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seeking feedback on preliminary design

  • # July 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    I’m doing another small website for a member of my art league. He referred me to a site he likes because everything but the images are downplayed a lot, making the photos the stars of the site. I agree with that approach for art/photography sites.

    Anyway, he just gave me his sign-off on the basic page design, which you can see at http://louisrlacroix.com/. But I’m sure there’s plenty of fine-tuning to be done.

    For example, I’m having trouble getting the logo and lines in the middle of the footer vertically centered with the text at left and right. Couldn’t remember the trick to do that, so I’ve faked it for now with padding and/or margins. Also, that logo has a case of the “jaggies”, probably because I made it in Photoshop.

    My name and email at lower right is something I’ll probably remove. You seldom see the designer listed anywhere on a site, and I’m just not completely comfortable with it.

    For now, only the HOME page is available. I tried getting the Garage Doors sliding effect to work on the galleries page but ran into problems, so I’ll probably do something with transitions & transformations for CSS3-capable browsers.

    Any reactions, suggestions, etc, are appreciated.

    Thanks

    # July 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I don’t mean to offend you, but it looks a bit amateurish – like someone designing a business card for themselves. Most people try to fill the entire card using every corner and borders etc.

    I like the generous use of whitespace, however if you want the images to be the star of the show make them big – really big. I would put all the footer info in one corner and place the logo with that info or with name top left. The borders are fighting one another – you have a soft rounded border on the outside of the content and then the images have 4 borders (whether you intended that way or not, the dark bold black, its semi light shadow, heavy thick white, and thin delicate black again). Like the borders, you have opposing line types – thin and dotted; in different colors. I count 7 different blues. Normally using the same color in different hues and lightness works, but it doesn’t here. The fonts seem a little bland for a photography site.

    Again, I don’t mean to be condescending, just relaying my thoughts. Hopefully others will chime in as well.

    # July 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

    My main issue is the site is really, really slow to load.

    # July 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

    wolfcry911 -

    Thanks for the helpful response. I’m not offended – you pointed out some things that I really need to fix, and that’s exactly what I sought. Very good point about too many different blues – it’s an unorganized mix and needs some control. The same goes for the conflicting border and line types; I’ll see what I can do to make things more unified. I’ve already planned on trying a larger image (without causing a slow page load – see below), but also want to keep a lot of the whitespace. Your suggestions for the footer should give me more space to work within. Very helpful feedback.

    As for the fonts, I used a very basic set; maybe too basic, so I’ll look into that. On the other hand, since there will be relatively little text on the site, maybe it isn’t as critical as it would be on a text-heavy site. Still, it should look good. I guess the goal is to make what text there is more attractive text without drawing attention away from the images.

    Brightonmike -

    Strange about the slow loading you experienced. I haven’t noticed it at all, and since I’ll try using larger images this concerns me. I did try the Garage Door effect on the gallery page, and maybe the js and Modernizr for Garage Doors are slowing things down. I’ll probably replace the Garage Doors with some CSS3 stuff, so hopefully this will eliminate the slow loading you mentioned.

    Sincere thanks for the help, folks.

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