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04/17/2010 02:29:01 PM · #1
Inspired by This Thread and the fact that I am in a Doctorate program for Organizational development and change specializing in consumer interaction specifically between the digital and physical business. Also it does not hurt that I have an MBA in Marketing and HRM.

Warning, If you post your website here for a critique I will be harsh. I may also use your website (without business name) for research on my dissertation. By posting your website for critique by me you give me agreement that I may use your website/business (without name) for educational reasons.

With that being said. I will be harsh. I will give you my opinion of the site. This is going to be based on usability. You may or may not like what I have to say. If you wish the critique to be private I will send you a note, otherwise I will post it publicly in this thread.

Please give me some time to analyze and critique each website, It will not be a quick process but I will look closely at each site. Thanks for your help.
04/17/2010 03:31:36 PM · #2
I just downgraded from my fancy flash site to something more simple so would be good to hear what you think.

JayAphoto
04/18/2010 03:24:43 AM · #3
I\'ll give it a go...

www . jchandlerphotography . com
04/23/2010 07:06:16 AM · #4
Would love to hear your thoughts on mine. My Site

I just got it up and running a week ago and I did everything in iWeb since I know very little on html coding and after my 7D and 70-200 2.8is I didn't have the funds to pay someone to design it.
04/23/2010 07:39:25 AM · #5
With all that experience and knowledge, I wish you would make me a website!! :)
04/23/2010 01:28:43 PM · #6
If you would like to critique a non-photography website, please do have a go at //www.banetti.com I can assure you that your comments and suggestions will be taken very seriously.

-Cory
04/23/2010 01:42:44 PM · #7
//leaadams.zenfolio.com/ is the closest I come to having a web site.
04/23/2010 02:22:39 PM · #8
I'd love to hear your critique: madelynwphoto
05/08/2010 06:09:18 AM · #9
Thanks everyone, I have not forgotten about you, I will start getting the critiques out over the next couple days. (-;
05/08/2010 10:40:05 PM · #10
Originally posted by JayA:

I just downgraded from my fancy flash site to something more simple so would be good to hear what you think.

JayAphoto


Hi James, good to know you downgraded from a flashy site. For me personally they can get quite out of hand and become very difficult to navigate.

-- As I review the site, I notice the gray on white style. On my screen the actual site is rather small and there is a lot of whitespace, but that is forgivable to a point because of the variance in user viewing. The grey text is a bit hard on the eyes, actually it could be the stark white that makes me squint a bit.

I check your first link, portfolio, and it appears nice, the balanced size of thumbs to create the grid loads fairly quickly for me. Clicking the images I think the full-sized image looks fine for review. What I find most difficult is the navigation. I had to take an extra second to find the nav links in the bottom right corner. I was hoping for something a bit more dynamic in functionality but I enjoy that the link themselves are static so I don’t have to play whack-a-mole every time I click prev/next.

I click on your blog link and I notice immediately that it opens a new tab. Some users may have issue with this as it can be seen as a popup and block the new window. Typically I like to keep the links in the same window unless it is going to a secondary site. I do notice your blog is on tumblr though it should still be on the same window in my opinion. Secondly I notice the change in style, look of the website.

In the blog area the fonts change type as well as colour and now a mustard is added for titles and headings. The fonts also change size and for me this throws off the feel of the site. I feel as if I am somewhere else and want to find my way back. For my tastes it feel a bit elementary. Though being tumblr I think you are restricted to their blog templates? I use wordpress myself and install directly onto my site and modify a template to my liking.

Contact area is clean, though I would put something there to ask for ‘event type’ or ‘project concept’ and maybe not a phone number as people are less likely to leave numbers than email. I also notice the phrase ‘Available for all kinds of work’ To me that is a cop-out of sorts. I think it may be better to state a few things in the area of which you want to do. Yes it says photographer and designer though All Kinds of work could mean anything. You may get asked and expected to do things you do not want to do.

One key thing I am missing here is an ‘about us’ page. For a business I think it is important to allow the prospective client to know a little more about who they are reviewing. Here would be the place to say what you do, how you got started and where you want to go. Briefly, do not get too wordy as people do not want to read someone’s life story. Tell the user why they should hire you over someone else.

