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October 9, 2014 at 12:16 am #185829
Ok. I’m fresh out of school, and I have my own site for freelance work. Click through rate is high, but conversion rate is horrible. I realize that part of that stems from a weak portfolio page, but I’m beginning to wonder if the design itself just plain sucks. I was going for a minimalist sort of design, but now I’m wondering if I’ve underdone it and should scrap and completely re-design.
I’m asking for brutal honesty here, so please don’t hold back. Critique and suggestions are badly needed. Thanks!October 9, 2014 at 1:23 am #185831Steven WatsonParticipant
I will give you my own opinion, take from it what you want, as it is your website, remember that everyone has different preferences :)
#1) Background: I’m not really digging the noise effect on the background, maybe a solid colour would suffice, preferably a bright colour, or even try looking up some background patterns from Subtle Patterns. It’s a great resource that I have used many times in the past for my designs.
#2) I don’t really ‘get’ the logo, I get the feeling that I am visiting a coffee shop website. The cup of coffee is quite blurry like it has been taken from Clip Art or something similar to which you have added a fancy font to finish it.
I see you have a black ‘p’ and an orange ‘d’ that overlap in your favicon, it’s usually best to keep these things consistent, maybe you could work from that logo and make something more eye-catching for the end user.
#3) I like the navigation and also the fact that the website is responsive, I don’t really like how the page links turn bright green once you have visited a page. It doesn’t really go well with the royal blue colour underneath, again, maybe try working with some different colours, some that look similar to your logo colour(s) to keep it consistent.
#4) Regarding the images on your website, they seem quite out-dated to me, especially this day in age where designers are using font-icons, SVG’s and much more, these produce higher quality designs IMO.
#5) I notice that you use the zooming effect quite often throughout the website, particularly on the contact page with the mini-map, however once you have hovered over the map, it becomes out of focus.
#6) Lastly, I notice that your website is static, however I could be wrong, as you have a portfolio page, I would assume that you would be updating the content quite often with your latest projects, it may me best to look into some sort of CMS such as WordPress, Kirby, Joomla etc.
Overall, I think you have a solid foundation to work from, look around for local freelance web designer/front end developer websites for some inspiration and ideas.
I hope I have helped man, I wish you all the best.October 9, 2014 at 6:13 am #185876
@ Steven Thank you, Steven. You pretty much nailed all of my suspicions. I hadn’t thought about the images, but yeah, font icons and SVG’s would make a tremendous difference. As far as the logo, I had recently changed it from one that looked great but I was afraid it was too simplistic. I’ll definitely change it back.
Everything you’ve pointed out is an easy fix. I made that background so that it would give the site somewhat of a flat design effect, but you’re the second person to say they didn’t like it, so I’ll go for something different. As far as a CMS, I’ve avoided that because I’m not that knowledgeable in that area, and also, I like the control I have with a semantic, hand coded site. I’ll give it some thought though. All in all, you’ve been tremendously helpful, and I really appreciate that. Thank you!October 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm #185930JimmyParticipant
I agree with everyone on including a footer. I would also consider re-formatting your resume page? I cant put a finger on it but it seems a bit tough to follow at a glance. Perhaps have the Dates next to the Company, Location. Also I would consider increasing the font size as this might help as well.
Not to get to nit-picky but under honors, you should put where and what year you were on the Dean’s List.
Cheers!October 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm #185934
Thanks so much for the input guys. I’m taking all suggestions into consideration, and I’m implementing changes right now. At this point, I’ve put the original logo back until I can create something more palatable, and I’ve done away with the visited link color. There’s a lot more to do, but I love your suggestions and I’ll make major changes over the next few days. Keep the ideas coming, and I’ll update you on my progress. Thanks again.
DaveOctober 15, 2014 at 10:52 am #186322Chris HouseParticipant
I’m a budding web designer myself and am by no means an expert. With that said, here are the things that I would do differently if this was my site.
- Everything is just kind of floating around without any structure. Consider tightening up the design by sectioning things off more clearly. Maybe try a max-width for the (centered) main content.
Similarly, fix the huge dead space at the top center of the page. Even when I adjust my browser window down to 1200px the big gap is distracting.
Use a bigger, clearer font for your content text, and keep it consistent across the site. Open Sans is usually a safe bet (you should declare a specific font then use sans-serif as a fallback. Currently you’re just declaring sans-serif).
Don’t use <br> tags for formatting. If you need more space between <h> tags, use CSS.
The home page images look very 1990s and clip art-y. Look for better images. And they need a context in which to live – for instance the cloud/tree image is just there without much rhyme or reason.
There’s no need for your images and logo to fade in. I can see the temptation to do it (for “sleekness” or whatever), but here it’s not working for you. For one thing they fade too slowly. Also, since some elements do it and some don’t, it feels awkward.
Your menu looks good, but the font color on hover shouldn’t be bright blue. Maybe a dark grey would work better?
When I adjust my window down to 715px, the menu text begins spilling out of the menu before the mobile version kicks in.
Hopefully this was helpful!October 18, 2014 at 8:55 am #186526misterjuliParticipant
I see the header menu didn’t work well for the responsive media. The container width of content should not spread to a whole desktop screen. you need to reduce it some pixes on css of course it’ll be nice. I think will be great if you see any examples for the modern web designs. Use frameworks it will help you, I suppose.
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