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  1. #1
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    Critique my personal website

    http://www.ryanreese.us

    I'm currentlystill adding more to it. The contact/home page is almost done. The homepage will feature the most recent 5 blog posts (running/rubikscubes/webdesign being the 3 different topics)

    Don't judge the code, I keep messing around with it due to me adding stuff and what not.

    I'm not sure how I like the design but then again, I've never been a designer so I'd LOVE tips on it. I always feel like my sites look horrible.
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  2. #2
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    This is going to be a brutal criticism and I apologize in advance. I don't want to offend you.

    Prep yourself or skip over this:

    I'm stuck between whether this website is 1990s or forward-thinking. I say 1990s because it is very generic, with lots of solid colors, no images, semi-boring graphics, standard layout, etc.

    I say forward-thinking because you have a 2016 copyright

    I don't like the look of the text at the top of your main content. It looks sloppy, messy, and really long. Can you split it up somehow?

    Navbar has a nice color scheme, but I think that the blue should be darker. I also wish that there was some wort of divider between each <li>.

    The horizontal rule is very old-fashioned.

    The tan doesn't go with your mainly blue webpage. I plugged the blue into Adobe's Kuler and didn't get any matches.

    Organize your content differently! No one wants to see (read: I don't want to see) your blog posts or whatever organized that way! That's what I've been looking at for 10 years! It's the time of CSS3! HTML5! Do something new and innovative, especially if you're a web designer.

    I'd put the ads at the bottom. You don't want that to be the first thing that a user sees.


    Again, these are just my personal thoughts. I don't speak nor do I pretend to speak for the entire web design community, professionals, or the Sitepoint community. I don't want to offend you.

    ~TehYoyo

  3. #3
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    This is going to be a brutal criticism and I apologize in advance. I don't want to offend you.

    Prep yourself or skip over this:

    I'm stuck between whether this website is 1990s or forward-thinking. I say 1990s because it is very generic, with lots of solid colors, no images, semi-boring graphics, standard layout, etc.

    I say forward-thinking because you have a 2016 copyright

    I don't like the look of the text at the top of your main content. It looks sloppy, messy, and really long. Can you split it up somehow?
    Yeah I feel it's squished in there, I was debating on whether to even have a welcome message there. Do you even think I should have one?
    Navbar has a nice color scheme, but I think that the blue should be darker. I also wish that there was some wort of divider between each <li>.
    If more people think this, then so it shall be done
    The horizontal rule is very old-fashioned.

    The tan doesn't go with your mainly blue webpage. I plugged the blue into Adobe's Kuler and didn't get any matches.
    What would you recommend instead of tan then?
    Organize your content differently! No one wants to see (read: I don't want to see) your blog posts or whatever organized that way! That's what I've been looking at for 10 years! It's the time of CSS3! HTML5! Do something new and innovative, especially if you're a web designer.
    Well, that's just so I have something to show users upon first visit of the webpage, what else would you have me put there? Genuinely curious . CSS3 and HTML5 doesn't change the fact taht I still need content.
    I'd put the ads at the bottom. You don't want that to be the first thing that a user sees.
    True, but what would I put in the header instead? Perhaps have that google search box span across the entire header (minus the logo)? How does everyone else feel about it?
    Again, these are just my personal thoughts. I don't speak nor do I pretend to speak for the entire web design community, professionals, or the Sitepoint community. I don't want to offend you.

    ~TehYoyo
    Truely appreciate it mate.
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  4. #4
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    I dislike text in Sans-Serif fonts

    But on the other hand, I like paragraphs starting with a bigger first letter, like that W in Welcom.

  5. #5
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    Remove the ads on the top and have a full banner instead.

    I see you are in web design business - make the look and feel more attractive so you can get more clients.

    Use css with form on contact page to match the colors of your site.

    From seo point of view do not keep the title tag of all pages as same.


    Regards.
    40% OFF on Web Design, SEO, Article Writing & PLR Software at JVW Store:
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    Use Coupon Code: HOLIDAY

  6. #6
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    have you actully done this website yourself
    as it looks that you used very old template

  7. #7
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    Yes it was done myself. Design was never my strong point . I'll make the form more appealing to the eye.
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  8. #8
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    I'm glad that you took my comments into consideration.

    I'll go down the line.

    1.
    I really like it when freelancers do something like this site here. (I have no affiliation with this site and I'm not attempting to promote, advertise for, or otherwise increase publicity for that site) It's a big, fat, bold statement that summarizes who you are. Maybe like

    [quote name=RyanReese]Hi. I'm Ryan Reese, Freelance Web Designer, Dedicated runner, and Rubik's Cube Fanatic. This is my personal site.[/quote]
    I imagine it would be in image form.

    2. Good to know.

    3. I don't know if you know much about color theory, but I'll give you a very quick synopsis. Colors, throughout the years as defined by artists, etc. have grown to be known in different groups. These groupings are known to look good (to us) together. There are different color schemes like monochromatic (shades of a color), complementary (opposites on the color wheel), triadic (split in 3s), etc. etc. etc. You should use on one of those. A good link to a tool to help you create one is here. Pick a color scheme that you like.

    4. There must be something more than your blog. Many sites have links to other places on the site. Take a look at zendesk. (Same deal as before, I just saw it earlier today and couldn't think of anything better. Zendesk has lots of different areas like 'events', 'product', a central slideshow, ways to buy, etc. While a personal site is better, it shouldn't be just your blog. Even blog-only sites have links to photo galleries, etc.

    5. Same as before.

    Good luck.
    ~TehYoyo

  9. #9
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    Well, as you asked hereīs my opinion:

    This website is to blue, and if you use a big screen, you can see that square 90īs layout.