Overall it is a good base to build off of. I can see some possibilities, especially if you add some graphics to the site. It does say you are a designer? What type of designing do you do? I have no clue from what I see, and from what I see I personally would not consider you for a designer. But of course I am bias because I have been around. L()L

I keep thinking ‘people’ should change to portraits. Most clients will be looking for portraits from a photographer. The strongest ones should be used. Personally the first couple of the girl behind the branches may not have a strong marketing value. They may be useful for models and/or modeling but not business portraiture. Less of course you tend to only focus on models, than I would suggest some cleaner headshots.

Consistency of design is important as well as showing off exactly what you want to provide for your prospective clients. I think as you grow within your craft your site will grow with you and become stronger over time.

Message edited by author 2010-05-08 23:28:21.
05/08/2010 11:27:55 PM · #11
Originally posted by smilenj:

I\'ll give it a go...

www . jchandlerphotography . com


Good evening Joey. I have to say I first opened your window and the top image was eye catching. As I sorted my file to write to you I notice the changing of images. The slideshow keeps a viewer looking and the images stay up for a nice amount of time.

Another item I like is that each image seems to be completely handpicked to create some type of emotion within the viewer. Off the back I would assume you do family portraits specializing in kids, and couples.

As I review now underneath the slideshow, I see you tell me about you and the first type styles are ‘families, couples.’ Because of the sideunderbar saying ‘recent posts’ I am assuming this is a photoblog type of site?

One thing that I noticed right away, I feel indifferent about but it is the ‘referral program’. It is virtually dead center of the top of the screen and may give people the wrong idea before clicking on it. Which will be my first link to click. Ok, it seems to be a way to give discounts to your clients. A nice way to get new clients and maintain a long-term relationship with older clients. Does not take much effort, only a mention. Nice and simple.
I click the about me page and notice the image of you and Lucius, very fun type of image and can help put clients at ease by seeing you interact. Though the about section is a bit long for my tastes it seems to fill the needed information well. Also having the contact section on the center sidebar works well.

Clicking the galleries link brings me to a blank page. Well not blank/blank but it is missing content for galleries. I did notice a dropdown menu to choose from when I hovered my mouse over the link but the word itself was clickable and I expected to be able to click it and find the galleries. This can be off putting to users who are quick to click and do not slow to pay attention to drop menus.

Clicking the first option, weddings off the drop down I find that it loads really slow. There are a number of blank spots where I would expect to see a series of thumbs, and the images are difficult to navigate through. Myself I like to move quickly and this does not let me. I feel trapped contained within its limitations and perhaps it is a reflection of work? I may cause some to pause and think a bit longer before contacting you. Though I do appreciate you have starting prices on the page.

You can tell Maternity and Baby is something you enjoy more. The gallery moves quicker, it appears to have more images and that you took more time in making sure it was pleasing. The flash gallery feature is not as off-putting as was with weddings. Children/Families section took a bit longer to load for me but you can tell your skills within this area as well.

Parties and Events gives me a large black screen with a loading symbol. I am expecting a video? But nothing is coming up.
Looking at the shopping cart feature, I am kinda confused. You want a person to pre-purchase prints from you? Or is this after the shoot and they give you numbers/names so you can print them? I am not exactly sure what this is for.

The secondary links seems to be blog posts or pages? There seems to be a ton of things going on and it can be very confusing for someone browseing around for a photographer. Also, I found another black loading box. Actually I found a few that do not load for me. I like to think my system can fairly well handle anything the net throws at me, yet it does not want to load this. Is there a reason for this? I noticed something was password protected, are there examples of that shoot available for public review?

Personally what I like to do is if I am protecting something for a client I put their items in an area of the website not generally accessible to the general public. When general public see’s items like that it can distract them and make them thing strange thoughts. Keeping the private stuff private with password and off public site areas it maintains a stronger structure throughout the site overall.

I have been sitting here for a couple minutes now waiting to see if this black box will load something but it does nothing. The loading info tells me ‘Read Photos.smugmug.com’ This could be part of the issue. It is always difficult to cross-platform websites for streamlining.

