Updated my book site

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#1 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Updated my book site

Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:47 PM

I've been working on updating my site to hopefully make it look a bit nicer. I like the results but I would appreciate other's opinions on it. I've also made a few minor changes to my tutorial site.

http://www.jtmbooks.com

and

http://www.jtmbooks.com/rpgtutorials

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Replies To: Updated my book site

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:06 PM

It really needs a more definitive header. Also make sure you add some space between the top of your graphics and the top of the browser area. That way it doesn't look like your page is crammed against the top of the window. The menu items on the left are a little rough and make the text hard to see against that background. I suggest that you adjust the pattern to be a little less "in your face" and give it a more soft rock texture look.

Other than that, looks like a nice start. You did a nice job providing some white spacing for the content. Makes it easy for the eyes to flow through it. :)
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#3 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:09 PM

@Martyr2

The link thing, would that be for both sites? Possibly reducing the bump map I did on the buttons might reduce things as well. I'm still learning when it comes to graphic design. It is not that I don't want to hire a professional for the graphics, it is just something I like to do myself.

I know I need to find a good header for the book site. I just can't seem to find/create a good one that I like. Spacing the graphics on the tutotial site from the top wouldn't be a hard fix.

Thanks for all the feedback. :)
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#4 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:26 PM

I followed Martyr2's suggestion on the buttons. I made them a softer stone like texture. I also fixed a small problem I was having with the graphics I wanted to display on the pages.

Any feedback would be welcome.

http://www.jtmbooks.com
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#5 noorahmad  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:40 AM

Wow! you changed it, your site looks good, but there is a little problem with your links, i can't see it clearly, change the font color to black or other suitable color. :)
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#6 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:33 AM

@noorahmad

Thanks for the feedback. I will look into changing the font colors for the links.
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#7 skodateam  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:24 PM

View PostSixOfEleven, on 28 Jul, 2009 - 05:33 AM, said:

@noorahmad

Thanks for the feedback. I will look into changing the font colors for the links.


ok, dude. You have been very helpful with your feedback so i guess it is my turn to say what I think of the site.

1. design = extremely simple and a lack of colors there, Personally, I`d implement that Flash book gallery which simulates turning pages in a book. i hope you have seen that in the past. that would do it !

2, fonts = try experimenting with the line-height property, fonts look too HTML if you see what I mean

3, images = should be much bigger, remember: an image is worth a thousand words.. I believe that you could use a nice gallery with all those images in it + a little description for each book, much cleaner and easier for your visitors

4, is the client happy ?

Cheers
Maros
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#8 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:13 PM

View Postskodateam, on 28 Jul, 2009 - 02:24 PM, said:

ok, dude. You have been very helpful with your feedback so i guess it is my turn to say what I think of the site.

1. design = extremely simple and a lack of colors there, Personally, I`d implement that Flash book gallery which simulates turning pages in a book. i hope you have seen that in the past. that would do it !

2, fonts = try experimenting with the line-height property, fonts look too HTML if you see what I mean

3, images = should be much bigger, remember: an image is worth a thousand words.. I believe that you could use a nice gallery with all those images in it + a little description for each book, much cleaner and easier for your visitors

4, is the client happy ?

Cheers
Maros


@skodateam

All very, very good points. Adding in color would not be a very big problem. I was trying for simplistic, easy to navigate and lots of white space. I have never done anything with Flash. I can try and do some work with the fonts and spice up the color a little. What I'm thinking for the for the home page, with your suggestion, is to make a gallery with big images for each book with a little description underneath and have the images a link to the pages for each book. I'm also thinking of a horizontal rather than a vertical menu. When I get that done I'll post an update to the site.

The client is actually happy. The client is me. :) I should probably hire a pro but I really like doing things myself.

Thanks for the feedback!
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#9 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:30 PM

I've done another update on my site. Instead of a vertical menu I have opted for a horizontal menu. I have also made the images much bigger and I think they are also crisper and sharper. The site seems to look good in IE-8, Firefox and Opera. There is a small issue with the book images on the home page not lining up quite right at the moment in different resolutions and with browsers not set to standard settings that I'm going to work on. I was hoping to get some feedback on the layout of the new pages and the skin. Here's the link again:

http://www.jtmbooks.com
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#10 gregwhitworth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 31 July 2009 - 04:15 PM

Quote

There is a small issue with the book images on the home page not lining up quite right at the moment in different resolutions and with browsers not set to standard settings that I'm going to work on.


