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  1. #1
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    Please let me know what you thing about my blog & portfolio website

    Hi

    I created this personal website Where I am going to start doing a bit of blogging and also showcase my work. Last year I graduated from University and since then I have not been able to get any professional work. So I am hoping this will help a bit more.

    I would appreciate it if you could let me know what you think of it and if there is any improvements you think I should make.

    My personal concernes are:
    - is the location of the sidebar ok at the bottom
    - is it ok that I dont have the same banner at my portfolio page
    - is the layout of the inner portfolio good (ignore the images for the moment - they are just image placeholders) and of course each portfolio example will have different content when I finish
    - what do you think of the about page

    - ALSO I know the contact form needs work but I am waiting for some good idea to pop up

    I know this works on chrome and firefox - I will do in-depth testing later on

    Thanks so much

  2. #2
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    Some thoughts:

    *Anyone who is doing anything with websites may have a negative reaction to the word 'sandbox.' Even though the Google sandbox is apparently a myth, it's still not the best association for web designers. "A collection of my thoughts about web design" or some other option might work better at the top.

    *Unfortunate typo omitting the first "s" in sass results in an awkward sentence on the home page ;-)

    *I think if you're going to have a long scrolling blog, it's nice to give visitors some options on the way down, so I think an actual left sidebar would be preferable. You've got a lot of blank space to the right--that could hold the current date/found in labels you have for each post on the left.

    *I think it's fine that you don't have the same banner on the portfolio page, and the layout of the images looks promising, although it's hard to comment without seeing the juxtaposition of colors and sizes of images that you ultimately choose.

    *You've chosen some great information in your about page--it gives a sense of who you are, and includes some interesting details without going overboard. I am not a huge fan of changing the color of select words for emphasis (they aren't links, either). It makes me feel like, as a reader, you don't expect me to be able to figure out what's important, and it creates a kind of odd-sounding rhythm, like bold yelling. (For example, it reads like this: "I love EXPLORING different DESIGN and DEVELOPMENT programs")

    *One suggestion might be to show the first paragraph of each blog post and collapse the rest, allowing users to expand more. This would allow them to scan for headlines that interest them most without a huge amount of scrolling. It's not a problem now, but as you add posts, it could get unwieldy.

    I'm viewing in Firefox, fyi. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    In chrome I got a weird minor "error" - a scroll bar appears below your header.
    setting
    header[role="banner"]{
    overflow: hidden;
    }
    fixed it for me though. Might be worth looking into.

    Another detail: When you hover over your top menu items there's white background on the left side of the text, but not on the right side. You might wanna center it.

    Other than that your site looks really good. I like the simple lines and beautiful text.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member Noctuary's Avatar
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    Looks good, a couple of things.

    I personally would change the :hover on the header menu from the white background, something like changing the font colour to black instead would look better imo.

    You have a spelling mistake in the footer too, I don't believe "flexamility" is an actual word :P.

  5. #5
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    Nice work akurtula. I like the look of the site.

    is the location of the sidebar ok at the bottom
    It is a bit lost down there.

    is it ok that I dont have the same banner at my portfolio page
    Nah, it's fine to do that. It would get boring to have it on every page, and would waste screen space.

    is the layout of the inner portfolio good
    I like it.

    what do you think of the about page
    Looks at tad broken to me, with boxes left and right like that. I's say keep it in one column like the home page.

  6. #6
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    Its nice akurtula...but i think fonts are so big.. compressed them it will look more better... Here I am giving you my site link u can check & tell how it looks <snip>
    Need your complements also..

