SITE REVIEW: www.gobendy.com

  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi!

My first site!

It's going to host all my music! Some content is still absent.

http://www.gobendy.com

Let me know if you get any problems with the navigation.
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So far I like the site. I think it is well designed. The cartoon picture of the snowboard chick is nice. Did you design that graphic?

I think you did a good job with the flash. Many sites who use flash do not use it correctly, which end up making their site look "tacky". I think you did a great job of making the site professional looking instead.

Your pages seem to fit together well, even though each page has a different color scheme with your flash design. It still works for me.

Just thought I would point out that on your music page the copyright mark in the bottom left corner of the flash page is done slightly different than the rest of that pages. Nothing really important, but I just noticed that this one has a grey background while the rest of them just go over the main background for that particular flash page.

Overall your site doesn't really seem to have much content and where you do have content its all comprised in the Flash design which search engines from what I know will not be able to index. I am not sure if search engine traffic is going to be important to you, but the way it is now there is really nothing on your pages that will be indexed. Meta tags will not really do much for you. Maybe think about making a non flash version of your site where all the content is indexable (not sure if that is a word).
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I haven't reviewed a site in awhile...but I thought I'd do this one since it was sorta "prominent" for a bit...

Overall I like the site.

The info page I'm going to assume is under construction....my first thought was I'd like to know "who Bendy is". Then the part of the legal disclaimer had me curious...but obviously nothing there. (I'm just assuming that is forth-coming.)

The thing I was wondering how you were going to handle is the Music page. I'm on Win98se at the moment and the Flash is fine, but I use Windows Media Player for MP3 files and get prompted for a download when I click your file links. (I also have Real One -- which I would have assumed would have played them -- WM Player did it just fine...which is what I prefer) -- but I'm curious about what you are going to do with the Lyrics and Tracks sections on your Flash.

My final thought echoes BWM's...about content and search engines. Since Flash isn't going to give the engines much to go on, you may want to consider adding additional meta tags to sorta "help them along".

Overall I like the site -- and unlike some of today's contemporary music, I even like the tunes.
  • Nucleo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i like the site, i think you have done a good job with the design, it all blends in well.
when i clicked on one of your music, it gave me the option to download, when i did i realised it was the full song, which makes no sense because i think you are planning on selling the album?. best bet is to make a html page and insert consoles into them to play the music. because if people can download them, they will not want to buy them ;)
  • Nego
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Post 3+ Months Ago

For the most part, I like it. I think u will prolly progress more on that site as u learn more about flash. I dont really like the looseleaf backround (maybey its cuz Ive been doing hours apon hours of homework on it), I think u could make a backround that goes better with that layout.
  • SeanT
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well if this is your first site than you did a great job! The main page is nice and fresh, and I like the little puzzle layout you have. Just get more content going and you'll be all set :P
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very helpful feedback. You are right that the content is the next important task (and probably the most difficult)

I will be creating a non-flash version at the same time as I do the content.

I did do the cartoons myself. I didn't realise that I could before starting it in flash so I was very suprised with the result! (though it did take me quite a while.

What I did was did a rough sketch on paper, scan it in, and then import the bitmap into flash. You import the bitmap into one layer and then draw over it (with your mouse) on another layer. You can then delete the bitmap and tidy up your drawing by dragging points around.

For the animation, I did the above and drew on multiple layers. When I drew with the mouse I tried to be less accurate so that you get the wobble effect by showing 2 or 3 images at a time. There are 7 images in all for each animation.

I think I will shorten the length of the MP3s so that a) there is quicker download, b) don't get the whole track, and c) it doesn't take up loads of space on my webserver. I do still want to do a new track each week though, to make people come back...

I hope to get much more content up this week...

Thanks for your help

Any additional comments greatly appreciated.

Bendy
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi folks,
I've been messing around with MX 2004 today for the first time. It's a lot nicer (but has crashed on me twice though)

I have made some changes to my site and would apreciate some feedback (you may need to do a shift-refresh if you have seen it before).

Changes:
Background graphics on "Info", "Shop" and "Pictures"
Various selectable blogs on "info"
Picture view on "Pictures" (I'm sure you'll notice that I nicked some of that from the MX samples)
Illuminating green, for the hover, on buttons throughout

Also, I have locked the scroll bar in the HTML...

What do you think?

Bendy
--
http://www.gobendy.com
  • altyfc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the torn paper effect but I'm less keen on the animation. That doesn't really add anything, I don't think. Also, not sure how good an idea it is to turn off the vertical scroll bar. Because I have the Google and Alexa toolbars, my screen set to 800x600, and large IE buttons, I could only just see the top of the jigsaw pieces in the bottom right. An inexperienced internet user wouldn't know how to get around this and so you would be alientating some of your visitors.

Aaron
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yep,
You're right about the scroll bars.
I'm going to get that changed as quick as I can.
  • wiredpcs
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmm i like the idea i really do and i love the chick but what about maybe a diffrent background colour?
Of the top of my head i cant really suggest a colour im jst not too keen on the black. not saying it dosent go just it dosent work for me personaly. People might feel differently :)
  • dlankes
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I liked the idea of the cartoon drawn on the notebook paper, but I think that it takes away from the effort put in on the flash. Did you draw the images yourself or was that done by someone else. Great site and interesting music.
  • Newnewbie
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I like the scrollbars and the colors. I don't like that adverting up on top. Can you get rid of that??
  • zijer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

very good work for start
ur arrow keys ( news ) make some space between them. in the end of the page i see a big empty space but when i select that area i found hidden text ... black text like ur news. fix it , may be overflow or may be u forgot to delete that
totaly good work and nice idea . i like this idea for ur flash movie
  • T6D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Overall a very nice site, how much did MX 2004 cost you and is the difference substantial? The sites layout is good and the colours work well however you will find that in site building it runs from, Amaetur - HTML, Novice - Flash and HTML, Advanced - DYNAMIC, ASP, php etc accompanied with mostly graphics and flash, on slower connections flash takes some time to load and also requires a plugin.

