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  1. #1
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    Love some feedback on my Web Design site

    I'd love some feedback on the design, copy, and overall image of my new website for my web design services. www.impressionwebservices.com

    I'm going for the creative/personal vibe and trying to appeal to small/medium size business who don't have the budget to hire a large design firm and want more personalized service than larger firms with many clients can often give.

    After designing a few sites for friends I decided to try my hand at professional design, let me know if you think I have the potential to make it work. I'm scared to invest a lot of money advertising my services locally until I know if my site will be received well.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member JackWebdale's Avatar
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    Hey Melissa,

    I think there are a lot of things working well here. The postets pop really nicely off the wallpaper and the interaction definitely works. The duck tape to show the selected menu item is a cool idea, but you may want to change the selected menu item colour as the contrast makes it a little difficult to read. The same contrast issues appear on the right where you have the royal blue over the work thumbnails. I can see you've tried to improve it with the yellow drop shadow but I don't think that's working too well.

    Perhaps keep your royal blue for the postet and logo text, but a softer blue similar to that of your icons could be used for the tagline and Main headers (something like #06C)

    Same thing with hover states on the menu, difficult to read when it goes to yellow. I think you have plenty enough use of the brand colours to be able to use more neutral colours for the main body copy.

    Really like the way you have used content blocking via the sticky note, these sections are working really well. Again though i'd have a look at using less of the royal blue and injecting some softer tones amongst it all.

    You may get a few people saying it, but Comic Sans has been seen as a design no no for ages, but actually with your design I think it works great for your body copy, it feels fun but as you have generous line spacing it still feels clean. For headers though, maybe a different font? when it's bold it's ugly!

    So in short, I'd say a lot less of the royal blue, work on your contrast and hover states, and inject some neutral colours, either softer blues, oranges or greys.

  3. #3
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    I'll say right now that if I were looking for web design services, I'd skip over your site just because of the use of Comic Sans.

    The layout as a whole is pretty unfit for a professional service---it's very 90s-esque, and it feels more like a craft site for kids than a web design site.

    The right sidebar is neat, but I'm not sure what its purpose is. It doesn't really add anything to the experience other than fancy effects.

    The way the content is presented can get a little confusing. There's no reason the 'sticky note' links couldn't be in the main navigation.

    If you do keep the sticky notes (as a design element, they're not a horrible idea), I'd get rid of the hover effect. It doesn't make sense for sticky notes to move when hovered if they're---well, stuck.

    Where it stands, you could make things a lot better just by changing the background to a subtle white/light-color gradient and switching from comic sans to a better font.

  4. #4
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    Cons:
    Comic Sans is really not the font you should be using. It gives a very un-professional look. Restrict it to the heading.
    The panel on the right isn't very appealing. The and the background image are incongruous; also remove the text shadow.
    Overall - the site has an amateurish feel.
    On my browser (Chrome) the links in the main navigation bar turned yellow on hover. Was it intended? It makes them virtually undecipherable.

    Pros:
    I like the background, and the footer.

    PS: I feel the same way about web-designing. But in my case, it started 7 months ago.

  5. #5
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    As people have mentioned I think you need to change the font. Overall the whole website feels a bit too cluttered.

    I think you are trying to include too much content, too many effects, too many colours etc.

    Try and make the use of space better and just overall make the website a little more simple so that the focus is on the content.

    Your 'contact' link on the footer doesn't work either which should be a priority to fix!

    Finally, i don't think the design of the rollovers work very well with the masking tape going over the link. Personally i would remove them.

    Good luck with it!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback guys!

    @JackWebdale -

    I think you're right on with your comments about the color contrast and overuse of the royal blue.

    I knew I would catch flack from the design community for using comic sans. I want the personal look of a handwritten font, and tried unsuccessfully to use an @font face so I could use something other than the dreaded comic sans I'll have to try it again.

    @Spritanium-

    Thanks for your honesty. I figured I would turn off as many people as I attracted (especially other tech savvy/designers) with the non-traditional/professional design. Do you think from the perspective of a "lay person" the creativity overcomes the lack of a professionalism?

    You raise a valid point about the sticky notes moving, duh, they're stuck down. I never thought of that, I'm a sucker for interaction.

    @nish123

    I had a feeling I was going to end up rethinking the use of comic sans and the color contrast.

    @IMCG

    I can't believe I missed the broken contact link. Simplifying/de-cluttering isn't a bad idea.

