Site Critique

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Lee Marsh, May 18, 2005.

  1. Lee Marsh

    Lee Marsh Guest

    Well, I've made this website, but at the current moment am having little
    luck attracting (and keeping) users, and I think the reason this is, is that
    I am having little to no input from users. So, if the folks that frequent
    this newsgroup would be so kind...please take a look at my website, and let
    me know what you think. I'm mainly looking for criticism of the aesthetic
    design and usability, and I need help finding any sort of technical errors.
    There's one existing one that I know of right now that I'm trying to take
    care of. I know many times this group will point out formatting problems
    with a site's html or css, but that's not so much important to me as these
    other issues. In any case, let me know what you find, and you think. The
    link is in my signature. Thanks!


    <=============>
    --Lee
    http://www.inaneasylum.org


    Goodbye, adios, bis bald, see ya later, wiedersehen, and everything in
    between
    Lee Marsh, May 18, 2005
    #1
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  2. Lee Marsh

    Els Guest

    Lee Marsh wrote:

    [http://www.inaneasylum.org]
    > I'm mainly looking for criticism of the aesthetic
    > design and usability, and I need help finding any sort of technical errors.
    > There's one existing one that I know of right now that I'm trying to take
    > care of.


    How about mentioning that one here so people don't have to explain it
    to you in vain?

    > I know many times this group will point out formatting problems
    > with a site's html or css, but that's not so much important to me as these
    > other issues.


    Other issues as in... not html or css?

    Maybe better post it in a visual design group then :)

    In the mean time, if I'm asked to give design advice on this page: I
    don't see a design. It's just a large paragraph of text and a picture
    (which would look better floated so the text goes underneath as well).

    As for why you don't get many visitors to register: there is no
    example of what their gallery would look like. Nothing to entice
    anyone.

    --
    Els http://locusmeus.com/
    Sonhos vem. Sonhos vão. O resto é imperfeito.
    - Renato Russo -
    Els, May 18, 2005
    #2
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  3. Lee Marsh

    Lee Marsh Guest


    > How about mentioning that one here so people don't have to explain it
    > to you in vain?

    Ah yes, this error is as follows: when uploading a picture that is very
    large in its dimensions it can crash the script and/or not upload properly.

    > Other issues as in... not html or css?

    Well, the ones I mentioned: aesthetics and technical problems.

    > Maybe better post it in a visual design group then :)

    What can you recommend? I wouldn't even know which newsgroup to post to.

    > I
    > don't see a design. It's just a large paragraph of text and a picture

    Yea, I'm kind of going for a minimalist approach. I want to keep in real
    simple, you know. I think you're right about the floating text bit though...



    > there is no
    > example of what their gallery would look like. Nothing to entice
    > anyone.

    You know, I actually thought of that myself today, but wasnt sure if it
    would really matter. Now that you said so though...I think I'll do just
    that. Thanks thus far for the suggestions!


    <=============>
    --Lee
    http://www.inaneasylum.org
    Goodbye, adios, bis bald, see ya later, wiedersehen, and everything in
    between
    Lee Marsh, May 18, 2005
    #3
  4. Lee Marsh

    Els Guest

    Lee Marsh wrote:

    >> How about mentioning that one here so people don't have to explain it
    >> to you in vain?

    > Ah yes, this error is as follows: when uploading a picture that is very
    > large in its dimensions it can crash the script and/or not upload properly.


    I'll take your word for it - I'm not registered, so I can't test it.
    If it's like that, it sounds like a serious problem though, and it
    should be fixed a.s.a.p.

    >> Maybe better post it in a visual design group then :)

    > What can you recommend? I wouldn't even know which newsgroup to post to.


    alt.design.graphics and microsoft.public.design.gallery seem
    reasonably busy groups, but with your current page I wouldn't ask them
    for a review yet, as there is nothing for them to look at atm.

    >> I
    >> don't see a design. It's just a large paragraph of text and a picture

    > Yea, I'm kind of going for a minimalist approach. I want to keep in real
    > simple, you know. I think you're right about the floating text bit though...


    Real simple and minimalist is not the same as no formatting at all.

