Website critique - Restorations

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by asmainphotography, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Hello,
    If anybody could spare a couple of moments could they possibly share their opinions on my website? It's http://www.asmainphotography.co.uk. It was a 1-day rush job just to get something online before the christmas rush on photographic restorations but I'm hoping that it's sufficient. What I need is a bit of third-party perspective. I'm not trying to win any design awards, just make a website that is as simple as possible with a fairly intuitive layout.
    For a bit of background I started off in photography but with the gumtree army consistently undercutting everyone on price (We all know the type. Charge less than cost 'to get a foot in the door' then go out of business two months later only for someone else to do exactly the same thing.) I've had to look at alternative sources of income. Photographic Restoration is something I've always done as an informal sideline for family and friends but I think that turning it in to the main focus of my business could be an option.
    Thanks for taking the time to help me. It's greatly appreciated.
    Adam
     
  2. Adam, I'm not a website expert by any means, but I like it. The "Get Started" page is clever, simple, straightforward, and should be user-friendly. The photo album theme fits well with the work you do. One problem: The "What We Do" tab doesn't work, and no link shows when you mouse over it. Also, I think I would highlight the question lines on the FAQ page. Other than that, very well done...
    Cheers!
     
  3. Thank you for taking the time to have a look. I'll get the link sorted and highlight the questions in the FAQ as soon as I get a chance. I think you've made my day. I was expecting a flurry of negative comments (or have I spoken too soon?).
     
  4. Adam, I like it because it is simple and easy to navigate.
     
  5. Just some small points from me. First, Congratulations,I think the whole site works well together as a 'whole'. One gets the picture (pardon the pun) right away.
    Now some secondary points as they occurred to me.
    • The 'What We Do' link works fine now. A small grammatical thing though. In the 2nd paragraph the part that starts with ...' our experts will assess each photograph receive on an individual basis....' might read better if it were receive(d) .
    • Is there a style/brand name clash with using 'a s main photography' as well as 'A S Main photography' in different places?
    • On the 'Get Started' page, the hot link to 'Quote request form' might not seem completely apparent or fool proof for some people not too savvy with 'internet usage'. Also, on the 'Contact page', I did not expect your e:mail:restorations@asmain.... link to be a hot one, but it is.
    • On your 'Contact Us' page, some of the type on your business card is illegible. This is a minor point, but it bothered me that I could not easily decipher what was on it.
    • Perhaps you could try out some other typeface to lift the whole appearance slightly above using the 'standard' style, which reads more like an office document. The highlight idea to add some variety on your 'F.A.Q. page would go towards addressing this somewhat, but how about using some legible but not quite so common typefaces.
    Good luck with your venture!
     
  6. Yay! As you can probably tell I've been checking this thread every few seconds in anticipation of more responses. Initially my worry was that the navigation wouldn't be obvious and people would get a bit lost. Thanks for the response.
     
  7. Looks pretty good, just a couple typo errors..
    On the front page
    "...our experts will assess each photograph receive on an individual basis." I think you're missing a d on recieved.
    On the FAQ page, under "How long will my photographic restoration take?".
    "Each restoration is unique and involves a different level of work to the next" should that be 'than the next'?
    Kyle
     
  8. Looks pretty good, just a couple typo errors..
    On the front page
    "...our experts will assess each photograph receive on an individual basis." I think you're missing a d on recieved.
    On the FAQ page, under "How long will my photographic restoration take?".
    "Each restoration is unique and involves a different level of work to the next" should that be 'than the next'?
    Kyle
     
  9. More great responses. Thanks. It's the little, annoying errors that I can't see after glaring at the monitor for hours. I'm definitely going to work on what Mike and Kyle have pointed out to me. I'm really over-awed with the response I'm getting. Without wanting to sound repetitive, thanks.
     
  10. Adam, excellently designed website. Simple and fast to navigate. Just wish there were more
    color samples to see.
    I used to do restorations and was going to pursue it as a way to make money but I couldn't ever come up with a business model I felt confident enough to roll the dice on. Your approach is near perfect.
    The only suggestion I can come up with that hasn't been mentioned is to beef up the look of the name of your business. Just a simple font style, maybe larger with caps and lowercase with some color or treatment of some type would be enough.
    Check out my Image Pro site you can find the link to by clicking on my name and see the simple font treatment I designed in Photoshop for my banner.
    Nice work and good luck with your endeavor. Wish all sites were as simple and well thought out.
     
