Need opinions on site design
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Thread: Need opinions on site design

  1. #1

    Need opinions on site design

    Hello there! I'm currently constructing a website for my network security company, and know that it's finally hit the alpha stage (and there was much rejoicing). This means I need the advice of mature people willing to see beyond the 31337-scene webdesign that seems to be the new fad, (damn kids) and bring it back to basics.

    http://thetao.no-ip.com/

    Any advice is appreciated, so long as when you give a peice of advice you also give a suggestion that will turn that wrong into a right. I don't enjoy seeing a list of "this is wrong" without a single person stepping foward with ideas on how to make it better. If you can't offer insight and valid advice to go with what you think is wrong, don't post. That's right, I just don't have time for people like that.

    Too hard to see? Images not layered well? Crossbrowser lacking? Only one page is finished and navigation is on hold (it's going to be a imagemap, peice of cake) until I get your opinions on it. Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
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    Pooh,
    What you have looks good, but was a long time loading(on broad band even). This might have been something besides normal loading time, like a node hang or something, but I didn't have the time to empty my cashe and try it again.
    I am going to assume that you will be adding banners around the central theme with company name and such. With nothing being there it looks a little naked right now.
    It was quite readable, and the background transparency did not detract from the text at all, as you see in some web sites.
    Good job so far.
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  3. #3
    but was a long time loading(on broad band even). This might have been something besides normal loading time, like a node hang or something, but I didn't have the time to empty my cashe and try it again.
    I'm using the PNG format while creating the actual site (ethical reasons) and will be switching to JPG for the beta release, which should cut the file size in half

    I am going to assume that you will be adding banners around the central theme with company name and such. With nothing being there it looks a little naked right now.
    Nope, it's meant to look a little bit naked, a little bit calm versus wild. That's the basic interface and control panel, with the information screen. That one aspect won't be changing But I do thank you for bringing it to my attention that some may not like it as such.

    It was quite readable, and the background transparency did not detract from the text at all, as you see in some web sites.
    Awesome, I was hoping I had lightened the area enough to make things readable still. Many thanks for your replies!

  4. #4
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    Hmm...just a few things. First, with the good stuff I suppose. As someone mentioned before, you've done a nice job with the background image and getting it light enough to not take away from the text (I hate sites where you want to email the author and say "My eyes are burning, thanks."). Also, the alignment work is well done in the code so that everything shows up nicely. I like the small page feeling. I hate when people code things wrong or make an absurdly long page where I have to scroll through a ton of junk to get to what I want. Not having to scroll was quite refreshing and the black border worked out nicely I thought.

    The only suggestion I would like to make is to make the navigation bar a little bit different. Right now you have it as a clickable image map. I'd suggest making an image for each item on the bar, and putting them in a table, then making a highlighted version, and use something like javascript to change the image onMouseover and onClick. I'd suggest a light pastel blue for the onMouseover color and a slightly darker blue for the onClick color. I think it'd just add a little something to the site. Otherwise, it looks very nice.

    There's only one other thing to consider and that's the use of the iframe. Usually I stay away from them, for a few reasons. First, I just don't really like them and there's usually a better way for me to do something. Second, when you scroll down the page, iframes don't quite keep up, so it looks like parts of the page are dragging, which looks pretty cool, but a little unprofessional. As a recommendation though, in your case, I don't quite know what I'd do because you have four sets of text that need to be shown over the image, so making a table with the image in the background probably isn't going to work too well. BUT, you already have seperate html pages with the content in separate pages, so, you've got 5 pages there. By using a table with a background image (a la CSS), you could put the content in each page and use multiple pages with the same stuf. You'd only have four pages (albeit, they're a bit larger size-wise) and wouldn't have to worry about iframe issues. But, that's my personal opinion talking there. I'm actually happy with your implementation of the iframe in this case, which is why it's difficult to settle on an alternative.

    Overall, it looks pretty good and I'm looking forward to seeing some more of it. If you want some serious critiquing, check out http://beigetower.org or visit them on irc at irc.freenode.net #beigetower. There are a ton of people there that really know what they're doing and can give you all sorts of help. Whether you want to take my advice is up to you. Here's my site: http://cypherpunk.8bit.co.uk . You can judge for yourself whether you should take my advice or not.
    Is there a sum of an inifinite geometric series? Well, that all depends on what you consider a negligible amount.

