SITE REVIEW: Portfolio website: WhenImNotSleeping.com

  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey All, I put up a new portfolio site today. Its still pretty busted in IE6.

I'd love it if anyone has any feedback. Anything I'm missing for a good portfolio? Stuff thats broken, misspellings etc. Thoughts on the color scheme and layout. Is it too simplistic? Should I add more color/visual interest?


Here's the site
www.whenimnotsleeping.com

Stuff on my todo list:
1. Make it work in IE6 (png hacks etc)
2. Convert to AJAX contact form
3. Add some meta data
4. Printer friendly styles

anything else?
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

OMG! I can't believe you haven't gotten one review. I think that means your site sucks! No that means it's really good right? Or does it mean that a lot of the viewers aren't at your skill level, so they don't know what to say? Oh I get such a kick out of this. Can I rant just a second? I have seen some of the worst sites ever get numerous reviews. All say "nice" "good work" and a bunch of other crap. And then some of the most modern, efficient, well planned sites, get no review or response. That makes no sense to me.

ANYWAYS! Glad you are back from your nap. I like the site. And my first thought however is, "where's the rest?". I think you went a too minimalist on this one. I really liked the last one. And I personally don't think you should go with the one page design. I just think it's doing your work justice. The layout is clean, but I think you could have expanded it just a little. And the text is a little small for my liking. But I love the color scheme. The imagery is awesome. I would also increase the size of the logo. Just a thought...what if the bg were static?
  • Merlyn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Excellent job. You have a great design that is very appealing. I really like what you did with your footer at the bottom and how it has the solid white trim around it. It makes it stand out quite a bit.

One thing I noticed which I'm sure you already have considered is that by having all of that work on one page, it takes a little while to load much of the items.

I'm a little split between whether or not I like the empty space directly beneath your header. I kind of like it because it differentiates a bit between your work samples below that and your About divs. But at the same time I think you could add either another column there or something, or perhaps move those divs over to the left slightly more.

All in all I think you've done a great job with this site and it really portrays the excellent work that you are capable of.
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hey guys thanks for the replies. I feel like its 99% there but I don't really know what I'm missing. It seems a little too plain to me and I think the solution is to do something more graphic with that upper left logo area. thoughts?

Whats the feeling on the size of the gallery images? And did you notice that you can flip through several images in each project or was that hard to find? I'm kind of leaning toward bigger images and something that makes it obvious that there's a series of images.

Anyway I do want to stick with the "one page" type site for several reasons:
1. I like that I can control the order of viewing my work. Similar to a printed book where you order the projects from page to page.
2. The most important part of the site is my work and a one page site means a viewer doesn't have to "figure out" the nav before seeing the work.
3. With a multipage site I'm always tempted to put more work into the shell and I feel like it runs the risk of overshadowing the work.

However, the one page is creating a load time issue, so I'm going to have to see what I can do about that. I'm worried that all the js is killing the load so I may end up needing to remove the popup contact section.
  • barsa
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Post 3+ Months Ago

there is no doubt is your site is very good.
but the site is very dark, on my computer.
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

graphixboy wrote:
2. The most important part of the site is my work and a one page site means a viewer doesn't have to "figure out" the nav before seeing the work.
3. With a multipage site I'm always tempted to put more work into the shell and I feel like it runs the risk of overshadowing the work.

I see your point. And I am seeing that this is a growing trend. But with the load issues, seems like you have to make a tough choice. And I think you do need some imagery in that corner. I like the dark design of it however. Great work!
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok after lots of comments about the "logo" area in the upper left and load time, I've made a few adjustments. Does this solve the balance and focus issues in the upper left?
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think you nailed it. Great work. Can I ask what you did to decrease the load time? Doesn't look like you changed anything visually.
  • tastysite
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I did get a bit board waiting for the slide shows to load not sure what can be done about it. I don't like the colour but I am colour blind so I do find it hard to see things that are close in colour like dark brown and light brown like you have used.
But I do like the Contact bit clever I like how it is done but you cant scroll down in the window maybe you could add a scroll bar to it but all in all its OK it is only a portfolio so it is not trying to draw in a customer it is showing off your skills and it does do that!
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

zaiah wrote:
I think you nailed it. Great work. Can I ask what you did to decrease the load time? Doesn't look like you changed anything visually.


Thanks Zaiah. I'm a lot happier with it (still a lot of little tweaks, but I think thats perpetual on your own site). I did several things for the load time and I don't know that it was any one thing or the combo.

I had several separate js files and combined them all into one js file so there were fewer http requests. I set the Flash galleries to load sequentially down the page instead of all at the same time. And I assume the thing that made the most difference was removing the "alternate gallery" images. I had it set so that users who don't have Flash would see the first image in the gallery (essentially it was loading them twice, once on the page and once in Flash). Right now there isn't any alternate content, but my goal is to put the images back as a list of links and then have flash parse the HTML and load the linked images.
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

[Zaiah's jaw drops slowly] and in an effort to sound really smart, he says "did you know they had the internet on computers now?" [ he continues to draw hand turkeys, locally the ink from the marker is not permanent ]
You lost me dude. But that's okay. I need to do more studying.
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

heh sorry. I suppose it doesn't make much sense if you can't see how everything was built in the first place :-) but don't be knocking the hand turkeys. I happen to think we should all draw those from time to time... Anyway I've been treating a new site as a learning experience as well. It was a good chance to brush up on all the new tricks, but IE 6 compatibility is still killing me.
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Oh no, 18 validation errors, why so ... I'm sure you can sort them out though ...

