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What makes a good website?

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  #21  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:13 PM
de5m0mike de5m0mike is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shift studio View Post
quick comment Mike - without reviewing everything, that starburst really screams cheese!
--Shift Studio.
Thanks for the feedback. I do intend to redraw the starburst on monday when I have access to Illustrator. (I only have photoshop at home.) The one, I'm envisioning is much cooler than that, but I do have to warn you, It will be a "burst" of some sort. I know it's seems cheesy, but in a way, that's what makes it cool for me.

This is a work in progress so any more feedback is appreciated. I just updated the site again a couple min. ago so you should be able to get a better feel for the navigation now.

Also, how are the load times for you. It's a little slow on my end. Still working on fixing that.
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  #22  
Old 01-01-2010, 07:34 PM
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amica999 amica999 is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

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Originally Posted by Cuervo79 View Post
NO Garibaldi's right about the music, I normally surf while having music on or playinig a dvd on the other monitor, and I hate when another music just pops up, specially if I have the volume UP... So for me NO MUSIC on web pages
Haha, thought I was the only one. I mostly have a TV-window open while browsing and I do not like websites that pours out music: I closed them instantly and I hate intros as well
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  #23  
Old 01-01-2010, 08:17 PM
Andrew Lawrence Andrew Lawrence is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

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Originally Posted by markc78 View Post
what's the big deal about having music?... imo it can be cool if chosen well & so long as there's an option to turn it off then what's the prob!
The problem comes in because I'm often quickly opening numerous tabs and windows (as I imagine people researching different possible retouchers to hire are) and all of the sudden there's music blaring from one of them and now I have to go through all of the different tabs I've opened and scroll to the bottom of each page searching everywhere for a little speaker to turn it off.

Just because the music isn't cheesy wont mean it's going to work, people have different tastes in music. In the end, there's much more of a chance that you will actually drive many potential clients away because they are annoyed by the music than there is a possibility of having anyone say "Oh man let's hire him/her because that website was awesome!"

It can make people frustrated and "just turning it off" is making someone do extra work and that will annoy them. Keep it simple (but well designed and clean) and easy to navigate.

Haha, so here's how I usually operate:

-If your page has music, I will shut it down.
-If it has flashy lightning bolts and rainbows flying everywhere following my curser's every move slowing down my computer/browser, I will shut it down.
-If it only has small thumbnails and you have to click on one to see a larger view that is opened in a separate window that takes forever to load, then close that window to get back to the thumbnails to select another one, I will shut it down.
-If your site resizes my browser's window to take up my full screen, I WILL SHUT IT DOWN!



The less inconvenience the better.
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2010, 04:19 AM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

Just a quickie to say I'm in the no music camp. I'm always listening to my own... I also think that for photography, really understated sites are much cooler.
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2010, 11:45 AM
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shift studio shift studio is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by de5m0mike View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I do intend to redraw the starburst on monday when I have access to Illustrator. (I only have photoshop at home.) The one, I'm envisioning is much cooler than that, but I do have to warn you, It will be a "burst" of some sort. I know it's seems cheesy, but in a way, that's what makes it cool for me.
I can respect that... some people don't like my site (to much PS effects on buttons and logo I believe) - but I do, so it stayed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by de5m0mike View Post
This is a work in progress so any more feedback is appreciated. I just updated the site again a couple min. ago so you should be able to get a better feel for the navigation now.
The navigation is straight-forward, and everything is just a click away. I like that - good job! In my opinion, landing on a page of thumbnails is little too functional. I mean it works well to lead the user's hand in how the site works, but if it were me, I'd start with a large image that you like - they'll find the thumbnail/navigation page soon enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by de5m0mike View Post
Also, how are the load times for you. It's a little slow on my end. Still working on fixing that.
I emptied my cache and checked it out. It is slightly slow considering the images aren't large. That being said, its not annoying. I've seen sites a lot slower (mine included). I'm not an expert in speeding up websites at all, but maybe you could save you images a slightly lower quality? When you do 'save as web', try around 60% and see if it still looks good to you. You might be surprised.

Hope this helps.
--Shift Studio.
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  #26  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:02 AM
rehaylock rehaylock is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

Hi, Mike,

I'm a salaried webmaster so some of my comments may have validity.

First off, I do like the appearance of your site so far. In your shoes I'd check out other retouchers' sites to see how they've designed theirs if you haven't already. Perhaps try a light grey instead of the turquoise?

