Nursery Website

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#1 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Nursery Website

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

Here is a Nursery Website I designed for my local Nursery School (Pre-School)

www.jackandjillnursery.org

Constructive critiques welcome.

Unconstructive criticism will be ignored. :)/>

Thanking you all in advance.

Snoopy.

This post has been edited by snoopy11: 05 February 2013 - 01:44 PM


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#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:59 PM

Looks reasonably sound, I seem to be able to find the things I might reasonably look for. I notice there's an odd artifact when you hit the contact tab, which I will try to attach a clip of. (It's just to the right of the central panel, wpa7de3152_06.png)

I'm not a web designer, but I notice that you're using a lot of images to do your layout. Curious about that - what's the rationale?
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#3 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:35 PM

Aah well,

Im not a web designer either just the closest thing the nursery
had who could do it for little money in his
spare time jon its just the way I did it I suppose.

I will look into that contact tab maybe one of the features the nursery did not want is still active.

Thank you for your inspection. :)

Snoopy.
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:39 PM

Fair enough. I haven't done any web design since around the time of the Great Rollover, so I'm pretty out of touch with current practice. Always curious.
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#5 raghav.naganathan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:50 PM

Well here are a few things I observed about the website.

The things which deserve an applause

1. Simple, effective and no unnecessary links or distracting content like marquees.
2. Font size is big, so that enables the user to read the content without straining the eyes.
3. Tabs according to the pages so that all the content is not cluttered in the same page.
4. Apt highlighting of selected tabs to indicate where the user is presently.
5. Images at the right places so that the user has a visual of the place.

The things which could improve

Some minor typos like non profit...should be non-profit, opening times(should be just timings) and missing articles like 'a', 'the' in a few places.

Eg. We are a non-profit organisation with charitable status run by a Manager, staff and a committee of parents. So all monies raised are solely for the benefit of your child.

The children in our care benefit greatly from the stimulus that our excellent facilities and staff offer and also those facilities that we share with the school.

And yes, the small image in the contacts tab that Jon mentioned too...

Apart from that, a commendable effort indeed.Good job :)

regards,
Raghav

This post has been edited by raghav.naganathan: 05 February 2013 - 10:52 PM

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#6 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:56 PM

I would redo a lot of the images as pure code. If you look into CSS you can do almost all of that quickly and it reduces page load times substantially.

As far as the design itself is concerned, I'm not much of a fan. Nothing really strikes me as "children" with the design. It tries to look clean cut and professional which doesn't work too well with that theme.

Now, here's an exercise for you: What do you think of when you think Nursery? Immediately I get to open, colorful, bright, cheery, fun. There's only one image of children in the entire front page, or things related to children.

Now I did say most of your images can be made into code, but that refers to gradients and simple effects. Images should be used sparingly, but make sure they're absolutely relevant to the theme of the site.

Now when I say colorful, that doesn't mean rainbow gradients everywhere. That means pick 3 colors that work well together and use them as your base. In this case, something simple like Red, Blue, and Yellow would be suitable as long as you keep distinctions there.

The thing to remember about gradients if you go that route is that they're accents, not foreground elements. If they're immediately noticed by a layman they're not doing their job correctly.

Now one thing that all people should remember, great design is a set of rules. It can be studied easily and applied all the same. Any one can be a decent designer if they follow the rules. Heck, even great designers follow all of the same rules of proportions, layouts, ratios, and the like. Learn it and live it.
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#7 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 15 April 2013 - 04:51 PM

View PostLemur, on 16 February 2013 - 04:56 AM, said:

I would redo a lot of the images as pure code. If you look into CSS you can do almost all of that quickly and it reduces page load times substantially.

As far as the design itself is concerned, I'm not much of a fan. Nothing really strikes me as "children" with the design. It tries to look clean cut and professional which doesn't work too well with that theme.

Now, here's an exercise for you: What do you think of when you think Nursery? Immediately I get to open, colorful, bright, cheery, fun. There's only one image of children in the entire front page, or things related to children.

Now I did say most of your images can be made into code, but that refers to gradients and simple effects. Images should be used sparingly, but make sure they're absolutely relevant to the theme of the site.

Now when I say colorful, that doesn't mean rainbow gradients everywhere. That means pick 3 colors that work well together and use them as your base. In this case, something simple like Red, Blue, and Yellow would be suitable as long as you keep distinctions there.

The thing to remember about gradients if you go that route is that they're accents, not foreground elements. If they're immediately noticed by a layman they're not doing their job correctly.

Now one thing that all people should remember, great design is a set of rules. It can be studied easily and applied all the same. Any one can be a decent designer if they follow the rules. Heck, even great designers follow all of the same rules of proportions, layouts, ratios, and the like. Learn it and live it.


I take it you didnt like it then ?

wow...
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#8 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 15 April 2013 - 06:44 PM

Not particularly, no. Then again, what I gave you was critique meant to show you how to do things, it's your choice to take it that way or as offensive.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:21 PM

View Postsnoopy11, on 15 April 2013 - 06:51 PM, said:

I take it you didnt like it then ?

wow...



Look, Lemur's giving you good and thoughtful advice. Take it or don't, but either way the polite thing to say is "thank you".
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#10 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:46 PM

View PostLemur, on 16 April 2013 - 01:44 AM, said:

Not particularly, no. Then again, what I gave you was critique meant to show you how to do things, it's your choice to take it that way or as offensive.


