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  1. #1
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    Web and Graphic Design Company

    Hello to all,

    I've been reluctant to come and put up my site "proto-type" for review out of blatant and knuckle clenching fear. But, I guess some feedback would be nice from those who know what they're talking about. So, if you feel inclined to do so, bash it - then again I'm not encouraging it. None the less let me know your thoughts - I'm sure we all know how to be polite anyways. In other words if you're going to slit my throat - use a clean blade - no rusty ones please.

    I'll listen to anything you wanna say - code, design, etc.

    Note: This is a prototype (to mention once more). It's a single page test to make sure things are trimmed and nicely polished before I go gung-ho adding content and features.

    Have at it!

    Northern Hybrid Studios

    *immediately flees from the computer to cover thine self from the ensuing barrage of flaming data wads being catapulted by the angry mob of coders and designers carrying their modem-forks and USB torches*
    Reading your posts and not posting often...

  • #2
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    What are you running for? It looks great!
    Only thing I noticed right away was the missing alt tags on your images - you have to make stuff like that a habit.

    run your stuff through the w3c validators HTML, CSS to see some basic coding issues.

    I would say its a good site - just need to upgrade to xhtml

    Moderator: General web building

    Get out from under them, resist and multiply.
    Get out from under precipice and see the sky.

  • #3
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    Oh yes - many thanks for the reminder on the alt tags. It's definitely a habit more then anything else. And XHTML is what I plan on going to shortly - just gotta read up some more on it to make sure I don't mess things up. (There's my fear again - even though I know quite well on what I need to do *chuckles*)

    As for the validators... I shall go and read what they bring up right now. I know the IE box model hack I put in will bring up some errors with the doctype I'm using for now but hopefully I can work that out soon in addition.

    And... thanks! BTW - Running is natural to me it seems. I never like to be around when someone else views my personal work... or it could be my lack of self esteem... ah well... either one works!

    A side note - I plan on putting the footer into a PHP include (as well as whatever other parts seem neccessary)... but I have to learn PHP first (boy don't I sound prepared ). And the first step I have to take is setting up a local web-server (which is what I'm doing as I type this)
    Reading your posts and not posting often...

  • #4
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    Wow Good job on the design it looks nice but it could use a couple tweaks under the hood. The links for the services, portfolio, etc. should be in a list, the same goes for the links at the bottom. A good article on doing that sort of stuff is on A List Apart: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/taminglists/ You might want to also add titles to the menu links as well.

    Okay now with the way you did your main body text area.... it isn't well semantical and you can trim down the code. You didn't actually use paragraph tags around the different paragraphs, and you used a span for the title. Use a div and wrap your content area up instead of the paragraph tag.

    So it would look a little more like:
    Code:
    <div class="content"> <h1>Artistically Envisioned. Boundlessly 
        Designed.</h1> <img src="/graphics/nhstextbackmid.gif" width="437" height="5" align="left">
    
        <p>
        &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Call it a harsh reality - but it's a fact 
        that getting exactly what you want is a rare occurrence. That's why we here 
        at Northern Hybrid Studios are focused on delivering professional web and 
        graphic design products which exceed all your expectations and give you the 
        joy of receiving precisely what you want. We guarantee complete satisfaction. 
        So that by the end of the process you'll have enjoyed your experience with 
        us as much as we always enjoy seeing our clients' projects come to life successfully. 
        Be it as they leave our studios and make their way to the front-lines of the 
        internet, grace the pages of brochures or render their presence in many other 
        business and personal mediums.
        </p>
        <p>
        &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But why stop there? Why settle for just design? Northern 
        Hybrid Studios provides not only top quality original work but unique identity 
        and presence development sure to make your company stand out in the crowd 
        as a reflection of your efforts and dedication to be the best and offer the 
        best in service - just as we do.
        </p>
        <p>
        &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Want to know more about what we can do for you? Visit our 
        'Services' page to see full coverage on what we have to offer. We also encourage 
        you to call or email us with any questions you may have. If you are wondering 
        if we can handle your next project don't hesitate to ask. Chances are - we 
        can do it. Visit the 'Contact' page for more information on getting in touch 
        with us.
         </p>
      </div>
    Now onto the footer, perhaps you should make that div with the class of "footer" just a <p> and then tweak your css. So the HTML would look like:
    Code:
    <div id="footer"><img src="/graphics/nhsfootertop.gif" width="472" height="1" align="right"> 
      <p><br>
        <a href="#">Home</a> | <a href="#">Contact</a> | <a href="#">About Us</a> 
        | <a href="#">Services</a> | <a href="#">Portfolio</a> | <a href="#">Forums</a> 
        | <a href="#">Downloads</a> | <a href="#">Store</a><br>
    
