Suggestions about my first website

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Patricia Langer, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. Patricia Langer

    Patricia Langer Member

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    My first website is up today, and I have asked for input on the large format forum, and would appreciate some feedback from you folks as well.
    Here are the issues -- How do you feel about the 'slide-show' on the homepage? Would you prefer a single still image? What about the transitions between pictures in the portfolios? Does it bother you that the pictures are untitled?
    FYI The landscape portfolio is 4x5, the portraits are 4x5, one 8x10 and medium format, the Greece portfolio is 35mm in a panorama adapter in a Mamiya7.
    My goal with the website was to have something elegant and user friendly.
    Thanks,
    Patricia
     
  2. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    What's the URL?
     
  3. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Well, my first problem is I can't find a link to your site.
     
  4. Patricia Langer

    Patricia Langer Member

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  5. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    as flash intros go, it look nice, but it took quite a while to load. Generally, I would have shut it down without looking further.

    Pop up windows... don't like them
    Slow loading windows and pictures.

    Pictures themselves both look good on my screen and look good!
     
  6. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I agree. I don't see the reason for the pop-up new window at all.
    In my humble opinion many make the "mistake" in their home pages that they fall for all the possibillities of "fancyness" just because they can..

    (the same issue as in Photoshop... when to stop?)

    I like your images - I think.
    but I would like to have them bigger. without all the distracting "flash"-thingyes attached.
    Less is more.

    I have a quite fast connection, so the loading time wasn't long..
    but it was annoying...
    I'd let the images speak for them selves.
     
  7. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I’ll have to agree with Nige and Gandolfi….. the pop-ups are annoying, and take so long to load, even with my fast connection. The images are nice, and would look good in a simple setting.
     
  8. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    I am not on DSL and I tell you the site takes forever to load. People need to remember when designing website not everyone is on DSL so you are losing a large potential client base by ignoring that fact. Remember most people will leave if the page does not snap up immediately. I would lose the flash. People unfortunately hate to wait for anything.

    I am on ISDN and the site loads extremely slow, if someone was on a modem it would most likely time out.

    The old adage still remains true today. K.I.S.S...

    Simplicty always beats fancy...
     
  9. Imke

    Imke Member

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    Hi Patricia,

    I actually don't mind the pop-ups, but find the flash a bit out of place, too. The stark white background showing while the next picture is loading is really jarring. It makes concentrating on the next picture very hard. I'd maybe go for a simple, very small "loading" bar on the same background as your website if you want to stick with flash.

    I like the slide show intro.

    One thing I noticed is that your 6x6's have really nice tonal values, while some of your panoramics are a bit flat and fuzzy. Is that a scanning issue maybe?
    I really like the intro page.

    Cheers and good luck,
    Imke
     
  10. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I'll agree with the above posters: I can't stand pop-ups. I'm not a fan of the white between images either. I've got dsl and it still took a while. If i were viewing the screen in a dark room, my eyes would get that bright flash then have to adjust for each image. Nice images.
     
  11. Patricia Langer

    Patricia Langer Member

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    time to load

    Are you all saying that the time it takes a site to load pictures is related to the 'fanciness' ? If I remove the slideshow and flash between the pictures, will it be faster and easier?
    Thanks for taking the time to look at the site.
    Patricia
     
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Patricia,
    I would like to commend you on first subscribing prior to asking this question. It shows a great deal of class.

    As for the web site.
    There is a discipline within web development called Information Architecture. The premise of IA is that a site should be designed for the overlap of your business goals, the end user's expectations or goals and the availability of assets and technology.

    AI would suggest which technology, the labeling of buttons, design of icons the click path, size of the files and of course content.

    Having said that --Most of my comments here can be discounted unless I am your intended audience -- I still wonder:

    1. Is Flash what your customer expects? It is not needed for the functionality. Everything including the image transitions could be done with CSS, and JavaScript and it would be faster.
    2. Is download an issue for your audience?
    3. Does the extra window enhance your goal or the user experience? I would think so as far as the galleries are concerned. It helps to focus the user's attention. It is detrimental for Info, too much for contact and exhibitions.
    4. Is Info a descriptive enough label for the content it contains? I don't think so and I believe this is the weakest part of the site. I can only imagine that the site is intended to be as much a sales tool as an exhibition area. The services that you provide are not well displayed nor intuitively accessed.
    5. Are the icons, 'iconic' and are they intuitively located in the portfolio section? I can't answer this, but I did click a few times until I understood what was doing what.


    Two other things that are (maybe) less subjective.

    First the letter kerning of the 'P' and the 'a' in your first name is too fat. The 'a' should tuck under the 'P.' (the same could be said for the 'L' and 'a' of your last name, but this is more or less taste)

    Second: Scroll bars are considered pretty well established and mature interface devices. It is important, that when you make a your own version that it operate identically to the common variety. When it comes to scrollbars there is no differences between audiences.

    What is good about the site. It is professional and attractive in appearance, and contains great photography.

    I would put greater emphasis on your services, by breaking-up Info and placing it in the main window. I would put exhibition and contact in the main window as well.
     
  13. KenM

    KenM Member

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    I'm with most of the posters above - get rid of the Flash, and just use plain ole' html+css (which you can do with any sort of authoring tool). The popups are distracting, and lead to a disjointed experience with the website - you click a link, up pops a window, you close the window, etc.

    Why not just split the content into a set of pages, and go with that? I think it would be a nicer experience...simple always wins, in my opinion.

    You have some nice images there. Make them a big larger, lose the Flash, and you've got yourself a nice website.
     
  14. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    Patricia,

    I'm a Design Snob. Not because I particularly enjoy it but after art school and doing graphic design for a living it just comes natural :smile:

    There have been some good comments to your site but the information mrcallow has given is the only one you need to remember. Print it out, read it, tape it to your fridge and then read it again before you do anything else.

    I'm kind of suprised actually. On the photo forums, the comments I see about site critiques is keep things simple (always good advice) and flash haters. Being a great photographer usually means you stink at everything else. If you're good enough to actually sell your work, you should be paying someone to design a site for you. Better still is to trade for it.

    I know it's hard when you're so close to the work, so try to keep thinking about the big picture and keep at it.

    Alan.
     
  15. Patricia Langer

    Patricia Langer Member

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. They are consistent enough that I plan to use them. What has been particularly helpful is mrcallow's explanation of why simple is better, instead of 'flash is tedious'. I will go back to the person who constructed my site with these recommendations, although it may have to wait until the new year since we are coming into exams and Christmas.
    I have learned a great deal, so thanks again.
    Patricia
     
  16. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I would have to agree with what the others have said. I had to wait until I could see your site at work. My dialup connection at home is too slow to get past one pic on the front page.
     
  17. cory stickley

    cory stickley Subscriber

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    Hi Patricia,
    I viewed your website and I think it is classy. Others have given you some good suggestions about design, but regarding your statement above, it took less than 2 seconds for each image to load on my computer, which is the most basic of high speeds. I like the flash...it gives a sense of anticipation. Good luck with your site.
    Cory