please comment

Discussion in 'Website Creation' started by williamsquire, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. NOTE: Sorry about the second post it doesn't allow me to edit my first one! How embarrassing putting the wrong address for my webpage!
    I have just published to the web my new website showcasing my portfolio! Please visit it and let me know what you think.
    The site is fully Flash enabled and has full screen image viewing when you click the selected image! It still needs fine tuning but this is the website.

    Billy Squire
  2. Unfortunately, I just picked up my shiny new iPad tablet to visit your site. Nope, can't see it - Flash, in the case of all sorts of people using hip and popular web browsing devices, is actually a disabling piece of software. You might want to look at using some JavaScript that looks for Flash being present (remember, many people who can run it, block it anyway), and redirect those visitors to a straight HTML site. At least to a splash page with some contact info.
  3. I agree that being totally focused on flash is not a good thing, but I don't agree the logic behind rejecting flash.
    Flash isn't supported by the iPad, true, but how many potential clients will be using iPads? What is the market saturation compared to PC's, laptops, notebooks, etc? I'm only aware of apple not supporting flash, Android as far as I am aware does support flash. So it's not a valid reason to not support flash, the statement that it's disabling only applies to apple products. I also would suspect that people who discover a site that doesn't work on the iPad will do one of two things, a) look up the site on a PC or laptop, or b) ignore the site and go somewhere else.
    So, before deciding to drop flash I would suggest trying to find some stats on the number of devices of specific types on a country breakdown (I presume your focused on local work, not international). Then I would suggest figuring out what the impact is if you cut off that percentage and the cost to change what you have done so far. It's the same as supporting old web browsers. You have to figure out what the impact is, what sacrifices you have to make for what your trying to do and what the cost is.
    Note that a quick google has turned up headlines that 3 million ipads have been sold (to June), I presume that is a figure for the USA and you have to consider the impact of technophiles who rush to have the latest device. Population in America is over 309 million, so that is slightly under 1% of the population. I presume that will grow but remember that an iPad is not an exclusive device.
    Personally I'm not a big fan of sites that are heavy on flash, but that's just a personal opinion not a technology issue.
  4. Again, to clarify: there are also plenty of people sitting in front of computers and using browsing software that can support flash, but who block Flash because it's so often used to render really annoying ad formats, and because it leaves a non-standard cookie trail behind it, risking privacy. Many corporate networks have the web-surfing users behind proxy servers that block all Flash (except for approved sites) before users can even get to it.

    As for a 1% of the population doing their surfing on iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, and many other mobile browsing platforms (see many Blackberries, Windows-based smart phones and others that also cannot support flash) - those might be a small percentage of the population, but they're a very large percentage of the demographic with disposable income, or making decisions about new media projects for a mobile audiece. All things that matter to photographers trying to market to them.

    Note that I'm not saying to skip Flash ... just to not throw out all of those visitors by not having a version of the site that all of those hip people sitting in coffee shops can see and show to their friends, sitting right next to them.
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I have a flash-free site that won't work on iPhones and iPads because of some scripting issues. However, it does run fine on Android phones, at least the one I've tested it on. Sites should be built for the expected users - I don't ever look at photo sites on my phone, although I do look at photos. I'm not going to create multiple versions of sites for different devices that aren't going to be great user experiences.

    However, I don't think this forum was intended to be a place to discuss which technologies people like or don't like. The poster knows he used flash (please read the original post) and he wants to know what people think about his site. That should be the topic.

    To get to that...1) I find sites with a busy background behind photos to be uncomfortable for viewing, 2) the photos have to be scrolled to see them even though they're not that big, and 3) the navigation doesn't always seem very pleasant. This site strikes me as one that is unnecessarily complicated if the goal is to have people look at photos.
  6. Thanks Jeff. Although I disagree that the site is complicated to navigate I will agree that the navigation is uncommon compared to what is commonly used by other websites. Which is why I liked it. It floats in the middle of the screen.
    I also agree that the scrolling to view images has to be changed. It's particularly annoying for portrait shots. I don't mind when there is a tiny scroll or movement of the image as I like the idea of movement. But where the image is 2 inches off screen I will have to add borders to the image to stop heavy floating.
    To Matt and James- beyond the complications on Flash could you please elaborate as thoroughly on my site as you did on the cons of Flash.
  7. UPDATE: In the source code the floating can be disabled. Even with the boarders the image is easily viewed but the floating still happens. So I will adjust the images to fit and disable floating but you will still be able to click image to view full-screen.
  8. the images are nice, but all over the place. I can't figure out who your target market is. I'm not crazy about photog websites that tries to be all things to all people.
  9. Ashton,
    Although I respect and understand what you mean I think that logic does not apply to photography unless say you want to be strictly a wedding photographer etc. My target audience is anyone who wants me to photograph whatever they like. I'm not trying to fit in a box, nor do I think anyone should including my customers.
  10. William:

    I think you'll find it difficult to market to such a wide target audience. I too think the photos are too varied - they don't give me much info about you as a photographer, your style, what you can do, what you do really well etc.