Oh Dear,

I never said it was offensive...

You just remind me of my so many old Teachers that thought I could always do better.

So I was just sort of shaking my head a little...

But lets break it down a little..

The Nursery did not know what they wanted... apart from it should be 'colourful'

There were plenty of things they didn't want.... not so hot on what they did want...

I work full time and all the work had to be done inside the Nursery with no tools on the Nursery Laptop.

I had taken a day off work so I had 5 hours (nursery workers only work 5 hours)

to build a website and upload it to the domain.

There could not be a lot of pictures of children.

This would have attracted paedophoile interest according to the nursery Head something which they are at pains to avoid.

Apparently this is the world we live in.

The website is targeted at Mums and Dads not paedophiles.

There were actually no pictures taken I had to take some on the day with the nursery camera...

which kind of ate into my 5 hours a little.

I knew time would be tight so I came pre-armed with a template.

Also I have only built 2 websites in my entire life so I am hardly proficient in it.

I am a hobbyist C/C++ and Java programmer although mainly I program in C++.

I am by profession an Electrical Engineer.

Was I happy with the website NO... hence the posting on here.

But more images of children were not allowed I had to argue to get as many as I did on the site

check out our nearest rivals site which was professionally paid for.

http://www.kirktonholmenursery.com/

Now this site used to have no pictures of children but now since we have, they have put up pictures of children.

Personally if I had to do it over again and had more time

I would have went for something like another of our rivals

http://www.technototschildcare.com/

but both have lots more money and both these sites are professionally paid for

I do take on board your ideas about colours...

However I was not happy with the site myself so I can hardly criticize you for not being a fan of it.

Maybe I should sit down with some tools and just redo it at home and then take what I have got to the Nursery

ammend it in 5 hours and upload.

Snoopy.
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#11 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 16 April 2013 - 07:40 AM

I've never heard of not having pictures of children on your website due to pedophile reasons... I mean, if it's for a nursery they know there's gonna be kids there... if it's for "material" reasons, I doubt your site's gonna be the go-to for them.

Either way. I agree with Lemur's whole post. You could gain a whole lot by learning proper CSS and HTML skills. Don't think just because your experiences are all Java/EE/C++ that you can't make a nice website. Anybody can learn to write good styles. Sure not anybody can create a good design - but that doesn't always matter so much as long as you have a faint idea of what to do.

Let's take a look at your rival's site. Out of all three of these sites (Jack and Jill's, Kirktonholme, and Technotots), I would put my kids in Kirktonholme. Why? Cause look at that site. It's great. The design stays both simple and kid friendly. Especially that navigation bar. Rollover starts a little effect that fills-up the bar. Somehow it just works very well. It's insanely easy to navigate.

My only real complaint about your design from just the design viewpoint is that it starts off pretty bad and gets better and better. The header isn't very good looking. The navigation bar looks like it took 5 minutes. Your main content area looks like you're working towards something that could turn out to be pretty good (especially on pages like "About Us"). And your footer looks like something I'd pay for.

My advice would be to learn and gain some more experience and experiment around. If this is a time sensitive project, you should look into buying a template. You can get them pretty low, like $15. Which is amazing.

Here are some good themes I found that might work out:
Kids Voice School ($14)
Carry Hill Elementary ($10)
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#12 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:47 AM

Right,

I have decided to re-visit this website and totally re-design it based on all of the criticism of the last site.

I decided to learn html and hand code the site, I really feel this is an improvement.

How much of an improvement remains to be seen.

Any good advice is as always welcome.

link to the site
Nursery Website

Regards

Snoopy.
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#13 Ntwiles  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 08 February 2014 - 01:03 AM

I didn't see the original version but, the site as is looks great. Good color scheme, and the simple design works well with the small amount of content.

Things I would point out:

-The white-on-pink color scheme of the form is a little difficult to read. Consider either a dark purple th background, or a darker font color.

-Some rollover buttons cause the text to jump over a pixel or two, and some don't (Home,Gallery letters don't move, but rest do). While this can be a good effect, I think consistency would be good.

This post has been edited by Ntwiles: 08 February 2014 - 01:04 AM

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#14 snoopy11  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 08 February 2014 - 09:28 AM

View PostNtwiles, on 08 February 2014 - 08:03 AM, said:

-Some rollover buttons cause the text to jump over a pixel or two, and some don't (Home,Gallery letters don't move, but rest do). While this can be a good effect, I think consistency would be good.


Yeah I was trying to get them not to move, rushed for time again.

Thanks for your input.
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#15 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Nursery Website

Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:59 PM

As for the new version, still not a fan.

Background

Overpowering, purple is an extremely strong color. Use sparingly.

Navigation

Impossible to read. Make it into plain text using an li with display-inline and give it some breathing room. Whitespace is good.

In Partnership

Can't read the font, and this seems far more like a footer thing.

Header

Decent choice of font, make it a tad larger and give it more breathing room on the bottom from the nav. Consider only making the header background and footer purple.

Content

Horizontally center it at a width of ~960px, change the background to white and font to a darker gray.

Increase the size of the title and make it a darker purple. Decrease the line height of the font and don't add artificial breaks to it.

The teddy bear isn't necessary, stick with the other image.
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