Website feedback needed

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by stormpetrel, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi guys

    I have just launched my website (www.stormpetrel.com) however not being an experienced web designer I'm not confident it will work properly on all the OS/browsers combinations.
    I used Flex (flash technology) to program the website and the guestbook is in PHP.
    The website looked fine with Firefox but when I tried it with IE and opera everything was upside down (PC/windows).
    Those problems have been fixed and the rendering is consistent now however I would like to have some feedback from you (especially from apple and linux users).

    The point to check are:
    * are the sound records played properly
    * is it possible to access the guestbook page and are the pages displayed consistently across the website?

    Any general critics are welcome too!

    By the way, can ipad users visit flash website? I read few months ago that flash was no more supported by Apple but I'm not sure if it was concerning the ipad, the iphone or both?

    Cheers, Dom
     
  2. 131802

    131802 Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Just a blank page on my Linux machine (Iceweasel browser, Debian testing distribution).
     
  3. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you! I was uploading some main files during the last 2 hours. Sorry, you might have try to visit the webpage at the wrong moment.
     
  4. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Get rid of the Flash. There is nothing that Flash can do which HTML-5 and/or Javascript can't do as well or better.

    No, iOS devices can't use Flash and probably never will. Regardless of what you think about Flash, requiring it in order to access your website cuts out that part of your potential market.

    Even if you argue in favor of Flash, it has a high overhead for your users. It slows them down, uses more resources and, even though it provides a "flashier" look, the overall user experience is worse, especially for mobile devices. (Apple's compatibility with Flash notwithstanding.)

    If you want to track your visitors' progress through your site, which pictures or pages they view and how they access different parts of your site, Flash will make that more difficult. It can also be a dead end for search engines so, if you want to get your website ranked in Google's or Yahoo's search results, Flash will make it harder.

    Flash is also a good way for users to get a virus. There are many XSS (cross-site scripting) attacks which make Flash vulnerable. In order for Adobe to patch all these holes, they would have to make all previous versions of Flash player/plugin unusable. Consequently, I and many other users set up their browsers to automatically block Flash content, rendering your site invisible. I believe this is why 131802's computer came up with a blank page. His Linux machine either blocks or does not recognize Flash.

    I can get by when they visit a website that has some Flash content scattered throughout but, I really don't recommend building a whole website out of Flash.
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,201
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format

    I've tried so hard to get away from flash, Adobe won't let me, I use Lightroom for my website image galleries and they told me LR4 would come with HTML 5 as an image gallery option but it didn't... it's so frustrating I don't understand why they are so dumb about it... it's such a terrible protocol/software/whatever ... ugh... sorry random bitch, done now...

    your site looks nice though, I like the image galleries as long as they run...
     
  6. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you for feedback! I made the website with flex for two main reasons: efficiency (it took me 5 days to make the website) and the flex capabilities to play audio content (to play my audio records which is an important feature of my website). I used also flex because it is far to be a dead language as it is now an open source framework supported by Apache (Flex Apache).
    I might add an HTML5 gallery when lightroom will be able to export HTML5 or redo the whole site in HTML5 once a great and simple HTML5 IDE with proper libraries will be on the market... or I could start learning PHP or java. But frankly, I prefer to shoot pictures during my free time than learning hardcore HTML5/java/PHP programming. Remember, I'm not a web developer. Regarding the security, I agree with you flash is not a great option but neither php, perl, asp or anything else (especially when poorly implemented). Anyway, my flash module is not linked to any database and there is no user input, this reduce the option of injecting code.... we will see how it goes before rewriting all the website in another script language.
     
  7. rorye

    rorye Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,166
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I like the images very much, I'd love to see them bigger.
     
  8. cepwin

    cepwin Member

    Messages:
    336
    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I tried it on chrome and the rendering of the images looked great. I will have to try it on my mac and see that it still works. I have to agree with worker that you should consider moving from flash to HTML 5. For example, I iPads don't support flash and a lot of folks like viewing images on their iPad. If you're programming oriented you could do the slideshow with jQuery and html (I just watched a tutorial that demonstrated that.) jQuery/html is browser neutral although HTML 5 is considered the new/modern way to doing these things.

    After I wrote this I saw why you used flex...again, the only issue there is it might not work on apple devices.

    Oh, while I only took a quick look, your images that I did get to see are lovely!
     
  9. Derek Lofgreen

    Derek Lofgreen Subscriber

    Messages:
    787
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Montana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The first thing I notices was you had a "splash page" as your first page. Splash pages were cool 10 years ago and used to hide the fact data is loading in the background. I would ditch the splash page. Flash is no longer the king of animated websites. Apple mobile devieces will not see any flash content. Add to that, this is the year for adaptive design. Meaning, desingers are changing web pages so they will render for mobile devices first then for what ever screen size is viewing them. If you want to use html5 and css3 with adobe tools go here and register for a free Edge Tools account. For an example of adaptive design see wiki.

    I love your photographs, they are wonderfull. Great work and good luck with the new site.

    D.
     
