SITE REVIEW: Esfun.com

  • clicky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi, I recently designed this website.

http://www.esfun.com

Tell me what you think, thanks!

-clicky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • spintwo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wow..

You need antialiasing on your text in your main banner and the main links. They're all jaggedy and hard to read. On the bottom, your contact info, you need some cell padding for the parent element and the entire site seems to be a little bit too 'big'.
  • clicky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
You need antialiasing on your text in your main banner and the main links.


Yeah, I'm having some issues with resizing. The site is linked directly to the .swf so it auto-resizes, which makes it both big and 'clunky' looking as far as text.

Quote:
On the bottom, your contact info, you need some cell padding for the parent element


...was just going to do that heh...

Thanks!

-clicky
  • Truce
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Your site is just one big flash movie. Many people don't have flash installed on there computer and you give them no way to view your site. Also, on a higher resolution your site looks extremely blurry. It reminds me of a video game menu because of the rendered houses on the slideshow.

Try to use photoshop to design what you want your site to look like, and then slice it and code from there. Using a little flash is ok, but a whole site is too much.
  • clicky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Many people don't have flash installed on there computer and you give them no way to view your site.


http://www.macromedia.com/software/player_census/flashplayer/

If I sliced and used tables, the filesize would be greater than using Flash and XML.

Thanks!

-clicky
  • •platinum
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hmm... I would have to agree with Truce. You cant just dump a link to a file that some people had never even herd of. Maybe you should try having a selection on the index where you can choose to view the webpage in either full html or flash.

apart from that... I would have to say... it looks pritty good. :)
  • Mas Sehguh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The flash file is 77 kb. This is a long, long wait for people with 56k.

With everything on one page, your Web site breaks the mean feature of the World Wide Web, and that is linking. You have different pages, but they all share the same URL. Nobody can make a link on their site pointing to a specific floor plan, nor can they link to the general floor plan page!

At my normal browser window size, most letters are five pixels high and illegible. Your site lacks all respect for my browser's default font size.

You've just broken the two most important features of the World Wide Web: hyperlinking and universal accessibility.

Your use of Flash in this case offers no tangible advantages over HTML/CSS and results in many tangible disadvantages.
  • darkermoon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think if you use flash for just the image on the right since it looks like you want to animate it or something, that would be a good idea. Flash otherwise, offers no benefit for the text or the header.
  • clicky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The integration of Flash and XML is a perfect solution to the modern website (excluding search engine optimization.)
In regards to "most people not having flash", that is not true, and for those that don't, javascript code in the index.html file checks and redirects to download it if necessary. One script that has not yet been installed (but will shortly) will detect the users resolution and display an swf appropriate to it, making swf resizing a scalable conveniance instead of the current pixelation/scaling problem.

Although the flash is 77kb in size, the flash player's optimizations make downloading it similar (and often times better) to a much smaller html counterpart (such as http://www.the-view.net ). FYI, at a 5kb/s (average 56k download speed) download rate, esfun.com loaded in 18 seconds at 77kb (and has a nice preloader to tell you the exact percentage downloaded) while the-view.net loaded in 23 seconds at 978 BYTES (due mainly to esfun's efficient all-actionscript coding of the flash movie.) For comparison, the start page at Ozzu is 113kb.

If one were to not like this flash processed site for whatever reason, the esfun.xml file read to create the site is downloaded much faster than any html site in order to get the complete content, and one does not have to download the html, view source, and hunt for <p> tags.
(additionally, the images also remain a modular part of the site and the urls are easily found, without <a href> hunting, in the site's page name xmls, ie: home.xml, interior.xml, etc)

Thanks for the comments so far!

-clicky
  • daremedy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well aside from stating the obvious issues (that everyone's pointed out) with Flash, the design itself is good. The navigation is there and its easy to get from one place to another. However, all of the images you have of the exterior/interior are displaying on a timed slideshow. What if I want to pause an image and really look at it, not just sneak in a peek every 10 seconds. Maybe toss an option to pause images. Sam Hughes' comments also made me think, what if I wanted to print one of your floor plans and show it to a prospective buyer? Maybe save/print out an image of the interior/exterior? These are among the disadvantages, I think, he was remarking on. Aside from that, as I work in a real estate agency, you could offer a downloadable pamphlet/spec sheet, or something print-able, that your viewer can take home with them and marvel over. Dont confine all of your details and promotion to just the website, have something your user can take home and talk about with the family. And, I guess closing things off, as its virtually impossible to view your index page, make sure that you've included your meta description/keywords tags to make your site seo friendly.
  • clicky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

About the images (pausing, etc), I think you're right, but I don't think it's worth the trouble to implement (maybe). I'm considering adding a link to the xml pages where the URLs of the jpgs and the text can be used to view static images (or the text when using a PDA, etc)

In the floorplan section, have you noticed that you can click on the small image of the plan that appears on the right to enlarge/print it? If not, perhaps I should make that text over the floor plans more noticeable...

Just fyi, the point of such a website is to get someone to the sales center, where everything from home models to spec sheets are availible and real sales are made. As for optimization, I doubt the site will go very far so I simply implemented Adwords.

-clicky
  • daremedy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

clicky wrote:
In the floorplan section, have you noticed that you can click on the small image of the plan that appears on the right to enlarge/print it? If not, perhaps I should make that text over the floor plans more noticeable...