    Thanks
    Last edited by TechnoBear; Jul 13, 2012 at 02:05. Reason: Please follow the rules for a site review.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by J in Calgary View Post
    *I think if you're going to have a long scrolling blog, it's nice to give visitors some options on the way down, so I think an actual left sidebar would be preferable. You've got a lot of blank space to the right--that could hold the current date/found in labels you have for each post on the left.
    thanks for your feedback, I will remove 'sandbox' soon, and check all my spelling

    - In order to fill the space in the right hand side, what do you think of the sidebar now? However, as you can imagine it should stick when you scroll right at the bottom (it does for on my localhost and not when uploaded to the server) - I'll fix that soon
    - I will remove all the bold words and make then regular, I just seen it in few sites and liked it
    - also I will add the read more button

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctuary View Post
    I personally would change the :hover on the header menu from the white background, something like changing the font colour to black instead would look better imo.
    Thanks for noticing that, I was inheriting the background, now I made it black(ish)

    ps - if by the time you read this the sidebar does not work when scrolling right at the bottom, can you recommend me anyway to fix it

    Thanks everyone for the constructive feedback

  8. #8
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    One thing I'd suggest is tidy up the markup a bit. The validator lists quite a few errors that could be throwing out the sidebar, such as an <ul> directly inside another <ul>

    HTML Validator

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    One thing I'd suggest is tidy up the markup a bit. The validator lists quite a few errors that could be throwing out the sidebar, such as an <ul> directly inside another <ul>
    Yes I really need to do that, but I tend to get that sorted after I completely finish the design. As not only will there be errors but I also have a bunch of code here and there which is commented out and so needs to be removed.
    -- I guess unless I get any further suggestions here, I validation and cleaning up code is next on the list.

    * the one thing that I should do with some more feedback on, is for the changes I made to the sidebar

    Thanks

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noctuary View Post
    Looks good, a couple of things.

    I personally would change the :hover on the header menu from the white background, something like changing the font colour to black instead would look better imo.
    Im agree , but I like your website , congrats

  11. #11
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    Due to the fact that you all thought that the side bar was lost right at the bottom, and due to the fact that, for this particular design, I did not want to have the conventional (long) sidebar. I would love it if you could let me know what you think of the way the sidebar behaves now.

    Thanks a lot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by akurtula View Post
    I would love it if you could let me know what you think of the way the sidebar behaves now.
    It still needs work (as shown in the sidebar) but I don't want to debug it until those HTML errors are sorted.

    sb.png

  13. #13
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    I like the design and I have some sugsestions:

    -put more space between the articles and the sidebar. It has bright colors and distracts the user from reading the article.
    -and the article titles could be in a normal font

    But overall I like the design

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    It still needs work (as shown in the sidebar) but I don't want to debug it until those HTML errors are sorted.
    Dam! I'll get on fixing all those errors right now.


    Quote Originally Posted by SimIbra View Post
    -put more space between the articles and the sidebar. It has bright colors and distracts the user from reading the article.
    -and the article titles could be in a normal font
    That makes sense. I am going to keep that in mind and maybe make some changes somehow. Maybe fade the sidebar a bit if the mouse is not over it (just thinking out loud ??) - As I think adding more space between the article and the sidebar, brakes the alignments.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    One thing I'd suggest is tidy up the markup a bit. The validator lists quite a few errors that could be throwing out the sidebar, such as an <ul> directly inside another <ul>
    HTML Validator
    the validation is complete I just have no idea how to get the sidebar to stick in the footer, dynamically but I am working in it

    Though I guess if everyone has no other suggestions then your work here is done and thank you all so much

    I just hope you like the sidebar idea (even if at the moment it does not work 100% in you monitor - as I am working on it)

  16. #16
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    It's a great concept, but needs polishing. From the top;

    • Use a different font than Arial for the header!
    • The search box (in Chrome) is awkwardly place on the logo, and there is a dark brown color in the search icon around the corner edges and in the bottom half of the magnifying glass
    • It isn't apparent that the logo is a link back to the home page, and overall it is placed in a position which is not easily visible. Studies have found that people's eyes travel in an L or \ shape across the page, so putting it in the top right corner is the best way to hide it. I didn't actually notice it until my second scroll through the page.
    • The dark area could use a little bit of padding on the bottom
    • Your article is rife with grammatical mistakes, such as, "As i mentioned," "configure SASS and compass in you computer," "what happens is the you create." Using interesting wording an maybe vernacular a word or phrase here and there, can contribute to the voice and personality of the website. But poor grammar is not good at all.
    • The orange pop-up seems very large and clunky in general, and it is not aligned very well with the footer (there is a "jump").
    • The ::selection text color's hot pink doesn't match the orange theme of the website.
    • A space between "Feeds<->RSS" and the similar footer text would make it look a lot better.
    • The About page could use an occasional image in the indent of the text.


