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  #1  
Old 12-30-2003, 03:55 PM
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copperman copperman is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: New Jersey
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Feedback please

I have put together a draft of a site I created for photo restoration. I would like your feedback. Thanks.

http://photomajik.homestead.com

Thanks again. I learn new things here everyday.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2003, 07:00 PM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arizona
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Looks like you're off to a good start. Pages are clean looking and easy to navigate. Not overdone, and without superfluous text.
A couple of things to critique (Just my personal taste):
The floating green squares are sort of distracting, and don't seem to serve a purpose.
The slide frames on your pricing page doesn't make sense to me. I would expect to see the photos in traditional frames, no frames, but not slides.
Same for the "About Us" page. Also the photo is blurry, off color, and looks like there's some red eye. I would expect a perfect image.
The image on the main page, of the nurse, has lost the detail in the highlights and they are blown out.
Most of the samples are color corrections, rather than restorations.
As I stated earlier, these are only my impressions.
Vikki
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2003, 09:01 PM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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Location: northwest Indiana, about 45 minutes from Chicago, IL
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I agree with Vikki's assessment. I like the clean look of the site, but I think even the uninitiated might see the photo of the nurse, and notice the loss of detail in the facial highlights, and the fact that the uniform is very badly blown out. Just to add a couple of other things ... I think the wedding photo with the people removed would be much improved if you cropped it into a portrait mode. Landscape leaves too much that doesn't do anything for the photo as a whole.

One other thing I noticed is that you have three price categories, but nothing to give the public a clue as to what is involved in minor, intermediate, or advanced work.

I do like the fact that you offer a satisfaction guarantee, but I don't remember seeing anything about how payment is expected(although I'm not saying it wasn't there).

This is nothing but an honest opinion. There are many others doing this sort of thing, and if you want to make it, you have to offer first class work (then you can raise your prices ). Good luck.

Ed
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2003, 10:16 AM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Location: Denver, CO
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Copperman, from a web design POV (and not commenting on the quality of the images or content), there are some "beginner" issues that could be resolved for a more accessible and pleaseing site for your visitors. Please note, I'm not trying to flame you, but I'm being honest and direct about the site's layout and structure. So in no particular order...

1) always use ALT tags behind your images. None of your images have ALT tags.

2) never use a "counter". It does not look professional, nor is it accurate. A "counter" only shows how many times that image has been loaded not how many visitors you've had. Plus if someone revisits/refreshes your page the counter changes. The only accurate way to measure your traffic and visitors (remember: a "hit" is not the same as a visitor. (a page with 10 images will result in at least 11 hits for one visitor viewing the page) is to use a traffic analysis package... an example is WebTrends.

And in addition - it looks even worse when you have more than one counter lthroughout the site like you have .

3) the NAPP logo has a white background that overlaps your gradient background giving an unprofessional look/feel. I.e., if the designer doesn't know that looks really bad seeing the "white box", how can I trust him/her to do a good job on my photos?

4) page sizes... my resolution is 1024x768 - why does your Policies, Pricing, and 2nd Gallery pages still have vertical scrollbars when your text stops halfway down my screen? It's just another nagging item that may subconsciously suggest to the viewer that the owner of the site doesn't pay attention to details which will then possibly relate to a lack of confidence from the viewer in the site's owner to pay attention to detail in the job submitted to them.

5) and speaking of the Gallery section - why do you have a second page for just one image? It could just as easily stay on the "gallery" page and not force the end user to click through hoops just to see one more image.