    The site itself is OK, IMHO. I don't like the navigation and think it would be much better done in a conventional way. People tend to be much more comfortable when things are the way they expect and a website where you cater to or want to cater to potential customers might not be the best place to be very experimental on.

    Big background photos are OK if not distracting. Too often though they make the site look like some sort of tabloid. Here the main content also gets covered up when looking through the photos on the site, as well as act as a distraction when looking through the photos.

    It loads fast, even for being a Flash site and that's good. Nothing wrong with any of the images (that I saw) but some sort of target would be a good idea I think.
  11. Thanks Mikael,
    There is a lot of photos on the site I agree, I am constantly rearranging and deleting photos as I go along. As you know its hard to choose some over others but I will get there eventually. But I still feel that photography is such a grey field that marketing to a wider audience is not as hard as some would think. Now with that being said I am sure that as I grow as a photographer you will see the site take a more structured look in certain directions. This will probably be because of where the money is coming from.
    As for the navigation it is unconventional and that's why I chose it. When I choose the site I wanted to do something that I like and that is what I based it on. Even though people are used to one way I think that it is simple enough and clear enough that people wont have a problem navigating it. Besides if being an artist is being conventional then where is the fun in that. I have been a person who has always stuck to my guns and it has worked so far.
    The big background image is something I don't think I will ever do away with. It may seem like a tabloid to some but it's the opening image to the site (that I will change regularly) to try to bring an idea or emotion to the viewer. Does it make it look like a tabloid, maybe to some but I think being photography and having an image blown up works and is my favorite part of my site. Not only does the main content get covered up but it also turns B&W which is also what I like very much. You get the opening image which attempts to (see above) then you move on the experience the rest of what I see and envision.
    I know I am asking for peoples opinions and then questioning most of what is said. Thats just who I have been as an artist my whole life, painting, drawing, animation etc. I believe that when you create you have to believe in what you are doing, believe in the core of what it is you create. And if you change the core because someone says it doesn't work you lose yourself as an artist. But when you stand your ground you become confident in your ideas the bigger pichure is never lost to you. To be completely honest I am just looking for the fine tuning remarks here. Like the paning of the images that I fixed. In my own weird way when other photographers tell me they don't like either my work or an aspect of or say nothing at all I know I am in the right direction because I haven't met (seen) a photographer I want to be like, have the style, technique or career of.
  12. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    As for the navigation it is unconventional and that's why I chose it.​
    In the list of things not to do with something customer-facing, that is one of the top entries. Your choice of navigation should be what users find comfortable and intuitive, not unconventional. As long as you think the way you stated, you will lose viewers quickly.
  13. I agree with Jeff here. You have to think about the users of your site - if you want people to use it. It's kind of like having a store with a door that works so different from how other doors operate that people are having a hard time entering. You might love your door, but if your customers and clients find it a pain to use off they'll go...

    After many years in business as a writer and photographer I've understood the balance between how I want things and how my clients want things. If there's a conflict of interest I always go with how my clients want things. They cut the checks and that certainly gives them a fairly heavy vote. I'm lucky in that most of the people I work with only care about a good search function, good and accurate caption info, and an easy way to share images with other editors/authors etc.
  14. My suggestion would be to be careful as to what pictures you're picking...I'm not so sure that most soccer mom's would look to you to photograph their family when the cute picture of the little girl is next to some dudes in a club getting wasted...and I think a soccer mom would also be turned off by the large photo of the tattoed arm right off the bat.
    To put it bluntly. It does seem like you need to narrow down your target audience just a little. You might not totally be sure where you want to go with your photography, but if you want to make a living those are the things you probably need to consider. Not that photographing dudes in a club or tattoed guys is wrong. Just that the two groups of people generally aren't going to relate to the same things.
    Because of things like that...the website gives me the impression of immaturity. No idea if it's true about you or not, but some of the photo choices give off that vibe. Again...nothing wrong with it...just depends on who you want to attract as clients.
    And certainly there is nothing wrong with wanting to photograph it all. But not all paying customers are all on the same wavelength and it seems like the way the website is set up right now both "extremes" could possibly be turned off. Maybe 2 websites gearing to two different groups of people is in order.
  15. Justin thanks for the input. You are right about the club photos and I will be creating a separate category for venues to place images away from family/portrait geared images.
    Although I disagree strongly with the tattoo right off the bat. First because the tattoo has a very powerful message and the image is embracing and full of love. Secondly because of the way society is going, people my age who are now buying homes, have/starting families are the tattoo generation whether you have one or not and will not sway many. I can't win em all and if I lose someone because they dislike tattoo then I am not the photographer for them and they are not a client for me.
    I don't see how it relates to immaturity but I do see the point or organizing my photos to keep certain images away from others. I also see now that this site isn't really where I need to get feedback. Not that the feedback is bad, it's all good, but I am seeing that there is an older way of thinking here based on old photo ideals that I can't seem to relate hence they can't relate to me. Your input on the tattoo is a prime example.

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