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  1. #1
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    website design - treading unknown territories.

    I have no idea about graphic design in the LEAST bit. But as I am in on my trip, I hired someone to put my website together for me. So I can come back and start building a portfolio with all the new stuff I learned. Here is what I have so far as a general feeling for the website.

    I'd love some feedback. Maybe it's too cheesy? Not happy enough? Bad color for a portfolio site?
    And no the site is not up at all yet. A while ago I bought a domain. But never used it because I could not find a design that I liked. So I will wait a while and build everything up first.

    thanks to people to have helped me already. cartoonfox, sve, serf.

    cheers everyone. and thank you.

    [CENTER]website design - treading unknown territories.

    EDIT: ARLANDO Something more like this one?
    website design - treading unknown territories.
    Last edited by Interceptor; May 20th, 2006 at 08:01 PM.
    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *




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  3. #2
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    I dont really like it. I think it would be better if you stuck with simple template and less ritzy font, but those are just my taste.

  4. #3
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    I like the colour in the first...but like the lack of it in the second..
    In the first one however, it looks like you just went with the same old brushed grungy look as so many sites how nowadays...second one i'd say.

    EDIT- I see the new one with the additional paper look...I think I preferred the white. White always makes a great portfolio.

  5. #4
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    actually, screw the splashes.

    website design - treading unknown territories.
    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *



  6. #5
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    Personally I prefer the first one. With some clear and simple navigation, it could work out great.
    White can work well with portfolio's, but it can sometimes come out looking too plain. While the second one could work, it needs work on the layout and some splashes of colour here and there. Maybe use the same concept as the first one, but have the background white with some grey and another bright colour for the "paint splatters".

    As of right now, with what I'm looking at, the first one is great and the second one is far too plain. Though with some work, the white one could come out on top. Try and work the same idea for the first into the second, thinking of the colours and textures in a more minimalistic way to compliment the white.

    Good luck, keep us posted.


    peace
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    (First rule of Pocket Club...)

  7. #6
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    I like that last one, but I think you should use another color instead of that purple, because that one is too close in value to the BG and bothers a little legibility-wise.

  8. #7
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    I like the first one. I think "interceptor" is too large though. Also, in graphic design, too many fonts can be too much. I would use just the interceptor one which sorta resembles Times New Roman. Then, I would make "the art of" that burgundy/maroon color instead of white. I like the white splashes a lot. These are just suggestions, though. It's a cool design overall.

    Trés Cuté Sketch Group
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  9. #8
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    Don't put so much emphasis on the font (style and size).

    I would keep the background simple and overal site design clean.

    When designing don't think in terms of 'theme' - I think when things become themes, it can get a bit cheesey. Just go with a colour scheme or choose your best image and work the site round that. Im not graphic designer either, so this is uneducated advice, .
    Also you don't have to use the whole screen.

    (Personally I hate textures)
    Last edited by Alcian; May 20th, 2006 at 08:56 PM.

  10. #9
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    The texture in the background looks like bad compression (Will that be a solid colour or texture when finished?). You could clean that up for the finished work. Either real textures or if the stuff looks bad use a solid colour.

    and try this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_%28typography%29
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestaltungsraster
    It's the german version but you could use babelfish or googleto translate it.

    These two couldhep you a bit:
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:Ge...ngsraster1.jpg
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:Ge...ngsraster2.jpg
    Create a raster that is useful for your navigation and layout and use it for every site (as muchas possible and useful for creating what you want). I could write a lot but you have just some name and nothing else on the site. 90% would be just generic explanations with no direct relation to your problem. Don't copy that grid above, create one that fits your needs. And the second siteis the best. Use that as a starting point. Some decoration in the header if you want and some in the footer if you have one to close the site at the bottom (or use anything else). And change the colour to fit your portfolio. Something dark will help the pictures to appear brighter. Depends what you want. Blah,blah,blah I stop now or this will just become one big nearly useless rant. BTW no grunge and splatter deco, that is so 1997 (or something else but at least old).

