new website ~ dorian-iten.com: critique?
hey there folks,
I just finished my new web project. it's a portfolio of my school work and fine art stuff. there goes a lot of time into the work we produce which makes the final pieces accordingly expensive.. because of this I decided to make two websites, one for fine art, which should look professional and reliable, without being too artificially "classy" - and another one for illustration / graphic design stuff, which I just started working on.
tell me what you think! clean code? good usability? professional look? bug-free and cross-browser compatible? despite all these technical restrictions still nice to look at?
let me know!
edit: oh, the photo of me is going to change
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hey there! like the "look and feel" of your site a lot. right now i'm working on a 15'' tft notebook (windows xp and IE), because i'm traveling and everything on your site worked fine. just to let you know.
would've loved to see more stuff and maybe some of your quicker sketches, though. but i know your working on it, so no real crit here.
good luck with it!
p.s.: the photo looks rather nice, i think!
Technically, it's all perfect I guess. Accessibility and Usability is nicely done (although I don't like the Java-Gallery because you don't have a URL to copy and paste. That's personal choice though, I will try to work a way around that for my own website). The code seems ok, various firefox developer extensions didn't send error-messages. I like the way you worked with title-tags. I don't think the hyroglyph-stuff will help in cases of google-search, people might think the site is damages because it looks like wrong letters. But that is... secondary. The site works in IE Mac, lol. Never seen something like that in a long time. I can give you confirmations about the following browsers, all on a mac: Firefox, Camino, Safari, IE. Didn't test Opera because Opera sucks
All-in-all, this site might get you some good traffic.
Design-wise, well. It looks bloggish. I don't like that style in particular. The content-section is ok, looks very good indeed. But the navigation-bar and all that stuff. Is that neccessary? Maybe it's just personal likings, but I tend to make navis clean and not more than 5 list-points. The external links could be moved into a special section, aswell as the Supportings.
EDIT: Oh, very nices drawings by the way.
stine: 15'' probably means 800x600, right? actually like it best at that resolution, the bigger it gets, the more empty space there is on the right. but at least there's a nice pattern
I don't know if art collectors or whoever is ever going to buy this stuff is interested in sketches? maybe they are? problem is on all my sketches there are... "strange folks".. I'll sure put that stuff on the other site though!
jabo: excellent critique, thanks for taking your time! I just noticed that one cannot save the images half an hour ago... (never tried to download my own work, an easily made mistake I guess ) by working around do you mean by using another approach or a workaround using this same gallery script? if the latter one is the case I'd love to hear about what you plan/do/did!
Thanks for testing it in those browsers!! I don't have access to a mac.. Very good to see that clean (more or less...) coding seems to make stuff work
Bloggish look: hm. not exactly what I strive for... I added some space between the navigation and the link list and limited the list to 4 items. Having less list-points in the navigation would mean having sub-navigations for the image categories, I guess? I think most people can handle the 7 list-point navi.
I think I'd rather leave the inspiration and support links away than adding another section (and another point in the navigation.. )
I'll ask people if they'd prefer the column on the right being just the bubble and navigation - and remove the rest if most of them do.
Thanks again, this gives me a new point of view. Mucho appreciated!!
(and thank you for the compliments on the drawings! )
Warning: This might take a while to read.
About the gallery: I don't like that system (what's it's name again?) due to several reasons: Firstly because it seems off-site when that black fade begins and takes over the site. I like implemented galleries much more. Secondly, as I said, the URL doesn't change when you click an image. Thus, it makes no difference if you're in the gallery or if you have already chosen a picture. So no copy + paste actions, e.G. in an IRC-channel. You can only give away the url of the image, but if you have descriptions sticked to the image, they won't show up.
I've been working on several approaches to this problem for quite some time, including really abstract thinking processes, considering good interface-design and a dozen of thumbnails drawn in my notepad. Basically, you have 4 choices:
- Flash-gallery (cartoonfox's flash-site is a fucking blast, very nicely done. Unfortunately its flash, and I hate flash)
- CMS-standard-galleries like Coppermine (I like them, but they all look the same and they use pop-ups)
- direct link to the .jpg-file (no descriptions possible, no design)
- popups (scrap that)
None of this pleases me. An alternative would be my in-site-implementation. Basically you have 2 hierarchy-levels compared to the 1 in flash-galleries and 3 in a Coppermine-System. You click the navigation to go to the gallery, then you get a list of thumbnails. By clicking the thumbnail, you reach another html-site where the bigger image loads somewhere in the site's layout.
