SITE REVIEW: darkmattermag.com

  • DarkMatterman
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://darkmattermag.com

My name is Bill, I started my webzine Dark Matter in May. It focuses on different topics each month depending on what I'm interested in. So far I've had surreal artists (interviews), heavy metal concert/cd reviews, video games, some opinions, and some science stuff. I'm more of a graphic designer than a writer, so I get a lot of my articles from public domain sources. The rest of it I write myself, though hopefully I'll find some like minded people interested in helping me create content for the site.

My goal with the site is to have an outlet for my ideas that also acts as a portfolio piece and helps me develop my skills. Each month I create new graphics and cover, so the design is always changing.

Please take a look and tell me what you think, criticism is more useful than praise.
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

On the first page you see when you goto your site I think that image is cool with the flame, however that is alot of images at like 7k each. Adds up to quite a bit. I have broadband connection so it loaded immediately for me, but I am guessing on a dialup account it will load kind of slow.

Same with the second page now that I just noticed. The page almost seems the same but has word on it now which are links to different categories on your site. You might consider making page 1 and page 2 all into one page so that the user does not have to load all the images again. (I noticed they are not the same images so they do not load from cache that was created after visiting the first page). Also the less amount of pages between your entrance and the actual content will help a great deal. Think of it this way, the more pages you have for them to click through, the more likely it is you will get less people to your pages with the articles.

Once I click on a category the site colors/design totally changes. This really do not seem related to me and you might work on this so they all seem to fit together. Maybe if you somhow take the design of the inside pages and somehow work that in with your art on the first two pages it would seem to match better.

Inside the site on any of the categories you have a small menu on the left and then another horizontal menu on the top which contains links to the other categories on your site. I am not sure if this was done on purpose, but it seems that the menu goes accros the image about 20 pixels off the bottom of where the background image ends. Not sure that makes sense, but in other words the menu isn't right on edge with the white below, there is background image on both sides of the horizontal menu.

I think the content of the pages is good, and you have many interesting topics. The font you chose is easy to read and does not hurt my eyes, and you have laid it out in a way that really doesn't bore me since you do have pictures in with the text (kind of like a newspaper article). I like this because pictures grab attention and help bring interest to your article from your visitors.

Overall I think you have a good site and have things visitors would definetely be interested in. You just need to make things flow and match better.
  • Geekette
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I had a lot of comments, but Big seems to have taken them right out of my mouth ... err ... fingers? :P
I generally agree with what he said. I currently have the unfortunate experience of using my grandparents' dial-up connection, and pages one and two do take a while to load. I like that rest of the site, though, the colors are very appealing and the content is interesting. I wish you luck with it! :D
  • PluTunium
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if your aiming for the cartoon effect, it's cool. I like how you put the nav. on that sheet of paper. Like the navigation once you enter into the 3 page of the site. Like the logo at the top of 3rd pages, but whats with the bug? I must be missing something.
  • The Shrew
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, it's been reviewed by others, but I'll give it a swing. You've got good content. The intro page with the candle is cool, but like they said, will load slowly. I was just wondering why the archives page is a different format from the rest of the website? It might flow better if it were the same.
  • jlknauff
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Post 3+ Months Ago

twisted
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like to site and its layout. Has good potential.
  • madmonk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

dudes. this is an old post again.

<caution>
so you guys wana review this site again and look like idiots to others ??? lol.
</caution>
  • lineleeder
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't care if I look like an idiot to anyone and there's nothing wrong with digging up something old and giving it another look, IMO.

That said....

Quote:
criticism is more useful than praise



I'll start with the praise - right up my alley and, again IMO, screw the bandwidth - I prefer it when designers don't sacrifice the vision for the one or two people with dial-ups.... not that only a couple of people have cable (they didn't get it where I am till about a year ago) but my point is - if you're doing visual stuff, do it for those who can enjoy it - the rest will catch up. (or maybe I just hate counting K :oops: )

I love the design - just dark enough for me.

Crit...

Um , dude - it's August.

That bar on the left with the metallic BG is a little large - in the "words" section - the story continues for like 3 pages and the bar is empty/devoid of content - it's a big, annoying gray bar. When it contains content it's pretty cool but it really oughta just stop after a few hundred pixels and make room for more content below.

Um... that's it? Trying to help - all in all, love it - you should hook it up to a blog prog or something and just keep it current at a brain dump or soemthing - april was a while back.
  • madmonk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hi lineleeder,

sure. you have a point there. but the poster of this thread is long gone. Has done only 4 posts since july 2003. i doubt he is back. so save yr efforts :-)
  • lineleeder
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Post 3+ Months Ago

LOL!!!!!

Color me corrected ;)
  • Dark_Matter
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey, I am here! I haven't posted much in here, but I've been lurking and I still check these old links (they show up on my webstats as referrers).

Hehe I know its august, I am doing a complete overhaul of the site right now which I hope will be done in Sept or October. I also just started a new job so I have less time to work on it. I appreciate the reviews though.

Basically I make a new design for each issue, and I'm trying to experiment with different layouts, some work better than others. I want to let myself do whatever strikes me without worrying too much about load times etc. (I think most people have broadband by now anyhow).

I know the texture seems like a waste of space, but I had a reason for it. I've been taught that it's easier for people to read text if its in a smaller (width) column. So instead of having just white text in the small column, I let the texture run all the way down the page, for a little visual interest. I know it's weird that I've got the same pic huge on every page, but I'm trying to use this site for experimentation so I tried it.

I'm glad people like the content, I'm just going after stuff that I'm interested in.

-Bill

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