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  1. #1
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    Wink A Clean Site (Blog) Layout

    Hello everyone!

    I am just starting in webdesign so I would appreciate any comments, recommendations and advice regarding my page here: http://testing.is-great.net/ (this is a free hosting account, but it's safe and has no ads, so don't worry). I first wanted this to be a theme (HTML only - at this moment) for a snowboarding blog and I went for a clean, accessible design.

    I know, I still have problems with my search form design, I am going to fix that.

    I am open to constructive criticism, so I am kindly waiting for your opinions.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I like this design, I am used to select templates for my websites and for friends. what I generally don't like was the color combination and the spacing of sections. I could see there are templates with huge space at the start of page and the logo somewhere sitting 200 px away from top. which actually eats up more space and content is not shown in the first shot when page and one need to scroll down to see complete home page messages. - These are my thoughts in general based on reviews with other designs. hope this helps what not to do.. ;-)

  3. #3
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    Hey jerom, thanks for your feedback!

    Yeah, I went for a clean design so tried using a bit larger spaces and light colors with something to contrast with. But I agree that sometimes, spacing sections should not be done.

    Thanks again, I appreciate your time!

  4. #4
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    The design is excellent for the snowboarding theme!

  5. #5
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    Thanks digitalnipromet! Unfortunately I wouldn't say that it's perfect, or not yet.

    Please, I don't need general answers like saiaraaj's, don't do that. I need feedback and honest opinions, not general copy-pasted advice. What saiaraaj said is in no way related to my site.

  6. #6
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by WebProWorker View Post
    Please, I don't need general answers like saiaraaj's, don't do that. I need feedback and honest opinions, not general copy-pasted advice. What saiaraaj said is in no way related to my site.
    Agreed - it's gone now.
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  7. #7
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    Hi, I quite like the look of the design--so much so that it frustrates me that I can't click on any links in this demo version yet. It looks clean and fun, with great contrast--enough color and content, but not cluttered or over-worked.

    I may be crazy, but I looked at this a day ago without posting, and I was going to say that I really liked your pic of the week graphic. I still do, (nice sense of whimsy), but did you change the arrow from black to red? If so, I liked it better black. If not, I'm crazy--sorry.

    I would be so tempted to leave the block that says "some cool logo" where it is. You probably can't, but I kind of like it. I don't know what you're planning, but the large picture you have is so striking, and I can only imagine that you'll have a bunch to add--great subject for action photos--so you don't want to compete with that main picture with whatever logo you select.

    A picky thing--I'm not sure what to expect from the "how-to" tab. Is it snowboarding instructions? (Seems kind of hard to offer that online.) Also (the picky part), because there isn't a hyphen in the "how-to," it's a little unclear, as if "to" might be a separate section. If the other nav options had more space between them, it wouldn't be an issue.

    I like how the background is working, I like the color of the footer, I like the first main photo, I like the hint of orange-red (a sense of speed and action without being too over-powering)--there are a lot of things that are working well here, IMO. Best wishes--be sure to post a link when you get everything up and working!
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  8. #8
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    Itís a nice clean layout, although a criticism would be that it feels generic, with nothing to make it really stand out from all the other themes out there.

    The large photo is great, provided of course the website owner updates it very regularly, or the page will be seen as being stale by google. One suggestion here, can you add some sort of slideshow code here so that users can scroll through previous pics of the week? That is an idea I am looking at on my own website, but not yet implemented of course.

    I think I would also try closing it up a bit, there looks like a lot of wasted space between the top of the page and the start of the first post. On my monitor I can only see four lines of the first post, again from a google point of view you donít want a lot of empty space at the top, you want text that is updated regularly.

    Personally I would also like to see the nav buttons at the top larger and looking more important.

    Hope my comments are useful to you.

  9. #9
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    I would say I am not used to see such clean websites without adds. ;-). Ok! jokes apart! I liked your site. well! I have no objection with the color schemes On the contrary, I felt that's what is giving your site a clean and clear look. One small thing that I loved was "pics of the week=>", the style was really cute. :-)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by J in Calgary View Post
    Hi, I quite like the look of the design--so much so that it frustrates me that I can't click on any links in this demo version yet. It looks clean and fun, with great contrast--enough color and content, but not cluttered or over-worked.