Ahhhh, didnt see that! At quick glance it just looks like part of the floor description. Yeah, maybe change the font to a more noticeable shade. As for the rest of my comments, if the site is more of an online advertisement for the sellers, then what you have should do the trick. I guess most of my comments were aimed towards the website being the main promotion for the development, but it sounds like its just an added bonus for potential buyers.
  • Mas Sehguh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

clicky wrote:
In regards to "most people not having flash",


Just who exactly are you quoting?

clicky wrote:
that is not true, and for those that don't, javascript code in the index.html file checks and redirects to download it if necessary.


You're missing an antecedent. What is this "it" that gets downloaded?

clicky wrote:
One script that has not yet been installed (but will shortly) will detect the users resolution and display an swf appropriate to it, making swf resizing a scalable conveniance instead of the current pixelation/scaling problem.


What does my resolution have to do with my window size?

clicky wrote:
Although the flash is 77kb in size, the flash player's optimizations make downloading it similar (and often times better) to a much smaller html counterpart (such as http://www.the-view.net ). FYI, at a 5kb/s (average 56k download speed) download rate,


5kb/s? I usually peaked at three, and 18 seconds is far too long.

clicky wrote:
esfun.com loaded in 18 seconds at 77kb (and has a nice preloader to tell you the exact percentage downloaded) while the-view.net loaded in 23 seconds at 978 BYTES (due mainly to esfun's efficient all-actionscript coding of the flash movie.) For comparison, the start page at Ozzu is 113kb.


Are you having a brainfart? the-view.net's main page is 872 bytes because it contains an iframe. Which in turn points to a frameset document. Which in turn points to HTML documents fettered with javascript and things like a 40 KB image.

clicky wrote:
If one were to not like this flash processed site for whatever reason, the esfun.xml


Quote:
XML Parsing Error: not well-formed
Location: http://esfun.com/esfun.xml
Line Number 24, Column 22:


clicky wrote:
file read to create the site is downloaded much faster than any html site in order to get the complete content, and one does not have to download the html, view source, and hunt for <p> tags.
(additionally, the images also remain a modular part of the site and the urls are easily found, without <a href> hunting, in the site's page name xmls, ie: home.xml, interior.xml, etc)


Are people supposed to magically know where these XML files are located? The esfun.xml file is useless; devoid of all built-in semantics that HTML possesses (not to mention useful information).

<A href> hunting? More like "right-click -> Copy Image Location" or "highlight address bar, press Ctrl+C."
  • Dubya
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Clicky, you did submit you site to be reviewed, right? You sound as if you are getting offended by our critiquing, but I assume that's why you put your site up for review. I will say that I find this auto resize function very cool. I have not tried looking at your site with any resolutions higher that 1152 x 864 however. But it seems to resize very appropriately at my resolution. On your navigation menu, I barely noticed that there was any animation. You ought to make the mousover animation much clearer. Overall, I feel like there is to much texture on the site. It gets a little hard on the eyes after a while. It'd be nice if at least the text-content area was texture free. And less texture on the nav menu would be great, as well.
  • ausmeister
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm sure I've read in many places that over 97% of people now have the flash plugin intalled on their comps (those connected to the net anyway), and that the issue of using flash only is becoming moot. I guess for better accessibility he should publish the swf for v5, or v6 of the flash player. Not everyone will have upgraded to 7 yet.

I would say that the text could use some CSS styling. (It's possible in flash)
  • clicky
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Post 3+ Months Ago

To Sam Hughes:
Quote:
Just who exactly are you quoting?

Apparently not you, so don't worry about it =)

Quote:
What is this "it" that gets downloaded?

I appreciate your concern for my grammar. It = "flash" = Macromedia Flash Player.

Quote:
What does my resolution have to do with my window size?

For most people, the window size is set to 'maximized'. Sorry to have not conformed to your particular tastes - hey, I can't please everyone.

Quote:
5kb/s? I usually peaked at three, and 18 seconds is far too long.

I usually peak at 5.5kb/s. These are luxury condos anyway, they potential buyers ought to have broadband.

Quote:
Are you having a brainfart?

Yep

Quote:
XML Parsing Error: not well-formed

Thanks for bringing that to my attention; I just fixed it.

The rest isn't worth replying to. (Not that I don't appreciate the time spent on reviewing...)

To ausmeister:

The site works with Flash 5 I believe, correct me if I'm wrong...

Also, there isn't much text on the site, so I don't know about CSS - but I will explore that option just in case =) Thanks!

To Dubya:

Offended? Never....
About everything else you said, I completely agree, it will have to be changed soon, client permitting.

To daremedy:

Yep, thanks for the comments!


Thanks all!
-clicky
  • darkermoon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

clicky wrote:
The integration of Flash and XML is a perfect solution to the modern website (excluding search engine optimization.)


uuhh, PHP and MySQL are way better solutions if you're trying to change things easily since that's server side and not client side. that will help SEO as well. Also, allowing people to view XML will do little good as very few people know how or have the software to view an XML file so it doesn't look like a bunch of useless text unless it's parsed by something (ie flash or PHP.) Also, if you're really into XML, PHP can output XML as well.

And, if you insist on using all flash, how about don't preload all of it before anything loads so you don't have to stare at a preloader for a while if you have a slower connection.

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