My Website Needs You
# July 11, 2008 at 9:23 pm
So I have had this design for about 5 months now and seems to not be impressing people or most importantly prospective clients. I tried to get feedback from my friends but you know how that can go. So to the people who know nothing about me what do you think. I am thinking of redesigning it anyways but any advice off right would be helpful.
Also check out the blog page at http://www.carlosmosqueda.com/blog/ , for some reason the right column is not moving to the right had side of the page it wraps around the main column div and for the live of me I can not figure it out.
Carlos Mosqueda# July 12, 2008 at 1:58 am
First, I’d add more color! You’re a graphic designer AND a web designer. Why not add more color? (I’m a bit of a color freak and really, I think that you can have the whole damn rainbow on a page if done properly LOL) Why not add some pieces from your portfolio to your front page? Use maybe a partial screen shot from one or two of your favorite portfolio projects and add them in your index. I think that would also help in the color department.
Try fixing the navigation bar so that it expands the width of the entire area that you have set aside for it. It seems like there’s a gray line there where the entire nav should be extending, I think. Maybe add a left-padding to that UL so that the hover on "home" doesn’t hide the rounded corners.
I’d look into incorporating your blog into more of your site. Make your domain like your own little hub. If you can get a little creative with your use of WP’s loop, you can incorporate your portfolio and static pages into your blog, and have it all REALLY be interlinked as one cohesive unit. Maybe put your most recent posts on the front page? Make it easier to edit and access all of your pages, since it seems they’re all a little separate.
Lastly, this is more of a personal preference. I hate to see web designers say things like "update your browser" on their portfolio websites. There are a lot of reasons why, whereas if I explained them all I’d probably sound like a bitch, but primarily because as web devs…. we KNOW there are people that love some IE6 and are NOT giving it up. We KNOW there are people out there who would sooner close a website than be forced to open it up in another browser just because li’l ole Johnny and Jane web developer asks them to do so. It’s our job to make cross browser compliant sites, and asking visitors to do anything other than enjoy the content and maybe buy something comes off as pretentious, I think. Just think of the times when you’ve clicked to visit a flash website, and instead of getting some awesome site, you get a little white box telling you to install a plugin. I’d imagine the feeling is the same.
I know the post was kinda long, but I hope it helped in some form to have a different viewpoint. :)# July 12, 2008 at 5:08 am
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Totally agree with Erika and another point: you are using a lot of gradients. In my sight way to much. My advice is to get rid of the gradients in both navigation bars.
I know how hard it can be to make a redesign for yourself. My advice is to look at a lot of inspiration websites, like css-galleries and (very important :!: if you know the answer to this question you’ll probably get an idea for your design very fast) Who are you? If people come to your website, what do you want them to see? Why are you different then those other million designers? So again: who are you and what do you offer?
Good luck!# July 12, 2008 at 11:29 am
Thanks Erika and Edwin for the advice and the comments. I really appreciate them.
Anyone else have comments send them my way as well.
Do you happen to know about why my WP side bar navigation is wrapping around the main content div? and why the main content div is not fully extending to the bottom of the browser window even though they are set at 100%? Any help on that would be great as well.
Thanks# August 2, 2008 at 4:36 pm
I’ve always been a fan of dark websites, but I think the main problem is that your site is too dark. I’ve been known to use white text on black backgrounds, but I always have something else on the page to counteract the darkness (see http://www.boredwrestlingfan.com and http://www.thinksobrain.com for examples). I will also agree that the navigation bar should probably go across the whole area as opposed to cutting off about 2/3 of the way through. I’d definitely add some kind of lighter background behind the black content area for sure (such as how Chris has the photoshop texture background behind the main white section of CSS-Tricks), and if anything, add some color in the menus. I don’t think it needs a lot, just a couple tweaks here or there and it’ll look great.# August 6, 2008 at 8:54 pm
I like the look. I, too, am a big fan of dark web sites and this is a nice overall effect.
Some things I would change:
On your horizontal nav bar use a normal font weight and on mouseover just change the text color and not the background. If you want to change the background then be sure to obviously have an edge on the left and right of each list item in the inactive state. As it is now, the change in color catches the user by surprise.
On the vertical nav bar, are the listed items really all "Portfolio Links"? You might want to consider just dropping this from your design.
Please, please, please put a horizontal scroll bar in your default site CSS file so all your pages have the scroll bar whther they need it or not! Jumping around is totally annoying.
The mouseover on the vertical nav bar works for the background change – largely because the list items are well delineated, but going from a normal to a bold style is a no-no in my book. Its too jumpy and clunky looking. Try it without the bold and I think you’ll be pleased.
On your /index.html the list should be styled as a list (beginning with ‘Corporate identity packages,’ etc.)
The third person content is bothersome. Either say ‘We do this or that’ or ‘Carlos Mosqueda Design will do this or do this…’ and, as a general rule, keep it short and simple (e.g. ‘solutions by the use of:’ s/b ‘solutions using:’)
Remove the dotted border (Firefox) around the list items in your nav bars.
The yellow links in the text do not show up well mixed in with the white.
If you’re a designer and this is your home page then the footer ‘Site designed by Carlos Mosqueda’ is redundant. Make it a copyright symbol and then your company name. The users will pretty much figure you did the design work.
That’s a lot! Please don’t take it the wrong way. I think you have a strong basic design – and I really like your work!
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