This is what I want. The problem is where to position the image. The thumbnails shall stay in the same position and status, basically you just want an image somewhere in there. I experimented with CSS to load the image outside of the site's view and reveal it by hovering over it's edge. Eventually Internet Explorer blew the whole thing, thanks Microcrap!
So far for my "solution". I'm planning to work out a final approach before christmas because I really need a site now.
I'm a perfectionist, I've been working on my website for 3 years now, having written tons of sample-sites, each new and fresh, but it takes too long and I get easily distracted by new design-styles. NEVER visit CSS galleries while working on your own site. Every day I get lost in detail and in the way people around the world quarry out new stuff. It's funny, making websites for companies at work is no problem, I'm quite fast actually.
/* END OF SELF-PITY */
About your site again: Maybe rework the navigation-buttons? The way they stick together and their small size makes them rather invisible compared to the rest of the sidebar. Bigger (= higher) buttons would work, I think. Also, mixing CAPS with CAPS/mins doesn't appear to be very attractive. I know what you want to achieve, but it doesn't work well in that case. Maybe rather re-structure the navigation by adding spacings under "Home" and before "About the Artist", so that the gallery-items stay alone.
I feel bad about all my critique, I really like the site, just to make that clear again. Nice colors, the site really has a theme.
BTW: Obwohl ich ja gerne meine Prinzipien für alle öffentlich mache, rein sprachlich könnten wir den Rest (falls du noch Lust hast) auch auf deutsch per PM besprechen.
I think the design is fine, but I think the entire page should be aligned to the center... right now it bulks up on the left of my screen, which is annoying. center it, & it will be ok! & show new work man!
Very nice. My only tiny little nitpick is that the gap between the right edge of the white page, and the navigation is too large. cut 5/10 pixels off by moving the nav closer to the left and you have yourself a perfect website : ]
hey why the $%& does it happen again and again that I don't receive notification mails after a couple days/posts..?
sorry guys! and thanks for the crits!
jabo: wow, thanks! another problem I have is that I've not completely understood how textpattern (the cms) works. a perfect solution would be: choose category from navigation > come to site with thumbnails (with nice discreet tooltip captions maybe) > click thumbnail and come to site with full picture AND caption + various info AND thumbnails AND next/previous links. don't know how to do it.
I think for this site the blending and smooth resize works well.
I will use another system for the illustration stuff website, there will have to be client infos and stuff for every picture as well and maybe more of an organisation by project than by individual piece. (sometimes more than one image per project, but one thumbnail in the projects overview. ah! it's complicated! but I like thinking about it and trying to come up with something that works
gringo: hm I think it would loose a lot of it's character and would look a lot more like "just another website". if many people find it annoying, I'll think about it, though. Usability before individuality
cartoonfox: jabo's right, your site is cool! there's a couple people who're not happy with the distance between the main element and the navigation. I think I'll try to change it (might me a bit difficult due to the current structure) and see what it looks like. thanks for the tip!
- changed the distance between main site and navigation! looks better!! thaaank you!
- inserted a little spacer element on top and bottom of the gallery-navigation-items and removed the caps. looks way better now, much easier to read! thank you again, jabo!
Last edited by dorian; August 27th, 2006 at 03:42 PM.
i also think this left-side alignment is uncomftorable
if the thing would be on the right side, with the menus on the left, i could handle it maybe
mmm nice site...those figure drawings rock too!
Great content, but I have to agree with Jabo and say it's too blogish for my tastes as well. I don't understand this new trend of making artists portfolios to function like Blogs. I think there is a lot of text and forms you can cull out to make it as streamlined as possible. Larger thumbnails so that you know exactly what you get when you click, would be useful too.
Right now there is just so much information on each page, and all of it is at the same level of visual interest, so it's overwhelming. I'd try to cull back on how much text there is per page, and then use font size, boldness, and proximity to organize what's left in a more easy to digest manner.
Ultimately I'd say right now the site design is getting in the way of your awesome art.
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