        All Images and Site Content ©2004 - Northern Hybrid Studios<br>
        <a href="http://www.northernhybrid.com">http://www.northernhybrid.com</a> 
        | <a href="mailto:info@northernhybrid.com">info@northernhybrid.com</a> </p>
    </div>
    Of course this is still without changing those links into an unordered list, but you can do that easily enough.

    And then your altered CSS:
    Code:
    #footer {
    width: 779px;
    height: 95px;
    background-image: url(graphics/nhsfooterback.gif);
    position: relative; 
    margin: 0 auto;
    padding: 0; 
    margin-top: -20px;
    }
    #footer p {
    font-size: 0.75em; 
    padding-left: 315px; 
    padding-top: 10px; 
    padding-bottom: 10px; 
    padding-right: 10px;
    text-align: center; 
    color: #666666; }
    There might be a couple other things I missed but those should get you going in the right direction. And like cg9com said, move it to XHTML and you have nothing to run from.
    OracleGuy

  • #5
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    Excellent, excellent. *feels fear slowly fading* I'm glad I posted this for review. I can learn better design techniques and improve my site at the same time.

    Oracleguy - your changes have been noted (literally) and I'm going to take a look at them as soon. Thanks for the compliment as well. They're both appreciated.

    I think I was especially scared to show this because I spent a good amount of time, effort and frustration on it and was afraid someone may lead me on to think I needed to redo the whole site. Thankfully, from the ways things are going, that more then likely won't happen...

    Update: Just finished downloading Apache. Time to install and grab PHP and MySQL.
    Reading your posts and not posting often...

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ember~Daze
    Update: Just finished downloading Apache. Time to install and grab PHP and MySQL.
    If you are doing that, have you seen this? It may make things easier for you.
    OracleGuy

  • #7
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    Wow . Thanks for that link. I'm downloading the bundle right now. Thanks so much. I did not realize it would be a pain to setup properly. This will surely save a good slice of my sanity.
    Reading your posts and not posting often...

  • #8
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    The only thing I didn't like in the look of it, was that the menus were kinda hidden... It took me a while to find them. But otherwise thats one hell of a nice site
    Dave

  • #9
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    Hmmm... so you're saying that I should make the buttons look more like buttons then? I know the rollovers load last and without the rollovers I can see how they may not seem like much. I'll look into that.
    Reading your posts and not posting often...

  • #10
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    I dig the site -- and this is from a deisgner, not a coder so to speak -- my only 'visual' gripe is the left column -- though it is an interesting design, it visually takes the viewers attention to it -- not only it's structure, but it's placement. I find I look at this first, and your content second -- which would cause a user problem. suggestions:
    Maybe flip that column to the right, giving it a second presense to the main content. At the moment, it feels it gets the head attention.
    Maybe remove the 'hard' stroke you have in the cutout (flower+organic/cross structure) and lighten the darkened gray gradient? Though white usually grabs attention first, it's strenght in gray pulls your attention from right to left -- try flipping the gradient.