    I think you could remove that background and footer, and create a more minimalism layout.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot behati's Avatar
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    The website is very 1990s, which I suppose it not a bad thing, but to me it really looks like a site that was made in the last century and then just forgotten

    The colourscheme is somewhat unique which is always good, but the solid blue and the tacky brown are not my personal favourites (that may just be me though).

    One last thing, the graphics you use are quite pixelated around the edges (not the entire picture, with them being silhouettes), run them through PhotoShop (or similar) and smooth out the edges

  11. #11
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    Hi Ryan

    Here are my observations for your website :

    1) The colors used on the pages don not synch up and are in very negative contrast.
    2) The pages look like 3 different layers which have been sticken together as the borders of all layers are very grossly visible
    3) The header is empty (apart from the logo) which may not necessarily be a good thing as that is a primary place for finding info links and navigation
    4) The 5 posts being displayed dont really need such a dark border and the background image.
    5) The fonts are very plain in description, side menu and the posts also !! The colors of the fonts also need a revamp
    6) I also won't suggest putting ads on the header of the home page and the Google Custom web search box should also find a better place to fit in.
    7) You can place some info and navigation links in the footer also
    8) The search button can also be styled and the clear button ( X button) is not really required !

    Regards
    Pradeep

  12. #12
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    Well I've come to the conclusion I'll never be world class at designing, so I'm asking a friend to give me an image layout to work with and I'll convert to code . Thanks everyone.
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  13. #13
    Avid Logophile silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanReese View Post
    Well I've come to the conclusion I'll never be world class at designing, so I'm asking a friend to give me an image layout to work with and I'll convert to code . Thanks everyone.
    As the popular expression goes: "I feel your pain".

    I have not reservations about my ability to write code, in multiple languages and for varying purposes, but I simply have poor skills in design. Don't feel alone. Remember "acknowledging it is the first step"!

    Actually your site looks a dozen times better than anything (I think) I have been able to do on my own. Just check my sig links if you don't believe me.
    Don't be yourself. Be someone a little nicer. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)


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  14. #14
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    Personally I think you start out strong on the page, then it goes downhill from there (sorry)

    I've always thought of myself as a bad designer, however I could never bring myself to get help. I'm stubborn when it comes to asking for help in web design .
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot Fokebox's Avatar
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    1) I also agree theat color combinations are not attractive.
    2) The top of the page looks quite empty I guess you need to add some design elements
    3) Layout of the index page differs from pages. Other pages display a little bit closer to the left side of the page!
    Best wishes,
    Fokebox
    Submit your URL for free at Open Directory www.livewebmap.com

  16. #16
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanReese View Post
    Personally I think you start out strong on the page, then it goes downhill from there (sorry)

    I've always thought of myself as a bad designer, however I could never bring myself to get help. I'm stubborn when it comes to asking for help in web design .
    Don't feel bad about yourself! That's why some people are web developers only. It's hard to have your brain wired for both design and development. People have strengths and people have weaknesses. That's nothing to be ashamed of.

    ~TehYoyo

  17. #17
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    I'm not ashamed of it, I'm just annoyed because I have to rely on other people to help get a good looking website going :P.
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  18. #18
    Avid Logophile silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanReese View Post
    I'm not ashamed of it, I'm just annoyed because I have to rely on other people to help get a good looking website going :P.
    I agree. And, in so many cases, people form opinions about a website based on an initial reaction to its appearance. That can go both ways.
    It is human nature but it is (also) "Judging a book solely by its cover".
    Don't be yourself. Be someone a little nicer. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)


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  19. #19
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    Yeah and plus without even the general design of my wbsite, I can't even begin to think about the coding aspect of it. I can only think of what I would like to include on my page
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  20. #20
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    New design is up!
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  21. #21
    SitePoint Zealot RyanKing1809's Avatar
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    I remember clicking he website linked in your signature, and let's just say I didn't think much of it.

    This however, is a significant improvement.



    I would refrain from using the large green text in the contact section, I would definitely make it smaller and maybe stick to orange and black - use as few colours as possible (ie. no more than necessary but not less than necessary).
    Your forms could look prettier but assume you quickly hobbled this together for immediate feedback and it is in no way a finished page.
    I would fix the anti-aliasing on your donate button.

    Maybe think about what your home page is going to be. What do you want the users to see first? It may be the case for this website that it would be better for the blog section or the portfolio to be the home page.


    Other than that it's looking pretty damn good, and it is a rather impressive improvement. Good work.

  22. #22
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    I transitioned my old page css to the new one and changed some stuff. That green text isn't staying. Thanks for the feedback. I'm certainly happy with this new design
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  23. #23
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    It's a big improvement compared to your previous attempt.

    Some nitpicks I have:

    1) The orange you use for headings and links is far too bright and a true accessibility no-no. I'd have a look at this plugin for FF (if you use that browser):

    2) The font size for the meta in your body is too small.

    3) The contact page doesn't feel well executed. Why is the text so big? The form itself could also use some styling.

    Other than that I think you have a solid design going.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble



  24. #24
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    I was actually working on the contact page right now before I read that post kohoutek.

    Please revisit it, that's basically my final product for that unless you don't think it's okay.
    Always looking for web design/development work. Willing to do it cheap to build portfolio!

  25. #25
    Mazel tov! bronze trophy kohoutek's Avatar
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    Good that you got rid of the green color for body copy. Much better! I still think the form could do with some styling, the input fields in particular. You could alter the borders which often can do wonders.
    Maleika E. A. | Rockatee | Twitter | Dribbble




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