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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member Ryum's Avatar
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    Web design portfolio (design)

    Hello!

    As part of the development process I find it necessary to get some feedback on my design before I get it coded, and would love to get some constructive critique from you. This is only a design as one image at this stage. Before I go forward to designing the sub-pages, I would like to get some feedback on the design in general as this will affect the following pages.

    The project is to create a portfolio for myself and the small company I run. My main service is web development, but I also have good knowledge in graphic design, movie production and desktop programming (java). The aim of the website is to showcase these services and attract new customers. As I'm currently a busy student of interaction design and working a part-time job I'm not actively looking for new customers at the moment, but would like to as soon as the opportunity comes. This is the reason for my "light and personal" introduction, which is subject to change as this opportunity comes.

    http://postimage.org/image/jzo0jzi1p/full/

    The design will be centered and repeatable textures for the sides are due to be made.

  2. #2
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    I am not quite sure what you mean when you say repeatable textures for the sides are coming, so forgive me if my comments would be addressed by that.

    To me, it looks like you have two home pages in this image. Both are really attractive, but they don't, imo, belong together. The look of the first page ends with the contact me button in the center, and the look of the second page starts with the web development/graphic design/multimedia tabs. Obviously, you'd need some content transfer between the two, but in terms of style and look, it seems like two different home pages on top of each other.

    I like the look of the top better than the look of the bottom--it's fresh, and more unique. I don't necessarily love the fact that it's yellow, but I do love the clear call to action--want to see examples? curious about prices? want to get in touch? Brilliant and well-done.

    A couple of stylistic things with your message--I think it's good to establish a sense of personality through the text, but you might re-consider a couple of things. Where you say you're a student and you need money so you're priced competitively, that might attract clients, but is that the client audience you want to target? When you say where you work and that you're a student and busy, it translates to me "go away, I'm too busy to work on your project now, but you might come back in the future." The information about your work and study program fit better on your about page than your home page, and you could add a message on your contact page that says "currently accepting small projects only--please check back later with other inquiries" or something similar. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll get a lot of bounces from your home page.

    When you say "6 years of experience," it's not that that's insignificant, but it does make you sound young and new at this, when you're trying to convey your level of expertise. On the other hand, when you say "Making your company look good is my number one priority," that makes you look professional and conveys confidence.

    I am not any kind of designer and graphics are the weakest part of my site, so I feel rather dumb giving you advice, when your look is already so good. But you're looking for design feedback, so here's what I would play with:
    I'd keep the top the way it is, but move it up a little so your main description (welcome to the portfolio of . . .) is all above the fold.

    I would lose the graphic of "Introduction to Blocks" or whatever that says, but I would try to blend the lighter gray above that into a darker gray that's the same color of that Introduction graphic (but not as dark as the bottom of the current page).

    I would replace the "6 years of experience" and text below that with testimonial quotes from people who love your services and keep the four key points to the right the way they are, just on the more medium gray background.

    I would re-think the yellow--it could even be the shade of it. It reminds me of construction (which, really, is rather appropriate), but it lacks elegance, and the top of your site is much more sophisticated; this plain mustard color is more pedestrian, if that makes sense. Not sure what color to recommend--I understand you want something bright. I would definitely keep the same call to action tags with links below them, though.

    Hope this made sense, and that it's helpful.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast cgCody's Avatar
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    I rather like it! I humbly disagree with J in Calgary about the "two home pages" look, but agree with him on the wording (and the yellow).
    This type of layout can have a good impact, but it relies on great page copy. The top portion really needs to grab the attention of your audience, and build up enough interest for them to want to scroll down. Words like "student", "currently studying", and "busy" are detractors. I realize you said that it's subject to change, but just food for thought.

    I'm not diggin' the grass and building pictures on the top half. I think those would be great spots to showcase some designs. I think these images might be a big part of why the two page halves feel unrelated. The top half looks like a landing page for an architect specializing in sustainable (green) design.

    In all, I think it's a very solid design. It makes the folio site I'm working on feel pretty bland.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member Ryum's Avatar
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    First off, thanks a lot for your wonderful feedback, it's much appreciated.

    What I meant about "repeatable textures" is that the website won't simply be centered with a white background on the sides, but the design itself will be able to "stretch" to the browser resolution.. If you understand

    It does look at lot like two home pages on top of each other. I have noticed it already, but thanks for pointing it out. I'm still not sure what to do about it.. In some way I feel it makes it a bit unique, and I want to see it in a browser window before changing it.

    A couple of stylistic things with your message--I think it's good to establish a sense of personality through the text, but you might re-consider a couple of things. Where you say you're a student and you need money so you're priced competitively, that might attract clients, but is that the client audience you want to target? When you say where you work and that you're a student and busy, it translates to me "go away, I'm too busy to work on your project now, but you might come back in the future." The information about your work and study program fit better on your about page than your home page, and you could add a message on your contact page that says "currently accepting small projects only--please check back later with other inquiries" or something similar. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll get a lot of bounces from your home page.
    I agree with you on all of this. I couldn't really decide what to really communicate but I'm not gonna communicate "go away", that's for sure. I still want to keep short bits of my personal info in the introduction, but only my current study program as this is relevant to the service I'm selling. I'm replacing the "6 years of experience" text with something else. I would love to put some testimonials there, but as of now I do not have any. I haven't worked with webdesign for the past few years so I've got to put something else there until I have the testimonials. I'll look into it.

    As for your design suggestions, I'll try implementing them in the design soon. I'll to publish it in this thread again for further feedback, if you have the time. Again, thanks for your feedback, it does help

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member Ryum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgCody View Post
    I rather like it! I humbly disagree with J in Calgary about the "two home pages" look, but agree with him on the wording (and the yellow).
    This type of layout can have a good impact, but it relies on great page copy. The top portion really needs to grab the attention of your audience, and build up enough interest for them to want to scroll down. Words like "student", "currently studying", and "busy" are detractors. I realize you said that it's subject to change, but just food for thought.

    I'm not diggin' the grass and building pictures on the top half. I think those would be great spots to showcase some designs. I think these images might be a big part of why the two page halves feel unrelated. The top half looks like a landing page for an architect specializing in sustainable (green) design.

    In all, I think it's a very solid design. It makes the folio site I'm working on feel pretty bland.
    Thanks a lot for the feedback, it means a lot As I've already been advised by "J in Calgary" - the text will be changed to something more inviting rather than "I'm a student, I'm working, go away".

    Yes, showcasing the designs would also make more sense than using grass and buildings to sell websites. I'll see if I find some fitting work to put there, and I'll post the results back here as soon as I'm done.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member Ryum's Avatar
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    Latest changes:

    2a) http://postimage.org/image/43gw8nx6v/full/
    Has changes in typography, different header images

    2b) http://postimage.org/image/julctj5fl/full/
    Same changes as 2a, but with the "introducing blocks"-image compressed.


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