I enjoy the consistency of design, the images really say exactly what you do and though a bit heavy and confusing to navigate at times, it is fairly simple to get to where one wants to go.

05/10/2010 11:07:46 PM · #12
Little G -

Thanks so much - I actually had forgotten about this. Good catch with the referral program link - right on now that you mention it. I'll make the changes and give you an update. Very much appreciated.

Joey

Message edited by author 2010-05-10 23:08:22.
05/11/2010 05:28:24 AM · #13
my site is not complete, but if you want to take a look...

Giorgio

05/11/2010 04:11:34 PM · #14
check mine out www . maggiejanik . com
05/12/2010 03:34:56 PM · #15
Originally posted by jminso:

Would love to hear your thoughts on mine. My Site

I just got it up and running a week ago and I did everything in iWeb since I know very little on html coding and after my 7D and 70-200 2.8is I didn't have the funds to pay someone to design it.


Good afternoon Joshua, I hope all is well. I open up your site and it has an interesting landing page design. Lots to see very quickly, however I miss the connection between sports and events in the nature shots as well as with the boy in the striped shirt and the girl in purple by the water. The MP logo in the corner really gives me a strong sports-photography feel, though the images are contradictory.

First link, about me, throws me off completely. The complete change of style from light to dark as well as the more creative type image is a complete 360 from the sports photography main page. I can possibly make the user question if they are even on the same page or not. I read your vision and again it is 360 different than what the main page said. Sports-Photography may be candid in nature but it is more action orientated, same with events. There are certain aspects of event photography which is the action which is what is captured. Also, when you say ‘I do not have an indoor studio,’ I think you should say something more along the lines of using the world as your studio. The negative aspect of the language can turn people off, and the bold/white font on black can distract the eye and they may not see all of what you wrote. My first read through I thought it said you have an indoor studio than I was confused when you said you enjoyed the freedom of going anywhere.

I do believe you should have your own personality within your work. However it should also be commercial in value and consistent throughout. Which brings me to ‘samples of your work’. One thing that really bugs me as a user is that you have these four huge headings, ‘Sports, Event, Portraits, Art’ of what you do. Yet, your slideshow is a jumbled hodgepodge of images. Personally, if I want to see the Sports images, I would love to click the sports link and view only the sports images. If I want to see your work as an event photographer I want to see only the event work. The slideshow/gallery style is ok, but it needs to be separated and filled with the specific type. This will give you a better standing to show off your work in those areas. Also it will allow you to see your work create a clearer understanding for the user/ prospective client to know what they will get.
As I read your ‘aim’ of sports photography, I am conflicted because I did not see that within your portfolio. Again here, your copy is written in this section in a more negative tone, instead of reminding the prospective client about how much money they already spent (if they spent so much they may decide they don’t have more to hire a photographer) as well as how much energy they put into it already. You want to sell yourself as You are the best choice to record the special event and such. You want to maintain positivity throughout your copy.

Ok, the Headings here are linked and Wow, I am taken to a third style of website. This one wants me to buy stuff. Where did all the images come from? There are stronger images here to show what you do and you make the user fight to find them. Thinking like a prospective client, I don’t want to order photo’s before I even have a shoot. I want to see the work, and the center tag is really distracting trying to see the work. I know we all want to protect our work, but there are better ways. Perhaps if you use your MP logo in a lower or upper corner it will still show who did the image as well as allow the center of the image to be open for viewing. Considering the center is where most people look for the focal subject. This sales page also, I feel completely on a different site and as I click links I cannot find my way back. Not a good way to promote your work. You should always have link backs to the main pages. Also I did notice it was a ‘new window’ which you may be careful about because of pop-up blockers, and internet fear of being hijacked. Lastly about the ‘sales’ site, it is not even secured, the transaction may be, but if I see ‘sales’ in the url, I demand to see https before it. I want to know it has that secure socket protocol so that I do not have to worry about theft. I teach people, if they are going to make an online transaction to look for that s.

Under pricing I feel frustrated as a user. Me, I want to know something. Sure you can tell me everything varies and to contact for prices, but you may also want to tell me base prices. Sitting fees, all day base costs, and ect. Tell me something so that the prospective client can formulate an idea and then contact you for more details. If the bases they see are reasonable they will contact you to find out what their event will cost.

