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antibland
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Hi,

This site's pretty new (www.dustyroaddesigns.com) and I need some input from you. I'm aware of the validation problems in the 'writings' section. It has to do with a poor navigation/gui decision. I'm also aware of the small styleswitcher issue. When the site style is changed and the text is resized, the background image resets to the original css file background. I'm working on a fix for this.

Mainly, I'm interested in your design opinions as this is not my strength to this point. I'm also interested, more specifically, in how the site behaves in Safari (any version I guess). I'm basically ignoring IE5/Mac and older versions of IE. Any help would be awesome. Thanks in advance you code monkeys.

jo_ho
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I'd like your input on a new site

Hi antibland,

Just looked at the site, ime using IE6 windows with 800x600, the site almost fits onto the screen, their is a bottom scrollbar, when i scroll it takes me about 10px to the lrigh, If i were you ide shrink the site to fit 800x600, you'd only have to shave about 15px off, probly worth it as there are still quite a few people still using 8x6,

Thanks

antibland
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I'd like your input on a new site

Thanks,

I took your advice and shrunk down the site a bit to fit in the 800X600 without the horizontal bar. Any safari users out there? I would love your input as well as my site is totally untested in your jungles.

antibland

DCElliott
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I'd like your input on a new site

Fairly nice site - some of the content gave me a wry chuckle. There are some issues, though.

  • I like the masthead graphic but I think, unless the graphic is subject to frequent change, that you should create the background gradient with a better match to your coloscheme.
  • The horizontal menu does not remain centered with fontsize changes. You should either make the background grow with size changes, or have it centered - there are a couple of techniques for auto-vertical-centering we can talk about if you need help with that.
  • Your sidebar and content really beg for a faux-columns technique to give a background that goes to the footer regardless of which column is longer. It looks like you made the sidebar length to work on one font-size only.
  • The footer would be better spanning the content+sidebar - you would need them in a wrapper with a float-clearing technique - no biggie anymore thanks to Tony.
It is almost there, posting here gives that last push to make it perfect. Oh yeah, and create the need for an even louder alarm clock.

DE

[/]

David Elliott

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antibland
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I'd like your input on a new site

Before I start, what browser are you using? That would be helpful. Moving on...

Quote:
I like the masthead graphic but I think, unless the graphic is subject to frequent change, that you should create the background gradient with a better match to your coloscheme.

I'm really struggling with a background gradient color scheme that works. The masthead shouldn't change much so a new color is called for. Any suggesstions would be much appreciated here.

Quote:

The horizontal menu does not remain centered with fontsize changes. You should either make the background grow with size changes, or have it centered - there are a couple of techniques for auto-vertical-centering we can talk about if you need help with that.

Noted. I'll take care of this.

Quote:
Your sidebar and content really beg for a faux-columns technique to give a background that goes to the footer regardless of which column is longer. It looks like you made the sidebar length to work on one font-size only.

It's funny. I wrote a function that more or less (to a pixel or two) matches the length of the columns, but it's really just a too much work for what I'm trying to achieve. Although I'm not happy about it, I will make a change to the faux column scheme. There goes one friday night.

Thanks for all of your input.

antibland
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I'd like your input on a new site

Can anyone suggest a gradient background that better suits the look and feel of the site?

Thanks

thepineapplehead
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I'd like your input on a new site

I'm not a big fan of the almost neon blue sky in the logo. Something paler would be nice.

I think the problem is the amount of colours used on your site. You use white for the content, a pale brown for the right bar, deep gray for the menu bar, and a lot of blue on the logo.

Verschwindende wrote:
  • CSS doesn't make pies

Lorraine
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I'd like your input on a new site

Hello, Andrew
Colours are a highly subjective issue and 'take two developers you will get three opinions'.

All you can do is try to apply some colour standards. This you have done to a large degree. The colour scheme below the header comprises colours that are more or less within a complementary colour scheme based on the mid-grey of the background gradient. One look at your portfolio shows that you also have a pretty good grasp of harmonious colour scheming and use of pastel colours.

I should ask a question about colour contrasts - do you think the contrast between the red links under new writings and the background is sufficient? Perhaps not. If you want to meet contrast standards there is a good contrast analyser at http://www.juicystudio.com/services/colourcontrast.asp

The header doesn't seem to fit in colour-wise. The red/orange and blue hues are outside the scheme on the rest of the page. Developers who produce the main graphic first, will often pick out some of the colours in that for the scheme. Alternatively, the graphic could be colourized to blend with another colour in the scheme. I'm attaching very a quick attempt at colourizing to help explain what I'm talking about. Colourizing is a bit fiddly and I couldn't spare the time today, but it could be worth considering in future if you do not pick the scheme from the main graphic.