Anyway, yes I do like the design, although I'd enjoy it if you were to make the normal <p> text a little lighter, not a lot just maybe to a colour somewhere in between the headings and the current colour.

Something seems a little screwy with the part where the you can switch between images for a specific project, when I hover the first time, and take my mouse off, then it's fine, but after a few times it seems like it doesn't quite know what to do anymore ...

Yeah, further than that ... good job ...
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yeah those errors suck. Its getting mad about link url's inside the a tag because they include inline variables. For example: http://www.mydomain.com?ID=4&cat=8 They're valid url's but the validation parser is mad about the extra equals signs. I kind of decided I didn't care about those errors, but any ideas around the issue would be much appreciated.

[edit] - nevermind I read the spec a little closer and it was the unencoded & that was the issue.

Anyway thanks for the feedback.
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

nice one ...
  • BadMonkey
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Post 3+ Months Ago

O.k I'm a novice at html and CSS and I was absolutely astounded by the quality of your work. I think you nailed the browser loading and slide shows perfectly (very little loading time for both). The use of a transparent image (top left) to blend in with the background was so seamless that one would begin to think that it was part of the actual background itself (very clever).

The overall webpage was great in my opinion. It had all of the qualities I look for when I look at a webpage: not too overbearing or complicated, simple color scheme, smooth scrolling etc. I actually registered to this forum just so I could comment on this particular webpage. But I have a question...What is the style of that graphic to the top left? I see it everywhere but I just can't put my finger on what it actually is. Anyway good job and if you have the answer to that question (which I would graciously appreciate) send it to me in a PM.

(I seem to have gone off a bit of a tangent...)
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

BadMonkey wrote:
I actually registered to this forum just so I could comment on this particular webpage. But I have a question...What is the style of that graphic to the top left?

Well thanks. I'm glad you like the site, and I hope you stick around and join some more discussions. Its always nice to have other people's perspectives.

As for the style name, I'm going to call it "elegant grunge" although I don't believe I've actually ever heard a formal name. I'm not exactly sure who coins names like Dada or Constructivist in the digital age. Naming used to fall squarely in the realm of art critics but now that we're all critics... who knows.
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Can anyone performance test this for me? http://www.whenimnotsleeping.com I made some tweaks and while it might just be my connection it seems to be loading really slow.
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

LOADS FINE! Well I'm on a pretty fast connection. You should ask someone to test it with dial-up. lol. All jokes aside. It loads a lot faster than it did initially, after your first post. I do remember that much.
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Haha where does one find people with dial-up these days? I don't think I even want to know how long it takes @ 56k...

Anyway thanks for checking it, must just be my connection. Its seemed slow overall for the last few days but it appeared to coincide with several big changes and I wanted to be sure it wasn't actually my site.

Now onto my next task: Make it work in IE6 :-( The real question is should I really care.
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

NO YOU SHOULDN'T. IE should be banned! I have an IE5 and IE6 machine at home. Hey what about an animated favicon. Or logo. Or some twinkling stars? Maybe a reflective floor with twinkles and rainbow logo. LMAO!
  • graphixboy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Hey what about an animated favicon. Or logo. Or some twinkling stars? Maybe a reflective floor with twinkles and rainbow logo. LMAO!


don't tempt me... I'm sure I can find a way to fit that stuff in. Maybe some rainbow gradients while I'm at it.
  • expat
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Post 3+ Months Ago

nooooooooo too much color !!! :D
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Oh and I forgot. You need a flash animation of someone talking telling what your site is about and some techno music playing in the background.
  • jfrasier
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very nice site. Great cropping of the portfolio pieces, color scheme and the name is awsome. What a great concept, and so true in my case lol.

Nice code formatting as well, so nice to see it when you can, know what I mean?

In regards to ie6, it is less and less a problem. For the past couple years I think all new machines were being sold with IE7. I am sure that some of my sites are broken in IE6, I know of at least one. I just focus on IE7, FF and Safari.

But one of the best sites I have rated so far on the review.
  • expat
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Post 3+ Months Ago

is that how people want their pages to be like?? its like every wordpress blog where you have to scroll a mile and like every networking page like myspace where you have to scroll and they seem to put everything on the one page

some pagination would be nice
  • zaiah
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Post 3+ Months Ago

expat wrote:
is that how people want their pages to be like?? its like every wordpress blog where you have to scroll a mile and like every networking page like myspace where you have to scroll and they seem to put everything on the one page

some pagination would be nice


I think this is what modern pages are looking these days. Clear, concise, and well organized. Dude why do I keep falling for this? You are joking again right?
  • expat
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Post 3+ Months Ago

zaiah wrote:
expat wrote:
is that how people want their pages to be like?? its like every wordpress blog where you have to scroll a mile and like every networking page like myspace where you have to scroll and they seem to put everything on the one page

some pagination would be nice


I think this is what modern pages are looking these days. Clear, concise, and well organized. Dude why do I keep falling for this? You are joking again right?


well each to his own; but dark and sullen are hardly what google, yahoo, youtube etc use ;)
  • expat
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Post 3+ Months Ago

btw, that site will never load on a wireless connection; mine might just LOL ;)
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

expat wrote:
btw, that site will never load on a wireless connection; mine might just LOL ;)

I have a wireless connection ... it's at 128kbps ... that's the closest you're going to get to dial up ... it loads fine (in comparison to other sites) ... but do remember I have FlashBlock ...

Why will it never load on a wireless connection?

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