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Author Topic: New Website  (Read 10858 times)
clearescape
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« on: June 30, 2008, 03:52:13 AM »
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Hi all I have my website up and published and would appreciate any C&C any one would like to offer.  Thanks and have a great day!

Eric Blackman

Eric Blackman Photography
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2008, 08:00:59 AM »
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Hi all I have my website up and published and would appreciate any C&C any one would like to offer.  Thanks and have a great day!

Eric Blackman

Eric Blackman Photography
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=204430\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Slick transitions and all; clever design. I'm sure it's going to be good as an attention-getter in the commercial photo world. I hate Flash though; personally I find all the moving graphics/shifting images an obnoxious affectation that just get in the way of the images. So it probably won't appeal to folks like me who just like photographs without all the splashy trimmings.
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Wolfman
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 12:33:33 PM »
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Slick transitions and all; clever design. I'm sure it's going to be good as an attention-getter in the commercial photo world. I hate Flash though; personally I find all the moving graphics/shifting images an obnoxious affectation that just get in the way of the images. So it probably won't appeal to folks like me who just like photographs without all the splashy trimmings.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=204463\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have to agree with Geoff. The point is to see your work and not have to endure a show first.
Your design is high quality, but cut the flash show.
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rgs
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2008, 02:04:12 PM »
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I have to agree with the previous comments. The flash in your site makes me nervous and jumpy. Unlike others, I do not mind a little flash, but just enough to smooth transitions and make the images themselves stand out and it should never be constantly in motion.

In addition it seems to have a fixed width which causes me to have to scroll horizontally. I prefer scrolling to be limited to the vertical. Was it designed on a machine with a wide screen monitor? Be aware that they are not (yet) universal.

In the landscape gallery, It did not look like I could see the bottom portion of several of the images but no scroll bars were available. Maybe you could insert some space at the bottom to balance the screen a little and prevent errors? Additionally the button to return to the index for that gallery did not seem to work.


RGS
Richard Smith Photography
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2008, 03:06:34 PM »
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The design's a bit schizophrenic - either do a site that's completely Flash, or one that's completely HTML. Instead there's a very graphics-heavy HTML front page, which does look good, and a very inconsistent-looking set of Flash galleries. In those galleries, the images lie over on the far left of my wide screen and a bunch of buttons are hidden down in the bottom right corner, a long way away - in the time it took me to find the sound-off button, I was already irritated enough to hit the Back button instead of bothering to look any further. You'd be better off developing your front page idea, lightening the graphics download, and dumping the Flash.

John
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Colorwave
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2008, 07:27:37 PM »
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Eric-

You obviously put a lot of work into this, and it is very nice looking, but I have to agree with the others about it being just too kinetic, to the point of it getting in the way of the content and function.

I NEVER like music on a website, but don't mind Flash that seems to serve a purpose.  The Flash with your galleries, though, hinders the navigation and says look at me (vs.:  look at my work).  Keep in mind that this is only my $.02, but I prefer photo navigation to not require me to move my cursor all over the screen to advance to the next image.  With the changing width and height on your site, I have to work at being shown the next photo as I look for where to click next.  

I also didn't even notice the tiny buttons at the bottom corner of my 17" laptop screen, so they need to be more prominent and more clearly labeled.  On my larger monitor, I'm sure it would be even more of an issue.  Add my name to the list of those recommending you keep the home page but find a new format for your galleries.

-Ron
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MarkM
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2008, 07:48:33 PM »
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It needs to be immediately apparent how to shut off the music. I couldn't find it in two seconds and your music was playing very loudly over mine so I just hit the close button. I'm pretty sure I won't be the only one.
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rgs
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2008, 09:14:26 PM »
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I have paid another visit to your site, this time on my desktop with a 19" crt monitor. I no longer need to scroll sideways and it is apparent now that the lower part of your galleries was not displaying earlier on my 15" standard (not widescreen) laptop.

You really need to address the fixed width issues with your site. It will not view properly on many monitors as it is now.

I also find the music annoying and my day job is as a musician! I don't generally like music on a web site. Default to no music with a viewer option to turn it on. That will work for everyone.

I do like you photography. There is one particular image I saw that is just stunning. It seems to be from monument valley or a similar area and has two spires and portion of a closer one on the left edge of the screen with magnificent sky. Unfortunately, the long description is needed because you have no other way for the image to be identified.

RGS
Richard Smith Photography
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clearescape
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2008, 12:35:41 AM »
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Thank you all for your honest critiques.  I have taken into account what has been posted and I have redesigned all the slideshows...no more flash or music.  The last thing I want to do is to take away from my images, I have made it a scroll and view setup and on the landscape portion I have added place locations to reduce the confusion.  I hope now that the website doesn't interfere with the images.  Most important thing I need to remember is I am selling my ability as a photographer not a web designer, guilty of getting caught up in bells and whistles. Please let me know if you think it has improved or if I have made a lateral move.  Once again thank you all for your input.

