal line filter you use on the background and around the images. I didn't look at the French version. My only negative comment is that the white text gets a little jumbled when viewed in a less than full screen window. You could design for me anytime, but my budget problems are even worse than your client's. I'd like to see a site you've done where there wasn't a budget problem.


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