    Look for example at these:
    http://johnbokma.com/
    http://tobyinkster.co.uk/
    http://positioniseverything.net/
    http://meyerweb.com/

    None of them are complicated designs, but it is visible that someone
    took some time to make it look nice.

    An example of your own page with a bit of formatting:
    http://locusmeus.com/temp/lee.html

    >> there is no
    >> example of what their gallery would look like. Nothing to entice
    >> anyone.

    >
    > You know, I actually thought of that myself today, but wasnt sure if it
    > would really matter.


    How often do you buy stuff unseen? (other than tinned beans ;-) )

    > Now that you said so though...I think I'll do just
    > that. Thanks thus far for the suggestions!


    You're welcome.

    --
    Els http://locusmeus.com/
    Sonhos vem. Sonhos vão. O resto é imperfeito.
    - Renato Russo -
    Els, May 18, 2005
    #4
  5. Lee,

    Nothing at the site makes me want to read more. The plain black on white is
    harsh. The large white space at the right edge of the screen is wasted
    space. Why did you use tables for layout?

    I would set the background to a very light grey, or maybe even mix a little
    colour into it. Something very close to white but not quite there.

    I would also chop down the amount of text on the main page. Reduce the
    amount of reading that has to be done to figure out what the site is about.

    I would also make use of the full width of the user's viewport. Set a
    margin of 1 or 2 ems, not 20%!

    Carolyn

    Lee Marsh wrote:

    > Well, I've made this website, but at the current moment am having little
    > luck attracting (and keeping) users, and I think the reason this is, is
    > that I am having little to no input from users. So, if the folks that
    > frequent this newsgroup would be so kind...please take a look at my
    > website, and let me know what you think. I'm mainly looking for criticism
    > of the aesthetic design and usability, and I need help finding any sort of
    > technical errors. There's one existing one that I know of right now that
    > I'm trying to take care of. I know many times this group will point out
    > formatting problems with a site's html or css, but that's not so much
    > important to me as these other issues. In any case, let me know what you
    > find, and you think. The link is in my signature. Thanks!
    >
    >
    > <=============>
    > --Lee
    > http://www.inaneasylum.org
    >
    >
    > Goodbye, adios, bis bald, see ya later, wiedersehen, and everything in
    > between


    --
    Carolyn & Chantal Marenger
    77 Kincardine St. E.
    Alexandria, ON K0C 1A0, Canada
    (613) 525-3012
    Carolyn Marenger, May 18, 2005
    #5
  6. Lee Marsh wrote:
    > Well, I've made this website, but at the current moment am having little
    > luck attracting (and keeping) users, and I think the reason this is, is that
    > I am having little to no input from users.
    > http://www.inaneasylum.org


    I stopped reading when I came to this bit of the TOS:

    "Once a file has been uploaded by a user, that file becomes the property
    of Photoshack and it's [sic] proprietor."
    Leif K-Brooks, May 18, 2005
    #6
  7. Lee Marsh wrote:
    > Well, I've made this website, but at the current moment am having little
    > luck attracting (and keeping) users, and I think the reason this is, is that
    > I am having little to no input from users...


    No the reason you are not attracting or keeping users is that you aren't
    offering anything to the visitor they can not get somewhere else like
    Yahoo photos, or a billion other professional photo sharing sites. All
    of which are professionally done, featured filled, and free.

    The best you can hope for is a few friends and family will use your
    site. That is until they find one of the other free photo sharing sites.

    --
    -=tn=-
    Travis Newbury, May 18, 2005
    #7
  8. Lee Marsh

    dorayme Guest

    > From:

    > Have a look at the photographers section of
    > http://www.niziblianreps.com/
    > to see a great looking way of displaying photos. I think that you need
    > to
    > be aiming for that kind of boldness.
    >
    > Ta,
    >
    > Dan



    Yes, the pics display well, it is *actually a plus* the way they are not
    catered for with width and height in the html (I say without looking) and
    grow out of the little img sqrs... A nice case of going against the normal
    rules of thumb in mark-up - for aesthetic purposes. On dial-up, it all
    dances about nicely till all the pics are assembled but not too jarringly,
    the arrays are indicated early on and each marker pops out to claim a
    space...

