graphical website makeover

This is a discussion on graphical website makeover within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hey everyone, I'm looking for some feedback on the new layout I'm trying on my site. First off, I'm modifying ...

  1. #1
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    graphical website makeover

    Hey everyone, I'm looking for some feedback on the new layout I'm trying on my site.

    First off, I'm modifying the invision skin to have buttons on the side, so if you could tell me what you think of those that'd be awesome.
    (to view the invision skin, you have to have cookies enabled and then on the left side of my site just change the skin to invision)

    Second, I'm working on a software showcase showing all of the software I've made in the past 2 years, and I was wondering if you could give any feedback as to the layout of that area. The reason I'm putting the showcase in there is because a lot of people have told me they didn't even realize there were games at the site because, well, my site's mostly comprised of just text and the banners.

    -thanks in advance

    http://www.TheJeffFiles.com/
    Last edited by jverkoey; 08-30-2004 at 11:51 PM.

  2. #2
    i dont know Vicious's Avatar
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    Excellent.

    So are you planning on having all of the menu links; buttons? I think being able to pick a skin is wonderfull.

    The Software Showcase was set up very nicely.

    A very nice looking website.

  3. #3
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    Yah, I'm hoping to eventually convert all the links to buttons, for invision at least. Just wanted to make sure they're somewhat decent-looking, because I'm not exactly the best artist in the world.

  4. #4
    _B-L-U-E_ Betazep's Avatar
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    I think that it is very nice. The only thing I do not like, which is definitely just a personal preference, can be seen when you go to the Portfolios Page. On that page the center table is aligned with the left table at the top. The other pages have text which lowers the alignment. One way or the other is fine... but not both.

    The skin change capability is great... and I like the Invision skin. Is there a way to show the one that you are in while you are in that skin. (you drop down the options box to change the skin, but when the new skin change takes place... the skin selected isn't shown in the options box as the current default value)

    Really minor things, though bud. Yet things that I wouldn't even begin to know how to change. I think that your webpage is awesome. I would say that I am really impressed. Kudos to you...
    Blue

  5. #5
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Well I'm not a big fan of tables for layout. I think Axon can tell you that
    also take a look at http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...fffiles.com%2F and fix those errors

    Also I think it's easier to use <link> to bring in CSS information. It also allows you to link in multiple CSS files and set one as a default with the other ones that the user can select through the browser like opera.

    On the plus side: Easy to navigate, using colors that are easy on the eyes, and it works in lynx

  6. #6
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Just a few things... and maybe me just being picky:

    1) You could use a new font (hopefully just a CSS change).

    2) The invision skin looks good... but your buttons could use a little work.

    3) Just my opinion, but the banner looks a little childish.

    4) In the non-invision skins, you don't define your borders very well and it ends up looking kinda blended, instead of seperated.

    5) Your banner should be the width of the page... having it slightly less wider than the rest of the site gives it a funky look.

    6) Sometimes your "fine print" is too fine. Don't use bold for fine print and pick something that can be read (ie. Tahoma font?).

    7) I have to echo Thantos on the suggestions he made. Don't use tables, and link your CSS files. If you don't link your CSS files, you remove 90% of the power that it wields.

    Again... I'm picky. Sue me.

  7. #7
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    Sounds good everyone, thanks very much for the criticism, it's exactly what I was looking for. I'll get right on to fixing as much stuff as I can.

  8. #8
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    oh, and by fine print, do you mean the disclaimer at the bottom of each of the downloads sections?

    and for font, what would you suggest changing it to?

    -edit-
    Just changed the font to arial, seems to look a bit better maybe? I can't think of any other font names to try out, heh.
    Last edited by jverkoey; 08-31-2004 at 11:01 AM.

  9. #9
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    By fine print, I meant anywhere you had small disclaimers or whatever. I usually try to do something like you've done in your sig on here. Make your main displays in a normal font (9 or 10pt?) and then make your disclaimers in 8pt.

    As far as fonts, I personally like Tahoma. It's very clean and easily readable. Arial is good... but still has an amatuer (sp?) feel to it. And if you're going to change the font in the body, I'd suggest changing your images at the top (menu buttons) to match it.

  10. #10
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    OK, let's see:

    1) You could use a new font (hopefully just a CSS change).

    2) The invision skin looks good... but your buttons could use a little work.

    3) Just my opinion, but the banner looks a little childish.

    4) In the non-invision skins, you don't define your borders very well and it ends up looking kinda blended, instead of seperated.

    5) Your banner should be the width of the page... having it slightly less wider than the rest of the site gives it a funky look.

    6) Sometimes your "fine print" is too fine. Don't use bold for fine print and pick something that can be read (ie. Tahoma font?).

