Just finished (I think) my website. Any critique would be great!

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by rowan_ibbeken, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I think I've essentially finished my new website now, although there always seems to be something I can add to it. If anyone has any comments about layout, design, pricing etc. I'd love it if you could share them with me. The address is: rowanibbeken.co.uk.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. My only comment would be to please find a substitute for the pretentious and out-dated term "giclee print"
    Nice photos, nice web site but photos load a little too slowly for my taste.
    1. The font makes the page hard on the eyes.
    2. Photos load very slowly.
    3. No way to scroll through large version photos.
    4. Don't like the "View Large on Black" on every photo. Intuitively, I think people will know to click for larger version when they see the icon change with a mouse over.
    5. Larger version title is link to itself. Seems unnecessary.
    6. I like your work.
  3. Thanks for the feedback guys. What I find strange is that, in firefox, the pages load very quickly. What browsers are you using?
  4. Firefox v26 on Windows Vista
  5. Firefox 26 on Mac OS 10.9.1
  6. Most pages load slowly for my under Firefox 26.0 on Windows 7
    The design is nice. Very clean. I like how the home-page scales nicely with changing browser size.
    It would be nice to have the images link to the galleries and not just the text.
    Navigating the galleries is a bit tedious.
  7. Rowan, you should try loading the website after clearing out the cache. I think it loads fast on your side because the css, html and images are already on your browser cache.
  8. For me loading speed is a little slow but not too bad - acceptable, I'd say. Like the others that have responded so far, I am using Firefox.
    My main comments for improvements - basically I agree with most of the things Rich Simmons says. Here's my take:
    • To me, the font isn't that readable when small, such as on the 'About' and 'Prints' pages. It is especially unreadable when rotated - i.e. the "view large on black" rollover text on thumbnails. In fact, to me it looked so difficult to read on the thumbnails that I didn't bother at first.
    • The font does look very stylish when larger though - on your headings, logo and menu.
    • However, it would be nice if the logo and page title didn't take up quite so much vertical space. It means that you always have to scroll down to fully see the picture you've just loaded. On the thumbnail screens I only get one and a bit rows of thumbnails when they load (three whole rows when scrolled down). And I don't have that low a resolution screen (1600x1200).
    • Not sure that I like having specifically to click the "view large on black" text to load an image. You expect a click on an image to do that, but the fact that this doesn't work on your site makes it feel a bit broken. With this and my first comment, I think I'd just get rid of the rollover text.
    • Again as Rich and others have said, the lack of navigation to other images is a bit frustrating and, compared to photo websites in general, again makes it feel a bit broken.
    Hope this is useful,
    Regards, Mathias.
  9. How do I get in touch with you? I was able to find your email on the prints page, but it should be more obvious. Make it easy for your customers to find you.
    The night images on black made for a very dark page, and the borders of the images seem to get lost in the total darkness. Personally I would use a lighter background, but that may be a matter of taste
  10. Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I spent ages coding that hover logo and I think it looks quite nice - although a little outlandish - so I think I'll keep that. Apart from that though I'll definitely make some of those changes when I next have the chance. One more thing, what are your impressions on the pricing? (apart from the fact that they're a little muddled since I keep changing them!) I've read not to price prints too low but to essentially price them as a piece of art, but am I kidding myself as a relatively unestablished photographer?
  11. Hi Rowan,

    I think the site makes a strong visual impression. It looks good. I really like the abstract gallery.

    There are a few things I would work on as you iterate:

    The pages are heavy, which makes the loading a bit sluggish. You're loading a lot of javascript with every page and it's
    not clear that it's necessary.

    The front page clocks in at a massive 17MB of data. That's quite a lot for a relatively simple design that doesn't have
    any user interaction. Google's PageSpeed can help squeeze out some of the excess:

    Some of images need to be re-sized. For instance, on this page: http://rowanibbeken.co.uk/day
    The 'trees-and-mountains-chamomix-france' small image is actually 1072x712 pixels, but it's being reduced after
    downloading to 368 pixels. You're essentially wasting the extra bandwidth (and your visitor's time). To make matters
    worse, when I click on it, it actually loads another smaller(!) image for the large view.

    The user experience in the galleries could be improved in my opinion. As it is, I have to keep clicking the back button
    in order to see the next image. So I see some large 'thumbnails' on the gallery page, I click it, it takes me a new page
    with the large image, then I have to click back and click on another. The way most people deal with this is to have
    small thumbnails available on each page or, at the very least, a way to move to the next and previous images without
    clicking the back button. A lot of your audience, who might otherwise browse will give up on all the back and forth.

    Also, all the pages seem to have a title (i.e. 'Urbex') which is appropriately displayed below your logo. They all link to
    themselves, however, which isn't really useful and is a little odd.

    You're doing something peculiar with the links in the galleries too that I couldn't quite figure out. Rather than just linking
    from the small image to the page with the large image, you have an onclick javascript event that goes to a url which
    then forwards to yet another page. I can't see any benefit of this, and it has the side effect of slowing down the
    browsing, completely breaking your site if javascript is off, and possibly confusing spiders like GoogleBot. We
    sometimes decide that it's okay to break when javascript is disabled if it results in a great user experience for
    everyone else, but in this case it's just using javascript to handle hyperlinks, which works just fine with a regular old
    html anchor tag.

    Generally speaking, I like the look and feel of the site, but I think it could use a little refactoring at this point to tighten
    everything up.
  12. Terrific stuff, I really like your style.
    The site looks good but is sluggish, as others have mentioned.
    A minor quibble - I might be inclined to remove any camera metadata. Keep only copyright/IPTC metadata. It's a minor thing, but the camera is often irrelevant to this type of photography. Leave a bit of mystery, let others wonder or obsess about what gear was used, if they're so inclined.

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