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  1. #1
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    Website Review Please

    Hi there,

    I have recently re-designed my portfolio website to give more of a unique feel and to make the design stand out a little against other graphic designers. Ideally I am aiming this site mainly at potential employers but also future clients to drum up more business.

    I understand that the site has a slightly unconventional design as I am trying to draw more focus on my work compared to my previous sites which only had a small banner to promote various "featured" projects.

    I think that just about covers my introduction to the site without saying too much to influence your opinions but any comments or suggestions as to how it could be improved would be most welcome - please do not hold back if you have a strong feeling about something

    I would also really appreciate it if you could test on a mobile device and/or tablet as I have tried to ensure that it appears correctly on these - particularly by creating a dedicated mobile version (only tested on Android and iPhone so far).

    The website address to visit is www.psychobeing.co.uk.

    Thank you,

    Shoxt3r

  2. #2
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    Hi Andrew,

    Couple of first impressions...

    1) the changing backgrounds on the homepage: Are they your work? If so, it should say so somewhere as that gives a purpose for flashing them up there. If not, they are a little distracting.

    2) Left Navigation: It totally confused me... The "Featured Projects" icon with the arrows didn't seem to do anything, "Show Background" didn't do what I expected it to (take me to your Resume and history info), "Turn On/Off Lights" worked, but doesn't really add anything to a resume type site.

    3) Deeper pages (CV, Portfolio, etc): They really should not have a changing background (IMO...)

    Hope this helps,

    Greg

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast WebOutGateway's Avatar
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    I agree with Greg, I don't see the point of putting flashing background of your portfolio. It could be better if it is Image slider or banner rotator. And the layout of your website, it seems like someone will have a headache with it. Also, please change the overall design of your website.
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  4. #4
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    Thank you very much for the comments so far. I agree that the left navigation does not serve much purpose other than controlling the background image which I admit I have had reservations about implementing anyway. I tried to think of something different other than a banner but on this ocassion and for this type of website I don't think it works particularly well.

    I will be reviewing the website over the next couple of days and creating a non-live version to work on which I will post up at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by WebOutGateway View Post
    I agree with Greg, I don't see the point of putting flashing background of your portfolio. It could be better if it is Image slider or banner rotator. And the layout of your website, it seems like someone will have a headache with it. Also, please change the overall design of your website.
    Thank you WebOutGateway. Please could you be a little more specific than changing my overall design of the website? Is there something in particular you don't agree with? What do you feel would work better?

    As I said I will be working on a newer, revised version over the next couple of days so should have some further results soon. Again, thank you for the comments so far - keep them coming please!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoxt3r View Post
    Thank you very much for the comments so far. I agree that the left navigation does not serve much purpose other than controlling the background image which I admit I have had reservations about implementing anyway. I tried to think of something different other than a banner but on this ocassion and for this type of website I don't think it works particularly well.

    I will be reviewing the website over the next couple of days and creating a non-live version to work on which I will post up at some point.



    Thank you WebOutGateway. Please could you be a little more specific than changing my overall design of the website? Is there something in particular you don't agree with? What do you feel would work better?

    As I said I will be working on a newer, revised version over the next couple of days so should have some further results soon. Again, thank you for the comments so far - keep them coming please!
    In addition to the above, rather than going head-long into developing the website I have created a number of page re-designs in Photoshop to give an idea what the final versions could look like, which you should find at the links below.

    What I have tried to do is make the design cleaner and more concise by reducing the amount of action on each screen. First of all, on the homepage I have opted for a simple animated banner rather than the background image slider throughout the site, and removed the left-hand navigation altogether.
    http://www.psychobeing.co.uk/screens/HomepageMockup.jpg

    On the portfolio I have replaced the small images with much larger ones which give more of a visual impression to what type of content lies within. Then, the user journey is improved further on the portfolio category pages by replacing the (frankly) annoying banners for each project page (which not only have elasticity placed on them, but they also hide most of my work) which also gives me plenty of room to add further projects at a later date. I would like to explain why I have decided not to show all of my projects on the portfolio; this is because there are currently 39 projects in total and I feel it would be better to separate them so that each category has it's own place.
    http://www.psychobeing.co.uk/screens/Portfolio_Main.jpg
    http://www.psychobeing.co.uk/screens...hotography.jpg

    The individual project pages will now look very similar to the example shown below, with everything bunched up together. The photography and website design pages will be vastly improved with the same design used for both, and the print work, animation/video and brand identity pages will still carry the same design as before but "bunched up".
    http://www.psychobeing.co.uk/screens...rojectPage.jpg


    I would really appreciate some further feedback on this if at all possible as the comments received so far have really helped!

    Cheers,

    Shoxt3r

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict deadmix's Avatar
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    in fact the background playing image is annoying so you have to change it and making your website more friendly for your future visitors... the whole thing is too static and oldies so you gave to make the things more simple i guess...

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    Hi Andrew,

    The changes in your JPG have made it a much more readable and user-friendly and professional. Here is a few observations...