The contact link for messages takes the user right back to the sales/gallery page with no way back, and your blog is completely hidden under contact. If you are active on your blog and fb and twit, you should really promote those links better let people find them easier and visit them, review them. Participate with them. I know you just started the bog here, but if you are going to be active make sure it is up front where people can see it.

Overall, the design/layout needs to be consistent throughout all pages. The links need to be clear, understanding and be able to take the user anywhere they want without having to think about where they go. The samples need to not just show off your work but SHOWCASE your work. Put your best foot forward and let people review those images.

05/12/2010 04:20:02 PM · #16
Originally posted by coryboehne:

If you would like to critique a non-photography website, please do have a go at //www.banetti.com I can assure you that your comments and suggestions will be taken very seriously.

-Cory


Hi Cory, how are you today? A non-photography website is no problem. As I first open the site it appears clean, though it does not tell me what the site is by first impression. I am guessing a company website of some type. As these little word-blocks change (A bit slow for my taste) I am thinking it is an training website of some type. It still is not very clear what is going on here exactly.

In starting to read I see mistakes within the first line. Make sure to remember to proof, reproof and reproof again your copy for small mistakes. A EAM/CMMS service provider… I guess if I have no clue what EAM/CMMS is, I have no use for your website and I would leave. Ok, next line I find something about ‘Assets Management’. I see Upgrades and I notice you specialize in Upgrades, but what type of upgrades? Software, Hardware, Equipment/tools, Facility, employees, training method, production standards, policies/procedures? What I am saying is, I have no clue what it is and for me, I would rather know something before I click the link. Is an FMMUG Feature supposed to impress the average user who has no clue what FMMUG is? After clicking the link and finding myself on one of the actuate sites I have to admit, I know more about what your company does after the first paragraph of the article than I learned from reviewing your landing page. I think copy is killing you here. Copy is one of the most difficult aspects of a business website. Many people flounder with copy. I admit I am not very strong with writing copy myself.

After clicking the upgrades link I have to read the first few lines before I come to the conclusion that your upgrade specialty is in upgrading Maximo? I am not familiar with Maximo, so I do not clearly understand all that goes into it. I will assume your prospective clients do. In reviewing the services-overview section I see items that you offer. Though I am curious, is your website specifically designed to only perform these services around Maximo? This is where I am getting confused.

I jumped to the download button, currently no downloads. My personal opinion is if there is nothing to download there should be no download button. Followed by the contact link… ‘While we have tried…’ In my opinion a bad statement to start off with. Prospective clients do not wish to hire a company who ‘tries’ they want to hire a company that ‘does’. Followed by clicking another link to get support information. Personally I think this support information should be on the main contact link as well. However, when I see ‘click now’ for support I want to be able to click a chat box and talk to someone now, not click an email link in hopes someone gets back to me eventually. Hopefully however there is an operator to talk to if I called. Though I highly suggest, unless you have one standing by 24/7 you put on hours of operation for the operators.

Clicking the product link it appears you have a single product. The product is not even mention in the ‘overview’ and you make a user have to find the link on the left to see what it is. Having it linked right on the overview would be easier for the user. Overall I like the consistency of design. However the copy is difficult to read and it is rather dry. Screen-shots, sample reports, anything to liven up the site visually would be welcoming. A lot of users are visual; they want to see more than they want to read a website. They do not want to think and they want to know exactly what they are clicking before they click it.

05/12/2010 05:23:38 PM · #17
If you are still doing critiques I would love for you to take a look at mine.

Priceless Photography
05/22/2010 12:16:17 PM · #18
Originally posted by kashi:

//leaadams.zenfolio.com/ is the closest I come to having a web site.


Hi Lea, how are you doing today? I find it difficult to fully critique a site like zenfolio. For one I have not used it so I am not sure how much freedom or lack thereof the user has over their pages. However I will give you my overall impression and you can go from there.

