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design2 05-08-2004 02:41 AM

website critique
 
hey.
im a relatively new mac user and have found macs really simple and easy to use. i am doing a web design diploma at the moment and currently in the fireworks module making a small 5 page site totally in fireworks.
i tried to do this myself and have uploaded it to;

http://members.optusnet.com.au/lorigan/test2/

any comments on the interace, code, content, design or suggestions
are welcome.

i was wondering if theres an easier way to control the code that fireworks exports, for example it automatically makes slices of the background as images instead of making them blank and using a background html tag.
sorry for making a new thread. i wasnt sure where to post this. thanks

muso 05-08-2004 04:41 AM

Welcome to the forums! Nice to see someone else from New Zealand here :)

Your website:
  • The navigation looks cool, although as a general rule it's a bad thing to have to mouse over every link to see where it goes.
  • I'm not an expert in fireworks, but you should just be able to set the canvas colour to stop it having a blue image (you'd then have to remove any colouring you've set in the text boxes). If you already have done that, don't worry but see next point:
  • You should avoid having the whole page as a series of images. The bits where you have text should be plain html (when you slice it in fireworks, choose 'html slice'). Unfortunately, you'll have to export using tables if you want an easy way of editing the text in a text editor. If you know css, then do select the option of exporting with it and position your text manually.
  • Don't have the links open in a new window - users can do that manually if they want a new window open. Instead, have a small, common navigation bar/image on every page.

I hope that wasn't too much!

I've moved the thread to the web design/internet forum - if you can't see the forum while you're on the main page, you can click the two red arrows that point down to expand the 'general discussions' group of forums. Clicking it again will minimise it.

TylerMoney 05-08-2004 05:55 AM

Not too shabby

-the colours could use a bit of work. the blue seems overwhelming at times. Also, the opening of a new page for links within your own website is not good. You should only do that when you link to another website....so that someone doesn't leave yours....it's pretty annoying when every link you go to on a site opens up a new page....I suggest you just make links to every page on everypage....leave out the rollover for the page your currently on ofcourse....

other than that..looks like a decent start.

design2 05-08-2004 08:10 PM

new window
 
hey thanks for rapid response and feedback.
its interesting both of your views about the new window for every page,
the reason why i tried that navigation from the change of normal page on page or frames was because i've seen a few sites that done it with small popup windows and wondered what effect they were trying to give off, its also good to do things like this learning the javascript to open and close windows onclick and window size, etc

well i will change that, i agree with you, users are not incontrol if they dont have a backbutton, or a clear nav bar to guide them.

the html slice is what i was trying to think of, i knew there was something like that. As for your exporting tips im going to try it, because i basically just made a few slices for the buttons i wanted then fireworks would auto slice the rest of the document and generate some terrible html basically all images into a table and thats it. The only thing i could think of is to remove the images in dreamweaver and replace them with a background colour but i will try the fireworks way.

Design2

design2 05-08-2004 09:25 PM

fireworks out, photoshop&dreamweaver back in
 
fireworks is pissing me off,
i mean i like it as a program its easy to use an quick for layout but exporting HTML and images you have no control of what comes out,
at the moment when i export my PNG file all i get is a blank page with no images, in the code i got a bunch of spacers and says its loading the content as one big image, wtf?

so im going to re-do it optimising and re-naming my images in photoshop and putting it all into table like i know how to do, but you know how i have my http://members.optusnet.com.au/lorigan/test2/about.htm page
would it be easier to save the background as one image then just add text in dreamweaver? i think so, the thing i liked in fireworks was the layout didnt have to be positioned so structured, my css is pretty basic, and u can have images over each other.
well i think im going to have a break, go to the gym and come back 2nite

Design2

design2 05-09-2004 08:36 AM

well ive only had time to do the home page and resume page but ive added a nav bar and frames, better? worsE?

RobDreugan 05-09-2004 09:05 AM

Personally, if you're going to do image slicing I'd suggest using imageready b/c it's just better all around, and you never really have to leave photoshop.

If you have to use fireworks, don't know what to tell ya, but I never found the "control" of it that difficult, I just never liked the interface at all.

As far as you're site goes.

The navigation concept is pretty good, but you need to figure out a way to make it more user friendly. But, you've got several problems to fix.

1. You need status indication on the page. Not only on the page that contains information, but espically somewhere on your navigation, as it's a mystery as to what what each link is.

2. Maybe on the active page, a piece of the navigation will change colors in order to establish that you're visting that link.

3. I'd advise finding some more fonts to play with, as the one you chose doesn't seem to have any relevance to your layout, look, or feel. Your navigation seems almost retro, classy, kinda 1970's Jackie Brown like. And you're using a font that looks like something a Warewolf movie would use.

(Typography is good mmkay?)

4. Last thing I'd say. Personally, I could see the way data is displayed in a different way. You've got a creative approach to the navigation, then you bust out a frame for some reason and make it a boring 2 column site. Maybe you keep all the info contained in the middle of the page and use an overflow css command. Or just something that is different.


I'm normally not this talkative at 9am.

design2 05-09-2004 05:14 PM

Thanks Rob Dreugan!
you have alot of valid points thanks for taking the time to critique.
by the way what do you mean by status indication? this is probably obvious, isnt it?
so things to do or try;
> CSS OVERFLOW or change 2 column site by integrating with intro page interface
> look at TYPOGRAPHY,possibly look for a 70s font, to keep consistent with site style
>make active link rollover different than rolloverout

wicked..
oh and to all you losers who viewed and couldnt spend 5 mins to do this, why not help people who ask for help, this is a forum , right?

Design2

RobDreugan 05-09-2004 05:34 PM

Well, it means, giving the user a visual to clue them in to where they are on your website. A simple method would be to change the color of the link that they pressed, when that page is loaded. I.e. If all of your navigation is red, and they click on "contact us" maybe when that page loads, and they look back at the navigation, all of the nav is still red, but the "contact us" link is now blue, showing where they are.

Even something as simple as, just a page heading would help.

muso 05-09-2004 06:13 PM

I agree with RobDreugan, you should add some sort of text or image telling users where they are on your site, preferably beside or below your logo.

Also, you probably already know this, but the navigation on the right of every page is different - it's gotta be consistent. Position the navigation at the top of the td (valign="top") and decide whether you want the dark grey above it and below it or you just want to keep the whole thing inside the main box (like it is in portfolio and contact).

And to answer your question about the people who don't help you - unfortunately not every mac user knows html and web design! Give the poor people a break ;)

witeshark 05-09-2004 06:57 PM

It looks very nice and original! Some links are down now -editing I suppose... have you tried Dreamweaver?

muso 05-09-2004 08:14 PM

witeshark, I think we're looking at http://members.optusnet.com.au/lorigan/ now - (correct me if I'm wrong design2)

design2 05-09-2004 08:23 PM

no dont look at
http://members.optusnet.com.au/lorigan/
i did that before i knew how to spell design
http://members.optusnet.com.au/lorigan/test2/

Design2, and i got a good font, i will tell ya when i put it up, and im redoing the nav E making it more positioned.

witeshark 05-09-2004 08:24 PM

Yeah, actually I looked at both links... But yes I was looking there

design2 05-09-2004 09:49 PM

ok i done the index front page, its at
http://members.optusnet.com.au/lorigan/
:)


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