  7. #7
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    I don't see a problem with the comic sans. Who says professional doesn't have to be fun? I get that business suits is what makes money, but still, there's a reason why Micky Mouse has more than most...

    The duct tape is an interesting concept, but it looks a bit flat because there are no contour lines where it's supposed to be wrapping around the bar that it's holding to the page. Also, I feel it should not interfere with the links themselves. As it is now, one of the strips of tape is just beneath the link for facebook design.

    I really like the little stick man with the thought bubble.

    I don't see a problem with the sticky notes moving. It's the Internet. If we wanted reality we'd design sites advising people to literally stick sticky notes to the screen for maximum reality. However, one alternative is to make a hover highlite of the image, so that on hover it appears to "light up" a bit instead of moving.

    I agree, the yellow hover on the links is hard to read. As of this moment it seems you've not made those changes.

    The links section on the right looks cluttered,mostly because it all looks jammed together. A bit of spacing between the categories would probably look good, and the headers would probably look better just above each category, rather than in the middle of each (as it is now it takes a bit of effort to read).

    The two links at the bottom for "design" and "marketing" look like they are meant to be attached by slightly different colored boxes, but I feel the duct tape concept would work even better here (or a bit more of the sticky notes).

    Them's me thoughts. Good luck with it.

  8. #8
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    The problem with Comic Sans is that there are so many free 'handwriting' fonts that are A) not overused to hell and back, and B) just plain better.

    Not that handwriting fonts should be used for large bodies of text anyway.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMCG View Post
    As people have mentioned I think you need to change the font. Overall the whole website feels a bit too cluttered.

    I think you are trying to include too much content, too many effects, too many colours etc.

    Try and make the use of space better and just overall make the website a little more simple so that the focus is on the content.

    Your 'contact' link on the footer doesn't work either which should be a priority to fix!

    Finally, i don't think the design of the rollovers work very well with the masking tape going over the link. Personally i would remove them.

    Good luck with it!
    This is probably as close to my own thoughts in reviewing this website.

    You need to make better use of whitespace and aligning your content.

    I'd also look at a color pallette you can use in regards to the background and fonts.

  10. #10
    Non-Member gemzcooke's Avatar
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    There's a lot of potential in the design. You've gone for a collage-style, which is a current trend and have included some nice graphics to go with it. I'd seriously reconsider the font you've chosen and the colour blue. It's very strong and "in your face". Try to choose colours that compliment the graphics of the site. The accordion effect to demonstrate the different styles of design is a nice idea, but the text over the top is unreadable.

    You may want to consider making your existing portfolio more of a focal point, rather than an article about website first impressions. When clients come to a site, they want to see what you can do. I understand that you're trying to sell your business, but this is best achieved by making a big deal out of work you already have available. If you have a limited portfolio, take some time to make a few mock-ups in Photoshop or Illustrator to show off your skills.

    Had a quick look through your code to see how you constructed the site. Have you considered switching over to using HTML5 and semantic tags? I know they're relatively new, but they might be able to help you position and style tags more efficiently. I would include a CSS Reset to help make styling easier. I highly recommend Eric Meyer's CSS Reset, which you can copy and paste directly into the top of your default stylesheet (free to use as long as the credit is included).

    I also advise that you avoid using positioning unless you need an element to stay in a fixed position. Using the float and clear properties is a lot easier when it comes to positioning, especially when placed within a wrapper or container <div> (which would also help with centering your page in the browser - if that is your wish).
    Last edited by gemzcooke; Apr 24, 2012 at 09:37. Reason: Added extra comments regarding coding

  11. #11
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    nice design, I think you can add more flashes and make it look more beautiful.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot irishman's Avatar
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    I really like it, very different from most stuff out there and creative looking

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. Thanks gemzcooke for the coding advice. I will definitely play with HTML5 and semantic tags.

  14. #14
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    Very different, but very good.

    I love the actual enhancements on the site, the animation and pop-ups going on there. What I am not too keen on is maybe the color scheme. I am not too fond of the blue. Maybe because blue was the default color for links.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

  15. #15
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    I really, really love the concept. I love the design and think about 75% of what is going on there is working. I agree with some of the others when they said the font the not so good for what you are doing. I think more modern font displays a clearer voice and projects more professionalism. I don't like the panel to the right that looks like a collage. Appears a little messy and slightly confusing. Keeping things cleaner and more modern makes everything as quirky as it should be.

