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Redesign – feedback requested

  • # March 17, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I’m relatively inexperienced, but I just redesigned a site for a member of my local Art League and would welcome feedback.

    caroltaylorwatercolors.com

    A couple of disclaimers:

    - This site is still a “work-in-progress”.
    - I realize that I have a bad habit of leaving my CSS cluttered with disorganized changes and unused rules.

    OK – with that said, how does it look & perform? Any suggestions?

    Also, she’d like her HOME page to cycle through a few images of her art. These images are of different sizes and orientations. Any suggestions as to the easiest way to implement something like this (preferably without JQuery, since I’ve not yet used that)?

    Thanks

    # March 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Hello

    If you want to manipulate DOM objects you will have to use javascript.

    The site functions fine. I believe it needs a bit of work in the design dept., though. The brown isn’t too appealing to me. I’m a Design Nazi and have been designing for a decade so I am very particular. Maybe it’s fine for your needs, though. :)

    Good luck

    # March 17, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I like the design. I think it has a clean look and the brown/white combo makes the images really stand out. It didn’t take too long to load, especially since it had nice large images on it.

    That said….I would make a few changes.

    -Lighten the drop shadow on the header so that it stands out – probably a lighter version of the orange/yellow color used on the roll overs
    -Change the title of “new work” to something more catchy….I really don’t know why that doesn’t appeal to me…
    -Change the colors on the header to a light brown or the orange/yellow on the rollovers so they stand out more
    -Change the picture of Carol…it looks stretched or out of focus

    These are the only suggestions I could make. Really a great site overall.
    -

    # March 17, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I might add some sort of CMS so your client doesn’t have to come back to you to update the website ;)

    # March 18, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Change the follow me on Facebook link to a small image of the facebook logo that links to her page.
    Consider making the contact button go to an actual page (rather than direct link to mailto) that gives her name and her e-mail separate, and make her name the mailto: link. Most of the time when someone clicks a mailto link it opens a default mail system people rarely use, so its useful to show the actual address for people to copy/paste.
    The brown color background on the body isn’t bad on 1024 resolution as not much is seen, but on my 1440 (14in macbook) its a bit much and conflicts with the nice brown watercolor background image. Consider maybe a different dark color like navy.

    # March 18, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Thanks folks, for the great feedback. I appreciate it and it really helps.

    soap: The client really likes the brown, so we’ll probably stick with it. I may work on it a bit, as suggested below.

    4bco: Good idea about the shadow on the main title. As for the colors, I tried to stick with mostly neutrals because the paintings have such vivid appealing colors and I didn’t want to compete with them. Still, maybe the white is too blah – I like the idea of the yellow-orange rollover color. “New Work” was the client’s choice, but I’ll suggest something better. The artist photo isn’t stretched, although I agree it’s a little soft. But she really likes this photo, so we’ll keep using it, but maybe I can sharpen it a bit.

    Speedgun: I’d consider a CMS, but Carol has agreed to an inexpensive annual maintenance/update contract that should cover a few updates a year.

    DogsGhost: Great idea about the Facebook logo. And I agree 100% about making Contact Me into a separate page. Planned to do that, but because we’ve already burned most of the hours in the maintenance contract, I postponed that. But it shouldn’t take much to make it happen, so that’ll be next. I appreciate your thoughts on the background color on a higher-res screen; not sure I like the idea of navy blue, but I’ll see if I can find another way to make it less distracting.

    I sure enjoyed trying out some CSS3 stuff; still have a few more visual enhancements in mind. In any event, I think the site is a great improvement over her previous design (I’ll try to dig up a screenshot of that.) And fortunately, Carol loves it and has even given me a referral that should gain me another client.

    Thanks again, all – you’ve given me some good suggestions.

    # March 18, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Well if the client is willing to waste her money… :P
    Then go for it.

    # March 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Well, I don’t thinks its a waste of money if its something the client doesn’t have time nor wants to do themselves….

    # March 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    It’s not a waste of money to Carol: she doesn’t have the time or interest to make updates herself. I have another client who feels the same – she said “I can’t be bothered with all that! I’d rather pay you to handle everything.”

    BTW, I did find the the old version of Carol’s website, which I saved in a staging area on one of my sites: here. It really needed to be upgraded.

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