  5. #5
    The only suggestion I would like to make is to make the navigation bar a little bit different. Right now you have it as a clickable image map. I'd suggest making an image for each item on the bar, and putting them in a table, then making a highlighted version, and use something like javascript to change the image onMouseover and onClick. I'd suggest a light pastel blue for the onMouseover color and a slightly darker blue for the onClick color. I think it'd just add a little something to the site. Otherwise, it looks very nice.
    I'll consider it, but since it is a site about specific network security using Javascript is just asking for trouble. Sure, I know rollover Javascript is harmless, but it's the statement that counts. I will take that into account and consideration though

    There's only one other thing to consider and that's the use of the iframe. Usually I stay away from them
    I'd have to disagree here. The iframe has finally been w3ed and cross browser compatible, with more flexability than typical frames. The speed in which the iframe is rendered is duplicate to the oldschool frames, and that is dependant upon your browser rather than the tag itself. For me, firefox, mozilla and epiphany all rendered it fast as a scroll. However, to save a bit and add onto eyecandy I turned it into pages. So, while tables + CSS would work, it takes up far too much extra code when an iframe will preform the exact same function for me, and not have a single issue

    Iframes and issues are old school NS 4 problems. The iframe implmentation is the one thing I won't budge on, simply because of it not giving me issues.

    Overall, it looks pretty good and I'm looking forward to seeing some more of it. If you want some serious critiquing, check out http://beigetower.org or visit them on irc at irc.freenode.net #beigetower. There are a ton of people there that really know what they're doing and can give you all sorts of help. Whether you want to take my advice is up to you. Here's my site: http://cypherpunk.8bit.co.uk . You can judge for yourself whether you should take my advice or not.
    Nah, this isn't a website about graphical development, it's about security. I simply have no need to understand the latest 'fad' and what is 'scene' at the time. That, and the entire place is usually full of elitists that demand all websites to be scene rather than origonal. I'll stick to my own designs, and ask normal people (who will be using the sites) for usability ideas.


    All in all, a good group of thoughts Thanks!

  6. #6
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    The iframe has finally been w3ed and cross browser compatible
    *learns something new*

    Nah, this isn't a website about graphical development, it's about security. I simply have no need to understand the latest 'fad' and what is 'scene' at the time. That, and the entire place is usually full of elitists that demand all websites to be scene rather than origonal. I'll stick to my own designs, and ask normal people (who will be using the sites) for usability ideas.
    I can respect that. And you're right, the best people to get feedback from are the ones that actually are going to go to your site.
    Is there a sum of an inifinite geometric series? Well, that all depends on what you consider a negligible amount.

  7. #7
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    Well I like it. It's simple, clean, but it lacks a bit of content. :P
    One thing you may wish to consider is making the "Page: 1 2 3 4" link in that iframe (the what*.html files) a touch more evident (bold perhaps?). I overlooked them at first.

    Also, on the iframe note, you could always use SSI to do the including, as something to consider.
    One final suggestion: get rid of the blackspace at the top above the menu, or shorten it. At 1280x1024 it looks okay, but when I flipped down to 1024x768 it looked like a mistake almost that it was that far from the top of the page.
    Chris Shepherd
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    \"Well as far as the spelling, I speak fluently both your native languages. Do you even can try spell mine ?\" -- Failed Insult
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  8. #8
    AO French Antique News Whore
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    Yo! I didn't bother read all the opinions made by other members (Lack of time and stomac telling me it's hungry) but you are NOT using enough of the available screen size. In a 1024x768 resolution, I have 2 huge black line and each side of the website and 2medium black line on top/bottom. That a waste of space on the computer screen.
    -Simon \"SDK\"

  9. #9
    Don't confuse simlpe and clean with wasted space there is meant to be space. Web design does NOT always include tons of content and information and flashy things that are simply not needed.

    to preassume each and every designing website must take up 100% of all screenspace is to preassume that every single designer must design according to a singular rule. thankfully, it's about design and not screenspace.

    sorry, that's another aspect I won't budge on.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
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    I think it looks fine Pooh - I agree with previous comments about the picture/text contrast. However one thing Chris has picked up on I'd like to take a little further...

    the 'Page 1 2 3 4' whilst I think it actually is bold enough - I absolutely hate trying to get the pointer to highlight the page number because the numbers are so small. Whilst it's relatively manageable on a desktop its a bit tricky with a laptop touchpad. Any chance of putting a couple of 'next page', 'previous page' arrow graphics to aid with the navigation... kinda like

    < Page 1 2 3 4 >

    I think that would make navigating multiple pages much easier

    Z
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