First off I have to admit, I dislike anything that auto-plays, especially music/sounds. Why? Because I may have my own music playing, and may have it cranked up with headphones on and to hear this unexpected noise (music to some) is not appealing. Typically I close the page straight away and figure it wasn’t important enough for me to visit. From the current music, and the slideshow of kids it appears you are trying to pull on the heartstrings of mothers as your base clientele.

I mentioned this earlier, but one thing I dislike on a photographers website is public access to locked galleries. In other words I, as a random viewer does not want to see locked galleries. I want to see all the content I can and viewing locked galleries for me is a turn off. I fully understand why they are locked though I always suggested putting the locked galleries somewhere that is not accessible by the average users. Your clients need passwords anyway, might as well give them their own URL to the gallery. Not much work on a personal website to do so, on zenfolio I have no idea.

Also looking at the ‘all my photos’ link I would suggest having three separate galleries for ‘Weddings’, ‘Engagements’, and ‘Maternity’; because for me, when looking for something I do not want to browse through what I don’t want. The narrower you can make the category the better. When browsing through the thumbs I would love to have a more clear idea of what is what. Sure the flowers I assume are wedding and the tux/white dresses are as well. Though it becomes confusing with the others, are they maternity or are they engagement or are they couple or what? Separation of category becomes crucial to consumers.

On your about page, I would suggest something else to say other than serious hobbiest to minor professional. If you want to build clients and have a successful job call yourself a professional from the get go. Make sure your work backs it up however. Also saying ‘favorite focus’ is not so hot. Simply stating your specialty is in child photographer or child portraits or such would be much more ‘professional’ sounding.

I personally suggest that if you really want to make a business out of it, you need to build a stronger more professional website. With the relative low cost of purchasing domains, and hosting along with the premade plug-n-play templates they are much easier to use than before. Yet, if this is working for you and you are gaining clients, you should reevaluate the system and see if there is a way to make it better, more streamlined for what you want as well as what your clients are asking for.

05/22/2010 12:18:10 PM · #19
Canned website (not created by me, just adjusted to my taste):

//www.ursulasphotos.com/

I'd be interested in hearing your take on it.

Message edited by author 2010-05-22 12:20:28.
05/22/2010 12:33:49 PM · #20
Originally posted by battymaddie:

I'd love to hear your critique: madelynwphoto


Hello Madelyn, how are you? First impression is I like the textured background as well as the colour pallet so far. My only issue, that I have with many websites are overly sized (tall) Banners. Sure, you want to show off your work, and want to make a statement to users when they first arrive. However because you have the auto play slideshow underneath the user actually has to waste time and scroll down to see the show. This can really turn a user off because there is no practical purpose to have an overly tall banner image right at the top of the page, especially when there is a gallery show playing.

Even though the slideshow is playing smooth and does not seem very obtrusive there seems to be a wide variety of what is shown. For me, I enjoy a thumbnail approach where the user can choose the images/gallery to view as a slide show. I know this is your opening page, though going from boots on a train track to a bride in leaves is a bit too far apart for me. Especially if I am looking for a specific style/type of photography.

The gallery setup you have by smugmug works. Having to scroll down because of the oversized banner is not pleasant. Each new gallery I click I have to scroll down again and again. Very annoying in my opinion.

I get through all the galleries, I enjoy the consistency between pages. I find your pricing page and they are the most basic/simplest design of pricing I have ever seen. However, I do not understand why there are two prices for each area? If I want a portrait shoot do I pay the $75, or the $100? Does it depend on how you feel that day?

To tell the truth there really is not much to say. The site is consistant, has a pleasant colour pallet and shows your work. Is it the best work? I don’t know. But you have your specific galleries so the user is able to get to what they want straight way. As for the nature shots, they seem out of place unless you are trying to sell prints but I do not see that here. As a professional portrait photographer you only want to show what you are willing to do and what the consumer wants to see. If I am looking for a portrait photographer I don’t much care about nature shots. Sure I can ohh and aahh over them but how does that translate to how well you can take a picture of a person? Also, I think you should take out the ‘fun pictures’ gallery, and choose the best from those to drop into other categories such a portraits or special occasion/event or such. Maybe even modeling gallery.

Try to remember, put your best foot forward and show what you do. Sure the ‘Splash’ is fun but will it bring you a new portrait client? When posting images, ask yourself, What Images do people most comment on and makes them want to hire you?

