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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast hypernovadesign's Avatar
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    Design Studio Website - feedback needed

    Hi to all,


    I've designed my website a while ago and I would like to hear your opinions how to improve it.

    Let me know what do you think about the overall layout/design and the way of ordering products.

    Is the navigation clear and easy for users?

    On the top menu there is a "Blog" section. Do you think the blog looks good?


    Thanks.

    http://www.hypernovadesign.com

  2. #2
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    I've added comments on the design that you can view here. Other than those:

    • For some reason, the body of your page took a very long time to load. YSlow doesn't like your page too much, either.
    • Overall, you could do with some rounded corners and smoother pages. The whole design feels very blocky.
    • Inline Js is not a very good practice and slows down your page. Looking at your source, I would dare say that the majority of lines of code in your index are either blank, CSS, or Js. Externalize CSS and Js, and remove empty line spaces. The line spaces are often due to a mismatch Unix/Windows encodings, so be sure your server is serving with the same encoding that you're saving it.
    • Don't use images as headings. That's a sure-fire way to tank your SEO.
    • Your "Web Design Portfolio" page lacks unification - it appears at first to just be a mix-match of web banners.
    • Those scrolls on the main Portfolio page take a looong time to load. Optimize!
    • When your banner scrolls, it slides over the dropdown menu, if one is open. Adjusting the z-indices should fix this issue.
    • On the blog, always cite your image sources. For example, Emilia Hazell could file a DMA takedown notice against your site for using her image without attribution.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    You have 44 validation warnings which can be automatically corrected with HTML Tidy
    http://infohound.net/tidy/
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  4. #4
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    To be honest, it's a bit of a messy layout, making it hard to focus on the important bits. Try to keep the message simple and focused on each page. The sidebar is quite distracting, I find.

  5. #5
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    I like the design.

    I would probably redesign the blocks on the sidebar to look a little sleeker. The slider moves very quickly which can be a little distracting.

  6. #6
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    It looks to me a blog than a business website. Moreover, you have used too many general stock images and it is hurting the website credibility. If you want to get good business from it, simplify the design. Keep your focus on attracting users. Check this: http://www.noupe.com/design/the-aida...eb-design.html

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure about using the MacBook Pro border around the image of the site in your portfolio (the publishing one) - purely due to potential IP/branding issues with Apple.

  8. #8
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    Further to what the others have said, I also find it a little to cluttered and difficult to follow a flow.
    Also you can't say that you are "the UK's best Design Studio" as you can neither prove nor disprove that you are/aren't!
    (not to be harsh - but your aren't!)

    Also I am having difficulty believing your testimonials. They don't read like business testimonials and IMHO you wrote them as place fillers - which is fine as long as people know that.


    One thing that a business site should be is believable.
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast hypernovadesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by connor4312 View Post
    I've added comments on the design that you can view here. Other than those:

    • For some reason, the body of your page took a very long time to load. YSlow doesn't like your page too much, either.
    • Inline Js is not a very good practice and slows down your page. Looking at your source, I would dare say that the majority of lines of code in your index are either blank, CSS, or Js. Externalize CSS and Js, and remove empty line spaces. The line spaces are often due to a mismatch Unix/Windows encodings, so be sure your server is serving with the same encoding that you're saving it.
    • On the blog, always cite your image sources. For example, Emilia Hazell could file a DMA takedown notice against your site for using her image without attribution.
    I use JS on the home page and I use Joomla!, so it may be that the editor has edited the code without mu knowledge, which makes it long to load. Thanks I will look into it.

    The pictures are obtained from sxc.hu so they are free to use. Anyway it's not only me that has used this picture - http://www.tineye.com/search/41d5938...4845f110e57b9/ , but thanks anyway for that, I will be carefull more with the copyrights.


    Quote Originally Posted by navyfalcon View Post
    You have 44 validation warnings which can be automatically corrected with HTML Tidy
    http://infohound.net/tidy/
    -
    hope this helps
    falcon
    I use Joomla! so it's quite hard to edit the HTML output, however I will look into it and try to fix the issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chr View Post
    I like the design.