    7) I have to echo Thantos on the suggestions he made. Don't use tables, and link your CSS files. If you don't link your CSS files, you remove 90% of the power that it wields.
    1) fixed/changed

    2) What needs work about them? (colours, roundedness, how much they move down when your mouse hovers on them, etc...?)

    3) The banner was the first thing I created for the site, heh, and I designed 5 separate banners for a bunch of different projects (they get randomly displayed). So by childish what do you mean looks childish? The explosion in the background? Or just the different games displayed around the edges?

    4) I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that.

    5) I've fixed that slightly. The hit counter thing was forcing my page outside of the 800px width. I can't shrink it down to be exactly 800px without wrecking the spacing on the rest of the site (if i make cellpadding=0 and cellspacing=0, the images at the top align perfectly for an 800px width, but then all of the tables on my site look really scrunched together.

    6) Fixed

    7) I'll work on linking the CSS. I had originally written the php script to allow others to make skins, but now that I look at it, I have trouble making skins the way it is right now, so I think I'm going to rewrite it so it's not as file-reading intensive (there's some really crappy php code in the background that you can't see, but every time you visit another page, it has to open a file from my server and read in the colour values, *blegh* code from when I first started my site, heh)



    And at thantos:
    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=ht...fffiles.com%2F
    Got my site verified with no errors.

  11. #11
    5|-|1+|-|34|) ober's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jverkoey
    2) What needs work about them? (colours, roundedness, how much they move down when your mouse hovers on them, etc...?)

    3) The banner was the first thing I created for the site, heh, and I designed 5 separate banners for a bunch of different projects (they get randomly displayed). So by childish what do you mean looks childish? The explosion in the background? Or just the different games displayed around the edges?

    4) I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that.

    5) I've fixed that slightly. The hit counter thing was forcing my page outside of the 800px width. I can't shrink it down to be exactly 800px without wrecking the spacing on the rest of the site (if i make cellpadding=0 and cellspacing=0, the images at the top align perfectly for an 800px width, but then all of the tables on my site look really scrunched together.

    7) I'll work on linking the CSS. I had originally written the php script to allow others to make skins, but now that I look at it, I have trouble making skins the way it is right now, so I think I'm going to rewrite it so it's not as file-reading intensive (there's some really crappy php code in the background that you can't see, but every time you visit another page, it has to open a file from my server and read in the colour values, *blegh* code from when I first started my site, heh)
    2) The font is huge compared to the other stuff around it. And they seem to be too big. I would lose the button scheme all together and just use CSS to doctor up the links. But that's just me.

    3) The explosion is fine. The other things around the sides seem to clutter the image and make it not look as clean. Again, just my opinion... don't feel you have to change it just because of me.

    4) In the middle (news) part... you put a small border around each of the sections. I'd recommend putting the same border around your menu setup. Keep it consistent. Otherwise, it just looks funny. Even if you drop a 1px black border in to give it some depth, it would make it look a lot better.

    5) Stop using tables for layout. A design like yours was built for divs. Use them. That'll make your little "shrinking" problem go away.

    7) Linking the CSS will also allow you to have a more uniform look for the entire website. Plus you'll be able to change things like font families and such on the fly in one file. Personally... I don't think your users would mind not having various skins to choose from. I know a couple bulletin boards allow it, but how many major websites allow you to do something like that? It's overhead and distracts you from your goal: producing an effective website. I've asked a lot of guys here where I work to give me feedback on how my websites look... and what do they tell me? I don't really care how it looks, as long as I can do my work. Granted, it can't be horrid, but people will come back for your content, not your styles.

  12. #12
    RoD
    RoD is offline
    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
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    not trying to ........ anyone off, but am i the only one who gets an "advertisment" type vibe off the amount of threads/posts you create about your site? No offense man but it seems like every other post of yours is about the site.

  13. #13
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    Hmm, good point.

    Well, that's the main goal of the software showcase, is to provide a bit more content to the site hopefully.

    But as for things fixed, I just fixed the border thing around the edges of the links on the left, and also, as for the buttons, I realize they're a bit big, I'm still tinkering with their look a bit, it's not too hard to shrink/expand them as I'm making them in photoshop.

    Thanks a ton ober for the feedback.

  14. #14
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    *sees RoD's thread*

    hmm, well, most of the threads I create in GD I suppose have to do with my site, that's true, but I only post here when I'm looking for feedback on something about my site, I'm not intending to advertise because of these posts. If you notice, this post is asking for people to look at the design and give me feedback.

    Well, I'll keep that in mind though and try not to post so many questions about my site here in GD, maybe Tech Board would be better for the questions I'm asking?

  15. #15
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoD
    not trying to ........ anyone off, but am i the only one who gets an "advertisment" type vibe off the amount of threads/posts you create about your site? No offense man but it seems like every other post of yours is about the site.
    yes you are

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