05/22/2010 01:06:37 PM · #21
Originally posted by GiorgioBaruffi:

my site is not complete, but if you want to take a look...

Giorgio


Giorgio, how are you doing this morning? I have to say, I would love your main page to be a landing page somewhere so I can go to it and listen to the music and the colour pallet is fantastic. Yet even though I enjoy the music, I would prefer it not to auto-play. That is one thing that gets under my skin as I talked about in the previous critiques. Auto-play is a turnoff for many users.

I am glad I am intuitive. Because as an English speaking user the only word I can actually read is Portfolio, though I can find my way around easily so that is a huge plus. I clicked your name and it opened up the first section of services. I like that it do that and I really enjoy how you have the flash animation works. I typically don’t care for flash but over the past year it has advanced more and has started becoming something extremely useful.

Also it took me a minute but I located the tools at the bottom where I can mute the music as well as adjust volume; however what I really like is the full screen option there. It works smoothly on my system and is a pleasure to use while browsing.

It is interesting how you have instructors to click/mouse hover over the image to see what you offer. I am not sure how the average user will translate that; however think that the information should be easier to access. Granted it is very easy to mouse hover but instead of telling me to do that by each image/topic just put that information there. Less work to find information the better.

Farai le figure in tale atto, il quale sia sufficient a dimostrare quello che la figura ha nell’animo; altrimenti la tua arte non sara’laudabile. – Leonardo da Vinci

I really enjoy this quote for the section. It makes quite the statement for your photography. One issue I do see with your portfolio images is that when you mouse hover over the image to read the text the text begins to bounce. Just a technical thing that I am sure can be easily cleaned. But kind of annoying when trying to read.

Overall so-far the site is clean and consistent. A few minor tweak adjustments I believe. You do have an impressive experiences page as well. Many things prospective clients look for is past publications and marketability of images which you have for those advertising agencies. A nice clean site.

05/22/2010 01:12:36 PM · #22
Originally posted by maggieddd:

check mine out www . maggiejanik . com


Good morning Maggie. As I hit your landing page the first thing that comes to mind is a social photographer. Hmm, that does not sound quite right. Sociology is the field I am thinking of. Perhaps the term is Socio-Cultural Photographer.

Good morning Maggie. As I hit your landing page the first thing that comes to mind is a social photographer. Hmm, that does not sound quite right. Sociology is the field I am thinking of. Perhaps the term is Socio-Cultural Photographer.

Unfortunately had some difficulties with your apparent links. I was clicking on the images and your name and could not figure out why there was nothing linkable. It was finally pointed out to me that the text underneath each image which someone I missed noticing the hotlinkableness of them is where to get into your site. If it was an issue for me, It may be an issue for others, or I may just be a bit off. Something to think about, linking the images as well as the text.

I clicked your contact button and it automatically opened up my email client which I thank you for reminding me to check my mail. However I personally suggest as a way to safeguard your email from spam and other heinous items that you create a forum contact page. They come in quite handy to battle unwanted garbage.

Your about page is disheartening to me. It tells me about nothing you do, have done or why you do it. It is your copyright warning which would be better served at the bottom of the page underneath your flash window and this window better served to tell me about you. Now I have to assume the little house in the corner gets me back to the main page, which thankfully it does. Personally there is no reason to have that under the ‘about’ section and makes users distrust you.

Under publications am I to assume the images show, the cover images are the ones that are published? Or are those only the publications and the published images are somewhere inside? Why is there not any more information or anything to tell me more?

Clicking on the gallery link everything seems to change, granted it is still black and there is still a little house in the bottom left corner, however there is now text to what I assume are the galleries in the upper left and the box/frame is gone from the center. I am not sure I completely understand the reasons for the gallery titles, though I understand the words and can only make assumptions.

The galleries themselves seem easy enough to navigate and view. Though I am curious as to the exact nature of this website? It appears to only be a gallery website and not even much of a portfolio, it is more of a show-off website. Which there is nothing wrong with, though I would assume there would have been some type of services offered. Yet, there does not need to be.
I think there needs to be a more consistent design layout for the website as well as a clearer and/or easier navigational system. You do not need to add more pages or anything like that. Just make them more consistent and allow the user to know they are still on your website between pages. This can be done with the creation of a logo and/or even just textural identification that is consistant.