    Having said this. Don't aim to follow the site's other features like not
    resizing gracefully when browser window width is reduced, there is no real
    point in it being *that* uncompromising. This is apart from the seemingly
    unnecessary use of frames...

    dorayme
    dorayme, May 19, 2005
    #8
  9. Lee Marsh

    Guest

    >Yea, I'm kind of going for a minimalist approach. I want to keep in
    real
    >simple, you know. I think you're right about the floating text bit

    though...

    If you intend on taking a minimal approach, you should go full hog. At
    the
    moment, there isn't anything holding the site together visually.
    Nouthing
    looks polished to the level that people expact of a professional site.

    As much as the idea of branding p*sses me off, I think that you should
    site down with an A3 sheet of paper and a black marker ben and work
    out exactly what it is that you want your website to provide to people?

    What is the most important thing to them? Their photos! They must take
    centre stage, and the gallery must look amazing, that's where your
    efforts
    should be focused - that's what your users care about.

    Yahoo photos and the like all fall down on the fact that they are too
    business-like. I would consider using the service if the gallery was
    attractive.

    Have a look at the photographers section of
    http://www.niziblianreps.com/
    to see a great looking way of displaying photos. I think that you need
    to
    be aiming for that kind of boldness.

    Ta,

    Dan
    , May 19, 2005
    #9
  10. Lee Marsh

    Els Guest

    wrote:

    [snip good advice about look of gallery]

    > http://www.niziblianreps.com/
    > to see a great looking way of displaying photos. I think that you need
    > to be aiming for that kind of boldness.


    Only don't aim for their setup.
    First you have to have Flash installed, and your browser needs to
    support frames. Then you have to wait till you get to see a
    navigation, and then wait for the next navigation. No shortcut.
    Then, if your window is narrower than 917px, thumbs will start
    'falling' off, and there isn't even a scrollbar to get to them.

    The only 'attractive' bit about this site is the black background
    colour and the 'nice' flash navigation. IMO of course :)

    --
    Els http://locusmeus.com/
    Sonhos vem. Sonhos vão. O resto é imperfeito.
    - Renato Russo -
    Now playing: Steelers Wheel - Stuck In The Middle
    Els, May 19, 2005
    #10
  11. Lee Marsh

    Els Guest

    dorayme wrote:

    > Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 17:31:06 +1100


    > dorayme


    Not sure if your PC's clock is off, or some daylightsaving has started
    or ended, but your post shows up as one hour old :)

    --
    Els http://locusmeus.com/
    Sonhos vem. Sonhos vão. O resto é imperfeito.
    - Renato Russo -
    Now playing: Jackson Brown - Load Out/Stay
    Els, May 19, 2005
    #11
  12. wrote:
    > Have a look at the photographers section of
    > http://www.niziblianreps.com/
    > to see a great looking way of displaying photos.


    After waiting about five seconds for the annoying Flash effect which
    fades the menu in to finish, and then waiting another three seconds for
    the same effect to finish on the "photographers" page, I finally got to
    click on one of the photographer's names. I expected a mind-blowing
    gallery to pop out. Perhaps it would sense the photo I wanted to see
    before I clicked, or make hard copies of the photos materialize before
    my eyes. This gallery must be the greatest innovation of all time, I
    thought!

    And then, it loaded. I saw a bog-standard photo gallery: nine photos
    displayed in a grid with no spacing between them.

    No offense, but the only special thing I saw on that site was the
    artificially-inflated loading times. Hardly usable, and not particularly
    beautiful to my eyes.
    Leif K-Brooks, May 19, 2005
    #12
  13. Lee Marsh

    Lee Marsh Guest

    I like the gallery you showed me, but kind of on the same note as what Els
    responded to your reply with, with the flash and all I think it might be a
    little to0 riddled more shabang than I'm willing to invest in a site im
    making for a hobby more than anything. However, I totally agree that the
    galleries need to look nice and that's what I'm having the hardest time
    doing. Originally I was going to have a feature that allowed people to
    custimize their galleries (and that is the main reason my css is so messed
    up right now). Do you think that's the sort of thing that people would go
    for?
    Anyways, I'm taking in everyone's suggestions and I am going to be working
    on this for the next couple of hours, so uh, I'll be back later, I guess.