    I would probably redesign the blocks on the sidebar to look a little sleeker. The slider moves very quickly which can be a little distracting.
    Yes, the slider was a problem. I have fixed that. Thanks for your advice!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4mdesigners View Post
    It looks to me a blog than a business website. Moreover, you have used too many general stock images and it is hurting the website credibility. If you want to get good business from it, simplify the design. Keep your focus on attracting users. Check this: http://www.noupe.com/design/the-aida...eb-design.html
    Good point, I will try to fix it.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast hypernovadesign's Avatar
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    Any more comment/feedback please would be appreciated

  11. #11
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    I also saw a delayed page load on the home page.
    You clearly are an advanced author so I can only really try to comment on visual impact
    The very high contrast white and then dark background really was too strident for me
    I have used the link before but see this http://garyvaynerchuk.com/post/27561...#disqus_thread
    where the colours feel modern
    You have some classy image overlaps that cannot be faulted, so I do feel it comes down to overall colours chosen and their mix

    I felt here I wanted larger text and a smaller light bulb - sorry clearly my eyes need help too many PC hours
    on this page
    http://hypernovadesign.com/design-process

    and did feel the paragraphs could be closer together
    Again the dark blue either side hit the harsh white

    But the techniques you have here must rate you in the master league

  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    You went from 44 validation warnings to 80
    see post #3 to correct
    -
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  13. #13
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    Your site looks good but, it doesn't look professional. Design your site in such a way that it looks professional.

  14. #14
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    It looks Good By design , navigation . The most i like with website is Grid View with Products and Services You provides .

  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Look at this to get some ideas

    http://newark1.com/portfolio/index.html

    http://www.wiidesign.com/

    hope this helps
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast hypernovadesign's Avatar
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    Hi, thanks for the comments. I must say the errors that come up on the validator and the slowness are addressed top the template and plugins I have used to build up my sites. As you know CMS plugins are very great and can provide features you would spend days on developing them from scratch. They are a must for every website and sometimes, as in my case, using them can produce unexpected issues and/or code errors. Do you think these problems are major even if the website is compatible with IE, Firefox and Chrome and works on all these browsers in 100%?
    Thanks for your feedback ladies and gentlemen, your help has leaded me to develop a better website

  17. #17
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    Hi,

    To answer your most recent question, I'll tell you that when I started my first website nine years ago, I went to a forum and the first thing the designers told me to do was get my site validated. I was starting a cake decorating business and I just wanted to make the site work to reach those people. Unlike many of the experts here, I am an accidental designer--that is, my site content is my area of expertise, which is why I use a drag and drop design service for my site. Validation is not critical to me as long as the site works. Lots of people in the site design business do care about validation, so if any of them check your site, that's one of the first things they'll check. I'm in education, so if you use the wrong version of "you're" it makes me freak out, while other people are more willing to let that slide. Think about your target audience and prioritize from there. In your slideshow, you're advertising logo design and business card design, but you're also advertising web design--so for that audience, validation matters.

    Some recommendations from a user point of view:

    I really like the 9 boxes on the home page. They are clear, easy to read, and they give the visitor a nice overview of your services. Your footer looks great (nice echo of your top navigation bar), and the border/background colors work well together.

    I like to see a photo on the "about" page

    I can't tell what kind of audience you're targeting, but after 40, some users cannot read the way they used to, and many don't know how to adjust their screens to enlarge text. You might want to bump the font size up a couple of points.

    The slideshow in your header is distracting to me. (I saw that you had several comments related to a sidebar, but I haven't seen the previous version of the site). To me, the site would look clean if you got rid of the header entirely so that the top visuals are those bubbles labeled idea, design, and success (good first impression words).

    If you are really attached to it and want to keep the slideshow, remove the text and replace it with photos to show the diversity of your product. The text in that slideshow is competing mightily with any message you are trying to convey on the home page underneath. If you show good pictures of business cards or posters or other products, that might help support the message.

    I have clicked back and forth between this post and your site several times, and I can't remember the name of your site without clicking over to check it. Also, when you describe yourself as a design studio, you want to clarify your main area. You are offering a huge range of services, but it's overwhelming for the first page. If I'm there for business cards, I've got too much information about other products waving at me above the fold on the home page. (I did find business cards under services, and I appreciate multi-talented designers, but it's something to think about.)

    The second-to-last sentence on the home page is really awkward--if you read it out loud, you'll hear it. I would definitely spread that information into separate sentences to make the information clearer.

    The business guy with binoculars doesn't really seem to match the company name, and it suggests you are targeting businesses . . . is that correct? If I were an individual running a small business or a non-profit organization, I'm not sure I would think this was the right company for me.



    I had a look at your blog, and there are some usage errors that stand out to me. For example, some of the sentences are unnecessarily long. "Today it is the time that we have come to the end of the fascinating article series about animation technology" could read "This is the third and final post in our series about animation technology." (You want to let the reader decide whether content is "fascinating" or not.) If English is not your first language, you could have another set of eyes look over the posts before they are published (that's a good practice even for native English speakers).