    I may be crazy, but I looked at this a day ago without posting, and I was going to say that I really liked your pic of the week graphic. I still do, (nice sense of whimsy), but did you change the arrow from black to red? If so, I liked it better black. If not, I'm crazy--sorry.

    I would be so tempted to leave the block that says "some cool logo" where it is. You probably can't, but I kind of like it. I don't know what you're planning, but the large picture you have is so striking, and I can only imagine that you'll have a bunch to add--great subject for action photos--so you don't want to compete with that main picture with whatever logo you select.

    A picky thing--I'm not sure what to expect from the "how-to" tab. Is it snowboarding instructions? (Seems kind of hard to offer that online.) Also (the picky part), because there isn't a hyphen in the "how-to," it's a little unclear, as if "to" might be a separate section. If the other nav options had more space between them, it wouldn't be an issue.

    I like how the background is working, I like the color of the footer, I like the first main photo, I like the hint of orange-red (a sense of speed and action without being too over-powering)--there are a lot of things that are working well here, IMO. Best wishes--be sure to post a link when you get everything up and working!
    Hey there, thanks for your review! That arrow was actually red since the beginning .

    The photo section indeed was intended for posting great, action photos which should impress visitors. And it's not the first time I hear that the navigation needs some sort of button separation and I agree.

    Anyway, I don't have any plans with this website, it was just for practicing my skills and for learning purposes. I am not willing to continue the project at the moment, maybe just for improving it a bit (by following your advice). Thanks again!
    Quote Originally Posted by SandyPodenco View Post
    It’s a nice clean layout, although a criticism would be that it feels generic, with nothing to make it really stand out from all the other themes out there.

    The large photo is great, provided of course the website owner updates it very regularly, or the page will be seen as being stale by google. One suggestion here, can you add some sort of slideshow code here so that users can scroll through previous pics of the week? That is an idea I am looking at on my own website, but not yet implemented of course.

    I think I would also try closing it up a bit, there looks like a lot of wasted space between the top of the page and the start of the first post. On my monitor I can only see four lines of the first post, again from a google point of view you don’t want a lot of empty space at the top, you want text that is updated regularly.

    Personally I would also like to see the nav buttons at the top larger and looking more important.

    Hope my comments are useful to you.
    A slideshow would be nice there, I know, but as this was only for training purposes, I am not looking to add anything like that anytime soon. I am not familiar with javascript, so I will get to that only after I become a good HTML/CSS developer.

    Thanks for your suggestions and feedback, I appreciate it!
    Quote Originally Posted by e2 solutions View Post
    I would say I am not used to see such clean websites without adds. ;-). Ok! jokes apart! I liked your site. well! I have no objection with the color schemes On the contrary, I felt that's what is giving your site a clean and clear look. One small thing that I loved was "pics of the week=>", the style was really cute. :-)
    Hehe, thanks! I am glad you like it!

  11. #11
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    Hello,
    This is a great design for the website. It’s clean and simple. When I show up it reminds me of a blog with the layout. I enjoy it, I think the graphics you have on there are really cool too, if you make them yourself that’s awesome. I think the colors work for me, I like the dotted background to bring out the boxes and make them really pop out. I might have to use a design like that on my website. Overall I think you have a solid look for exactly what you want to do. Title is large enough, the font is easy to read, and you give enough to make them want to read more. Great job.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast WebOutGateway's Avatar
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    Two thumbs up for this design. I like the simplicity of the design and the cleanliness of the layout. But I think a banner rotator or image slider will add some sort interactivity for the website
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  13. #13
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    For me the site design and content is fine, but the one concerns is about the domain name. i saw that your domain name is include one dot and one slash that would be very hard for you to do the seo that's why my suggestion would be about changing the domain name if possible .

  14. #14
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    Thanks for your reviews, guys.

    @WebOutGateway thanks. Most probably I will go for a slider in the future.

    @pikr thanks, but I'm not interested in any SEO at the moment, this was just for developing my development skills. That domain is just for testing.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
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    that looks like a simple wordpress theme with minor adjustments (like adding logo that actually doesnt fit in terms of color).