Message edited by author 2010-05-22 14:17:52.
05/22/2010 01:33:18 PM · #23
Originally posted by jasonlprice:

If you are still doing critiques I would love for you to take a look at mine.

Priceless Photography


Good morning Jason. I land on your blog which I am assuming is your default home page. First thing I notice is the last post was made on 05-06-2010, and today is 05-22-2010. For many users it is a turnoff to not have more frequent updates. It is important to update 2-4 times a week at a bare minimum. (I slack off here as well) More consistent updates will allow you to build a stronger following/fan base. I went to your facebook fanpage and I highly suggest you get the wordbooker plugin (//blogs.canalplan.org.uk/steve/wordbooker/) for your wordpress blog. This plugin will allow you to stream through tinyurl your facebook posts to your blog. In other words all of these more current and photographic posts on your facebook page will automatically be posted as ‘follow this url’ type of posts in your wordpress blog.

Clicking your gallery link and clicking on the first gallery you force the user to input their email address to view. Very bad move in my opinion. Users should only be asked to opt-in and never be forced to do so to view the gallery. To many spam bots and other monsters out there for people to drop their address like that. Those of us who have spam addresses for things like this never check them and thus you lose out on a possible valuable resource. I am actually not going to view this gallery. Now the next gallery gives me the option to continue without email, so why does the first not do the same?

The other galleries seem to all open without questioning of email at all. This inconsistent approach can create skepticism in people’s minds about your validity. One item I really dislike when viewing images is that you have a slew of print purchase options which is pushy and an eyesore. I have no idea if it works for you, but in my opinion there should be a very specific and clearly marked ‘Prints’ category for people who are looking for prints to know exactly where to find them and those who are not are not bothered by them.

I click the Awards section and I see a bunch of thumbnails. I click on one and it tells me nothing other than the obtrusive purchase print options. If you are going to be so bold in creating an ‘Awards’ section the typical user would like to see Awards. What award, Why did you get it, When did you get it and so on. Giving me thumbs does not tell me anything and decreases your trustworthiness as a professional.

Clicking on Workshops it appears you are holding one today. Your formatting went weird when I opened the link, the justification went from center to left. Clicking on the Alphabet! Link, I find something novel and cute, however it is also nonworking. Personally though if it was working I think it would be fun for the user to be able to send a ‘digital card’ or print to themselves or someone else. Sure telling them to email you to make a print can be ok.. But something like this may attract more attention if you gave them a stronger digital experience.

edit to make hot-link

Message edited by author 2010-05-22 13:57:50.
05/22/2010 01:57:09 PM · #24
Originally posted by ursula:

Canned website (not created by me, just adjusted to my taste):

//www.ursulasphotos.com/

I'd be interested in hearing your take on it.


Good morning Ursula, how are you? I enjoy how you have your name though it does take up a lot of space at the top of the page. My suggestion if I can may be to bring the name down to the right side of where your links are to decrease the space from the top to the body as well as give a fuller horizontal line across the page.

The slideshow images seem to have a nice artistic feel to them that I enjoy. However their transitions appear abrupt to me and that to me is a distraction to viewing. A smoother transition will allow the users eyes to better adjust to the next image for full viewing pleasure.

In reviewing your ‘about’ section, I think it works well. Though one bit I would personally change would be from when you talk about Ron and your marriage. Nothing wrong with talking about it but mentioning his name seems redundant. I would suggest something like ‘where I met my husband of 33 years and we have 5 wonderful children together.’ Or such. It is still a bit personal but not too personal.

In clicking your ‘prints’ link I see you have where they are located listed. I like that. It is important for people to know where to purchase if it is not directly from the source. However what I also would have enjoyed is if you offered images from those various galleries so people know what you have to offer there before going there. Wasting a trip to find something they don’t want can really frustrate and turn off consumers. It is important to give them as much information they need because you never know they may see the image online and go to the gallery specifically with money in hand to purchase that image. But on the same side that means you have to be more prompt with updated the site, whenever something sells and there is not another straight away it needs to be marked ‘sold’ or removed completely so you don’t run into the issue of (but I saw it you should have one, can’t you just make me one really fast) type of situation.

