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#1 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 18 June 2011 - 07:46 AM

Hello, everyone. I've created a new website for me and my company, Antimatter Technologies. This is a little bit more than a website really; what I've done is created a platform that I would like to eventully sell to small businesses, non-profit organizations, etc... I would like some comments on the design and layout because it will basically be my company's website and demo website for clients to view and try out the product.

Here's the link: Antimatter Technologies

The Product
The product is called aweb Internet Technologies. It's basically a shell with a content management system that allows the user, client, to manage every aspect of the website without any knowledge of HTML, CSS, etc... I like it a lot because the CMS was hand-developed by me and it's very flexible. I use a MySQL database as the repository for the data, and it's coded almost exclusively in PHP.

I am also having trouble with some of my Google integration, like the Webmaster Tools and placement. Webmaster Tools says it does not have enough information to display information about my site, but it's been verified for a few days now. Is that normal? I think drawing views will help get it recrawled and updated information.

Thanks for any help and suggestions you guys can give me! It's really nice to have DIC as a resource!

Thanks again,
Aaron

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Replies To: Please Critique My New Website!

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 18 June 2011 - 12:36 PM

Nope, don't like it. I don't know if it's the coloring or the layout, but everything just seems.. off. Let's see if I can quantify that.

The coloring is just.. bland.
The non standard menu at the very top seems clunky. You would think you would have the logo(?) at the top then the menu buttons.
The logo is really not doing it for me. Plain text on a gradient? Come on!
Is that the 'easy button' from staples? I would be a bit leery using someone else graphics.

Also it seems pretty slow. For something that appears to be mostly text it should be snappier.

That's the best I can muster on this hangover.
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#3 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 18 June 2011 - 02:46 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 18 June 2011 - 01:36 PM, said:

Nope, don't like it. I don't know if it's the coloring or the layout, but everything just seems.. off. Let's see if I can quantify that.

The coloring is just.. bland.
The non standard menu at the very top seems clunky. You would think you would have the logo(?) at the top then the menu buttons.
The logo is really not doing it for me. Plain text on a gradient? Come on!
Is that the 'easy button' from staples? I would be a bit leery using someone else graphics.

Also it seems pretty slow. For something that appears to be mostly text it should be snappier.

That's the best I can muster on this hangover.


modi123_1, thank you for your reply. I appreciate your comments! Allow me to shed some light on things;

Quote

The coloring is just.. bland.
and

Quote

The logo is really not doing it for me. Plain text on a gradient? Come on!

The design is supposed to be simple, and clean. I understand the concern about the gradient and I am going to scale it down so you get more than just the black on lower resolutions. I wanted something simple.

Quote

The non standard menu at the very top seems clunky. You would think you would have the logo(?) at the top then the menu buttons.

What do you mean by clunky? Do you think there is a functionality problem? And as far as the color, layout and design go, that is completely customized by the client. The whole point of the demo is to show the functionality and what you can do with the platform. I just did not want it to look like garbage, that would not be a good representative.

Quote

Also it seems pretty slow. For something that appears to be mostly text it should be snappier.

I apologize for the speed! It appears to be running a lot slower than usual today. I do not think that will be a problem. It is never this slow. I do not know what could be causing this, but I will also be switching to a Godaddy account soon.

Thanks again!
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#4 Slice  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 18 June 2011 - 11:38 PM

View PostAGRAC393, on 18 June 2011 - 03:46 PM, said:

Quote

The coloring is just.. bland.
and

Quote

The logo is really not doing it for me. Plain text on a gradient? Come on!

The design is supposed to be simple, and clean. I understand the concern about the gradient and I am going to scale it down so you get more than just the black on lower resolutions. I wanted something simple.


The is a difference between clean and simple, and just plain boring. When something is clean, it takes a lot of effort to produce. A logo should have your stamp on it, a statement which tells your customer what kind of standards you uphold. I could make that banner in 20 seconds easy. Even the font is boring.

Quote

The whole point of the demo is to show the functionality and what you can do with the platform.


Well then it should look impressive, and have an impact on me straight away. If I was shown this as a demo for your service, I'd close it without a second thought.

Quote

I just did not want it to look like garbage, that would not be a good representative.


Well, you failed. I don't mean to be blunt, but if you want us to sugar coat it then you will never improve. Design is key. Even in a demo. ESPECIALLY in a demo!

Things I would change: introduce more colour. Try integrating the colour from the hover more into the site. Plus the layout is just one huge column. You could split it into two, have the un-ordere list on one side, and the current news on the other.

One more thing. The links at the top, are all pushed to the left and only fill half the screen. you should flatten it out by making the text smaller, getting it all onto one row.

Hope that helps, good luck with the site.
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#5 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 19 June 2011 - 11:31 PM

After a lot of thought about your comments, I have done a little work on some things. I created a completely different layout and added more graphics. I have exaggerated some spacing so you can kind of see tables take shape.

So please give it a quick look again and tell me what you think. I hope you like this one better.

Here's the link: Antimatter Technologies
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#6 Boy67  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:37 AM

Your second design is much better than the first....but a lot is still needed even if it is a CMS management and i agree with Slice, the demo page needs to be the page to attract customers.

As for the second design, why not make the header blue such as the hover colour on your navaigation, that blue needs to be put somewhere else to create a unique colour uniform for the site. Even possibly make the links of your site that colour, unless of course the CMS does that.

