Oh man, another website up for review!

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Andre R. de Avillez, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    I originally posted this last week in the lounge, and got no responses, so forgive me for reposting here.

    I've changed my website from the minimalist white background to a neutral gray background (to better suit low-key photographs), and would like to get your opinion on the matter. I've also added buttons on the header, instead of plain text links.

    the site is www.avillez.com and all comments are welcome.

    thanks in advance

    André
     
  2. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    The buttons are very large. They don't fit across a 1024px display, wrapping and causing vertical scrolling of the navigation frame.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I saw what you mean about the buttons wrapping, but I only had that problem with the last button, the "Contact" button. I didn't find the design objectionable. However, it would be nice to have only two frames total, so that when you click on a subject link, the thumbnails and the first image in the group load simultaneously. Otherwise, you're left with the last image viewed in the main frame, even when it doesn't belong to the group selected for the thumbnail frame. I'd also suggest making the entire background light neutral gray, to contrast with the buttons and provide a softer background for your images.
     
  4. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Cool, so I'll work on making the buttons a tad smaller (I think they're 90x90 pixels right now). My monitor is 1280x1024, so I did worry about the page not being "small monitor" friendly. If 1024x768 can't handle it, I'll have to fix something. I'm not worried about 800x600 monitors, however. Pages that conform to that end up being too small to be of any use, in my opinion.

    Flying Camera, just to make sure I understand you correctly, you're suggesting a lighter gray background than what I currently have? I'll try it out and see what it looks like.

    thanks,

    André
     
  5. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Ok, made the buttons smaller. They seem to have lost sharpness in the downsizing, so I'll probably make new buttons from scratch tomorrow.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Actually, I'm suggesting a consistent gray background- everything but the Motorcycle pages show with a white background. But yes, I might go with something a bit lighter than what you currently have.
     
  7. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Frames: if done well they're tolerable. In general, though, I hate 'em.

    My display is 1024 x 768. My first problem was that I had to drag a scroll bar down on the left to see all the thumbnails.

    My second problem (the one which sprang the trap door) is that I have to drag a scroll bar down on the right to see an image in its entirety.

    I clicked out of this website after about 3 pictures.
     
  8. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree with Scott...consistent color throughout would feel a little cleaner. I didn't have any trouble with the buttons, but I had to scroll down to view the images in their entirety. I have a small screen.

    And as someone mentioned, when you change portfolios you still have the last photo up from the previous portfolio. It should probably just load up the first thumbnail. No?

    I've always admired your work, Andre, and it's great to see it all together.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another thing to think about- the vast majority of your portfolio is environmental portraiture/natural light landscape type work. Then you have the motorcycles, which are excellent, but a 90 degree right-hand turn from everything else you have on the site. I don't know if I'd lead off with them, like you are currently doing. I don't know if I'd even keep them on the same website. They feel so very commercial and stylized in comparison to the rest of your work, which is much more organic and free. Perhaps what would be better is to split the site up into categories, such as "Commercial","Portraiture","Travel","Personal Work", etc.
    Then, the motorcycles in the studio wouldn't seem in quite such a contrast to the rest of your work.
     
  10. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    I'll see if I can find a way to make the first image load when a new series of thumbnails is clicked... This would indeed make much more sense, but just haven't figured out how to do that (I'm not a programmer or web designer...).

    I decided to go with frames because I did not want to go with flash or anything like that (I don't have the software to do it, for starters. I'm not sure how else to include the vast amount of images I have in the documentary portfolios without having to include a software gimmick of some sort. Breaking up the thumbnails into groups, and separating them by pages doesn't make much sense to me (clicking arrows is much more aggravating than simply scrolling down a page, I think).

    And Flying Camera,

    My website was originally all white, to blend with the white background of the scanned prints (since I used filed out carriers). I decided to give it a darker background so that the recent lowkey photographs (motorcycles, mostly) would not drown in all that white. If I make the background gray on the more recent B&W series, I will get a goofy gray/white divide between the scanned images and the webpage.

    I think you are right, though. Breaking up the website into different pages would solve that problem. The B&W could go back to an all white page, while the new low key stuff could have a dark background to stand against.

    And BTW, is it just me or is building websites a pain is the @*%? A necessary evil, but so freakin boring!

    thanks, all

    André
     
  11. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Oh, yes...

    I still have to solve the image not fittin in a window problem.

    Argh! I'll just start from scratch.
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I know how frustrating it is to work on a website design. Trust me, I have THREE sites I need to either design or re-design. I've farmed the work out to a graphic designer friend of mine, I'm so frustrated by it.

    As to the background, it should be consistent across the entire site - either all pages white, or all pages gray, or black, or whatever. You want to make a consistent identity for your site. If you have the background different for the low-key bike shots, as opposed to the rest of the site, it will make it seem even more like it is two different sites altogether, and people will not realize it is by the same artist as the rest of the work.

    The workaround to the frustration of the filed-out images looking like they're popped out of the gray background would be to fill the image area around them with the same color gray as you're using for the page background. This is of course also tedious and annoying (I didn't say it would be a FUN solution). My recommendation would be to find a graphic designer you know and ask for some overall advice. See if they'd be willing to do a little trade-for-services kind of deal to get you a template you can use when you want to add more images.

    Hang in there! we're with you on this.