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Author Topic: Site Feedback Please  (Read 7359 times)
WarrenRoos
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« on: November 20, 2006, 04:12:04 PM »
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Iím about to update the site and the software I have driving it and would appreciate any comments about anything. Many thanks.

ROOS PHOTO.COM

-w
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2006, 05:37:52 AM »
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Warren, as a fan of the KISS principle, I'm probably not the best person to ask! This comes across as another site that is more of a demonstration of a clever web designer than showcasing your photographs I am afraid. And personally I feel that the design gets in the way of engagement with the images, rather than encouraging it.

As a showcase for a web designer trying to get clients in need of, or impressed by, that sort of thing, it would proably be more effective.  

What I want to see on a commercial (i.e. not hobby) photographer's site before I go mousing about trying to work out where to find stuff is: who he is, what he specialises in, where he works, where I can contact him, and very importantly a quick taster of his style of work. After that, if I am hooked, I'll spend time looking at galleries (assuming I can work out how they operate and don't take minutes to display); reading about what makes him tick, etc.

Faced with Flash for the sake of it, I'll probably just cast my eyes up and go elsewhere, unless I have a specific reason for persevering.

Anything that flashes or includes movement tends to remind people of ads and may be counterproductive for that reason. Have you noticed how you can visit a site and home in on the static content you want to read, ignoring all the visual clutter round the edges?

Of course I am not necessarily typical of the target audience, and this opinion is worth what you paid for it.

BTW: how important is SEO to you? The two links I found in Google semed to point to now non-existent pages and be redirected. If the change is recent, that might be a sign of plummeting rankings.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2006, 10:05:09 AM »
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My reaction was exactly the same as Lois's, but she expressed it better than I would have!

Eric
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WarrenRoos
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2006, 10:20:12 AM »
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Faced with Flash for the sake of it, I'll probably just cast my eyes up and go elsewhere, unless I have a specific reason for persevering.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86328\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Lois,

I have digested your comments for several days before writing back.

Almost all of the people directed to my site are photo buyers, Adís or designers. We all live in the flash world and where as you may not care for it for now itís the norm we travel in. So I disagree with you on this.   I was hoping to suss out if the sight needed tweaking because of how one must mouse over the images to make them come up (again a norm nowadays) or other such things.  I looked over your sites and you prefer text over images.  I suspect we might not have the same style and tastes but I'm not judging either.  I was just fishing a bit to see if my junk works well enough.

Your thoughtful SEO remark floored me because you are so right. I wonder instead of spending another several thousand to mail out disposable images if I should hire a SEO specialist to increase my sites search ability. If ,as I profess, this is the world I live and work in then I should better address this above all. Digital in all ways.

so thanks

-w
« Last Edit: November 25, 2006, 01:40:17 PM by WarrenRoos » Logged

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thompsonkirk
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2006, 09:10:21 PM »
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IMO you'd be wise to reconsider Lois' comments & act on them.  To my eyes, the flash-iness really does get in the way of serious appraisal.  

Kirk
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howiesmith
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2006, 12:01:01 AM »
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Almost all of the people directed to my site are photo buyers, Adís or designers. We all live in the flash world and where as you may not care for it for now itís the norm we travel in. So I disagree with you on this.††
-w

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=86992\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It appears you have given thouhjy yo ypur audience and jave cjosen not to follow Lois' advice.  As long as you atr aware that not all people like the site, fine.

Have you given any condiferation that the people directed to your site are those who like its style, and that perhaps a dufferent style might have a larger acceptance.  I would hope that "photo buyers, Adís or designers" could view a diffferent sytle and make a good choice anyway.


My gut feeling from your reply is you like your site as is and really had no intention of taking the considered advice of the more mainstream (mundane if you prefer) viewer.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 06:37:43 AM by howiesmith » Logged
WarrenRoos
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2006, 07:23:48 PM »
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It appears you have given thouhjy yo ypur audience and jave cjosen not to follow Lois' advice.† As long as you atr aware that not all people like the site, fine.