Eric Blackman

Eric Blackman Photography
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Colorwave
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2008, 12:51:15 AM »
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Big improvement, Eric.  This time I felt like lingering long enough to appreciate the photos.  You have some very nice work!  One remaining nit, from me, though:  how about a navigation button to return to the main gallery page without having to hit the back button in my browser?
-Ron H.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 01:13:18 AM »
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Yes, again it's an improvement and the Flash is no longer a deterrent. Your home page is still too wide - I shouldn't have to scroll right. And it's and too fancy - every so often after a mouseover entire rectangles disappear and reappear - these big animated gifs and rollovers only serve to make the visitor wonder WTF is going on and why you're inflicting such visual gymnastics. You also still have the problem of the flash pages looking inconsistent with the home page. How does one get back from the Flash pages to the home page?
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budjames
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2008, 05:56:05 AM »
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I find the opening page confusing and too long to load. I think that the moving graphics really don't add to your message IMHO.

Bud James
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Bud James
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SeanBK
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2008, 11:35:54 AM »
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I am on 30" PC & I cannot find back/home button. So at present I have to use my browser back button to go back to opening/home page. That is a no-no for any site. Any photo displayed should have easy very visible next, previuos & home buttons - a must. That is my 2 cents.
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clearescape
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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2008, 07:12:02 PM »
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Once again thank you all for your input and critiques,  I am in the process of redesigning another HTML only option which I will have up by the end of the weekend.  One other thought, since the world of commercial and landscape are so different as far as the cliental you're trying to attract, (commercial is more edgy and catchy, landscape simplistic beauty)  should I consider a separate site with links between them?  I have already decided to separate my fine art from the rest but should landscape follow?
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James Godman
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2008, 12:29:48 PM »
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If you are in the people section, there is no navigation back to the other sections.  Also, there is no indication of where you are located, which is helpful to get work.
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Pete Ferling
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« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2008, 12:20:39 PM »
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Dude, form follows function.  As a multimedia developer I've learned that it's best to design the navigation first, then make it look cool.  Too many times I've seen authors, including outside firms we've hired, get hung up on one particular effect or look, and center everything else around that.  Unfortunately, the message (in your case the images) gets lost.

Provide a back button, menu, or site page so folks and get around -rather than dead-ended pages.

Also, when designing, test, test, test on the something like a 1024x768 screen size (!).  Most clients don't have anything larger than 19", and most likely will default to 1024x768 out of the box, (three years ago it was 800x600!).

Never trust the advice of your closest friends and family in regards to the look and feel of the site.  Mom will like the site no-matter what, and friends don't wish to offend.

I can understand your use of flash.  It shows that your up with the latest tech, and that you can also protect your images from download.  However, a small sized jpeg with a copyright will go a long way  in terms of potential clients wishing to download comps or forwarding an image to a colleague.
Many folks also block flash and/or flash sites altogether.  HTML is your best bet for the greatest audience.

That's my five-minute take.  You asked for it.
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clearescape
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2009, 07:28:29 PM »
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Thank you all for taking the time to give me your critics,  I have taken some of those thoughts and completely redesigned the site.  I would appreciate any critics of the site and work, thanks again!

Eric Blackman

 Eric Blackman Photography
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MarkM
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2009, 09:20:25 PM »
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I'm having trouble remembering the original site so I can't offer anything comparative, I have a few observations.

You should have a title other than 'index' for your homepage. You should choose it carefully because it's important for search engines and convenient for users who bookmark your site. The site is fairly unfriendly to search engines because the places you do have text, it is served up as images which search engines can't read.

Having a Bio page that is nothing but inspirational quotes is a little strange to me. It suggests you have nothing to say in which case you might do better without it altogether.

It would be nice on the gallery pages if you had navigation links so users could get to other pages without needing to go all the way back. It looks like you are using the photoshop galleries and I'm not sure how easy they are to edit, but it might be worth it to figure it out as it adds a lot to the usability.
 
I'm normally a fan of minimalist designs, but there is something about the galleries that bugs me from an aesthetic point of view. I think it is the dotted lines and borders--they seem fussy in such a clean simple interface.

Each time a go to one of those pages with the yellow squares it loads in little bits and pieces, almost like an animation. Was that intentional? It tested my patience a bit waiting for it--although not so much that I left.

The photography looks great.

Good luck with it all.

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clearescape
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2009, 11:09:01 AM »
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As far as the title, I am depending on keywords I entered to grab the robots attention.

As far as the Bio page, I wanted something different than the usual spiel about where they're from, what photography means to them.  These quotes say something about my views on how to live your life and say something about me without saying it directly.

I am a little frustrated with the galleries and how they are so set in stone, and yes they are photoshop web galleries.  I have been going back and forth on the galleries, but as for now they are the best I can find without spending the next three weeks making them from scratch.

They blocks coming in are the slices of the web page.  I had to slice it up so it would load at its fastest, otherwise it would slowly load from top to bottom.

Thank you for your critique, and I hope you enjoyed!
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haefnerphoto
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 07:12:22 PM »
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An observation I had was that it's no fun to have to continually move the cursor to to hit the forward and back arrows.  Put them in one spot so that they aren't affected by a horizontal or vertical image.  Jim
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