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Help in critiquing website

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:44 pm
by Cheyenne
need help from anyone/someone who can critique the websites I am creating. Someone or some company who specializes in making sure that the site "looks good". I can put in the commands, but I need to know from others point of view if the site is ok in color, size of font, placement, etc.

I have no one I can work with because I physically don't go to the school campus. I do my classes online so I don't have that option of asking fellow students or teachers.

I really like the challenge creating websites

Any thoughts you can give me would be very helpful.

Thank you

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:59 pm
by Albert Wiersch
What is the URL/URLs? Anyone taking a look will need to know. I'm sure someone here could provide you with some feedback.

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:26 pm
by Cheyenne

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:47 pm
by MikeGale
Some very brief notes. (A full evaluation takes effort, it should, in my view, start with a detailed description of the target audience. That description makes design a lot easier.)
  • 1Logo: It's jpg, it does not exactly match background, there are white artifacts around the letters. Suggest a rework of the image, when colours are firm.
    2 The page heading table colour, border etc. could be defined in the style sheet which will make it easier to change.
    3 There are five or so pages, only one was known to the search engine I tried. When you're ready it's worth getting the other pages listed.
    4 Run the validator over the style sheet. Eyeball check suggested: font list should have more common fonts for Windows machines, use of ID's should go to classes (see previous comment), missing ";"...
    5 It's a useful idea to let the customer interact with design, during a project. Say fonts, colours... This can be done with a series of alternate style sheets switched in with Javascript and a drop down list.
    6 The design is bound into a table, can some of it be freed up?
    7 I recommend more written content on pages.
    8 Think about your customer base when putting in images/cartoons etc. Will they identify with the imagery or not? (Answer depends entirely on who they are and who you want them to be.)

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:12 pm
by Cheyenne
Thank you, Mark. As soon as I finish my walk, I will be continuing with it.

I did notice white is not a good color for the font when working with the Google site maps.


Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:08 pm
by Cheyenne
I took four semesters of webpage writing; and WOW am I still learning :roll:

1. The logo is going to change. Customer is getting back to me.
2. Am I understanding that the head can also go in the CSS?
3. Am going to work on search engine verbage. Found ValueWeb by affinity, SEO Do's and Don'ts.
4. Will check in Google to see about more common fonts. Going to work on classes today.
5. I'm trying to get the Customer to interact with the design. As of last week, he liked what he saw except for the logo. Why would a dropdown list be better than the information on the left side?
6. Do you mean the design at the top?
7. There will be more written content on the pages of "how do I' from me. Customer needs to give me testamonials.
8. In speaking with the Customer, he thought the images were ok for who his clients are.

I know now that I'm not as knowledgable as I thought I was. I have found a forum called If you think you'd like to help me more with this website, I'd really appreciate it. If not, I certainly will understand, and I'll work with the forum.

Thank you.


Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:30 pm
by MikeGale
The heading referred to is the section at top of body. (Not in the head section of html.)

The drop down was a suggestion for how to interact with the customer. You create a temporary page (mark it noindex etc.) and on the page give the customer a drop down. When he makes a new selection a different stylesheet is slid in. Gives him instant feedback. In my experience, generates a healthy debate and also educates him about what can/can't should/shouldn't be done with markup. (Can be done with really trivial Javascript coding.)

As for menus, a drop down would be a bad idea, in my view. I would test for a horizontal menu strip, as well as vertical, and style it using CSS (not tables and in-line markup).

The best approach to SEO is common sense. Don't try to "trick" the search engines, just be honest and sensible. (Some of the advice seems to come from people with questionable morals and can get you in trouble with search engines (blacklisted in various ways), be sensible and you're OK.)

That's it from me.

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:35 pm
by Cheyenne
Thank you again, Mike. :D


Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:04 pm
by Albert Wiersch
Don't forget to check your page in more than one browser, even if you check it with CSE HTML Validator or any other HTML checker. For example, I checked in IE7 and Firefox 2.0 and there was a significant different. The phone number is most likely too large and misplaced in Firefox. I didn't take a close enough look to see why this was happening though.

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:33 pm
by Cheyenne
Thank you.

I checked Firefox and Netscape. Indeed, the phone number is waaaay off. The rest looks ok.

I don't have IE7 and don't plan to get it soon. Was the phone number too big in this program?


Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:57 pm
by Cheyenne
I had put it in <h2> which overflowed into the body. Fixed that.

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:24 pm
by MikeGale
I had a very quick check of the latest page version. The test was as follows:

A) 3 browsers IE7, FF and Opera.
B) Check font size changing.
C) Check window size changing.

This emulates what a real user can be expected to do.

The page did not look good with the phone number being cut off in many cases. Other text was also badly displayed in some scenarios.

When changing window size the text did not flow as much as it could.

A very quick look showed CSS classes with fixed height and width. These cause some of the issues, and could be replaced with sizes based on em's or somesuch. Those elements would then be more responsive to font size changes.

You can't really ignore IE7 any more. One set of stats (up to last month) says IE 7 is running over 16% and is about 30% of IE users. Your users might very well have even more IE 7. (IE 7 had the number cut off.)

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:28 am
by Albert Wiersch
Cheyenne wrote:Thank you.

I checked Firefox and Netscape. Indeed, the phone number is waaaay off. The rest looks ok.

I don't have IE7 and don't plan to get it soon. Was the phone number too big in this program?

I just checked and the phone number was cut off for me in IE 7.

As Mike says, this may be due to fixed (absolute) height and width (using "px" like it seems you are doing in the style sheet). In cases like this it is probably best to use relative units like "em". For example, 1.2em means 120% of the font size. If the user changes the size of the fonts, then the height and width should adjust accordingly to the font size.

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:47 am
by Cheyenne
Well, I am not going to get IE7 for a while. Too many problems with it so I've heard. Wish I could see what happens. But, que sara!

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:02 pm
by MikeGale
There's a site from which you can get images of a page in multiple browsers. (Can't remember the name or price.)

That might be a good backstop.

(Now you can also get free virtualisation software so you might be able to run a VM. There is even a time limited VM image to run IE6 available from Microsoft.)

I find it best to check the browsers personally. (I find the chatter and press have substantial biases, which can badly mislead.) I personally use IE 7 every day and haven't noticed any serious problems.

A very simple estimate suggests that IE 7 will be used more than IE 6 within 6 months, for many web sites.