Have you given any condiferation that the people directed to your site are those who like its style, and that perhaps a dufferent style might have a larger acceptance.† I would hope that "photo buyers, Adís or designers" could view a diffferent sytle and make a good choice anyway.
My gut feeling from your reply is you like your site as is and really had no intention of taking the considered advice of the more mainstream (mundane if you prefer) viewer.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87101\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Dudes!!! Ouch.
 
Hardy the case.....( I do try to condiferation a dufferent style) but remember no one wins a pissing match and your comment(s) invite(s) one.  Please read what I actually wrote back to Lois and please don't read into it or me. I can respectively differ with her or anyone just as I can respectively thank them for their keen insights.

You could be self-effacing but might be disingenuously ďmundaneĒ. No one here is Mainstream but more like field and stream.  Not all people like all things sure sure but all people (a sad but incontrovertible failing of mankind) tend to think they might be right.

KISS comes in many forms.

White meat dark meat its all turkey. Nest Pas?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 07:58:45 PM by WarrenRoos » Logged

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howiesmith
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2006, 07:58:42 PM »
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I can respectively differ with her or anyone ... .

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87260\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As can I.  And I do.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 12:42:22 PM »
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Wahhhh!!  Wahhhh!!!!!

lol
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WarrenRoos
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 04:01:12 PM »
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Wahhhh!!  Wahhhh!!!!!

lol
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=87396\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for your keen insight!
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etude
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2006, 08:14:05 AM »
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Flash is getting more and more popular and that some users won't have it is becoming less of an issue. A punchy start with flash animation like you have I think is a good thing. However, as you click on the links and start reading, it is annoying that the animation continues. Now it's a distraction.

I've designed sites with flash, and I try to work with a few principles:

* reserve animation that draws attention and that is dramatic to a part of the site that will have their focus and attention, and use this where it communicates in a similar way to a TV commercial

* animation should communicate first, and impress second

* where animation is continuous and in the background while one is reading other content, keep it low key - not obtrusive, non distracting

I would also avoid using flash for crucial content that is essential for users to navigate and interact with the site. I think it works better as an enhancement. Are you willing to lose those who don't have it?

I think you should also avoid opening new windows if it isn't necessary.

Text down the bottom doesn't match - shows up as times new roman which definately doesn't fit

I'd include an email address as well as the form - some users much prefer their own email to submitting a form.

Ideally your thumb nails would also be a bit tighter in their sizes - arrayed vertically they should line up horizontally

I think overall you would be better with a combination of flash and html. Then you aren't constrained with your content to the size of the flash frame, which tends to lead to things like text too small.

A few enhancements to use would also help. eg on the scrolling of thumbnails, there isn't anything to show how to get them to scroll - not a visual button to click which will be more familiar to most than having to move the mouse to the top and bottom.
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2006, 11:14:11 AM »
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Hi Warren: I'm glad the SEO comment was useful - and of course you have every right to aim the site at any audience you like: I took no offence at all at your difference of opinion. That's all I expressed: my personal opinion, and as you spotted, I think words are very important. (I'm also a tech author and copywriter!)
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howiesmith
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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2006, 04:34:41 PM »
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Flash is getting more and more popular and that some users won't have it is becoming less of an issue.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88562\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I neither agree nor disagree with this statement.  I have absolutely no information at all except I don't like Flash.  I am just curious about what you are using to support this statement.

For example, I once worked for a company that claimed their customer satisfaction was getting much better.  They based this on the reduced number of customer complaints.  When asked to see the compalints (that I knew had been submitted), I was told the compnay didn't have any complaints because they threw them away as they came in.  (I was curious about this because customers were contacting me about the status of complaints regarding the company's poor service.)
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kaelaria
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« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2006, 06:16:37 PM »
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I would emplore anyone to not even THINK about using flash for a professional site - be it an intro, buttons or just a goofy display plugin.  There are so many issues it's not even funny...and in the end, it gives very, very little to the impact or effectiveness of the site.

