SITE REVIEW: EXM Media

  • brianxaviar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I own a media company and just had the site redesigned by my guys, I'm not a coder but would like some input from a few pro's, who knows if you give me some good ideas and criticism I might be able to use you on the next redesign.

thanks! and be as blunt or harsh as possible.

Our site:
http://www.exmmedia.com

and while your at it, take a look at:
http://www.vastees.com/index.php
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • roje0913
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I really enjoyed your site and some of the ones in your porfolio
not sure why but the second banner down is linked to the index page if you click on it. Also the transitions could be masked a bit so that they dont show over the bottom chrome bar when they fly in. This is of course very nitpicky, but overall I think is great.
  • zhouyi
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Post 3+ Months Ago

1."exmmedia"
Nice and attractive website,but personally,I have one comment:color of the both side is black,I feel the color is too deep,makes me feel a little depress.
2.vastees
Seems nice and creative.I like the front page design.
  • Mantaii
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Exmhosting.com

There is something about it that doesnt scream out to me as a media firm. I think there is too much going on and my eye gets distracted, plus the dark colours don't help.

On my screen just now there is the lighbulb sparking away, the tickertape "tech feed" scrolling across the screen and the "Design, Development, Design" flash animation.

Everything seems to be in your face and your main text is almost hidden amongst it all.

Under Contruction page on Marketing link. This is a personal hate of mine, if the page isnt ready, don't put a link to it, also why do the links on this page (FAQ, BLOG, etc.) open in a new window?

The hosting page, why have you just dropping in an image in there, I would have thought it would be better to create this in code, it would load faster as well if it was just text and css. The text would also not go blurry like it has.

One final thing, in IE7 the words username and password are sitting hard against the text areas making the u and p hard to read.

Sorry if this isnt what you were wanting to hear.
  • tshang
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How is this for blunt and honest. Stop claiming the work of other designers as your own!! I was notified by a friend that you were claiming one of my designs in your portfolio and sure enough there it is up on portfolio. I decided to take a look at some of the other designs in your portfolio and have to thank you for being kind enough to link directly to the live sites so that I could easily find the names of the real designers and contact them about your activity. I found at least three designs by other designers. I have made contact with all three and not one of them was pleased.

I have reported you to the BBB and I am sure the others will be filing complaints as well. I also called your office and I don't know if it was you that I spoke with but you have been notified both by phone and email to remove my work from your web site. I expect that to take place immediately.

I have taken screen shots of my work as well as the others and emailed copies of these to the appropriate people.

Thank you,
T Shang
  • roje0913
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Post 3+ Months Ago

WOW! That truly is shameful if it is true. One hint of caution, just because someone else's name is on the bottom of the site does not mean someone else didn't design it or at least take part in the design. I personally have done outsource work for other companies and I still would be proud to show them in my own portfolio as work I have accomplished. But since you know one of the people that says it is his work I guess it could be true.
  • tshang
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well one of the designs is mine and the three others I encountered I did contact to inquire and they had no idea that this company was displaying their work as their own.

We did contact this person and ask him to remove our site. He refused. His logic is basically this.. He claims that he designed a site for our client or someone using this domain name before and was not paid for that work which may or may not be true. He believes that since he did a design for this domain name it is perfectly fine for him to use a live feed from the site in his portfolio even though the site has since be redesigned by me therefore the work being displayed in his portfolio is mine not his. This is misleading to his potential clients and not fair to those whose work he is claiming.

We asked him if he could just put up screen shots of the work that he did on the site so that he could still get the benefit of having the work to include in his portfolio but he refused. It seems that he believes that since he worked on a site at the domain name once upon a time he now has the right to anything that is displayed there. It is just ridiculous.

All I wanted was for him to remove the page. We called and asked him politely to stop displaying our work as his own. He refused. We have sent him a cease and desist letter via email as well as snail mail. If this does not work we will take further steps to see to it that our work is removed from his site. I do not want a long drawn out battle over a web site but it is the principle of the thing and the fact that he has been rude and uncooperative.

I won't be surprised if he hears from at least one of the other design companies. They are a rather large company who were not at all pleased.
  • roje0913
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Post 3+ Months Ago

keep us posted, that is amazing that he still wont remove it even after caught red handed, it could wind up costing him some $$ if he doesnt quit while he is ahead.
  • brianxaviar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello all, I am the owner of EXM Media, you can see our portfolio here: http://exmhosting.com/portfolio.php

In response to tshang:
I have spoke to you and I was not "rude and uncooperative" I simply stated that our portfolio system is designed to take screenshots of the link entered every month (an amazing dev if you ask me) and display that screenshot along with the info in the description, we did not say we wouldnt take it down when we told you we had not been paid we were trying to WARN you of the client you were dealing with.