    A good grid is often a better investment that splatter and grunge deco (read: structure first, other stuff later).

  11. #10
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    Both seem quite bold and pleasing, but I can't judge a site without knowing how your work is presented or how the navigation would be. Mock ups might help

  12. #11
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    I like the dark green much more than the white - to me, I much prefer viewing art on a dark or midrange value than on white. It makes the highlights pop better if they aren't competing with the background.

  13. #12
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    *enter the professional graphic designer*


    ... *cough* Ok, not really professional, but a student at least. Anywho, it's got some good stuff going on. Grunge brushes, though trendy, do look nice. Not a big fan of the splashes, though. Colors look pretty nice, except I'd say the red leans too far to purple.

    As far as design goes... It's pretty impossible to say. I don't know how the page is going to be layed out. Are you leaving this up to the designer you hired? Or are you submitting a completed design for him to code?

    Oh, and a piece of advice: applying that background grunge effectively is going to be a pain to whoever has to code it.

    Still, for a non-designer, it's good.

    (I'm for hire, by the way)

  14. #13
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    I prefer the first one--at least it has a bit of personality, and that's what you should have on an ART site. The only thing I will say is that it's quite big (especially if it's going to be that simplistic). 800x600 is still a leading size, and you loose nothing from the composition by catering to all of your audience.

    I wonder what the load time on this would be. I assume it's going to be made in an editor, and those can make sites load slow sometimes. If this were being made the traditional way, a one-time bit of css code and background image might make it much faster and easier to change.

  15. #14
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    I don't think I can give any specific advice based on what you have there (front page? splash page? (god I hope not, splash == evil) some form of Flash-based content frontend? (again, I hope not)), but having worked in the field of web design and web application design and development for years let me give you some general pointers... or really mistakes that I see far far too often among designers.

    These comments are not really directed at anyone in particular because I see this crap all the time, and I can tell you from real world experience that it hurts the people who do this stuff. Web sites work best when they avoid certain things.

    1. Yes, I know you're an artist. But let's not focus too much on making your web page a work of art. That's not what you're trying to sell. You're not trying to get a job as a web designer, you're trying to display your non-web design portfolio. So go easy on the eye candy, it only distracts and ultimately detracts from your real work. The web page is not your art, it's the frame for your art. No one goes to Louvre to see the frame that holds the Mona Lisa so don't assume anybody is going to your website to see your website. They're going there for your portfolio.

    That means, avoid the stupid flash applets. Avoid too much dynamic html (though some navigation tricks can be put to good use). And please remember that if I wanted your website to make sound, I'd lick my finger and rub it on the screen (no embedded mp3s!!!).

    Don't go to the other extreme (what I like to call the Jacob Nielsen effect) and turn your webpage into a blank white expanse with nothing more than a left nav (unless you can do that really well, which is harder than it looks). Find the balance.

    2. Black backgrounds with white text hurt people. Literally, they hurt people's eyes. Yes, it is possible to create a pleasing page with a dark background. No, it is not recommended for anyone who doesn't have the chops to pull it off. If the guy you hired can make it work, then he knows some color theory AND something about human factors and probably costs a lot (or he should unless he's some undiscovered student talent). If he doesn't cost a lot, stick to white with black text (or something close).

    3. Content is king. A good web page design is like a good picture frame or a good pair of glasses. It doesn't overshadow, it enhances. This is closely related to the first point, but I think I can be forgiven for being redundant here because so many designers and people trying to display their work seem to completely miss this point.

    4. Look at the sites about web design to see what good web design really is. Places like www.alistapart.com, www.k10k.net, www.zeldman.com, www.csszengarden.com -- these are the people who make a living trying to perfect web design and have become famous for doing it well, not just for ecommerce and blogs but for everything and anything you can imagine. If anyone knows how to do it right, they do. Get your ideas from them first, then look around at the community of artists and designers who have online portfolios and softly cry for most of them.