That was the first thing I was going to mention.

Also the padding in the horizontal menu needs work. The titles that are on 2 lines are hugging the bottom line, doesn't feel very good.

- The background is way too busy and distracting, imo. If you want a textured background maybe drop the opacity to like 25% or less to make it more subtle.

- Once you're on the book's page - I really like the layout.

- I don't like how when I click on the iUniverse link it doesn't open a new window, and it doesn't go right to the book: http://www.iuniverse...d=SKU-000080033

Just a few thoughts. Looking good, keep it up.

--

Greg
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#11 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 31 July 2009 - 04:27 PM

@gregwhitworth

Thanks for the feedback on the pages.

I've been looking into the issues with links to the others sites. I can get the one for iUniverse to work but Publish America is being stubborn.
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#12 firebolt  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:36 PM


The Works of Jamie McMahon




Graphics:

Nav Buttons: The nav bar is really simple but implements rollover color change which works really well. I would like have seen a change in color when that page is displayed after clicking, just to make the user aware of which page they are on. Maybe the link would be disabled on that certain page. (Score: 13.5/15)

Banner/Header: I love the drop shadow effect and it works well with the background.However, to me, it doesn't really stand out. Its there but it doesn't really appeal to the reader. Again, its really simple but I do like the texture used. It, too, works with the background.(Score: 13/15)

Color Scheme: This is a hard one to mark. This is because there's no real color scheme. Just black, white, purple and the usage on the textures to link them together. Its good that each page uses the same colors but its a basic combination. The usage of blue for the nav bar is really effective as it blends in perfectly with the background (purple) and the white. (Score: 9/10)

Total: 35.5/40


Display/Layout:

Organization: The flow of text works really well as you are advertising your books. Its links on so the reader see a brief overview of the book, then have the book as a link to a more detailed page. Its shows a great usage of frames and works well. Not sure if you wanted this, but the books are a bit out of line.(Score: 14/15)

Text Layout: The text layout works with the positioning of the books and the nav bar. I think the nav bar's text needs to be vertically and horizontally aligned in the center.(Score: 14/15)

Total: 28/30

General:

Language: I see no spelling mistakes and that is a plus when it comes to presenting your site. (Score: 5/5)

Feasiblity: The site is really easy to navigate around. Its doesn't have stacks of text stuffed on a page and that is good for users with small screens. However, users with slow internet connections may find it hard to use because of the large images on each page, especially on the home page. I think they should just be thumbnails and be a bit smaller, so you could also add other relevant stuff to your homepage.(Score: 4/5)

Other: As a whole, the site needs something to make it appeal to users. I think it may be the font as it doesn't appeal. Times New Roman may seem appropriate, but when it comes to presenting your site, it doesn't give off the attention that you want/need it to. The part where it says "The Works of Jamie McMahon" then the overview, needs to grab a user's attention. Its good that its not just chunks of text, but it does need to have content which will make readers interested. Also, that segment does not need to repeat the title, as it links on from it. The titles on top of each book needs to be a link and maybe the header needs a link to the homepage. The framing is great but the borderline needs some work. Its one of two things: the border is too thin, or the spacing is too thin. Fixing on of them will not make it look like you were trying to fit in text, even if that was not the case. (Score: 16/20)

Total 25/30



Total Score: 88.5/100
Grade: A

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#13 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 31 July 2009 - 08:44 PM

@firebolt

Thanks for the constuctive criticism.

I really like the report card format that you used in the reply. Maybe that should be made a sort of template when we are critiquing other peoples web sites here on DIC. It does give the OP quite a bit more information on what they can work on to improve their site.

Breaking it down into the above categories, IMO, it is quite a bit better than:

Quote

Well, I like the color scheme that you used and the layout is easy to follow. You use lots of white space, which is good, etc.


As a side note, I'm in the process of setting up a shopping cart and selling the books directly instead of the visitor having to order them directly from the publisher or some other vendor.
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#14 firebolt  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:31 PM

No problems. Actually wanted to review your site a few days ago but had connection issues :)

I could get the layout in a bbcode format and maybe a mod could pin it for everyone to use. :)
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#15 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Updated my book site

Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:34 PM

View Postfirebolt, on 31 Jul, 2009 - 10:31 PM, said:

No problems. Actually wanted to review your site a few days ago but had connection issues :)

I could get the layout in a bbcode format and maybe a mod could pin it for everyone to use. :)


That sounds like a good idea. It could be really helpful in helping in reviewing sites.
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