Website Updated! Check it out!

Discussion in 'Review My Site' started by arshadansari76, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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    Hi there,

    Your comments have always helped me a lot. This is next version of my website. I would like to get your great review that always guide me write.
    My site has following features, please check them:

    Commenting system
    Centralized Home Page
    News/Updates
    etc.

    Waiting for your replies.

    http://arshadansari.x10.mx
    [ PHP ][ MySQL ]
     
  2. essellar

    essellar Community Advocate Community Support

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    Overall, not bad. There is going to be a long and detailed bit of criticism here, but you should take that as a sign that things are (relatively) easily fixable. If things were really bad, then I can't give specific suggestions that would make much difference, and if they were horrible I wouldn't even be able to start.

    The first thing I have to say is rather subjective: I find the extreme dark grey page background makes the overall page feel kind of claustrophobic. A lighter background, perhaps something with a subtle noise texture, would be as effective at keeping the users' eyes confined to the content area without the forcefulness that the near-black background imparts. (It would also make the shadow effect more prominent and effective, lending a better dimensional sense to the content block.) Note that this was an immediate reaction I got before I even noticed the content, and that it may be cultural as much as anything else; the effect may be completely different for other users.

    One thing that I noticed over and over again is "click here" (and variations on that theme). "Click here" is generally regarded as a bad call to action these days. In the very earliest days of the web, users were not accustomed to hyperlinks, and one had to make it very obvious to the reader that clicking would have an effect. The general population is now almost "expert" at using a web browser, and no longer needs to be told to click. For instance, a link around "read the full article" would suffice. Users will understand that as a call to action, so the "click here" is redundant text—in fact, most users would expect to be able to click on the "read the full article" phrase due to the conventions that have built up over the years. Clickable entities (links and buttons) should tell the user what to expect, not what to do.

    The same thing goes for the "My Blog" and "My Gallery" blocks on the main page -- the headings should be the links, and you can get rid of the "click to open" text. (In fact, I'd make the whole block clickable if it were me. You can do that by including a link inside the div, with display: block; and sized to the same dimensions as the div itself.)

    The margins (whitespace) around your text in the main content area on the individual articles are just a little bit too narrow for comfortable reading (the effect is especially noticeable at the right-hand margin). Bumping that up by 50-100% would not significantly affect the layout of the text, but would dramatically improve readability. The boxes around the article summaries on the main page eliminate the readability problems, so you can leave the CSS for the main page alone.

    There are probably going to be people complaining about the contrast level of your sidebar text. Ignore them. The text is perfectly readable as-is, and the reduced contrast means that the text is unobtrusive. It's there and plain to read when the user directs their attention to the sidebar, but it "gets out of the way" when the user is trying to read content in the main central block. There is a good argument, though, for the idea of removing or reducing the "Quick Info" blurb and leaving all of that to your "About Me" page. I'm sure you can find something a little more topical to fill up the space (the News section could probably go there—people sort of expect quick navigation elements in the left-hand column). The stuff on the right can be more "informational" and/or speculative; the "What's New" section fits perfectly, and that would also be a good place to mention ongoing or upcoming activities.

    I would, however, spend a significant amount of time on the copy. For instance, you mention that you've moved from Flash-based design to PHP/MySQL-backed HTML, but you haven't really explained why. What are the specific drawbacks to Flash-based designs from your perspective? (As an accessibility and usability wonk, I can think of a number of user-facing deficiencies, and as a developer I can think of many more—not the least of which is that if the original designer abandons the project, all you've got is a SWF to work with, since the FLA probably only exists on his/her computer.) There are a number of spelling and grammar mistakes that detract from the overall professionalism of the site. "Good enough" isn't good enough -- this is the face you are presenting to the world, and as they say, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Get help with your content—the contributions from good editors and proofreaders will increase your technical and artistic credibility by leaps and bounds even if copywriting has little or nothing to do with your work. Think of your site as a comprehensive résumé (or CV). It doesn't matter what you can do; if you present it in a less than completely professional manner, any potential hiring manager or person looking for a freelancer will bin your résumé without reading it.
     
  3. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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    Hi essellar,

    First of all I am so much grateful for such a comprehensive review of my site. Usually people give a two-three line comment that doesn't explain much. But your review has helped me see my site more clear.

    Here is the list of fixes that i am scheduling:

    1 > I am going to replace the background with a simple pattern with a lighter color

    2 > Sorry for the 'click me' thing, actually i didn't know much about it. Thanks a lot for the information. I will update the content and make the hyperlinks clear.

