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  • # June 1, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Hello guys,

    after a complete slating on a website i submitted for review, i detached myself from it emotionally, (pah!) and have now had another go..

    let me know what you think :)

    http://www.meonvalleytravel.com/testing … fault.html
    (bear in mind its only one page right now! links will NOT work!)

    older versions – ones that god slated!
    http://www.meonvalleytravel.com/testing … fault.html
    http://www.meonvalleytravel.com/testing … fault.html

    There should be a PNG fix for IE6. Unfortunately cant test that myself, so would love to here if that works!

    Thanks guys
    Alex

    # June 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Bad things are still happening in IE6. If you want to be a web designer, you have to find a way to test in all browsers!

    While the site is overall a bit cleaner, the color scheme is… well, perhaps a step backwards. For help on color schemes, check out Kuler from Adobe, free swatches to help you mix and match colors: http://kuler.adobe.com/

    I still think there is much work to do to bring it out of 1995 and into 2009. If you really get stuck, check out some templates at http://themeforest.net/. Maybe purchase a couple (they’re dead cheap) and fiddle around with them. They are pretty great tools to learn from.

    # June 1, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Agreed with what The Doc said. I think visuals are a lot cleaner for sure, but the colors are just erratic and confusing. Beyond Doc’s suggestions, also see this link for some help on color matching:

    http://www.colorsontheweb.com/colorwizard.asp

    I also think you’re just trying too hard…simplicity rules when it comes to good design. I think it was Jeffery Zeldman who said "Great design should be invisible."

    I agree with Doc’s suggestion about the templates but if you are really bent on making a design yourself:

    The amount of text makes me want to click off the site immediately. What is really sad though, is I wouldn’t even know what the site is about…so that’s the worst of both worlds. I think you could scale back a ton of text on the entire page…only keep the absolute essentials to what the user might need to read within the few seconds that will be looking at your site. Use some proper usage of header tags and accentuate the things that are imperative to the design. What it seems like you are doing now is just filling the empty space with text…unfortunately, nobody wants to read it, not in the fast paced world of the internet now, and it’s visually atrocious to boot. There’s nothing wrong with also having some empty areas…not everything has to be filled in to ensure a good design. Proper use of empty/white space is as essential to the visuals as graphics and text are. If you want to show something on the homepage, show some of the work from the portfolio instead, like a section in the main content area that reads "Latest Clients" or something of the sort.

    I think you’ll have a lot more luck if you just tone down the design and stick to the basics. Use this site as a guide:

    http://www.alistapart.com/

    Notice their great use of whitespace, simple & noticable navigation, great use of columns, the wide open space for the layout (your design feels claustrophobic/strangled) etc..

    And my personal opinion is to ditch the rounded corners all together…the site doesn’t fit the soft subtle form of the rounded corners and I think would benefit from just straight cornered angles.

    # June 2, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Thanks for the feedback again. its pretty hard to not receive any positive feedback,but i guess there is no point living a lie! lol

    cheers

    # June 2, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Hey infocentre,

    I have to agree with Doc and Luminated. Look I am no design guru or anything great, however I can mention that looking at the design it is not visually pleasing. There’s a lack of images, and as Luminated said:

    Quote:
    The amount of text makes me want to click off the site immediately.

    can make you rather not look around and see what you have to offer. Personally I also dislike the glow and feather effects on the Header and content boxes.

    As to positive feedback: At least you trying and getting things done. For that I can say well done dude.
    Looks much better than my first couple designs…

    # June 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    nearly there with something positive ;)

    i took into consideration all that has been said. Im thiking Big, Bold and Simple.

    I looked at the templates (instead of buy them, i can make them pretty easily, right!) anyways, used one i liked as a base. Also got a nice colour scheme going. You will notice i have not gone for block colour in this example, althoug i may revert back to it soon enough.

    Please ignor ie6 for now, have not got too far really! The Top (light blue) gap will have a nice automatic slideshow or something to showcase imagery of pervious work and clients. And the little thumbnails are stollen (will replace them with my own soon!)

    (deep breath) what do you think peeps!?

    http://www.meonvalleytravel.com/testing … ult_2.html

    # June 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    A definite improvement! Already the colors look better. The site looks fresh and has a recognizable flow to it.

    We still have some problems of course:

    1) The nav bar in the top right is very difficult to read, the background is too bright to have white text on top.

    2) The right side bar needs to breathe a bit more. I’m not sure if it’s the white text or the lack of proper padding, but it all seems rather squished.

    Definitely a better start. Start adding in some more content and I’ll be able to provide you with more feedback!

    Rob
    # June 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    can I just say that is a million times better dude, well done!

    Ok some changes I made in firebug were…

    Code:
    p {
    font-size:1em;
    line-height:1.4em;
    margin:10px 0;
    }

    #right_column {
    border-width:0 0 0 1px;
    }

    .v_line {
    border-style:dashed;
    }

    h2#news {
    font-size:15px;
    font-style:normal;
    margin-top:20px;
    }

    Ok so I think that’s all I changed, its a start in possibly a better direction as well.

    Design wise – it would be nice to see some texture too, gradients are all well and good, but when they are so light I feel the need a little depth to them, sometimes a texture can add that.

    Also using <strong> and <em> instead of <b> and <i> is considered "good form" these days :)

    # June 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    By george, you got it! :mrgreen:

    Yeah, what Doc said about the rollovers is what I was going to say. The green is too harsh. Think soft and subtle…it doesn’t have to be bright and glaring for the user to know it’s a rollover, whether its on the navbar or just a regular link.

    Congrats man, I really feel you have a very strong starting point, excited to see more.

    # June 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    You guys just made me feel warm and fuzzy inside! lol

    But it is very nice to hear things like that, i am going to crack back on with those changes tomorrow at work.

    I did share your concerns for the nav bar, i think i may need to re-arrange some of the colour scheme. But its getting there.

    Updates tomorrow and i will post on this thread again! :)

    # June 3, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Ok, here we go then!

    Few changes and content added. As far as i can work out, pretty much perfect in ie6, 7 and firefox. aside from one issues in ie6 with the second bar (being nocked down.. can anyone help on this?) Another bug is in IE 6+7, the Services drop down is clashing somewhere with the quote box below. you will see all my z-index trying to fix, but no such luck!

    i have two versions, one with a slider, one with a fader. I think i proffer the fader, but would love feedbck on this.

    http://www.meonvalleytravel.com/testing … fault.html (with the slider)

    http://www.meonvalleytravel.com/testing … ult_1.html (with the fader)

    Still have not added any feels or textures.. could do with some advice or examples on this!

    pretty excited on this submission guys :) hope you like it!

    # July 16, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I think you should look into adding a few more colours, also your background! For the main content you have a pattern but then you only have a solid black colour. If you change those two main problems then you will be well on your way to getting a better site!

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