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Hi you lot...
Finally got the DMD Photography website online... Not finished just yet, but at least it has contact details available...lol
Anyone fancy a look? It's at www.dmdphotography.co.uk
All feedback and comments gratefully received... BE NICE! lol
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Had a very quick look Lea, on the front end the "site loading - please wait message stays up after loading is complete. I think you should consider having this message change/disappear, also the click below to enter would be more instructive if it was not visible until all was loaded, I would include a button or some other visual to appear, if you want the message to remain as it is now, to prompt visitors. I hope this is of some help as currently I found myself waiting for something to happen to indicate that I could enter the site mainly due to the "site loading - please wait message.
EDIT: forgot to mention, the title of your front end is currently "Untitled Document".
U are right! Thanks v much... will have to get that one fixed! Any more glitches??? lol
See Edit in previous post
1. The 'click below to enter' is still there (but fully visible only at the end of upload - intended?)
2. The black rectangle should be much lager. It takes only about 1/3-1/4 of my screen (1280x1024).
3. There's a glitch that there's a black bit that's stepping out of the main rectangle - quite bad first impression of an image art company, me thinks.
4. After entering the site, background pattern repeating it self of both horisontal and vertical axes.
5. Writings of 'home, 'about us', 'contact us' and 'feed back' are NOT aligned the same regarding the curve ('home' is separated off the curve; while 'feedback' is going over the curve).
6. Links of 'prints', 'portfolio'' commercial' and ect. are not aligned the same regarding each box and the boxes aren't the same size. Regarding alignment - if the miss alignment intentional then there're too many that are aligned the same ('prints', 'portfolios', 'commercial') that's not working.
Maybe I'm too pedantic but I belive the small bits are making the difference. Especially when you're making mony out of it.
I liked the tones of the design.
One or two more things to consider .... remember these are only opinions!! Good work getting as far as you have.
When loading, the dmd photography block is about 5 pixels wider than the background. I guess you'll not see it on a 800x600 screen but try something wider and it'll be clear.
Maybe the loader should drop you into the site when its finished loading?
What are you loading? - I couldn't see any good reason to hang around there, and even less when it had finished. Usually you need to provide a button to skip the fancy loading business. If you're preloading images you're on a loser - why should you expect me to wait before you've sold me on the idea of staying? You'll find many people giving up at this point. I was certainly looking for more of a reward for waiting than your home page currently provides.
On the Home page, first impressions are that the underlines look pretty ugly. Its pretty obvious what they are, why labour it? Equally if you have to provide instructions about the navigation, then the navigation is too difficult. I'd lose all those words at the top. I also know how to contact you: its on the menu - you don't need to tell me!
Overall I like the idea of the minimal design, but it needs to be really classy to stand out. You might want to think about whether there's enough contrast for example on the screen, and whether the text stands out enough. It all looks a bit flat at the moment but probably only needs a bit of tweaking.
Overall it looks lke you designed for and on a small screen - it'd be worth testing on a bigger screen to see how messy the repeating elements look. A quick fix would be to centre the whole thing on the screen and remove the repeating elements (that you may not have spotted).
Conventionally, your company name should have a link under it to take me back Home.
You might want to consider a more explicit link in the main menu to take me to images - it's not very clear that I have to go back home to find the pictures.
Don't bother telling folk the site's not complete - just hide the stuff that's not ready. It just wastes people's time and gets them annoyed, and annoyed visitors don't make repeat visitors.
When you click on a box the main menu shifts up the screen about 20-30 pixels. The boxed links are hard to read - white on gray isn't a great choice. It just makes it hard to know what you've got. You have to make this bit easy.
When I've gone into a section, how do I get back to the box menus? Do I click on the main menu or do I click on the back button. I felt lost...
For more website usability stuff, check out Steve Krugs Dont Make Me Think book, useful and readable.
Nothing is more likely than to stop a person returning than "site under construction" messages - if you have no content you should have no link (and that does not mean have text and no link like some on "portfolio" section).
The site comes across as very amateurish, which is probably not the impression you wish to give - i'm not sure it would convince someone to use your services.
Also, some of the layout is different between firefox and IE, for example the contact page lines up fine in IE but is wonky in firefox.
The background picture is of fairly poor quality.
Don't mean to sound harsh, just think you probably want to make the most of having an online presence. Try looking at some other photographers websites - there are plenty on here to be starting with.
hope that helps, Declan
You are obviously an aspiring professional but without being disrespectful the site simply screams - 'amateur'. I don't mean this as a slight against those (most photographers in fact) who are amateur photographers but in the widest sense that the person who has constructed this site does not have much experience.
That probably is the case but you do need to remember that you are in the image business and first impressions count for so much.
A PR company wanting to engage your services to promote a clients business will quite frankly go to your site and quickly pass on.
You need to get it loaded up with pics PDQ. At the moment, it is hard to work out what it is you are offering. Black works well for a photo website (that is why I use it (here and here) as does grey (here) but you do need images to keep it from being too funereal and in any case, photos are what you are about so we need to see some (plenty of them).
The front page issue hs been mentioned. I sat for ages waiting for something to happen.
I would also suggest that you include some details about yourself. You don't appear to mention even your name and DMD Photography is a bit 'old fashioned' (I can't think of a better description to use). Photography is a personal art and most clients will want to know who they are dealing with. An address is also helpful. Most clients will look for a photographer in an area that suits them - only showing a 'phone number may out them off
I know this all sounds negative but you are entering one of the most competitive business arenas it is possible to work in. There are thousands of extremely talented snappers and digital artists out there all competing for the crumbs in a very small bowl (and getting smaller) so you need to have that 'kapow' factor and your website will often be the first point of contact with your clients so it needs to be a bit special.
As I say, sorry to be negative but I mean it in a positive way
Keep at it!
I think the experts have covered most points, but it really requires a lot of work to make it into a professional site. At the moment it looks like something that someone has quickly put together, there are so many mistakes, so many improvements required.
see i dont get it!!! It all looks fine and good quality on my screen... and its a 19 inch monitor... grr.... will keep going
Quote: See i dont get it!!! It all looks fine and good quality on my screen... and its a 19 inch monitor
But herein lies another problem - what looks great on one monitor with a certain resolution can look terrible on another.
For instance my own business website looks quite different when viewed on my 17in monitor at work with a resolution of 1280x1024 compared to my 15in monitor at home at 1024x768.
The main thing I noticed is that the loader page is all over to one side on my 15in monitor with a great white space to the right and along the bottom of the screen. On the main menu page part of the grey curve is repeated (as though you've used the tile function on a desktop wallpaper).
Go to a friend's house and check your site on their monitor or pop into an internet cafe.
Thanks for all your input guys.
I'm going to have a play about and get rid of the glitches so I can at least have something basic online as we're advertising....
Keep checking back and let me know what you think....
Quote: I'm going to have a play about and get rid of the glitches so I can at least have something basic online as we're advertising....
Do you mean to say you are already sending out the website address to people when there is nothing on there for them to see?
As was pointed out above it's hardly a good advertisement is it? Imagine a shop window with a sign saying "Display under construction". Wouldn't entice you inside would it?
LOL - well not yet!!! But its underway... stuff will go out when I get the damn site done!
Throw away everything you have already done. This should be obvious from the posts above.
You might want to consider getting it done professionally done, or perhaps use a "pre-built" site you just tailor to your specific needs. I can't remember any off the top of my head, but shouldn't be too tricky.
Compare your site to some of the other photographers sites (Barrie's above and check out "contemporay dave").
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