SITE REVIEW: Digital Graphic Design

  • N2Graphics
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello everyone!

I have just recently launched my website for my freelance graphic design business. It is still under construction, but for the most part it's ready for review. I could really use some constructive criticism. Thank you very much for your reviews. Your comments, questions, and suggestions are very much appreciated. :D

Here is the link: http://www.merlindigitalgraphics.com
  • azmo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

all photoshop and no css formation on ur divs, using divs and tables together and missing a doctype. To me this is a badly written site with a playful and less serious impression.

Try and put ur back in to it and browse the web for css guides and js guides, and I'm sure u can do alot better then this.
  • webia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

azmo wrote:
all photoshop and no css formation on ur divs, using divs and tables together and missing a doctype. To me this is a badly written site with a playful and less serious impression.

Try and put ur back in to it and browse the web for css guides and js guides, and I'm sure u can do alot better then this.


And the design shows exactly that. It does not look to good. Maby you should read the xhtml lessons over at http://www.w3schools.com/ and perhaps a bit of css. get inspired from other websites, than try to make yours better :)
  • N2Graphics
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah, I just recently started using Microsoft Frontpage, so I'm still getting the hang of it. I'm used to hand coding and didn't want to mess with an editor, but hand coding just takes too much time for this site. I'm mostly playing around with it right now, but I definitely appreciate the advice! :D

Also, I have been changing stuff back and forth for the last 5 hours, so I'll have to check if there is still a missing doctype. You may have just visited at a bad time but, I'll look into that. :wink:

Then again, this is why I got into graphic design and not web design. LOL I'm pretty fluent in HTML (I can read it much better than I can write it), but I know very little about CSS and nothing about Java. (Any pointers on these languages that I should apply to my site would also be much appreciated.)

Thank you very much for your advice. I'll let you know when I change things around again.
  • azmo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the best pointer I can give you is to read guides, google the web for free css/javascript/html/xhtml/php/MySQl guides, read, that's what I did, alot of reading, practicing, failure and progress, all in good time, the more u study and practice, the better u become.. so start reading if you wanna learn to code w/o google the code everytime.

GL with it!

pointer --> to master a div, it takes about a week of practice, 1 div, to make many div's work together takes much longer, atleast if you want it to look good <-- end of pointer
  • N2Graphics
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Okay, I've made a few drastic changes. I'm still not quite finished, but it's coming along. It just looks a little off for some reason. I think it's the left navigations, maybe? Help! :?

P.S. I'm hosting free until I'm somewhat satisfied with the site, so don't let the ads get you irritated. I know they tick me off too. :wink:
  • azmo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I dont know what u are trying to do, even after ur changes it dont look any good.. a suggestion is taht you build ur site with images in photoshop or any other img publishing pogram, and when you are 100% happy with the look of your site (the images) you start doing the code with some help from w3school and other sites...
  • N2Graphics
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Gee thanks for the confidence boost. I'm a graphics artist, not a web designer. This is my first site and I was content that everything functioned right (as in no broken links). I have clients here at home that requested I make a site so they could refer their friends to me who live out of state. I'm not doing this for your satisfaction, nor to your standards. I appreciate criticism and advice, but now it just feels like a personal attack. You could have added what you liked about it as well, but I guess you're just not that positive of a person. Basically, I posted this thread because I wanted to know how people saw it from different browsers. I wanted positive and negative feedback and I was hoping for specifics on why it didn't look right so I could fix it. Not just a bunch of foreign language (which is what it sounds like to a beginner) preceeded by a big fat-- it sucks, I don't like it.

Conclusion: I'm a pretty easy-going person, but I don't take well to people who actually look for opportunities to prove their betterness. This isn't Kindergarten. I'm not building a website to get rich... I barely make enough money to feed my children. I don't care about your personal opinion, I'm only interested in educated opinions and "helpful" advice. I'm not a freaking wiz in web design. Not everyone can be as up-tight and wonderful as you are. We can't all be winners. You don't like my site? Don't look at it then. End of story. Have a nice day! :D

Okay, so the big question is: Is there anyone who is willing to look at my site and tell me the pros and cons, "explain" to me how I can fix the cons, and manage to do this without making me feel like a complete idiot? Because if not, I've obviously come to the wrong place for help and thank you for your time.
  • azmo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

this was never a personal attack.. BUT you say that you don't care about our personal opinions, then what do you wanna hear? cause every answer you get here are personal opinions (in this "rewiev my site" part).

Ofc we (alteast I) are more then happy to help you out, but I dont have the time or the patient so sit down and explain to you how to solve/fix all problems/issues with the site... you run a serious buisniess, try to make the site serious and CLEAN, right now it's to much stuff on it...

check this site, http://www.raymondmeier.com/ ... it's not the COOLEST or most flash based site on the web, but it works, it looks good, it's clean and it looks serious.

and a personal opinion, if you dont want to read and learn from the links we posted, and your knowledge aint enough for your project, maybe you should ask urself if you shouldnt buy the site from a proffesional, or start to read and learn, and get ur site just as u want it..
  • Merlyn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello,

The functionality of your site is good. Everything seems to work appropriately and link well. So good job!