The problem is it does look slightly boring to the eye, but keep working :)

Boy67
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#7 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 20 June 2011 - 11:07 AM

I've modified the header color to match the menu color, and I changed the link color to match it, too.

What could I add to it to make it not look boring? I guess I don't understand by what you mean by that, I don't think it looks boring. Would you suggest adding Twitter and Facebook widgets or something?

Thanks for everything
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#8 Creecher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 20 June 2011 - 12:07 PM

It looks like your website is mysql injectable.


http://awebdemo.zxq.net/page.php?id=10'
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 20 June 2011 - 12:26 PM

Quote

After a lot of thought about your comments, I have done a little work on some things. I created a completely different layout and added more graphics. I have exaggerated some spacing so you can kind of see tables take shape.


Mildly better.

The black is still pissing me off. After looking at your previous samples they are all black. Branch out bro! What's your company's primary color scheme? Would it kill you to have a rounded corner somewhere?

Your logo/banner thing is an odd font and looks squished. Additionally the point of the reflect is to mimic a table surface or water. You need to fad the reflection part farthest away from the word... aka the bottom most part of the image. honestly I do not like that reflection or font at all.

You are still "borrowing" the easy button from Staples. Stop that. It looks tacky. Those stock photos are some what creepy. I no idea what to make of this image: welcometothedemowebsite.png


The menu buttons look better, but are still not doing it for me. I mean they are just the same text size and font as the rest of the page... boring. Not to mention why are they stacked in two groups like that? Is one more important than the other? Shorten the words, shrink the text, and make it one line.

The symmetry with having two same sized columns is throwing me off. Visually the whole thing lacks flow and looks amateurish. Here's a white box at the top.. then a dark gray box.. then a white box... all on, essentially, a black background. Here's text in an odd pseudo grouping.

Honestly this demo doesn't want me to make me come back. It is not rememberable, and I had to flip between the first one and this just remember the details to compare both.
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#10 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 20 June 2011 - 03:17 PM

modi123_1, thank you for all of your comments. I'm really liking your suggestions and I'm working really hard to comprehend everything.

I've changed the backdrop, hopefully that is better. And I rounded the corners of the 'container' div. I also got rid of the Staples 'easy button' image. I wasn't going to use it, I just have all this content as a placeholder.

The menu is stacked because the top menu is in fact more important than the lower one. I wanted that to be the 'important' links. What about it bothers you? The user is able to create as many menu options for both the top and bottom menus, but the top menu will never have sub categories inside like the bottom.

After staring at it for a while, I too see the odd formatting in the two columns. It didn't quite look like that in my sketch. I'll get back to work on that. But as far as a flowing layout, I guess I'm just not sure what that would look like. I'm really ascetically deficient! I can't look at stuff and judge if it would look good or not; kind of a problem for this. So could you perhaps give me an example of what you deem professional or something that 'flows' better.

Thanks for everything again, I really like the progress being made and it's great to have you guys here to help! It's nice to have professional developers judge my work.
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#11 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:25 PM

Good golly that looks better.

Let's see if I can make a coherent statement.

RE: Staples button - okay. You might want ot cut down the size They just look too... big! I say half.

RE: Menu - what bothers me is I had to guess what that was about. Vary the size and color of important buttons. Layer them visually... to have importance of one over the other and have them look the same except for placement is bad. Heck even break down to only one line of major menu drop downs and have the customers push their menu layout into that format.

RE: Flow - I mean flow as in visually gel. Not the flow layout.

I have to links for you check out. The first is the google listings for a favorite site of mine: pushing pixels. The guy breaks down sites for elements that they do right. Some he breaks down quite a bit.

http://www.google.co...&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=905e9081899b75b1&biw=1205&bih=812

Example this one:
http://www.pushing-p...rupted-145.html

He highlights good elements and you can see how ah.. the horrible term of 'gel' operates.

A second link on visual designs and layouts. I am not sure how much you've been exposed but Noupe does a good job of explaining the gist.

http://www.dreaminco...ples-of-design/


That all show get you on the right push. Now off to hide from the tornado and curse not having fresh batteries for a radio.
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#12 AGRAC393  Icon User is offline

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 24 June 2011 - 10:37 AM

Okay, so I have been working hard on a new layout and header! I really hope you guys like the updates better than the old! I know I do.

Modi123_1, thank you for your articles; I read them and I learned so much and now I realize how much I really do not know!

So please check it out again and reevaluate the design. Antimatter Technologies

Also, do not bother reading the content and I know the images are pretty rough. I just wanted to get a solid layout done first!

Thanks again
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#13 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Please Critique My New Website!

Posted 24 June 2011 - 10:50 AM

Good improvement, but as it is I do have comments.

Okay the logo/header. Looking leaps and bounds better.

Problems - the spacing around it. I tend to like a bit more white space between the to of the words and the edge (top and bottom). I mean it looks odd with the spaceing between the left and right of the words and their respective edges.

Font size - you can bring that down a bit.
I am not sure how to read your logo with both lines are the same font size. Is it "antimatter software and tech development", or "antimatter tech and software dev"? Am I to break words by who is on the left and right of the center logo, or by color/line? Bring down the font size on the gray words enough to force that distinction.

Menu - for some reason I can highlight the text in the second row of menus, but not the first.

You three sections are better, but I am not clear on what they are supposed to show me. three different news feeds?

Bottom gray and orange images. Not bad, but you can cut down some of that space. The left one looks fuzzy for some reason. Make that more sharp.

Kudos on the improvement.
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