Speaking of that client we have a written and signed contract giving our company 20% ownership of that domain and its ad sales, just an FYI.

Any portfolio item listed are sites we have either fully coded, designed, did flash, or all 3. If a client decides to change there site then within a month a new screenshot is uploaded.

We have seen the error in this and will be changing our system to display sites hosted on our server rather then live but this is a HUGE task, so in the meantime as said to tshang he'll have to deal with it, frankly we did recieve a call from one other designer and we removed that link within sec. but with tshang givin how rude he was and the fact that we technicly own 20% of that domian we will leave it up untill we can localy host a copy of what we did.

Thats it, we do not and will never claim anybodys work as our own and often have problems with designers doing that to us, so we have no issue with compliance, after all web designers need to stick together, on the same note I agree with roje0913, just because somone else did the code or the design doesnt mean we cant display what we've done, and if you notice in our descriptions we do say exactly what we've done.

Thanks - Brian Xaviar
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

brianxaviar wrote:
and if you notice in our descriptions we do say exactly what we've done.


Actually I don't see descriptions anywhere in the portfolio. The modal window says the site link and project type but nothing about your actual involvement in the process.

So how about an actual review? First off, for a company that claims to do design and programming it is somewhat pathetic that your site doesn't validate (55 errors on the home page alone). In addition to that I would highly recommend that you do not use tables for layout or inline styles as this feels extremely amateurish for a web company. Your page title is the same on every page (EXM - Admin). Also the title is not at all descriptive of what you do and isn't helping searchability.

From a visual design standpoint, there is way too much happening on every page. There are lots things blinking and animating in ways reminiscent of the internet 10 years ago. You need to provide your users with an understanding of hierarchy instead of every object on your page bearing the same visual weight and give a person's eyes a place to rest.

The icons along the bottom are just visual clutter. The average user has no idea what the CS/linux/ icons have to do with their needs and I highly doubt the people who do know those icons are your target audience.

Site wide there is no consistency in colors, typography or image style and this makes prolonged viewing extremely difficult. If your going to advertise design as one of your services then your own site should be a glowing example. Most users today are savvy enough to have seen strong corporate design (apple, target, etc) and know that know that your site's aesthetic does not represent that sort of thinking.

Finally your portfolio seems overly crowded and contains a lot of duplicate content. Its important to choose your BEST work to display and frankly I'm amazed that you would even consider using screen caps of a live site since over time they will rarely ever remain examples of your best work.

I know this review sounds extremely harsh but if your going to claim to be a media business you should certainly be capable of taking a critique.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Fair warning, replies to this thread will be locked to prevent editing within 24 hours of being made. If I'm online when you reply it's most likely going to get locked immediately. Don't say anything you might regret.

This is being done to encourage you to settle the dispute among yourselves privately. Feel free to keep providing us all with entertainment if you wish though. :)
  • brianxaviar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the warning.

And for graphixboy, thanks for the critique, I assure you we don't claim to be a media company, we are a media company, while your review was harsh I do thank you for an honest assessment. The descriptions have not updated for some of the portfolio items so some you may have clicked on would not tell you what we did. As for the duplicate items it only looks that way because we used the same thumb twice but it was to display the myspace page plus the site in separate categories.

As far as the errors in the page I can't comment because I am personaly not a coder but I am the designer, I will forward this info to my guys and see what they think.

And about the titles, this is part of last years code thats sposed to auto generate based on the content on the page, thanks for bringing that to my attention, I had not Idea it was "broken"

And lastly, if your interested in a freelance job I would love it if you came on for a week or 2 and did some consulting directly with my guys for the new redesign. Please give me a call @ 714.277.4597 or hit up the contact page cuz I dont want to post my email here.

Agian, thanks for the critique and I am not offended, although you could have said it a little less harsh.
  • brianxaviar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

if you could point me to a few sites that look good to you I would love to see them
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Your welcome for the review, I wasn't trying to sound harsh but its somewhat difficult to point out issues without sounding like an ass.

As for sites I like here are a few. Although it would be good to note that I see a huge difference between what appeals to me aesthetically and what makes sense from a business objectives standpoint. In the case of the visual objects that I pointed out on your site, I'm mostly worried about what they "say" about your business. Also most of the elements don't have anything wrong with them on their own, but so many of them combined make the site rather hard to digest.

I think all of these sites have similar business objectives to yours...
http://www.unitinteractive.com/
http://hicksdesign.co.uk/
http://clearleft.com/
http://www.airgid.com/
  • tshang
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Post 3+ Months Ago

We were not rude to you on the phone. We asked that you please remove the link and replace it with a screen shot of what you did for the client.