    --
    <=============>
    --Lee
    http://www.inaneasylum.org

    Goodbye, adios, bis bald, see ya later, wiedersehen, and everything in
    between
    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >Yea, I'm kind of going for a minimalist approach. I want to keep in

    > real
    >>simple, you know. I think you're right about the floating text bit

    > though...
    >
    > If you intend on taking a minimal approach, you should go full hog. At
    > the
    > moment, there isn't anything holding the site together visually.
    > Nouthing
    > looks polished to the level that people expact of a professional site.
    >
    > As much as the idea of branding p*sses me off, I think that you should
    > site down with an A3 sheet of paper and a black marker ben and work
    > out exactly what it is that you want your website to provide to people?
    >
    > What is the most important thing to them? Their photos! They must take
    > centre stage, and the gallery must look amazing, that's where your
    > efforts
    > should be focused - that's what your users care about.
    >
    > Yahoo photos and the like all fall down on the fact that they are too
    > business-like. I would consider using the service if the gallery was
    > attractive.
    >
    > Have a look at the photographers section of
    > http://www.niziblianreps.com/
    > to see a great looking way of displaying photos. I think that you need
    > to
    > be aiming for that kind of boldness.
    >
    > Ta,
    >
    > Dan
    >
    Lee Marsh, May 19, 2005
    #13
  14. Lee Marsh wrote:
    <snip>
    > --Lee
    > http://www.inaneasylum.org


    A few starting tips:

    1. Consider validating.

    http://validator.w3.org

    2. Give your pages individual titles. Loads of pages with the same
    title are difficult to distinguish in the back button history and in
    search engines.

    3. The box for entering an album password should be of type="password",
    not type="text".

    4. A few typos:

    legal.php
    - Two instances of "it's" instead of "its"
    - "Users' of Photoshack" -> "Users of Photoshack"

    help.php - Add New Photos
    - "creat an album" -> "create an album"

    help.php - Change A Photos Filename
    -> "Change a Photo's Filename"
    - "reads' Manage Settings'" -> "reads 'Manage Settings'" (also on some
    other pages)
    - "names.If" -> "names. If"

    I haven't had the time to finish looking....

    Stewart.

    --
    My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox. Please keep replies on
    the 'group where everyone may benefit.
    Stewart Gordon, May 19, 2005
    #14
  15. Lee Marsh

    dorayme Guest

    > From: Els <>
    ect: Re: Site Critique
    >
    > dorayme wrote:
    >
    >> Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 17:31:06 +1100

    >
    >> dorayme

    >
    > Not sure if your PC's clock is off, or some daylightsaving has started
    > or ended, but your post shows up as one hour old :)



    It is now 10.11 am Friday 20th of May 2005 here and my computer clock is
    saying as much. I am on dial up. I am on a Mac. I am posting this now.
    Daylight summer saving ended quite a few weeks back here on the NSW,
    Australian coast. So what gives?


    dorayme
    dorayme, May 20, 2005
    #15
  16. Lee Marsh

    Mark Parnell Guest

    Previously in alt.html, dorayme <> said:

    > It is now 10.11 am Friday 20th of May 2005 here and my computer clock is
    > saying as much. I am on dial up. I am on a Mac. I am posting this now.
    > Daylight summer saving ended quite a few weeks back here on the NSW,
    > Australian coast. So what gives?


    No idea, but I'm also in NSW (Sydney, actually), and your post says it
    was sent at 9.11AM, not 10.11. It's because the time zone is set to GMT
    +11 instead of +10. Not sure whether that's set on your computer, or on
    your newsserver though.

    --
    Mark Parnell
    http://www.clarkecomputers.com.au
    alt.html FAQ :: http://html-faq.com/
    Mark Parnell, May 20, 2005
    #16
  17. Lee Marsh

    Els Guest

    Mark Parnell wrote:

    > Previously in alt.html, dorayme <> said:
    >
    >> It is now 10.11 am Friday 20th of May 2005 here and my computer clock is
    >> saying as much. I am on dial up. I am on a Mac. I am posting this now.
    >> Daylight summer saving ended quite a few weeks back here on the NSW,
    >> Australian coast. So what gives?