    Homepage JPG: your carousel of images REALLY needs a little text in the corner of each image stating that it is a sample of your work done for company XYZ. Otherwise it's just pretty pictures. Stating the obvious is usually worthwhile. Also too much white space above the footer.

    Portfolio Main JPG: Remember that people are used to seeing navigation on the left, and advertisements on the right. Your 5 categories would look much better stacked vertically with lots of margin on the right and left sides. Also too much white space above the footer, again.

    Portfolio Photography JPG: Same problem as above. You have 6 categories, so go for two rows of three, or three rows of two. Stay away from the left and right edges. Shrink that white space at the bottom (a half empty page gives the appearance that you don't have much to offer...)

    Portfolio Photography Project JPG: Perfect!

    You didn't ask for this next bit of advice... But as someone who has hired professionals before, you may want to reconsider "psychobeing". Maybe it's a US thing, but people in an office environment are leery about adding anybody with a "psycho" label to their ranks.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot Lieto's Avatar
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    Do you like your portfolio yourself?
    If yes, did you see what other designer do nowadays to show their works?
    If no, did you try to partially copy works that you do like? (i mean look & feel, not copy-paste)

    I am trying to draw more focus on my work compared to my previous sites
    IMO good way to do it would be to actually show some works on the home page and remove those random distracting backgrounds.

    Best of luck with your project ^^

  9. #9
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    The site certainly is different which is what you said you were aiming at. I'm not sure the name is a great idea though! Doesn't enhance your employability surely!

    Some of your work is pretty good but having it flashing in the background isn't such a good idea in my opinion. I'd just have a more simple background and have your portfolio pics flash up in a big banner somewhere.

    I like the idea of having the toggles to turn the lights off etc... potential clients like to see fun things like that (even if they are of limited actual use) so if you can think of more then go for it. Some sliding toggles or drag and drop functionality just to show off a little.

    Also the picture of you looks like it might have been taken on a crap camera. It's a little blurry and that's probably because it's not a well lit shot. The less light the longer the aperture stays open and the more blur can happen. Get yourself outside into the daylight!

  10. #10
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    You have done great work but your site takes to much time to load. I think you should fix this problem.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Baka View Post
    Hi Andrew,

    The changes in your JPG have made it a much more readable and user-friendly and professional. Here is a few observations...

    Homepage JPG: your carousel of images REALLY needs a little text in the corner of each image stating that it is a sample of your work done for company XYZ. Otherwise it's just pretty pictures. Stating the obvious is usually worthwhile. Also too much white space above the footer.

    Portfolio Main JPG: Remember that people are used to seeing navigation on the left, and advertisements on the right. Your 5 categories would look much better stacked vertically with lots of margin on the right and left sides. Also too much white space above the footer, again.

    Portfolio Photography JPG: Same problem as above. You have 6 categories, so go for two rows of three, or three rows of two. Stay away from the left and right edges. Shrink that white space at the bottom (a half empty page gives the appearance that you don't have much to offer...)

    Portfolio Photography Project JPG: Perfect!

    You didn't ask for this next bit of advice... But as someone who has hired professionals before, you may want to reconsider "psychobeing". Maybe it's a US thing, but people in an office environment are leery about adding anybody with a "psycho" label to their ranks.

    Good luck!
    Thank you very much for reviewing my revised designs. I have decided to add in some description text on the homepage banner and adjusting the white space issue.

    I'm also looking into expanding the sections on the portfolio section so they are easier to "hit" and creating a "wall" of projects for each category to flesh out each page. Please note that simply for the demonstration design I have not filled out all of my projects - there will be around 10 for each category which reflect different uses of each technology for different markets.

    Thank you, I have been thinking about reviewing my name and since I will be looking to create some new print and a new printed portfolio this may be a better time than any to simply revert to my full name. As others have said, having the "psychobeing" pseudonym may not do much for my employability . Originally it was so that it drew attention to me and my work but I think it may have a negative effect upon review.

    Quote Originally Posted by deadmix View Post
    in fact the background playing image is annoying so you have to change it and making your website more friendly for your future visitors... the whole thing is too static and oldies so you gave to make the things more simple i guess...
    Thank you for your feedback. I'm currently working on developing the design by removing the distracting backgrounds and instead opting for a simple homepage banner to highlight my work instead. Something which I don't think has been picked up yet is that the portfolio section itself possibly isn't ideal to navigate around as the iOS banners (originally produced for an iPhone friendly experience which has now been transformed into a full mobile version) only draws attention to one project on each category. That's soon to change with the addition of some buttons for each project on each category so that each project has an equal chance of drawing its own attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
    Do you like your portfolio yourself?
    If yes, did you see what other designer do nowadays to show their works?
    If no, did you try to partially copy works that you do like? (i mean look & feel, not copy-paste)


    IMO good way to do it would be to actually show some works on the home page and remove those random distracting backgrounds.