    If you want to make great designs i would start with copying stuff from the best studios you can find. Eventually you will create your own style out of it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
    that looks like a simple wordpress theme with minor adjustments (like adding logo that actually doesnt fit in terms of color).

    If you want to make great designs i would start with copying stuff from the best studios you can find. Eventually you will create your own style out of it.
    Hey Lieto, thanks for your review! I know it looks quite basic, but like I said, I built it from scratch (so no adjustments to other themes) for learning purposes.

    Also, thanks for your recommendation! Indeed this is something I should do. Do you recommend any great studios that I should check?

    Regards

  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
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    i would start with f-i.com but checking featured works on behance.net also helps
    However, eventually you will need to make a choice whether you want to make designs / ux or front/back end development (programming and coding).
    If design isnt your thing you might just skip what i just said.

    I see 2 ways in terms of developing yourself, one is harder and one is easier (thats just my opinion which may be wrong or simply not work for you)
    Harder: create supposedly cool design from scratch and try to figure out how to slice and code it. You may completely fail at the start (i did) but eventually you will get a good understanding of how the whole system works.
    Easier: Mess up with wordpress creating a template sites and then try to change things in it. Although it sounds like a great idea you will miss a lot of things in the process and will hardly make something unique in the end. People who started like this usually come to me time to time saying "why would you draw custom button when generic one works as well?" or "why not just switch these and these blocks and save time of your coder?". Well, ye... but you see, if client would like generic site he would go to templatemonster.com

    p.s. i probably made mistake in every single word there, sorry =)

  18. #18
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    The thing is, I still don't know which one should I go for. I like both coding and designing and I also hate both. It's not something I really thought about a lot and I guess it takes some time and experience to know what is more suitable for you. What I do know is that some people (even webdesigners) recommend going for both design and code as it's much better to be able to do more for your client.

    Regarding learning, I guess I prefer the first, harder method, as it's way better to understand the whole process. As a beginner, I prefer starting things from scratch (even though I might be practicing with a tutorial opened in my web browser) whether it is coding or designing. This way you know why you did that in your code and what happens if you don't add this etc.

    Don't worry, we all make mistakes

  19. #19
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    design is good for the theme!

  20. #20
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    Design is nice and clean...

  21. #21
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    Design looks good but only home page works. All other links are nothing.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Member obscend's Avatar
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    Good, clean design. If I may offer some more input for SEO and your images - you can use CSS to hide text when displaying an image so search engines still pick up the text even though it's going to be in an image.

    For example, in your ID "logo",
    PHP Code:
    #logo { text-indent:-9999px; } 
    Then just place your site name and slogan in there so you're not losing some important elements.
    Inlet Studios - Innovative User Experience Design

  23. #23
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    Great design. Neat, tidy and simple. Very clean looking, I like the photo you have used on the homepage also and the red diving lines on the template. Good work.

  24. #24
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    Hi there! My first impression was positive, and that's always a good thing

    Good work with this being your first shot with web design! You have a great sense of balance. The layout itself is clean, and that’s always my first consideration. Almost all of your elements are spaced well, except the search box could use a little more padding.

    I feel you need work on your typography. I feel serif fonts are tacky. Maybe browse around Google fonts and find something cleaner and more modern.

    The patterned background has been played out. Maybe try something new?

    Not sure why others don’t approve of the color scheme, grey and red is alright. Unless you’re actually building a snowboarder website, in which case you should probably go with shades of blue

    Make sure your headlines are clickable, as that’s the first thing I clicked. Also, if this site is about imagery (i.e. pic of the week) you might want to make that cover photo a big taller.

    Keep at it, you’re doing great!

  25. #25
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    Great design!! The concept of 'pic of the week' is much more attractive. I also liked the color combination for your site.

    Still I have found some points that you should think upon:

    - Replace (Continue Reading) with (Read More) to make site content shorter and specific. It should be at the right side of the paragraph.
    - You can place social networking icons at the bottom of your page instead of putting them at right panel only.
    - Change the menu bar links with initial capital letters.
    - Can you place a banner rotator or image slider somewhere to add some sort of interactivity for the website?

    Apart from the above said points, your site rocks. Keep it up


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