    The animation series looks like an interesting topic, but the summary on the blog page is too consumed with your needs as a writer--it should focus on the reader instead. For example, when you say "thank you for your patience--it's been more than a week since we talked about . . . " that is focusing on your schedule. A reader might find this article six months later, so he doesn't care if you went a week between postings. Although you have included some specific details in your post about animation technology, I can't tell who your target audience is, or why they want to know this--is it to set yourself up as an expert who can deliver this kind of technology for short films? Is it to teach beginning animators how to get started? Is it because regular people might be interested in the special effects behind their favorite films? There are a lot of valid reasons for your content, but I'm not sure if the blog is targeting other businesses or consumers.

    I like that you've included examples of your work in a portfolio--this is a great way for potential customers to determine whether your company would be a good fit for their projects. ("Other Artwork" should be singular, or you could say "Other Works of Art.")

    It looks like you're very busy with all the products you offer--good luck to you!
    www.conversationpieceslearning.org
    Enrichment Ideas and Activities for Teachers and Students
    www.youcancreate.org
    Daily Creative Challenges for People Like You

  18. #18
    SitePoint Guru navyfalcon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypernovadesign View Post
    Hi, thanks for the comments. I must say the errors that come up on the validator and the slowness are addressed top the template and plugins I have used to build up my sites. As you know CMS plugins are very great and can provide features you would spend days on developing them from scratch. They are a must for every website and sometimes, as in my case, using them can produce unexpected issues and/or code errors. Do you think these problems are major even if the website is compatible with IE, Firefox and Chrome and works on all these browsers in 100%?
    Thanks for your feedback ladies and gentlemen, your help has leaded me to develop a better website
    -
    Not normally, many first page Google sites have errors and warnings BUT a design website should not have errors or load slow.
    I personally check sites for SEO and errors before thinking about using them. If they can't correct errors, they will cause errors on my site.
    -
    Many free software editors will correct or advise on how to correct errors, including loading slow
    -
    Web Site Optimization: Maximum Website Performance
    http://sixrevisions.com/tools/free-w...speed-testing/
    -
    http://seotools.scrubtheweb.com/xhtml-validator.html
    -
    http://infohound.net/tidy/
    -
    make sure they are still free (sometimes they change)
    -
    falcon
    Many good Free Tutorials at:
    http://freetutorials.name

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast hypernovadesign's Avatar
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    Thanks J in Calgary for this "fascinating" post. Would not expected someone to write so much regarding my website, but this info can relate to any website and I am sure a lot of people can find it useful. Cheers

    Thanks Navyfalcon too!

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
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    It looks like someone googled random images, stamps and icons on the internet and put it together.
    Wireframe is ok but pixel finish, style and overal design touch which design studio needs is just not there imo.

    I would start with something simple: plain white page with examples of your work and maybe one special offer banner.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Member nikelecy's Avatar
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    Hi, what is your primary niche? I would suggest to focus on your primary niche. Site looks good, but I think some more fancy graphics will improve it a lot.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Enthusiast hypernovadesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikelecy View Post
    Hi, what is your primary niche? I would suggest to focus on your primary niche. Site looks good, but I think some more fancy graphics will improve it a lot.
    Well, from how much work I have from certain services, I would choose printing is my primary as it provides me the most profit along others. Do you want to suggest that the home page should be focused on main service and the other ones should be smaller/at the bottom?

  23. #23
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    Its a modern, fast loading website with great use of advertising banners and the overall picture one gets is that you are experts in advertising and online promotion. The design of the website itself is clunky rather than elegant. The main headers with blue styled bar look a little strange, especially the pale blue strip on the corner looks more accidental than by design, I'd like to see that removed and those graphics slimmed down a little bit but that might be me being picky. I liked the service descriptions and that you publish the costs upfront and that services are affordable I think that's the overall impression I get of your company, affordable, modern services which get the job done.

  24. #24
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    Not a big fan of the black to white faded background, very out-dated imo. A few people have already said this, try and keep a simple website with examples of your work on the homepage as thumbnails for the categories. Definitely stay away from stock photography.

    Your animated header can be distracting. Sub it out with examples of your work along with random testimonials. Have this header show on each page so people can keep seeing new things as they browse.

    Good luck Mate.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Member nikelecy's Avatar
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    I would suggest that you separate the services. I mean they are not matching between them seo+prints, for example. If I will be able to provide all this services I would have a site for web design + seo, a site for 3d modelling and animation, a site for photo editing and a site for banner printing,design and print + logo design.My point of view on this is that if you separate them you can have better conversions and show each service better to the potential client.


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