    Best of luck with your project ^^
    I do like my portfolio site but I think some elements may be a little too gimmicky or hard to use - hence the revision above . I have tried to take elements from other designers' sites but also add my own bit of flair. All of my works are entirely original, however. As above, I have taken your advice on board as well as others and will be reviewing the homepage .

    Quote Originally Posted by barricades View Post
    The site certainly is different which is what you said you were aiming at. I'm not sure the name is a great idea though! Doesn't enhance your employability surely!

    Some of your work is pretty good but having it flashing in the background isn't such a good idea in my opinion. I'd just have a more simple background and have your portfolio pics flash up in a big banner somewhere.

    I like the idea of having the toggles to turn the lights off etc... potential clients like to see fun things like that (even if they are of limited actual use) so if you can think of more then go for it. Some sliding toggles or drag and drop functionality just to show off a little.

    Also the picture of you looks like it might have been taken on a crap camera. It's a little blurry and that's probably because it's not a well lit shot. The less light the longer the aperture stays open and the more blur can happen. Get yourself outside into the daylight!
    Of course, as above I will be looking to set myself up with a "named" domain name instead of this pseudonym. Sure, thank you for your advice. I will be looking to add a large banner to the homepage to create some more impact without it being distracting . I take your advice about the toggling controls - on review though I don't think they're well suited to my site - maybe they should only feature on the portfolio section of animation/video so that people can see the videos in comfort without the light background? I will be looking to implement these in future projects, though so will probably work them into a template website design or something .

    I'll look into changing around the picture or lessening the effects .

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesandy View Post
    You have done great work but your site takes to much time to load. I think you should fix this problem.
    Thank you for the tip, it's always good to know how a site performs on multiple devices/setups. I will be looking at drastically reducing the JQuery running in the background as well as removing the background image slider which should improve performance.



    Thank you for all of the advice everyone, it has been very useful and I hope to have the new version up and running very soon!

  12. #12
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    If the background animation was more subtle I think it can work. The size of the thumbnails that display your work would be nice if they were bigger. Maybe make the background images monochromatic and make it more of a watermark. The use of type can be cleaned up more. The type should have more of a clear hierarchy. I do like the orange color. It can probably work best if there was not so much going around.

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    I recently visited your site and not feel comfortable due to scattered data on your home page. Your flashy background also loosing attention on your web page links. Stable your back ground and arrange your scattered data in sequence. Navigation bar have no interests for me. Create new frame for your website and put some latest features and eye attractive colors in it. Thanks...!

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member dumitrumidon's Avatar
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    The best thing you did in it is the responsive layout i think
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  15. #15
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    The background completely overwhelmed me.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member marketvn's Avatar
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    I think you should change the background. And the layout is not impressive for viewer.


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  17. #17
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    your blinding me with science. haha its a little too busy. reduced the orange color please. use color to control what you want us to focus on. there's needs to be more color contrast.

    Recap:

    - so reduced the orange
    -add color contrast
    -remove the slider it can be a little irritating
    -focus on the message

  18. #18
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    Nice, but these backgorunds can slow the performance of the user browser if he has opened too many tabs and listening to internet radio etc. like I am . Anyway I like the minimalist look. Maybe the orange color is not my favorite. But overall its quite nice. Keep going

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast WebOutGateway's Avatar
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    Hi Andrew,

    Sorry for the late reply.
    http://www.psychobeing.co.uk/screens/HomepageMockup.jpg - I find this layout best among others (you have designed). However, there's something wrong with the color. For me, it seems to be that the color orange isn't in harmony with other design elements of your website. Maybe you could check this collection for orange-colored websites http://www.smashingbuzz.com/2010/01/...bsite-designs/
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  20. #20
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    loot like colorful site guy, but I like it, so nice
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Member mawanda's Avatar
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    I don't have experience in websites designing but i can tell from good and bad, I tried to read your welcome not but this change of background distructed me until when i struggled to go through now think of someone who does't have time for that!!
    Turning lights on and off seems that you did not intend to make a site for serious popes.
    I think it can show more seriousness if where your picture is replaced by kind of video that talks about your service.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Zealot RyanKing1809's Avatar
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    Hi Andrew, I've been looking at you mockups. They're much better your current website. Their layout is however inconsistent. Besides your header & footer you change the layout for each page.

    I would consider looking at your homepage elements and try and get all other pages to be consistent with that.

    If we look at you homepage - you essentially have an image banner element and a text area beneath.
    So maybe your portfolio mainpage categories banner and the homepage banner are exactly the same height.
    Maybe the photography category thumbanails tile to fill that banner space - repeat themselves to fill it if necessary - maybe even describe your photography process in text area beneath.
    And instead of switching 2 a column layout for each project stick to the banner design - have the large image take up say 60% of the banner and have the thumbnails fill the rest.

    Having a consistency like this will make things easier to navigate.


    I would also invest in getting nicer photo taken of yourself if you're going to display one.

  23. #23
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    Standing out from the crowd is admirable imho, but doing it with a constantly changing background is extremely irritating and would cause me to click off, and never come back.

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    Page not found. Site is down now..


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