    I really like the portfolio and about pages, though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by connor4312 View Post
    [*]A space between "Feeds<->RSS" and the similar footer text would make it look a lot better.[*]The About page could use an occasional image in the indent of the text.
    As you can see the contact pop-up is not finished, I thought I had hidden the contact icon as you were not supposed to see that - at the moment I have no idea what I am going to do there.

    Do you mean I should have "Feeds RSS" instead of "FeedsRSS" (and for the other two sub-titles)?

    image suggestions ... are you thinking of photos of myself, or images which illustrate the paragraph at its side?

    Sorry for my spelling, I think I am going to start all over again with my blog posts, after totally finishing this design and I am going to have to take more care of what I write.

    Thanks for the detailed suggestions.

    PS - I think I got the sidebar totally working no matter the view port

  18. #18
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    Just to be sure I'm talking about the same thing you are--you mean the orange banner that pops up on the right and stays with you as you scroll down is a "sidebar," right?
    I think it's clever to have the search box right there as you go. I agree with a previous poster that it would be better to have more space between the blog and that bar. Because it has such a bright color, it competes with the text in the article you're trying to read.

    It's a good idea to have the "go to top" link there so users can go right to the top without knowing any keyboard shortcuts.

    I don't understand why it says "Around Yours Truly." I had to scroll back up to see if that was the name of the site and you were making extra efforts to keep your brand in users' minds. In place of that, it might be a good idea to set up a "Surprise Me" button that would take you to different posts, or links to your Top 5 most popular posts--but that would be better once you have more content.

    I think it's clever to have the search box under the logo. Users expect to see your logo on the left side of the header, so you should probably move it unless you have a compelling reason to keep it on the right side.

    I don't mind the Arial font for the top nav tabs, but I would recommend that your post titles be in a font that's smaller than the header description. (I understand that it's very decorative so it can't be a lot smaller, but it seems like post titles shouldn't get the same weight as the site description.)

    In terms of your post content, if it's your playground and area for notes, then obviously, you can make it whatever you want it to be. But if your goal is to share information with others, you might write more with the audience in mind when you re-do the posts. For example, it would be reasonable to offer a short explanation about what sass does before you discuss how you use it (or better yet, link to a separate post that explains it in detail). It would be worthwhile to consider how much expertise and background knowledge you expect your users to have as you craft your posts, and that can help you determine how much extra information you choose to offer your readers.

  19. #19
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    Yes we are talking about the same thing. I also agreed with the previous poster, But if I push that sidebar any further to the right, it would get outside the alignments and it would look broken.

    if you look at the site again, you can see I implemented a rough idea, where the sidebar would be faded until you hover over it. Eventually (if you all agree) I would have a delay on when it fades slightly out, as right now, the hover effect is not great, it is just to conway the idea.

    Also I have placed the logo on the left

    I made the font size for the post heading 1em smaller (2em) - should they be 2.5em??

    I have styled the contact form (from the drop-down section), what do you think of it? and do you think it needs any heading like "contact me" - I thing this looks clean

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J in Calgary View Post
    I don't understand why it says "Around Yours Truly." I had to scroll back up to see if that was the name of the site and you were making extra efforts to keep your brand in users' minds. In place of that, it might be a good idea to set up a "Surprise Me" button that would take you to different posts, or links to your Top 5 most popular posts--but that would be better once you have more content.
    The idea of "around your truly" was based on the fact that the main content on that sidebar are the social (outgoing) links, so instead of "elsewhere" or something like that, I thought "around yours truly" would state the same thing, but in a more friendlier way. I do have a feeling that this sidebar might get bigger in the future, but right now even a top 5 button might be a waist as there wouldn't be that much content some time (as I get into the rhythm of things)

  21. #21
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    Just the very final thing I like to say:

    1) I just finished with the sidebar: as you will see, after 20-30 seconds of not hovering over the sidebar, it with fade slightly out
    2) the categories have the tag image which I think is better
    3) and the post title are now smaller
    4) finally the contact form is designed - I do not think it needs a heading. What do you think?