Lorraine

imladris
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I'd like your input on a new site

I think your site looks very good!

I just wonder why you use <h3> and <h6> instead of <h1> and <h2> as structural elements. Maybe it's too much nitpicking. Oh, and it should be "Don't belive in fate" on the contact page, right?[/b]

edit: Forgot to say, I checked the site in Safari 1.2.4, and as far as I can see, all is fine.

antibland
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I'd like your input on a new site

First,

I want to thank everyone for your awesome input. I've taken mostly all of your suggestions, too. I changed the site from 2 columns to a "faux" column layout (thanks DCElliott), tried playing with link colors in different sections of the site, and even fixed an embarrassing typo (thanks imladris) in one of my pages. Man, I don't believe in fate, but I should believe more in grammar and editing.

Now I’m struggling with two things. One is the logo. I like it but agree that it might need some sort of filter put on it. Any suggestions here would be of deep value. Next is the main background. I used to have a gradient, but got sick of it and released it from this mortal coil. In its place is simply a black background. What do you think of this? I’m not the biggest fan of it and would love your input on it. This forum has reminded me just how little I know about design (thanks Lorraine).

Oh, one more thing. In response to this:

Quote:
I just wonder why you use <h3> and <h6> instead of <h1> and <h2> as structural elements

I used these elements instead of h1 and h2 because, to me, they seemed closer to the size I wanted on the page. My subheadings, for instance, are rather small. h2 naturally renders to a fairly large size. The way I saw it, h6 was closest to the size I wanted for the subheadings, so it semantically made sense to me to use it.

Oh my god, there's this girl next to me in the computer labs at school chewing old gum that is popping so loudly it is deafening. I have to get out of here!

Thanks again,

imladris
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I'd like your input on a new site

antibland wrote:
First,
Quote:
I just wonder why you use <h3> and <h6> instead of <h1> and <h2> as structural elements

I used these elements instead of h1 and h2 because, to me, they seemed closer to the size I wanted on the page. My subheadings, for instance, are rather small. h2 naturally renders to a fairly large size. The way I saw it, h6 was closest to the size I wanted for the subheadings, so it semantically made sense to me to use it.

Since you style both h3 and h6 in your css file anyway, I don't quite follow your argument. As I've understood it h1 is the primary headline, h2 the secondary, and you could as easily have styled those instead. The headline tags show the structure of the document (as tags should do, to increase accesibility for example), so I thought it was kind of strange to skip both h1 and h2 and going directly for h3.

Not to be an ass. I'm not really a web designer myself, and this might not be that important subject. Just read that it should be that way in a book by Zeldman, and thought it worth mentioning.

Lorraine
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I'd like your input on a new site

Quote:
Andrew wrote:
This forum has reminded me just how little I know about design (thanks Lorraine).

Hey... I was complimenting you, much better colour scheming than many sites =D> But take a glance at the second line in the footer - black text on dark gray background - are you happy with that?
Lorraine
PS - I don't think anybody has noticed yet ... home page, second sentence, first word = spellcheck as fast as you can. Wink

DCElliott
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I'd like your input on a new site

Yeah, I occassionally make that mistake as well.

Overall an inspired improvement.

DE

David Elliott

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antibland
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masochistic color pirate

Lorraine,

I was actually complimenting you. I'm quite the masochist and enjoy being put in my place from time to time. You have a very good eye for color. I'm more of a color pirate with an eye patch.

The recent little spelling errors that have been popping up remind me that I should either

a) spend more time assuring everything I write has been edited (read everything out loud?)
b) implement some sort of CMS that finds these errors for me
c) marry an editor

imladris,

I have read that one too, but I'll take another look. Zeldman is quite the guru on web standards, so point possibly taken. However, I don't think any blind individuals will be kicking their screen readers at my decision. I still might change it though. Thanks for the input.

All,

Sniff...does this mean...goodbye? I don't want it to end. I'll mess my site up all over again. I'll put it into three--no four--columns, and spew gallons of bad grammar and spelling all over the place. Sheesh, I need a girlfriend. Or a pet. Even a vorpal plant would keep me busy.

Andrew

Lorraine
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I'd like your input on a new site

Quote:
I don't think any blind individuals will be kicking their screen readers at my decision.

But they will be quite puzzled. Believe me... been there... in the 'blind' business... see my website.
Quote:
Sniff...does this mean...goodbye? I don't want it to end.

A pleasure working with you, sir. Hope to see you on the forum again. Have fun on the girlfriend front, much more ummh 'interesting' than a plant. Laughing out loud