    I think the site looks fantastic, and you're showing off your designer skills excellent! I'd just would want you to work the form+function into it better, if you were a designer on my team -- and I think you'd excell more as a company by focusing your viewers to your content first, and making sure they get that attention. It's a common problem in ads -- as you have the gradient dark to light (right to left) and that strong element on the left side, it pulls your readers eyes to the left -- away from your content! Flip that gradient or encase that content -- just like you would do for a movie poster or advertisement (where all the people's faces would eventually force you into the realm of the content, or the color and flow of text/imagery would force the eyes of the reader into the meat of the sandwich). That's all I would recommend, and I think it would be useful to play with it only on that area.

    If you change anything else, I would be pissed
    // Art is what you can get away with. <-- Andy Warhol
    ...:.:::: bradyjfrey.com : htmldog : ::::.:...

  • #11
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    What great advice. Thanks so much bradyj. I never looked at it that way particularily. And since yes, I'm going to start my company soon, your post was extra useful. I swear - once this thread lives its life I'm going to print it and keep it for reference.

    (BTW - bradyj - its good to hear of a designer who isn't caught up in themselves so much that they write off all others' work to the junk pile. My experiences with other designers have always been very aggressive and usually ended in being insulted. What a refreshing change. )
    Reading your posts and not posting often...

  • #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ember~Daze
    What great advice. Thanks so much bradyj. I never looked at it that way particularily. And since yes, I'm going to start my company soon, your post was extra useful. I swear - once this thread lives its life I'm going to print it and keep it for reference.

    (BTW - bradyj - its good to hear of a designer who isn't caught up in themselves so much that they write off all others' work to the junk pile. My experiences with other designers have always been very aggressive and usually ended in being insulted. What a refreshing change. )
    Glad I could help I find most of that is from certian colleges and workplaces -- I've met many designers from Industrial Light and Magic out here, and many of them are major @@@#&$les to the point that I'd never work for that company -- and many schools teach you to bash (cough, Berkeley). But I oversee a design department now, and I've seen both ends of the spectrum -- many of my designs were crap, and not perfect by far (goes with the business)... but I've had people there who did not attack me, they gave me constructive criticism and pointers. I view it as the same -- be a coach not a tyrant, and you not only make good friends, but also good mentors and good people who you can help, and be helped along the way. It's the only way my career has advanced as fast as it did... so I'm glad you didn't take it as negative, but as help, as it was meant
    // Art is what you can get away with. <-- Andy Warhol
    ...:.:::: bradyjfrey.com : htmldog : ::::.:...

  • #13
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    Very nice, Ember~Daze. I like the way the eye in the lefthand image is looking towards the main content of the page.

    The only things that I find slightly wanting:

    The large blank area on the left as one scrolls down the page. Do you plan to have text there? If so, then never mind....

    I wonder also if it might be a good idea to make the width of the "latest projects" and "Artistically Envisioned. Boundlessly Designed." boxes the same.

    If you didn't plan to have anything below that very nice image in the left column, perhaps you could somehow resize the "latest projects" box and then clear everything to make the "Artistically Envisioned. Boundlessly Designed." box the full width of the page. This might not work at all, of course... it's just a thought.

    The white hover links on the footer are very difficult to see against the grey.

  • #14
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    Thank-you llizard. It seems the space on the left is a growing concern from others I spoken to as well. I'm currently giving it some thought and will probably end up putting some content underneath it As for the Latest Projects box and the content box it wouldn't be much trouble to resize them to the same... I'm going to give it a try and see how it looks.

    Thanks for the input. Noted and appreciated as always

    Side Note: I've gotten my home testing server setup finally and all working (Apache, PHP, Perl, MySQL). I decided to do it manually and it ended up taking a while but I did learn a lot. I tested each component and then installed PHPBB2 to test the MySQL and everything seems to be tip top. Now I can learn some PHP and try to incorporate some includes into my code for a template feel.

    Reading your posts and not posting often...

  • #15
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    Server-side includes are like that gift that keeps on giving. Make sure you post your website once it is completed in the examples of XHTML & CSS based websites thread.
    OracleGuy


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