Looking for critique.

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by will_wrobel, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. I have just updated my website because I am recently back in the job hunt. I am looking for a brutally honest critique of the site and the work on it. Please don't pull any punches, I'm looking for the help! Thanks! The site is www.williamwrobelphoto.com
    Thanks again!
  2. Will, FWIW you may get more feedback in the Website Creation forum as they are quite accustomed (and good at) responding to these type of requests. Don't double post, just request a move from a moderator.
    My 2 Cents on the site. Caveat: I am not a site designer, pro-anything guy, just a surfer and dedicated consumer running a Mac with Safari v.5.1.1 (high speed feed)
    1) Main page (home) - like the layout, good load time however the image transition seemed rushed and a tad jarring.
    2) Menues/links - didn't like how they disappear as you hover over them (or turn black and stay black once clicked) harder to follow and read. Plus the main menu turns into a white block once clicked
    3) "Our Services" & "Pricing" links did not work for me. If you're live, these are pretty important.
    4) Galleries - Load time was initially pretty good for the image sizes (3-4 sec) bogged down as I got further in. A lot of content there; Really enjoyed your imagery... but LOTS of content there. Weddings seemed to be the main focus, would you consider a second site to highlight that portion of your business?? May make it more appealing to the wedding folk.
    * Pause for fresh wine. I was bored tonight (sorry about the long winded reply)*
    5) Calendar- not sure if its needed but neat how I could send you a message about booking you 4 months ago if I want.
    6) Contact - I think here is where the black-on-black format is the most awkward; could confuse/irritate some folks.
    Overall I think you have a great start to a really nice presentation but may need some tweaks. Again though, the images are what I was impressed with the most. Very appealing.
    Take it or leave it. Wish you the best.
  3. Will: I'm a amateur also. But I looked at you site as if I was a perspective buyer of your services. I agree with everything James said above. The most important thing is to keep it simple. You've got too many "slick" website operations. But you're selling photography. People don't care about that how fancy your site is. They care about how your pictures look. For wedding shots, they imagine themselves as the person in your pictures and whether they would like to see themselves that way. Show one picture at a time. Who looks at three at one time? Also, I'm confused with what you do. If I'm getting married, I really don't care about your other photography. I want a specialist. You're opening sequence shows wedding shots, sports shots, rock and roll shots, etc. Very confusing. I hope I helped. You are a very good photographer. But you have to separate what you do to make it easy for the buyer to see the specialty they're interested in.
  4. Guys, thank you so much for taking the time to look at my site. I have made the quick fixes (menus and text color, etc.) Basically I am trying to make a portfolio website that will showcase a range of abilities. I am recently unemployed and have a degree in photojournalism, and therefore looking to get into a job in this field. I will try to tone down the "slick" operations though, because I do agree that there is a LOT going on that detracts from the content itself. James and Alan; how many images per page would seem sufficient? I feel like there is just too much per page.
  5. A brutal critique? Okay.

    Your website DOES NOT WORK ON A
    MOBILE PHONE! Sorry but A good
    portion of people use smart phones or
    Ipads/iPhones. And you used flash?
    That is totally like year 2000. People
    use html5 and CSS right now. And a lot
    of people use wordpress right now.

    Stay away from flash if you want
    people to view your site. If I stumble on
    a flash site, I leave imideatly.

    Hope that helps :)

    I can't give you feedback on your site
    as I can't see it as I am using an
    iPhone for most of my web browsing :)

    Good luck!
  6. "Stay away from flash if you want people to view your site. If I stumble on a flash site, I leave imideatly."​
    Ditto. I use NoScript and Flash blocking add-ons by default because so many sites now use very poorly implemented Javascript and Flash. I'm not opposed to that stuff when it works properly - in fact I enjoy sites that use these tools cleverly and well - but it's annoying to stumble onto a site that has literally dozens of resource heavy things loading simultaneously.
  7. Another somewhat non-pro opinion: I'm on a relatively slow connection, and then the start page doesn't open all that fast. The photos are fairly large - so download times take a hit. Also the text in the Flash on the homepage is white, and some of the photos are too - making the text appear only half. Maybe resize it completely to something a bit smaller. And indeed, reconsider Flash (not that HTML5 is the way to go, since that only works proper in new browsers, and many people use older browsers).
    I find the title for the homepage "New Hampshire Based Photography" a bit weird. Does it matter where you're based, or does it matter who you are and what you deliver? So, I'd change that to "William Wrobel - Photographer" (aligned with what you use elsewhere).
    All the animations in the menu look nice. But they just don't add much, and slow down navigation. And the navigation elements are a bit hidden away in the lower left like this. Navigation at the top is more conventional and boring, but it is also where people expect it to be - and the design should serve the visitor.
    In the Information Section, two pages with very very little information (Services and Pricing) - I would make that one page introducing your business. The 'about' page is a bit long, I would not list all activities for all the previous jobs; I wonder whether clients really care about the amount of photos shot and culled monthly. An introduction on who you are, how you regard photography - I think there is more value in that. You have the galleries to convince people of your skills, not the CV.
    This section needs more sales-drive. It's not clear enough that you're offering services, so get a marketing text there instead.
    And maybe in terms of marketing one of the more important things: I like the work in your galleries. Make sure people go there and see your work. That will get them interested.
  8. Will:
    It took several seconds for a line of text to load. Several more for one image. I closed your site after that. Text should appear instantaneously, followed quickly by images. If it takes more than a couple seconds for the front page to load, something is wrong.
  9. Thanks. Interesting and good stuff. My only small comment is that you set the minimum width for the flash presentation wider than some people set their browser and it's not scrollable, so the thumbnail images with the galleries disappears off the left margin. As for flash, with all the mobile devices these days, it pays to consider the design for viewing on the widest array of devices or develop apps for the portable ones.
  10. Testing a site is an important and integral step before paying for and launching a site. Yet it is often overlooked and seldom done extensively across different platforms, browsers, window sizes, etc. Web designers should include such testing as part of their service, and say so in their promotions and contracts. But few do. I would not hire one that does not do so.

  11. Look at my site, may have to change something?
    I can not find a good template.

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