6) an email addy from "optonline.net?" A site on "homestead?" Get your own domain and host it with a reliable provider. "Homestead" says "hey, I'm too cheap to shell out $20 a month or less to get my site hosted." If you can't afford a "real" place to host your site, it gives the feeling to your end user that either you'll cut as many corners as possible in your work and possibly produce shoddy work. "Optonline.net" is fairly notorious for hosting spammers (in fact I've had to siteban the entire domain on one of my mail servers from spam from them). If I've had to siteban them, you can rest assured that some people have reported them to various RBLs (realtime blackhole lists). (an RBL is a subscription service that many ISPs and business subscribe to. Domains/IPs that are listed with the RBLs effectively have all mail sent to/received from these domains dropped in a black hole and are never delivered)

Honestly, from a business perspective, having your own domain name for your business/site and using an email address from your own domain is a must. It's just an extra bit of advertising for you in random settings when you give out an email address to people. The cost of webhosting, etc, is something that you must consider part of your operating budget costsAlso, don't use your "real" address on your site as spammers harvest addresses from websites and sell around. Use an address like "sales@mydomain.com" or "inquiries@..." That way spam doesn't fill up your mailbox. Setting up your email app to monitor multiple mailboxes is quite easy, so don't let that be a deterrent. Now as of my rambling here, photomajik.com is already taken by someone... but there are always other domain types you could use. If you're dead-set on a .com address, photo-majik.com is not taken. Go out to dotster.com (or your Registrar of choice) and buy it today!

7) you've set your text in sizes that are either defined as absolute pixel values or points. This is not good because you don't know what resolution your visitors are using nor how good their eyesight may be. If they try to use their browsers ability to increase (or decrease if they feel it's too large) text size with text defined as px or pt values nothing will happen. (granted, there are accessibilty options in most browsers that can override these settings, but most people don't even know they're there let alone know how to implement the overrides) Set your text in percentages, ems, or other "relative" sizes. These will adjust based upon the viewers screen size. NOTE: it is acceptible form to fix text sizes in menuing systems so they do not adjust when someone resizes their text - just set your menu text in a unique CSS style class.

Again, please take all this as constructive comments - in no way am I trying to make a personal attack. The better looking your site is/the more functional it is, the better impression you'll give a potential customer. If you feel that such redesigns, etc, are too daunting/too much hassle then you can always hire a professional to do the job (just like someone is coming to you for retouching work). It is certainly not something to feel bad about, not doing your own site (if you choose to go that route, and I'm not saying you should). It's like, sure I know how to use a saw, a hammer, a screwdriver, but I wouldn't think of doing my own construction work on my house.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2003, 10:35 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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I think it's important for everyone to realize that nobody on this site offers criticism that is not meant to be constructive. When people ask for opinions, they usually get honest responses. If the response is not honest, it will be an attempt to make people feel good about themselves by telling them everything is great. But, unfortunately, that's not the way for people to learn. This is a great site for learning, but everyone has to remember that we all start out with much to be learned. And if you're like me, you'll realize that the more you learn, the less you know.

Ed
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2003, 05:33 PM
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copperman copperman is offline
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Many thanks to all

Well I asked for feedback and I got it. Thanks to everyone for your input. I especially need to tighten things up a bit from the html and web side of things. I plan on buying a new computer in the near future and in doing so will also get a "real" website.

I put this together in an effort to get a feel for what things would look like and how things should be arranged.

I'll be back.........
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2003, 10:13 PM
Hunter Hunter is offline
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Copperman, and whomever else might be interested, the following links may be of interest to you re: webdesign... some info is geared more towards graphic designers than photographers and retouchers, but a lot of the info is relevant. Also, take a look at the site designs. Some you'll like, some you'll hate - either way it gets your brain thinking ... what do you like about them? What doesn't work for you? Why doesn't it work? Are there similar issues you'll need to address on your own site, and if so, how would you resolve said issues? Anyway, the sites below are a combo of informational, examples of designer's/artists sites (and retouching is an art), technical, etc. By no means is this a comprehensive list... just a quick sampling.

www.mishimaphotography.com
http://www.blueblend.com/graphics/co...oration_I.html
www.artofselfpromotion.com
www.graphics.com
www.selfpromotiononline.com
www.freelanceworkshops.com
www.1designsource.com
www.webmonkey.com (more for technical stuff)
www.webreference.com (more for technical stuff)
www.coolhomepages.com (more for browsing to see what people have done; potentially for inspiration)
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