  10. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Adobe spent a lot of time developing and marketing Flash. Like many companies, they give away the browser plugin and the viewer for free in order to drive website developers into buying their authoring software. Flash is a cash cow for them. Dumping or totally revamping Flash would turn all their work and expense into a sunk cost. Then they run into the problem of incompatibility between newer and legacy products. Making significant changes means that websites which already use Flash would stop working unless they update to the newer version. All the people who have Flash plugins installed on their computers would have to update in order to see the new content, plus they risk losing the ability to see websites created with the older version. Adobe really has gotten themselves over a barrel on this one. Their only option is to use marketing spin to keep pushing the product, no matter how broken it is, at least until they can get a new product to market which will replace it.

    BTW: I like the pictures. Especially the one in front of the giant clock face in the Musee d'Orsay.
    Sorry I got wrapped up in a minor detail. Me too... rant over.
     
  11. BentleyR

    BentleyR Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Boston Area
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Very impressive! Works just fine on my Mac. I showed it to my wife and she was impressed enough to post it to her Facebook page. Good work.
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,201
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I understand that, however the whole generation below me (30's and younger) all use smartphones, and many older than me do as well, and NONE of them can see my website, I'm always telling people to check it out, and they go and say "sorry, I couldn't see anything" no one is going home and using their home computers to check it out anymore, they want to see it instantly, so flash just gets in the way. It's HURTING businesses not helping them, despite its capabilities it's not a viable business plan for anyone who wants sustainable clients in the new smart-phone driven environment. Heck I know a lot of people who don't own a laptop or home computer anymore and ONLY use an ipad or other tablet, none of which can read flash, so they just don't bother and move on. And Adobe needs to realize this, if they wanted to have made flash work, they should have made it work... as in they should have corrected how terribly written and how much CPU power is required and changed the code to make it smoother and work for todays market, but they didn't, and now we're paying for it.

    I'm told there are HTML5 add ons to Lightroom 4 that will produce HTML5 image galleries, but there are so many and they cost money I don't know which to buy into, any suggestions for me AND the OP since they also mentioned the same issue with using Lighroom 4... would be helpful, thanks!
     
  13. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you for your constructive and nice comments! You have convinced me to embrace html5 as soon as possible. I will explore the different free HTML5 frameworks at my coffee break.
     
  14. dehk

    dehk Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Location:
    W Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I can tell you I can view it on my android phone!
     
  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,201
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    You must have a very old Android phone... the new ones (or the old ones updated with the new Android OS) don't support flash whatsoever...
     
  16. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you Dehk!

    I have just discovered that some flash compatible browsers exist for Ipad and new android tablets (e.g. http://www.puffinbrowser.com)...
    Anyway I'm exploring the HTML5 options right now!
     
  17. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok guys! I took into account ALL your critics and I have finally redone all the website in HTML5/CSS3/javascript!

    Frankly I thought it would be quite a mission as I have no experience at all in those languages, but thankfully there is heaps of information on internet.
    The website might not be programmed in the right way but at least it does exist!

    I had some issues with the fonts. I think I have solved the problem, and the website looks now fine with FF, opera, chrome and IE on my PC.

    Could some Mac, Linux, Ipad users confirm the website works fine on their computer/device?
    More general feedback are also welcome!

    Here is the address www.stompetrel.com

    Cheers, Dominique
     
  18. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Comes up fine on my desktop and my iPad. Pictures look good.

    The only technical crit I have is that it doesn't scale and recenter when you turn your iPad from portrait to landscape.
    I work on a website that does a similar thing. Turns out that there is one line of text, all the way at the bottom of the page that runs longer than the rest so the browser centers the page using that line, making the rest of the page go off center. I'm not certain that your site is doing the exact same thing but it's probably something minor like that.

    Otherwise, everything else looks good!

    Just don't let my wife see that picture of the Teddy Bear hung out to dry by his ears! She'd have a fit! :wink: :wink: :wink:
     
  19. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Thank you for your feedback. I will have a close look on the ipad scaling/centering problem. Not easy to correct without an ipad! I will have a look on internet to see if a Ipad web emulator does exist.
     
  20. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Working out these little bugs can be a PITA.

    Other than that everything looks great. :smile:
     
  21. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just had a try with some online ipad emulators but they are too crappy to reproduce the problem.
    Does the Ipad scaling/centering problem occur on all pages? Anyway, I will go in a computer shop this afternoon and check the problem on a real Ipad.
    Thanks again!

    Cheers, Dominique
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2013
  22. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,201
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I didn't have any centering issues on my iPhone, my only observation is that the galleries took about a minute to load before I could see any picture, and the title image changed about half way before the full image could load. I don't think it recognizes the difference between a phone and a computer so I'm getting the full large image file instead of an iPhone size one, this is great for zooming in, but can be annoying for scrolling.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  23. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The images are a bit heavy indeed. I will increase the compression.
    Thank you for your feedback!
     
  24. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Wellington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm ashamed. The pictures were ~400kBytes each! Now they are between 50kB and 150kB.
    Cheers, Dominique
     
  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,201
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Weird... 400k isn't a lot... Well I am currently in VT so service is slow up here...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk