A&P Web Site Redesign, v. 90% done

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by ftslogger, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. ftslogger

    ftslogger OT Supporter

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    Let me know what you think...a buddy of mine designed the layout, and I am adding the content...I still have some stuff to do, mostly text.

    Opinions?


    Link: --> http://www.mdpayne.com

    Edit: I am changing the photo on the contact page - doing a shoot with a friend to a more "professional" one. :noes:
     
  2. the Rosswog

    the Rosswog OT Supporter

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    dont build web sites with flash.
     
  3. GregFarz78

    GregFarz78 New Member

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    I dont really like the opening page kinda boring
     
  4. ftslogger

    ftslogger OT Supporter

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    The only part that is flash is the gallery - I chose flash - to protect the images....you can't save them. Most "pro" designed sites have flash on them...I dunno. :hs:
     
  5. julia!

    julia! New Member

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    I like it. Could use sprucing up. Some more color maybe?
     
  6. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    :ugh2:
     
  7. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    there are good reason for not using it :ugh:
     
  8. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    example?
     
  9. the Rosswog

    the Rosswog OT Supporter

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    inaccessible, doesnt meet any kind of W3C standards, requires a plugin to display any information. The back button usually doesn't work.

    those are technical reasons. personal reasons include:

    it takes too long to fucking download and navigate through.

    :wavey:
     
  10. the Rosswog

    the Rosswog OT Supporter

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    don't get me wrong, I'm a web site designer and flash is good for some things, but usually nothing that requires navigation.
     
  11. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    slow connections
    computers not up to date with the latest plugins
    companies with paranoid IT managers who shut off flash
    government workers behind firewalls
    etc etc

    why miss out on a possible sale or client?
    they are also incredibly trendy, for the most part not google searchable, are slow to load, harder to update, harder to integrate with other programs, etc
     
  12. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    W3C standards are the codehead equivilent of measurebating. It's 2007 so deal with the plugin. (besides, it is free, and who doesn't have it installed) With proper layout the back button is not required. And, slow downloads are a problem that is more due to the hosting and connection than the code at this point. (BTW, this implementation is niether slow nor difficult to navigate, so let's keep this in context)

    All of those reasons above are due to the "lowest common denominator" development practice and aren't really practically applicable these days. It's like the "develop for 800px wide" thing. Seriously, what percentage of users are you going to alienate by using a 1024px wide layout or Flash? Maybe 1 in 100 or 200?

    As for inaccessible, well it's not like it's a public service website.

    Now if this was a website for a major company or a website that needed to address a highly diverse group of users, or a website that needed to convey information instead of visuals, then many of your points apply. However, it's a personal site specific to photography and applying your rules would limit the end result of the site for the sake of standards compliance.

    While it may be possible to create a site that meets both goals (visual impact, and compliance to standards) most individual home users just don't have the time, money, experience or knowledge to do that, meaning that "don't build websites with flash" has almost no worth as advice.

    :wavey:
     
  13. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    I really love that argument the most. If the photography is legitimately for commercial purposes, then the prospective client is more than likely going to be on a relatively robust machine because the target audience will be art directors, ad agencies, media buyers, editors and the like.

    knowing your target market >>>>>>>>>>>>>> standards compliance.

    Also, if this site was for commercial purposes, there are many more pertinent points to critique than the use of Flash. Clearly the site isn't commercially viable (there is no apparent value proposition - implied or stated - for starters) so the positioning is obviously toward friends, family and sharing with the web at large.

    The Google argument is also a red herring, because the site doesn't have anything indexible to begin with. Even without the Flash, Google wouldn't put it in the top 10,000 search results.

    Finally, how many government or corporate users do you suppose will need to look at that site during business hours? It's not positioned for that type of user, so this doesn't apply.

    Given the positioning - or target audience of this website - what is wrong with using Flash?
     
  14. viro

    viro New Member

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    i have a feeling that in the future every site will be created with flash or similar, and web browsers will simply be flash browsers
     
  15. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    yeah, and many's targeted market is hit by this. both my mother and mother in law work for the GOV, and they refer many to us. If its entirely flash, I miss out on all that. 2 of my wedding clients were on dial up, thats 2 missed weddings with entirely flash. :rolleyes:

    actual text on a site gets you searchable. I'm number 11 on my google search for area photograhy. No one with flash is ahead of me, and I'm a relative newby to the world. Thats huge.
    alredy addressed this.

    Given the positioning - or target audience of this website - what is wrong with using Flash?[/QUOTE]
    missed $$$
     
  16. SpiderOnTheFloor

    SpiderOnTheFloor New Member

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    that site doesn't benefit from flash. Navigation is slower, and the only thing I see that might be cool is the popup thumbnails. Also, the bar at the bottom covers part of the picture..thats not cool, and what is with the bar at the top that keeps moving around?
     
  17. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    And now for some on-topic thoughts:

    Home page: that image of the car is pretty average, the opening shot should be your best shot, and ideally a random - and changing - selection from a series of your best images. You can get some fairly simple jscript image swap clippings that you can use to change that image on every page load/refresh. Mix it up a bit.

    Gallery/Portfolio: What do you want to show people that you do? What is your implied value proposition? What makes you different/better than the 109827403287413029875 other people with a DSLR?

    What I'm getting at is you need to go through your images and pick the genre that you want to emphasize, if you just want to share a bunch of pictures then get a Flickr account. The images on your site should just be your best and they should all relate to, and complimant each other. What you have is a bit of a hodge podge mashup of images.

    It's like opening a store that sells truck tires, hamburgers and socks. It sends a message that you don't have any focus or in depth skill in any one particular area. Would you rather buy a hambuger at a place that sells truck tires or at Fuddruckers?

    Contact page: Good to hear you are changing that image, 'nuff said.

    Profile page: Get some text in there ASAP, it will help (a little bit) with search engines and it will allow you to set context for your visitors. Put the explicit value proposition here, say why you are different or better than the competition and make sure your statements compliment your photography. By that I mean if you talk about a love of landscape photography, don't show a bunch of portraits in the gallery.

    Think about funneling as well, how do you want visitors to move through your site? What can you emphasize on the home page to make people want to go beyond that to the Profile or Gallery to learn more? What can you say in your profile to make people look at your gallery, and what can you emphasize in your gallery that will make people want to contact you?

    If you want to be commercially viable you need to get people moving through your site and ultimately contacting you for work, if what you want is just to share your images then what you have is fine. Define what you want to get out of your site, because right now it isn't clear to a visitor.
     
  18. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    Ugh.

    1. Like I said:

    If what you concentrate on is wedding photography, then you are targeting a highly diverse group of potential clients. You are in a market that relies on referrals and has highly diverse subgroups of users. You may have everything from the "value hunter" client that probably represents the lowest common denominator user to the users that are tech savvy and look for the flashiest, newest, most cutting edge offering.

    Two different customer segments with two different value props. That's the reason I also said:

    2. As for text, you didn't say add text, you agreed with "don't use flash...." If your point had been to say he should do something to increase his search rankings then you should have said that. You are in 11th spot (which is not what I get on Google, BTW) not because you DON'T use Flash, but because you DO use text and links and other indexed content. Adding Flash to your site will not decrease your rank, but adding text to Matt's site will increase his.

    "Correlation is not causation."

    3. ntrly. You addressed it for your market, not Matt's. Apples and oranges.

    4. Missed revenue is more likely because of no clear value, no visibility of the site in search rankings, no defined market, no reach to that market and no funnelling....The use of Flash isn't even on the radar as a potential problem compared to that. Not even close.
     
  19. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    I addressed the issue as a whole, not matt's as thats what you rolled your eyes too.

    you don' know my search terms, so looking them up is pointless
     
  20. SOLUTION -

    Make splash page with the option to view Flash or NON-Flash version of your website FTW. This way granny and people who aren't soo computer smart are happy with their css websites and don't have to worry about having any seisures with all the flashing lights and fast animation. At the same time tech saavy people with fast internet connections are happy too because they can check out the flash version of the website.

    It's a win win solution that has been practiced since the dell dude got busted for sneaking illegals to the moon.

    /debate
     
  21. joy division

    joy division New Member

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    Your logo is great.
     
  22. ftslogger

    ftslogger OT Supporter

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    This is the plan - My friend (who did the design) just gave it to me a couple of weeks ago. I already have a script to rotate the images...More than likely the pictures will be crops of the full size (the actual pixels are 537X430 in that table).


    I agree with you here. Currently, I am making a little money doing weddings...this is just a springboard for that. This site is in no way to focus completely on wedding photography, because I am no David Jay. I am going to narrow down the gallery in the next several days. Ultimately, this is to showcase my abilities and diversity as a photographer.

    :werd:



    Excellent criticism - I think this is the best "serious" criticism that I have ever seen on OT in a long, long time. Thank you. :big grin:

    The direction of the site, and flow is to come...The text is going to help out the most, and I am going to be quite explicit of the intentions and directions that I would like to take professionally. I have really just nailed the layout and filling some of the content today.
     
  23. ftslogger

    ftslogger OT Supporter

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    Thanks! :bigok:
     
  24. ok_computer

    ok_computer OT Supporter

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    How much time does a site similar to that take to make? I really need to get one done :o
     
  25. SpiderOnTheFloor

    SpiderOnTheFloor New Member

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    :bowdown:
     

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