    With a website that makes such a statement I think you need to display your portfolio in a way that it takes over the screen completely. projecting off the page somehow. That I think would be great. I think if you develop those two elements you will find your self in a great pace.

    Good luck with it all. Your site made me think of these guys. http://www.phs.co.uk/home.

    Clayton

  16. #16
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    I like the overall look, some links don't work but you've already had comments to that effect from others.

  17. #17
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    First off, a nice creative work with proper contents.
    In the right front, it would be good if you can put links to the displayed screenshots of sites.
    'My Work' section shows an innovative idea of sliding screenshots.

  18. #18
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    Hi,

    I love this website. I think your company name is perfect, and I think there is a huge potential market for people who are looking for creative sites without being too over the top, or too "bank bland."

    I know there is a sentiment in the web community that equates Comic Sans to Mommie Dearest's wire hangers on the disgusting scale, but I think it's like wearing white shoes after Labor Day in the U.S.: it's good to be aware of the rule, but if it's 95 degrees the week before Easter, make it work. Put another way, there are a lot of teachers and scrapbookers and cake decorators and bloggers who would be attracted to that font, because it's playful and familiar and they don't spend any time in web design world. I'm guessing that people who don't like Comic Sans also have an aversion to mini vans, and there are still a lot of people buying those. My point is, what may be uncool in one niche might be exactly what another target market is looking for. Having said all that, I understand why you have changed the font (you probably wouldn't wear those white shoes to a job interview at the wrong time of year), but I don't think it's exactly right yet. That font is a little too messy--it's like something Jewel would use to draft a song in a coffee shop, instead of being inviting and playful. Clearly I have spent far too much time thinking about your website font!

    I love the sticky notes, and I think the comment about making sure they stick is a smart one, but I like the interaction there, too, and hope you can find a way to incorporate it somewhere else in your site. One idea that would be really cute is to take the figure under the speech bubble that says "create a web presence that fits your image" and change his hats (chef, artist's beret, ball cap, top hat, clown hat).

    I think the examples along the right side are fabulous--it shows a huge diversity in design styles, and visitors can quickly see how they would be appealing to specific users. I like how you kept them generic, too--sort of like you would prepare a home for moving in--you let people envision themselves using that design or something like it. You've also made it clear you can work for beginners and larger companies.

    I think your photos and callouts on your "about" page are really cute, but somehow they don't quite flow with the rest of the site. The comic strip feel is fun, but it almost feels like it's for a different audience than the one on the home page. I wonder if changing the border color for the photos and callout outlines would soften it a bit and blend better.

    One question that I think many small companies have is cost. I understand that it's hard to post prices because projects vary so much. I also see that you offer a free consultation, which is a great step, but anything you can do to increase comfort level on that score would be helpful. I don't have any idea how much it would cost to ask someone to design a site for me, and I'm guessing it could get expensive quickly, which would be a problem for a company or individual that's just starting out. I always appreciate it when sites include prices, even if they are estimates, so I know right away whether I can pursue this product/service, or go a different route.

    You've presented your content clearly and it looks really promising. Best wishes!

  19. #19
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    Hi, I had a look at your website, sorry but I didn't get what you wanted to do. The idea is good but it needs a design approach. The first thing that catches your eye is that the adhesive paper is like under the paper sheet though I think it is the othey way round. And preferably, if font and other elements would be in the same style, colour scheme, etc. i.e. less colour difference. It looks like a test website, but I think you will get better results in some time.

  20. #20
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    Designing concept of your site is very awesome..which i really like it

  21. #21
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    I've got a widescreen monitor, your site looks a little odd at my resolution - the header and menu are sticky on the left, but the content and footer are centred. Is there a reason that you haven't just centred the whole site? I would encourage you to sort that out if possible, you never know what your end user will have.

  22. #22
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    My honest first impression is that the site looked "juvenile". I felt the home page was very simple (which is not a bad thing in general) but in a "child like" manner. I especially didn't like the cartoon figure with the thought balloon in the upper right corner.

    After that initial first impression I looked over the site and found it a bit too "busy" or full. Wasn't quite sure where to look first. The "What Impressions Does Your Website Make" section just looked overly crowded. I personally think the "About" and "Contact" links should be in the navigation bar on top. But that's just my preference.

    It's obvious that you are a good designer full of ideas. I just think you need to maybe streamline them. Try to get away from the "cartoonish" look and something a bit more professional looking. But, this is just one opinion. Hope it didn't come across too harsh. But I know I hope for direct comments when I put my site up for review.


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