I'm Too Hideous . . . Please Turn Away!

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by dpeterson, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Actually, I would love an honest critique or opinion on my newly born photography website at http://stylepeterson.com
    Thanks for your time and observations
     
  2. Please, make it stop moving. That spontaneously scrolling bar is one of the most distracting things I've ever seen on a web site. OK, that aside, I like the photography. I've also got a few comments.
    • The Javascript insures that you won't see anything but dead white for seconds (cable) or minutes (dial up). No "loading" message, no site elements appearing, just blank white. This leaves the viewer wondering if he's reached a dead site.
    • What is the site about? Are you selling travel photography? Spontaneously blogging? A photo site that becomes popular eats up bandwidth at a terrifying rate. You'll end up paying steep if you're hosting this "out of the goodness of your heart".
    • Oh my God, the moving band of photos is on your "about" page, too.
    • The categories "Camera Worthy" and "Digital Photography" imply (to me anyway) that those are separate things, and that digital photography is not typically "camera worthy".
    • Did "Newark1 Web Design" do this for free, in exchange for the gigantic link back at the bottom. If not, get that silly thing off your site. It's on every page, and their logo is bigger than your own logo.
    • That moving band is on all the pages!
    • Not sure about some of your content. The "Top 5 Night Photography Tips" seemed to not really be "top 5" or all that accurate to me.
    • I checked out the article "Pro vs. Consumer lenses". Your first reference is a 2003 article in "Popular Photography". I stopped reading at that point.
    Seriously, if it's not a sales tool, I'd consider chucking the Newark1 stuff and putting it on Wordpress. You'll get cross links to and from your site through the "related" feature, and the moving picture bars will go away.
     
  3. Please kill that moving band. Drive it into a corner and jam a wooden stake through its miserable little heart.
     
  4. I don't know, Jospeh. What if maybe he put a moving band of photos at the top of the page? :)

    I like the photography, but agree that the overall message is a little muddled, in terms of why one is visiting, and what your pitch is (is there one? perhaps I'm tone deaf, here). By all means, reduce the presence of the web designer's ad. Plug them once, and discreetly, on your About page, perhaps.
     
  5. So, Scot...
    Stop holding back, and tell us how you really feel about the moving band.
    ;)
     
  6. Hey, I appreciate the honest critiques giuys! Just a quick question . . . how do you feel about the spontaneous slide show? Kinda Neat, huh!
     
  7. Interesting. I got a white screen for about 15-20 seconds, maybe longer. I walked away after about 15 to get some coffee. That's not a good way to entice visitors to stay. I didn't get any moving stuff but a bunched up, overwritten navigation bars with links that don't hyper, obviously meant for a wide browser window. Then I get some images vertically displayed followed by blog entries. After that I have a few things to say. I wonder what software you used to develop it, and if you checked for complaince. I wonder what browsers you used to test it, probably IE and not Safari(?). It works with Firefox. And lastly, I wonder what you were thinking when visitors see that white screen and nothing for awhile. Otherwise, I like the images.
     
  8. Page loaded immediately for me. There is a "Subscribe" RSS button that straddles the top border menu and the white area of the main content. Adjust positioning. Maybe check the way the page plays in a couple of browsers; each kind of computer combo will add a touch of difference to how it displays a page.
    The moving band thing was static when I saw it, but the photo stream led with two similar photos of tulips. Maybe some more variety in the leads.
    Might want to organize the pages so that the photo gallery tab is either at one end or the other of the top bar menu; this will help it stand out more through primacy/latency.
    I didn't read all of the text, but what I did seemed like generalized information on Times Square. How about some info on your photos? Why you made the picture, how, or something like that. Or, less commentary on generalized topics.
    There were some images, like an Adobe logo, that I think you borrowed from someplace else. You may want to think about how much of someone else's content you wish to display.
    Overall, it looked nice to me, but I would advise you to publish less, or, publish slower. I know that blogs updated daily get way more traffic; but, I think that tighter collections or groups might go over better in the long run.
     
  9. I didn't have any problem with loading, nor with the slide-show at the top.
    But you've got to learn how to straighten up your verticals or your pictures start looking like snapshots. One or two "Dutch Angles" might be OK, but it just gets distracting when every picture leans over backward.
    And a discussion of night time photography without any mention of exposure blending or other HDR techniques is, at best, incomplete.
     
  10. I retested it with Safari and it worked fine. Not sure what happened the first time. But why are some images not clickable? Not yours? How about adding "Photo courtesy of..." or somesuch words of credit? Why aren't larger images of the photostream shown when clicked? All I get is, "Large Image" screen. Boy, we're being picky with the obvious.
     
  11. Hey, thanks for all the great observations and advice. I am still fine tuning so you will see an odd link here or there that leads to a dead end. I have simplified the design so that there are fewer colors competing with the photos. Also, I have added a cache to speed up loading time. I decided to slow down my development of the site to insure that my best work and thoughts are there. it is designed for beginning photographers to inspire them to capture good images with what they have.
    All of the photos were shot by me with the exception of a couple of product shots for reviews I did. In fact, the vast majority were captured with nothing more than a Nikon D40 and kit lens and the humble Nikon 55-200mm VR lens.
    Thanks again for the good advice!
     

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