    5. Never put your contact information more than one click away from any page or portion of your site. Once I know I like your work, make it as easy as possible for me to contact you. I'm baffled by how often people screw this one up, it seems so obvious.

    For an example of a designer who avoids all the major pitfalls, take a look at Feng Zhu's site. It's great really. The front page has a "showcase" piece featured prominently on every page, but said image doesn't overshadow the text content or obscure the navigation. The newest editions to his "gallery" (portfolio) are available for instant access from the front page, immediately piqueing the interest of the potential reader, practically begging to be clicked on. Contact info is constantly available from the top nav, which brings us to the top nav -- well thought out, simple but complete, easy to understand, omnipresent on every page and simple enough (no dropdowns) to work in every single solitary browser on the planet (aside from the text ones I suppose, but obviously you won't care about Lynx users). There's not a single bit of Flash on his page, he doesn't need it, his work speaks for itself without the "benefit" of mulitmedia (and he's confident in that fact which only makes it look better). There's some news there, which indicates that he has news to communicate -- makes people think he works for a living (this only works for people who do). The galleries are split up into logical groups and are brain-dead simple to navigate. I'm not thrilled about opening images in a new window all the time (here is one place where dynamic html could be used to good effect to reload images in place, but he was probably shooting for broad browser compatibility which is also a good idea), but at the very least he makes sure it doesn't end up littering your desktop with tons of them. His about page doesn't talk about what kind of music he likes or anything else that employers don't want to know (how many goth kids with fantasy drawings don't seem to get this point, I've lost count).

    All of the graphics that aren't part of his portfolio are basic, solid geometric shapes that contain various navigation elements. Everything else is a portfolio piece, all the graphics can be found in his gallery (except for one lone photo of Feng and a couple of product shots).

    Bottom line: It's simple. It's attractive. And all of the eye candy is Feng's artwork, not the page itself. It looks great. It looks clean. It's easy to read. It's easy to navigate. Based on a cursory glance at the HTML source, I'd say it works in just about every web browser from the last six years. The site itself highlights his work and otherwise completely disapperas. Perfect portfolio site for a designer. My only complaint is that it is a little wide, but since so much of his portfolio is environment design with an incredibly wide aspect ratio, it's forgivable. Higher resolution monitors are more common these days, and most of his employers are using massive screens anyway so it works.

    Look at his links section. Look at the sites of Ryan Church, James Clyne and Syd Mead. I see some splash pages in that list, but I'm willing to forgive them since they all have "skip intro" buttons (which visitors always hit, why do people even bother anymore? The user studies are conclusive, splash pages are a waste of bandwidth). Once you get past that one holdover from the mid-90s, you'll see a lot of simple page layouts, light background colors, simple navbars, and very few graphical elements except for the portfolio itself. These guys are all some of the most famous and respected members of their field. Pay attention.

    Hopefully, at this early stage of your site's design, you can take some of that advice to heart (if you didn't already know it).
    Last edited by MEP; May 21st, 2006 at 12:03 AM.
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  16. #15
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    Any design can work if all the elements compliment each other. Many people choose to go simple with their portfolio sites, just because it's "easy" and doesn't conflict with their artwork. While this can be a good rule of thumb, it definately is not the only way to go. Personally, I find Feng's site a bit disjointed, it's pretty easy to navigate yeah, but it doesn't make me say "wow" at all. The navigation is split into two different positions and it's a bit hard to read the menu. In this case it's the content that really makes up for the negatives I see in the design.

    As for the designs you posted, I strongly dislike the white, not only is it too plain it's also hard on the eyes. The second green without the splashes is my favorite, the type also works better here. My main crit would be the hand dryer icons, while cool in themselves, have absolutely nothing to do design wise with the rest of the page. Has the effect of looking slapped together, regardless of whether it is or not. I would either rethink these icons... or redesign your page to jive with these icons.

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