You did say that the client did not pay you and we told you that was something you had to take up with them. We received compensation for the work we did and we were told by the client that they did pay you and that you did not complete the job which is why they hired us. They also mentioned that they could not get in touch with you for over a month. If they owe you money I suggest you send them a bill. If they fail to pay turn it over to collection and report them to BBB. This has nothing to do with us! You claim you own a portion of this domain/site. I would like to see a copy of that contract with the signature of the client. I could easily compare the signatures to the contract that we have with them.

Now as for your claim that the links in your port are automatically generated. You had the site listed in several different categories in your portfolio. Example you have it listed in your social network category of your portfolio and it is linked to that specific social network page within the site. You had to enter that specific link which was not generated until AFTER we created that page for the client. This being a joomla site the link is long nad obscure its not like it was http://www.blahblah.com/socialnetwork or something that you could have linked to before it was generated. That means you had to go to the site, navigate to that page and then link to it and claim it in your portfolio.

I noticed that you did remove the limo site but the Heat site which is also NOT one of your designs remains. They have been notified of the fact that you are displaying their work in your portfolio.

I think that the way you are displaying your work is misleading at best. I have no desire to argue with you. I do not feel that our request was unreasonable. Your response that you some how feel you have a right to display our work as your own based on some skewed reasoning is unacceptable.

We emailed you a cease and desist letter. We let you know our intentions in that letter. If you do not comply with our request to stop displaying our work as your own we will be filing a formal DMCA letter with your hosting company as well as seeking any and all legal avenues available to us.

It seems absurd to me that someone who claims to be some MEGA Media company with all this skill feels it necessary to claim the work of a small design company in TN. I would think that our work would be below par for such an elite company as you portray yourselves to be.
  • cjxxi
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the black don't make such a good combination with the workflow image, and the image logo exm Media in the first flash banner, looks too strong, the light bolt looks nice, but it looks some what redundant. I guess if you find a brighter color on that banner would make the light bolt look better and less strong design for the light bolt companion
  • krates
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Nice website looks cool .. i like the ring ring thing awesome...
  • tshang
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Looks like they have now added a flash slide of their work to their front page which also includes our design I did not think for one second this was an honest mistake and since they continue to go through the trouble of adding our work to each new app on their site I think it is fair to call it what it is.. outright theft!!
  • brianxaviar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

tshang:

First off we have not recieved any cease and desist.
secondly we did the graphics and marketing for heat, not the code but most of their graphics.

Also we are almost done with our new system and will be implementing the changes, which will reflect the work we did.

as far as the contract with your client, we'll go ahead and hold onto that for now as were pursueing legal action agianst them.

another thing, and don't take this as a threat but a warning, I have forwarded all of these postings you created to our legal geeks.

About your work on that site in question, it looks great and I sugest you continue creating sites, we personaly try to stay away from software but to each his own.

for everybody else, thanks for your advice and we'll be taking that into account.
  • tshang
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Post 3+ Months Ago

brianxaviar wrote:
tshang:

First off we have not recieved any cease and desist.
secondly we did the graphics and marketing for heat, not the code but most of their graphics.

Also we are almost done with our new system and will be implementing the changes, which will reflect the work we did.

as far as the contract with your client, we'll go ahead and hold onto that for now as were pursueing legal action agianst them.

another thing, and don't take this as a threat but a warning, I have forwarded all of these postings you created to our legal geeks.

About your work on that site in question, it looks great and I sugest you continue creating sites, we personaly try to stay away from software but to each his own.

for everybody else, thanks for your advice and we'll be taking that into account.



I do not take it as a threat. We have done the same as far as copying everything and forwarding to our lawyer including posts made in this forum.

We will wait to see if you implement the changes you mentioned above. That is really all that we have asked of you. If you will simply state what you did for the client and let people know that the current work showing at that domain name is not your own we would be satisfied.

As to the contract with the client we did not ask that you send us the original contract just a copy of said contract to compare signatures. The client is denying the accusations and since he has held up his end of the bargain with us thus far we have no reason to doubt him.

Thank you for the compliment on the work. We do not work only in Joomla but we do enjoy the platform. We hope that you will implement the changes soon. We do not wish to be at odds we simply want proper credit given to those we have done the work.
  • waachaa
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the flash header you have thats really cool!
  • brianxaviar
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Post 3+ Months Ago

tshang:

I totaly agree with you, your screenshot will shortly be replaced with the one we og did. as far as the contract I will have a copy sent over

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