Going to your portfolio I really have to say I highly enjoy that you show the individual images in thumbnail gallery of the slideshow. I wish it was more clearly marked as such, because when I first clicked it I was expecting two things, one to be taken back to the homepage to view the slideshow, or two the slideshow to open here or elsewhere to view again. I did not expect to see the individual images.

Also looking at your portfolio I wish there was a sub-row of links that showed me what categories you have without having to scroll all the way through. A simple bar would be nice that hotlinks to the lower area of the page where the gallery sub-items can be viewed. Even though scrolling may be simple and easy, a lot of people don’t want to have to scroll, they want to get as much as possible with as little as possible.

One thing I find really interesting is how dynamic your work is with how plain your website is designed. The only issue I have with this is the white I do not care much for. An off-white may be more suitable or even a CCCCCC or DDDDDD grey background to allow the colours to pop more on your images. Though with a few minor adjustments I believe it can be very user friendly and eye appealing.

05/22/2010 02:13:45 PM · #25
Originally posted by littlegett:

Originally posted by coryboehne:

If you would like to critique a non-photography website, please do have a go at //www.banetti.com I can assure you that your comments and suggestions will be taken very seriously.

-Cory


Hi Cory, how are you today? A non-photography website is no problem. As I first open the site it appears clean, though it does not tell me what the site is by first impression. I am guessing a company website of some type. As these little word-blocks change (A bit slow for my taste) I am thinking it is an training website of some type. It still is not very clear what is going on here exactly.

In starting to read I see mistakes within the first line. Make sure to remember to proof, reproof and reproof again your copy for small mistakes. A EAM/CMMS service provider… I guess if I have no clue what EAM/CMMS is, I have no use for your website and I would leave. Ok, next line I find something about ‘Assets Management’. I see Upgrades and I notice you specialize in Upgrades, but what type of upgrades? Software, Hardware, Equipment/tools, Facility, employees, training method, production standards, policies/procedures? What I am saying is, I have no clue what it is and for me, I would rather know something before I click the link. Is an FMMUG Feature supposed to impress the average user who has no clue what FMMUG is? After clicking the link and finding myself on one of the actuate sites I have to admit, I know more about what your company does after the first paragraph of the article than I learned from reviewing your landing page. I think copy is killing you here. Copy is one of the most difficult aspects of a business website. Many people flounder with copy. I admit I am not very strong with writing copy myself.

After clicking the upgrades link I have to read the first few lines before I come to the conclusion that your upgrade specialty is in upgrading Maximo? I am not familiar with Maximo, so I do not clearly understand all that goes into it. I will assume your prospective clients do. In reviewing the services-overview section I see items that you offer. Though I am curious, is your website specifically designed to only perform these services around Maximo? This is where I am getting confused.

I jumped to the download button, currently no downloads. My personal opinion is if there is nothing to download there should be no download button. Followed by the contact link… ‘While we have tried…’ In my opinion a bad statement to start off with. Prospective clients do not wish to hire a company who ‘tries’ they want to hire a company that ‘does’. Followed by clicking another link to get support information. Personally I think this support information should be on the main contact link as well. However, when I see ‘click now’ for support I want to be able to click a chat box and talk to someone now, not click an email link in hopes someone gets back to me eventually. Hopefully however there is an operator to talk to if I called. Though I highly suggest, unless you have one standing by 24/7 you put on hours of operation for the operators.

Clicking the product link it appears you have a single product. The product is not even mention in the ‘overview’ and you make a user have to find the link on the left to see what it is. Having it linked right on the overview would be easier for the user. Overall I like the consistency of design. However the copy is difficult to read and it is rather dry. Screen-shots, sample reports, anything to liven up the site visually would be welcoming. A lot of users are visual; they want to see more than they want to read a website. They do not want to think and they want to know exactly what they are clicking before they click it.


An excellent review.. Thank you very, very much.. I will attempt to address the issues you have raised.

Thanks!!!!!!!!

-Cory
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