Navigation is critical to ease of use and access to what you're selling. The three click rule is spot on.

I'd discard the education CV details, and add telephone number and e-mail on every page.

Mouse over for before and after; removes the need to click.

Load speed seems fine on my relatively slow broadband; just make your web copies 72 dpi.

Is this some kind of template-driven service? If so, what I'm about to say might not be possible.

Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing, something of a black art, has to be attended to.

At the very least your home page should have some explanation of what your site's about, so that Google and the other search engines can understand and rank it. They do not "read" graphics, javascript, or anything other than straight text. So not only should there be a description of your service and its location (if relevant) but similar information should be contained within the <head> section (at the top of the html).

Go to http://www.glenalmondcollege.co.uk, right click in some of the white space, choose "view source".

Look at <meta name="keywords" content= & <meta name="description". The description section closely mirrors the welcome text on the home page. The keywords should be those words or phrases which someone might type into Google in order to find a supplier. So put yourself in the shoes of a potential client and work out what you might type in to find your business.

Also each page should have a self-explanatory <title>.

If you can add these to your site, do so.

Google likes to see links in and out, as well as regular home page activity (eg news items).

For more and better information check out http://www.amazon.com/Search-Optimiz.../dp/0470379731

Hope this helps, and I hope to find you when I google for "photo retouchers in ...."

Richard
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  #27  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:04 AM
rehaylock rehaylock is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

The second web link was truncated. Here it is again
<http://www.amazon.com/Search-Optimization-Reference-Dummies-Computers/dp/0470379731>

If it's still truncated, just google for "SEO for Dummies"

Richard
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  #28  
Old 01-20-2010, 07:44 AM
de5m0mike de5m0mike is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

I hesitated to revive this thread, and the argument over weather or not music belongs on a website, but I kind of wanted to show of my new site. I just redesigned it as a flash site. It's not done yet. I still have a bunch of work to upload but I think it's a ton better than my last site. What do you guys think?

BTW, this was the first time I ever designed a flash site.
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  #29  
Old 01-20-2010, 11:24 AM
CYAN JACK CYAN JACK is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

I think that there's simply no "one size fits all" advice for the design of a professional's website. Your website is not only an extension of yourself professionally but also a reflection of your industry and the niche you occupy in it. So for instance think about the difference between Dolce & Gabanna's website and that of JCPenny's. Both are perfectly successful websites based on the demographics they appeal to and the image they sell. What you need to consider is what your selling and what image best appeals to your prospective clients. Once you figure this out you'll be in a much better position to decide on logistics like music/layout/flow...whatever. I'd recommend looking at websites...lots and lots of websites that you see as part of your niche/market, this will give you some relevant perspective on what you can do.

Best of luck,
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  #30  
Old 01-20-2010, 05:29 PM
Andrew Lawrence Andrew Lawrence is offline
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Re: What makes a good website?

Quote:
Originally Posted by de5m0mike View Post
I hesitated to revive this thread, and the argument over weather or not music belongs on a website, but I kind of wanted to show of my new site. I just redesigned it as a flash site. It's not done yet. I still have a bunch of work to upload but I think it's a ton better than my last site. What do you guys think?

BTW, this was the first time I ever designed a flash site.
It looks really nice and clean, I like the double spread with one of the overall image and one of a close up.

Under your name at the top I'd like to see the word "retouching" capitalized and in the same font as your name, but still with the darker grey so it stands out.... right now the "retouching" word is lowercase and italic, that seems to downplay that it is retouching that you do. It's not as noticeable and confident, you want to brand it as all one package "MICHAEL DAVID GANNON RETOUCHING," not "MICHAEL DAVID GANNON......... retouching."

I'd also think about changing your menu fonts to something more inline with that font you used for your name. Having different fonts all over the place throws me off and makes me feel like there's something unorganized or messy about it that I can't quite put my finger on.

Also, maybe it's because I sit farther away from my monitor, but under contact where you have your email listed, the text of your email seems really small and compacted together, the font's a little harder to read, and the last thing you would want is someone misreading how to spell your email when trying to contact you. Again, I think a font change will fix this.

The arrows going to the next and previous photos could stand to be just a touch larger. Same with the menu text if you can fit it there on the side.

Let us know when you finally get it up!
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