Been there, done that (at the insistance of the Owner), burned the T-shirt (on more than once corporate site/project).
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etude
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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2006, 06:52:46 PM »
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I don't have stats on hand, but a little observation indicates a trend towards increased use of flash, especially on many large and popular sites. The more sites with heavy traffic have flash, the more users who don't have it will download the plugin. I don't have stats but I don't have stats for a lot of things I know to be true.

Flash is a bandwidth efficient way to enhance a site. I think it's best suited to enhancement rather than essential function.

I'd rather not get into debate here. Keep in mind that what I wrote was for the OP.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2006, 07:37:09 PM »
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Flash is a bandwidth efficient way to enhance a site. I think it's best suited to enhancement rather than essential function.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88688\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
This is an important point.

I just went back to the OP's website again, and my impression is still that the use of Flash in this case is excessive and distracting. I find it very difficult even to find the links, much less try to follow them, because when I start trying to read the right side of the page, the left keeps changing, drawing my eye away from the links, making it difficult to find them again. To me it feels like trying to talk to someone on the telephone with somebody else yelling in your left ear. Or perhaps like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football while Lucy keeps yanking it away.  

It demands more work on my part just to get into the site than I am willing to put in.

So I guess I'm outvoted by current Flashy fashion trends.

-Eric
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howiesmith
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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2006, 08:34:03 PM »
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I don't have stats but I don't have stats for a lot of things I know to be true.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88688\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have a friend that owns a portarait studio.  All the people that make appointments want portraits.  Funny how that works.  Are all photos portarits?
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2006, 05:16:17 AM »
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I'm with the anti-flash lobby here.

I was on dialup and never bothered viewing them, then I was on ISDN and rarely bothered. Now I am on decent broadband and can see the flash stuff with little effort.

Result: I still don't bother unless the flash is for animations that are clearly relevant to the site (BTW there are some wonderful optical illusion flash animations on the web).

For serious photographers it should be good, large images first and everything else second. Flash slideshows are fine if they are simple and have smooth crossfades. But things whizzing across the screen and whatnot distract from the images.

Substance over style anyday. Showcase your work, not your web designer's skills.
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Nick Rains
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WarrenRoos
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2006, 02:59:39 PM »
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* animation should communicate first, and impress second

* where animation is continuous and in the background while one is reading other content, keep it low key - not obtrusive, non distracting

I would also avoid using flash for crucial content that is essential for users to navigate and interact with the site. I think it works better as an enhancement. Are you willing to lose those who don't have it?

I think you should also avoid opening new windows if it isn't necessary.

Text down the bottom doesn't match - shows up as times new roman which definately doesn't fit

I'd include an email address as well as the form - some users much prefer their own email to submitting a form.

Ideally your thumb nails would also be a bit tighter in their sizes - arrayed vertically they should line up horizontally

I think overall you would be better with a combination of flash and html. Then you aren't constrained with your content to the size of the flash frame, which tends to lead to things like text too small.

A few enhancements to use would also help. eg on the scrolling of thumbnails, there isn't anything to show how to get them to scroll - not a visual button to click which will be more familiar to most than having to move the mouse to the top and bottom.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88562\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks.. very very much for your insightful comments and unless you a whizz typer the time it took.. will pass them along to my designer.
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WarrenRoos
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« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2006, 03:03:27 PM »
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Hi Warren: I'm glad the SEO comment was useful - and of course you have every right to aim the site at any audience you like: I took no offence at all at your difference of opinion. That's all I expressed: my personal opinion, and as you spotted, I think words are very important. (I'm also a tech author and copywriter!)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=88613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Lois.. I was and am grateful for your remarks. I suspect Howie and I will not be exchanging Xmas cards.

I had a meeting about the SEO issue and also have hired my designer to do an HTML site and well as the Flash.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2006, 03:06:30 PM by WarrenRoos » Logged

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