Theo - http://www.t6d.com
  • mustardplaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think the site is great and interesting enough to stay and have a look. Just enough Animation to keep you looking but not distract. And as the first site I must say good job. It all works well together the animation from when you rollover buy and pics and the such distracts from the pictures page as it will come in over the image and then rest ontop. Seems a bit out of place.

Good luck :)
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very helpful, thank you all!

BUT...

What is it lacking?

What does it need?

What is missing?

(I keep thinking something really important is missing but what is it?)
  • Amzia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

really like the site.

Loaded fast and easy to navigate.

The graphics were very creative as well.
However the color scheme could be worked on a little.
Good job overall tho :D
  • Douggz
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah its cool but the advert at the top is annoying can u change that please

Really like it though
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Douggz,
No adverts on my site... Never will be. I think you made a mistake.
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Amzia,
"Colour Scheme could be worked on"

Worked on how?

Be a bit more specific...

Too bright?
Too Pale?
Not matching?
Sickly?

What?

Thanks
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi fellow reviewers,
I have changed (and hopefully improved) my pictures section.

It now starts at the most recent and works backwards.

I have arranged it so that the pics and text are loaded into flash dynamically and I will only need to update the images and test file to add new content.

Design-wise, I think this page is nearly done

http://www.gobendy.com/gallery/gallery.htm

Do you agree?
If not what does it need?
  • FroSt
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Post 3+ Months Ago

WoW,

Very Funn Design, Fast Load and everything..

What can I say.. Everything is said :P

Good Job :!:
  • willstein
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Post 3+ Months Ago

nice site. nice music.

seem's you are familiar with flash.
have you thought about playing your music from your .swf instead of having to open up windows media player?
Not as a background, but when the user clicks play, it plays, and they can click stop as well.


if you've thought of it, but prefer having the musix open up in window's media player, cool. but if you need help setting it up in flash, I can assist if you'd like.

nice site, I enjoyed it.
  • massfrequency
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Very nice site... design wise I can't think of any suggestions :)

Scripting & Layout Wise:
Integrate the HTML file into the MX file, if you're using flash you might as well try and integrate it all into one MX file, allowing surfers to surf all on the same page.

Forum:
What happened? Your site was soooo good but then the forum id just in need of a major face lift...
  • massfrequency
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Post 3+ Months Ago

accidental double post... delete me!
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

willstein wrote:
nice site. nice music.

have you thought about playing your music from your .swf instead of having to open up windows media player?
Not as a background, but when the user clicks play, it plays, and they can click stop as well.


if you've thought of it, but prefer having the musix open up in window's media player, cool. but if you need help setting it up in flash, I can assist if you'd like.



Yeah, I had some difficulty with the sound. It can be tricky to get a balance between compatability and usability. Depending on the users OS and installed player, the files will play differently. I am currently using *.m3u files which will play the MP3 buffered in the users player (though this happens differently depending on the player, sometimes it has to download the whole thing)

I want to get to the situation where the file streams on most systems but I can update the files without changing the *.swf. Problem with playing in the *.swf is that the file can get cached and not updated when I change the content.

Any ideas greatfully received!
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

massfrequency wrote:

Scripting & Layout Wise:
Integrate the HTML file into the MX file, if you're using flash you might as well try and integrate it all into one MX file, allowing surfers to surf all on the same page.

Forum:
What happened? Your site was soooo good but then the forum id just in need of a major face lift...


massfrequency,
Not sure what you meant by the MX/HTML integration. What I would like to do is have the HTML text available for non flash users and display it in MX for the flash users.

Though my graphic design is coming along, my MX coding is a bit lame. I couldn't work out a model for getting this smoother. Any ideas?

Also, what do you think I should change on the discussion forum, the colours?
  • willstein
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, what you could do is include the sound file in your flash library, and play it from the .swf

There are NO compatibility issues, only compatibility issue is flash itself.
Now the downside is that it's gonna take a while to load with such long songs.
What you can do is have a .swf with simple code to play the song. Upload that to the server seperately, and then on the button, load the new movie in a new window. New .swf means accurate loading bar.

I've used this method lots before and it works great.
If you wan't help I can give you step by step instructions how to do it, or you can just give me the data, and I'll set it up for you.
  • Bendy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

willstein wrote:
Well, what you could do is include the sound file in your flash library, and play it from the .swf

There are NO compatibility issues, only compatibility issue is flash itself.
Now the downside is that it's gonna take a while to load with such long songs.
What you can do is have a .swf with simple code to play the song. Upload that to the server seperately, and then on the button, load the new movie in a new window. New .swf means accurate loading bar.

I've used this method lots before and it works great.
If you wan't help I can give you step by step instructions how to do it, or you can just give me the data, and I'll set it up for you.


I have thought about this issue a few times. At the end of the day, the problem is that the mp3s are about 8 megs. There's no getting away from that.

So, what I think I am going to do, is not put the whole song on there on the sounds page (just a sample for each song on the album, may be 10 seconds?) and have a full song on the front page that opens in a separate streaming window if poss (Maybe a little flast app as you suggest?)

Anyway, once the files are smaller this will certainly cut down the problem.

Thanks for your help and suggestions. I will have a go at it and let you know if I get stuck.

Many thanks
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Post 3+ Months Ago

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