I would like to lend you some help that really helped me and allowed me to be more creative with my web work when I started doing web design.

Check out this information on slicing a photo or photoshop document in Adobe imageready to create CSS.
http://www.duclaux.net/blog/how-to-convert-your-photoshop-document-to-a-css-in-less-than-30-seconds-a-precise-tutorial-with-illustrations/2006/02/08/

What this does is it allows you to create a really nice template which you can then slice up into divisions to have your content.

Basically it allows you to get away from the tables and columns of Microsoft frontpage.

There is a vast expanse of knowledge/tutorials out there that can help you, but it will take some time and learning. Your web skills will get much better the more time you put into it.

But for early web design work I would like to say 'good job.'

However, if you get serious about it, I would consider getting a different host so that you can get away from those top banner advertisements. I would also try to add some rollover functionality to your buttons.
  • N2Graphics
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you very much for your advice. I learned some about slicing in school, but I really haven't had to mess with it so I'll be pretty rusty. I knew there was another way to do it, I just couldn't figure it out. I didn't even think about that.

Yeah, Frontpage seems to really limit what I can do with my webpage. I just like it because of the shared borders. :D I don't even use it to publish my site... I use SmartFTP Client. Frontpage is just more of a hassle than anything.

I'm only hosting free right now until I'm fairly content with my site. Of course my content will be ever changing, but I just want the general layout done before I start paying for hosting. I may just do it before then because those ads are driving me nuts.

I'll go ahead and do the "rollover" effect on my buttons when I get into photoshop and start slicing my pages.

Once again, thank you so much.
  • Merlyn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You're welcome. Good luck in your work =)
  • pinkink
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's an interesting idea; I had no idea digital scrapbooking had much of a following (perhaps I'm old-fashioned), or that it was that profitable. That said, considering your medium, a playful site design isn't such a bad idea.

I do have a handful of things that I think could be done better. It's not meant as a personal attack at all, but just suggestions of things to work on and/or my impressions as a visitor.

This is what I see when I visit your site.

First off, I'm viewing your website on a widescreen laptop with the latest Firefox build. The build might not mean much, but the widescreen (which is a popular screen format these days) bit means that your background is tiling -- that's a huge eyecatcher, and not for good reasons. Perhaps a smaller, seamless star version on one side with a solid color behind your blocks of text. Also, and this is really weird to me because I've not seen it before with an image, but your logo is stretching depending on how wide my window is open (and your header link is broken).

I think a div container around the perimeter of your site (header/footer/content/etc) would be really beneficial. This is what I'm thinking -- you define the width and barring anything bizarre, you don't have to worry about the stretching, or the wide gap between your menu and content. The link points to a tutorial that really helped me out when I was just starting to figure this stuff out, and you can see basically the same layout on one of my sites here. Tweaking the css in the stylesheet tutorial is a pretty easy way to figure it out, and honestly CSS isn't all that different from good ol' html.

The blue padding around the main content box clashes really badly, but I see that it seems to be just a firefox thing.

On the other hand, your menu looks a lot nicer than mine did when I was just starting out. Hell, it looks cleaner than most of the menus I do today. :D

Anyway, that's it for that bit. I'd be willing to help you out with what I can, if you would like. I also enjoy helping people. :3

I just have one more thing to add. Up above, you came down on someone for his opinion, and said that you weren't doing it for his satisfaction or standards. Since you're designing for customers, I think that's a mindset that might need a little tweaking because people are pretty shallow, especially when it comes to how something looks. With specific regards to a business, if your site doesn't look professional, people are going to project that onto your work before they even get to see it, and you will lose customers. People not liking the colors is one thing, and you probably can't please everyone when it comes to something like that, but building a clean, reliable site isn't an impossible task, no matter your level of skill.

Good luck, hon. <3
  • N2Graphics
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank you very much! Your reply was definately helpful. I guess I could have very easily just downloaded other browsers and such... but operating systems and resolutions are another story. I was really curious about how it looked to everyone else. The blue is definately a firefox issue I would assume. That's not quite what I was going for, lol. I think I'm just going to tear it all down and restart from scratch. This has been one heck of a month for me and I haven't even had time to look at my site, much less fix it. I suppose I should probably just give my apologies to my clients who requested I make a site and just wait until I'm ready to put the time and effort into it. I just put it up mainly so I didn't have to keep emailing individual people with my work everytime they requested my portfolio. All my clients are word-of-mouth clients... I guess I never really took into consideration all the other billion random people searching the web. I really didn't plan on gaining any clients through my site, never even thought about it really. Thank you for your advice though. I will most definately take it all into consideration when I redo my site.

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