    3 > Currently the Margin set for the content area is 10px all. I am not understanding one point here. Should i make the text more narrow by increasing it to 20px, or do you want me to decrease it. Please let me know.

    4 > The Arrangement of both sidebar will be changed to - left side bar containing blog menu and news while right sidebar containing 'What's New' and a Gallery Preview. The Quick info will be removed.

    5 > I am working on correcting the copy. Thoroughly checking the grammar and spellings. I am thinking to take help of some friends for the work too. The idea of thinking the site as a CV is really great. I will try to improve the quality of the copy.

    I will try to get all my scheduled tasks done as soon as possible and please clear my doubt about the margins. Once again thank you so much. I'll be waiting for your reply.
     
  4. andydesign246

    andydesign246 New Member

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  5. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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  6. essellar

    essellar Community Advocate Community Support

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    You've understood perfectly. Bumping the margins up to 15 or 20px (as opposed to the current 10px) should dramatically help the readability. You may find 20px to be a bit much, especially since you're using justified text, and that needs a relatively long line-length to avoid excessive spacing between words. It shouldn't take long to find the right measure, but don't trust your own eyes alone; get a few people to look at it after you've got something you like.

    The changes you've proposed sound just about right. Keep us posted on the changes, and we'll (or at least I'll) keep giving feedback. Working on your own site is always hardest, since "customer feedback" is all you—and who really wants to argue with themselves?
     
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  7. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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    Once again thanks essellar for your valuable feedbacks. I'll be posting soon about the changes. And you are right about designing your own sites, it seriously is a hard task.

    ---------- Post added at 10:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:26 PM ----------

    Hi essellar,

    I have completed all the scheduled changes except the grammar and spelling of the copy. The site is up to date. The background pattern is a quick composition, I will try a better later. I will be waiting for your feedback.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  8. essellar

    essellar Community Advocate Community Support

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    Wonderful so far! The change in the background really makes a huge difference. I wouldn't be disappointed if that background is used in the final version, though I'm not going to discourage further experimentation. The text seems much "freer" in the article pages, and I no longer feel like I'm bumping into the sidebars while I'm reading. The sidebar content seems to make more sense as it's arranged now as well. And I like the way the links are constructed. Keep up the good work.
     
  9. glasgow1

    glasgow1 New Member

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    your website is not bad.
     
  10. CoolFinalFan

    CoolFinalFan Member

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    good look & feel to the site, easy to navigate around, and good luck with your studies!!
     
  11. Blue-Wave

    Blue-Wave New Member

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    Intresting desegin you have, not bad!:rolleyes:
     
  12. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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    Thanks all for liking my design and site.

    I got more for you to check out! I have finally developed a new component of my site, the Gallery. It's just a basic image gallery i developed to showcase my photographs. It's basic right now, i am going upgrade it soon with navigation(previous,next) in the image viewer. But still its 90% completed and implemented. I also added commenting feature to the gallery so that you can directly comment in the gallery.

    Please give your feedback, it has always been a guiding light to me.

    Gallery: http://arshadansari.x10.mx/?t=gallery

    PS: I also rewrote my blogs to correct some grammatical and spelling mistake. I also added some images to make it more interesting. please check that too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  13. warid17

    warid17 New Member

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    nice logo dude... i like it, website is also cooool.
     
  14. ash3r44

    ash3r44 New Member

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    beautiful template use.. good work bro :)
     
  15. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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    Thanks ash3r44 and warid17.

    And by the way, I have not used any template. This site was developed from scratch. Every bit of it is pure original creation(except the logos of brands used in the blog). But thanks for appreciating my work
     
  16. rizkasubchan77

    rizkasubchan77 New Member

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    Nice look, very fresh i like it !
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  17. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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  18. droctoganapus86

    droctoganapus86 New Member

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    You might want to add some style to the :hover selector. Could be just a slightly lighter shade of the color you use, for example. It improves the experience of the menubar
     
  19. arshadansari76

    arshadansari76 New Member

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    Hey thanks. Actually this design is incomplete right now, i am working on my business website now a days. I will resume my work on my personal homepage later. The whole JavaScript is to be integrated. I am planning to use jQuery instead of tradition method. I will share my work with you soon!
     
  20. krazee_marlon1128

    krazee_marlon1128 New Member

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    the website does not exist . .tsk tsk
     

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