    >
    > No idea, but I'm also in NSW (Sydney, actually), and your post says it
    > was sent at 9.11AM, not 10.11. It's because the time zone is set to GMT
    > +11 instead of +10. Not sure whether that's set on your computer, or on
    > your newsserver though.


    And I see your posts as respectively 1.11 and 2.22 here :)

    --
    Els http://locusmeus.com/
    Sonhos vem. Sonhos vão. O resto é imperfeito.
    - Renato Russo -
    Els, May 20, 2005
    #17
  18. Lee Marsh

    dorayme Guest

    > From: Mark Parnell <>

    > Previously in alt.html, dorayme <> said:
    >
    >> It is now 10.11 am Friday 20th of May 2005 here and my computer clock is
    >> saying as much. I am on dial up. I am on a Mac. I am posting this now.
    >> Daylight summer saving ended quite a few weeks back here on the NSW,
    >> Australian coast. So what gives?

    >
    > No idea, but I'm also in NSW (Sydney, actually), and your post says it
    > was sent at 9.11AM, not 10.11. It's because the time zone is set to GMT
    > +11 instead of +10. Not sure whether that's set on your computer, or on
    > your newsserver though.
    >
    > --
    > Mark Parnell



    Hmm... what to do? Hang on a mo...

    I took a look at my Date and Time control panel (OS 9.1) and my extensions.
    It is true that I have Time Synchroniser turned off as its main function
    seemed to be its auto "daylight saving" updates. And it also "synchronises"
    the clock with a "network time server". I have always figured I do not need
    an auto adjuster for daylight saving and further figured it would need to
    somehow, online, go somewhere unknown to me behind my back and do something
    to my clock... It is not that I am paranoid so much as not trusting of this
    and make do with as few extensions as possible. But here I might have been
    over cautious. Perhaps it represents my clock to others somehow more
    universally correct. Must read about this stuff...

    Do my posts not go via my ISP somehow, and do they not somehow represent
    "correct" time. Don't answer this, I am just thinking aloud so as to make
    the pleasure of finding out the truth more intense if and when it happens.

    I have now turned Time Synchroniser on and *next* time I start the machine
    and get on line, maybe the problem will be fixed. I am curious now. What
    will happen? Will my OE be informed by this software to check some
    international clock and represent my post in some universally understood
    manner as a result? Will my clock change in what it says in my menu bar?
    Will it animate its way thru Polish, Chinese and Yiddish time
    representations?

    Thanks to Els and yourself for assisting me in this matter. I want that I
    should be in the same time dimension as other people in the world. The same
    planet... well, let me not get too ambitious yet...

    :)

    dorayme
    dorayme, May 20, 2005
    #18
  19. Lee Marsh

    tm Guest

    dorayme wrote:

    > It is now 10.11 am Friday 20th of May 2005 here and my computer clock is
    > saying as much. I am on dial up. I am on a Mac. I am posting this now.
    > Daylight summer saving ended quite a few weeks back here on the NSW,
    > Australian coast. So what gives?


    Looks okay to me. Of course, I'm also on a mac and in the same time
    zone and we don't do daylight savings.


    Path:
    attnet-tokyo!spinnewsgate!giga-nspixp2!newsfeed.media.kyoto-u.ac.jp!new
    s1.optus.net.au!optus!newsfeeder.syd.optusnet.com.au!news.optusnet.com.
    au!not-for-mail
    User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
    Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 10:11:32 +1100
    Subject: Re: Site Critique
    From: dorayme <>
    Newsgroups: alt.html
    Message-ID: <BEB36853.11C89%>
    tm, May 20, 2005
    #19
  20. Lee Marsh

    Toby Inkster Guest

    dorayme wrote:

    > And it also "synchronises" the clock with a "network time server". I
    > have always figured I do not need an auto adjuster for daylight saving
    > and further figured it would need to somehow, online, go somewhere
    > unknown to me behind my back and do something to my clock...


    All it means is that ever so often your computer will ask a particular
    server what the time is, read the result and adjust your computer's clock
    accordingly.

    Nothing untoward.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
    Toby Inkster, May 20, 2005
    #20
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