    Now I hope you can let me know if the above changes are fine.

    However, you have been really helpful and I appreciated all you help

  22. #22
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    I meant to get back to you sooner on this but got busy with projects on my own site.

    The fade out feature on the bar is cool (I don't know how to make it do that). I still think that the bright orange color and its proximity to your post text is too strong. (I know you had other problems when you tried to move it.) It's hard to keep reading the post with the bright orange fighting for your attention, and I can't depend on it to fade out. Maybe you could allow users to collapse/expand the bar so they could turn it on and off as they need it? Alternately, you could do the background in a light brown color (or something else) instead of orange, keeping the dark brown middle section.

    I like the image tags for the categories--it looks cleaner than it did before. Font size for post titles looks good to me. I like that you moved the logo over, and I still love that search box as part of the logo.

    The subtler color for your stand out words does soften the yelling effect I referenced earlier.

    You explained the "Around Yours Truly" idea, but I would be confused by it if I first came to your site.. You could label it differently or go without the label and just have the symbols (most people who would use them will recognize them for what they are). Obviously, all of these suggestions are my personal preferences, and yours are the ones that matter.

    Typos at the bottom:
    sent to you (instead of send)
    embedded
    and designed
    flexibility (flexamility?)
    plugins

    Period after plugins for consistency with the other two items

    Caps in WordPress

    Good luck!

  23. #23
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    thanks for your consistant replies,

    I did make a note of the words highlighted and I am going to remove them all, appart from on the header (maybe). I am just living them on to remind me to remove the <b> tags soon

    Also thanks for pointing out the spelling , I am going to change those soon

    The sidebar:
    - personally I like the heading "Around yours truly" but I have removed it and change the color
    - the only reason I desperately wanted to keep the orange is to get some color balance - but that is not a good enough reason.
    do ignore the search button, I know I need to fix the edges

    I still have orange when you hover over the "shoot to the top"

    I do think a heading like the "Around yours truly" (regardless of the words) did make the sidebar look slightly better

    Lastly if anyone like the time (on the fade) effect, I used this plugin http://paulirish.com/2009/jquery-idletimer-plugin/

    what do you think?
    Thanks for you time

  24. #24
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    I agree that the brown is not as nice-looking as the orange, but I can read the posts a lot better now. The orange on hover is fine because if I'm hovering, I'm not trying to read the post at that moment.

    I'd suggest you try the website Five Second Test and get some other opinions (and hope other people respond here, too). You can post screenshots of both versions and ask people to click. If you ask, Which one looks better? people would probably click the orange version, but if you ask "Which version makes you more likely to read the posts?" I bet more people will click the brown version.

    If you like a label above the social media buttons, you could use one--I can't think of something off the top of my head that's catchy, but even "Look for me on . . ." or something would be clear. Maybe someone else has a better suggestion--or you could look around at other blogs you like to see what else is used, and choose your favorite.

    Are you feeling good about it? You've done a lot of work!

  25. #25
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    Thanks a lot

    I did not know about this Five Second Test website, I am going to play around with it and then try it out.
    I am going to try and find a label for the sidebar, even though as you said, it is not required, I just think it looked better with the label

    Do you have any objections with the contact form? am I ok with not using a label of thing like "contact me here"?

    I would be nice if others have anything to add, but you have been a great help.

    Overall I feel great about the website. As mentioned I liked the orange sidebar much more but I understand the reasons you highlighted.

    Thanks


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