  11. I'm working on a few colour restorations at the moment. I plan to get them up there as soon as I can. I think you're right about the logo (and Mike). It was probably the least thought out part. I like white text on a black background and that's about all I tried. I'll spend a few hours trying some new styles and try and be a bit more consistent in the application of it.
    I suppose I've been lucky in that the business model more or less fell in to my lap. It's partly the model for my photography business, partly based on previous restorations for family and predominantly blind luck and bravery. If it pans out is yet to be seen.
     
  12. n-j

    n-j

    hi adam;
    this kind of theming is very trendy now, and I think you did a good job, sad you decided to work with tables, you know you could have come down to half the file size and a lot of options to extend your site and content very easy; from what i see i just would suggest to work on the typo of your business card too; may be hard to read on a loptop or monitor with less resolution; showing behind the curtain, the first thing that one recognises is your meta block ; usually Dreamweaver has a template for that I think ? you just have one line it doesn't tell anything bout your site; not very SEO friendly, no search engine will list it without a min. of info. you'll find enought templates for meta block online, usually it looks like tried to post a block here but they don't allow html code in textfield second;
    I wouldn't use a mailto-link today; building a mailform is done in minutes, and you won't get spammed once a week third because of your layout you have several sites so your "rare" content is split up; as you have no printable version, and people would hate you for printing all rhis graphics do them a favour;
    write a second doc and provide it as the printable, mobile or whatever version; you can do so with almost every editor, word, pages bbedit,.. set a link as >print> or > dl as pdf ? though your site is valid, here are some links to check browser compatibility; easiest way by adobe > browserlab ,oldfashioned but bulletproof ! > browsershots next time you think about a new homepage don't be afraid of cms; there are systems that are limited to the very essential features, you can built a site in minutes, have some prebuilt modules and with a little knowledge in css you can theme them to your liking; check out pixie-cms for example.
    cheers
    ps. get rid of the fireworks & dw nfo-lines
     
  13. Fabulous! I wish that I could offer some pointers, but I think that it looks great, is easy to navigate and extremely clever. I imagine that you will do quite well with it, if you can get the visibility.
     
  14. A few suggestions:
    • I would label the home page "Home" rather than "What we do." When I navigated to another page, I didn't realize that the home page was "What we do," so I couldn't see how to return to that page. Judging from typical practice on websites, people probably expect an "About us" or "What we do" page to be different from the home page.
    • On the home page, I would put the black logo above the text. The logo is a heavy element that attracts the eye. Put it over the text and it will help bring readers to that point on the page rather than dividing their attention between two points.
    • Make the text on the first page flush left, as it is on the FAQ page. Readership studies show that centered text is harder to read.
    • The examples are too small to tell much about the quality of the work. If I were a potential customer, I would want to see bigger samples.
    • The movement of the nav tabs is inconsistent. In some cases, the tab for an unvisited page drops away from the background. In other cases it tucks underneath the background. I find this a bit confusing.
     
  15. David; I think that repositioning the logo will make a huge difference. It's not really clear who the company is at the moment. Thanks for that. I'm definitely going to take up the suggestion of re-aligning the front page text as well. I'll stick on a larger example preview too. I didn't spend all of that time slaving over tattyshop for my work to be viewed at a tiny size.
    Nikolai; thanks for the heads up on the raggedy coding. It really was a case of hammering it through whatever was required to get it up and running before ironing out the (substantial) creases. As for meta-tagging it's slightly lower down the list. It's not really considered on the same scale as pagerank when it comes to google. I will get around to it in the next week or so though.
    To be honest with you the business card was put in as a last minute idea to balance the visuals and to give any potential (local) customers something tangible to relate to; the idea initially being that most hits would come directly from the business card being given to them.
    Tiffany; Ta Muchly.
     
  16. A great book to consult when designing a site is Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think . Several of the problems I experienced on your site come under that title: the inconsistent movements of the nav tabs, how to return to the home page -- both required me to stop and think, to try to solve a puzzle.
     

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