Posted 27 June 2003 - 05:41 PM
I need to make sure the feel it right, because I am going to have the same look on every page.
Posted 27 June 2003 - 05:48 PM
Posted 28 June 2003 - 12:29 AM
Are you after feedback on the homepage or suggestions for the logo?
Posted 28 June 2003 - 03:35 PM
Posted 28 June 2003 - 03:51 PM
OK, here's a list, in no particular order. In all honesty, you have a lot of work to do, and the logo isn't going to fix it. A few starters:
(i) A website needs to sell itself from the first second that it's opened in a browser. I have looked at your home page for a while, and still don't understand what it's selling me.
(ii) What does HUD stand for? I know I'm a brit and it is probably obvious to you
(iii) Don't expect to run a business site off of a free hosting package especially one with advertising that dominates your page
(iv) Try to use a different font, Verdana would be an improvement
(v) The interesting stuff is at the bottom of the page. Most of your visitors would have disappeare before they'd got to the bottom of the scrollbar.
Sorry to sound negative, but I think that if you are willing to improve based on other people's suggestions and have the commitment to sort the site out, you have more chance of making the site a success.
Posted 28 June 2003 - 04:27 PM
I made a few changes. Do you have any other thouhts on how to make the page better?
The mind set: pretend you are looking for the best deal on a house purchase: foreclosed homes, etc. This site is niched to HUD though.
Posted 28 June 2003 - 07:24 PM
On my monitor, the text font is pretty large; combined with being bolded, it's hard to read and not too inviting. Remember that, by emphasizing everything, you emphasize nothing!
Posted 28 June 2003 - 11:07 PM
My girlfriend told me straight up that is looks boring. I need some zing to the site, but I am lacking on the vision for the zing.
Posted 29 June 2003 - 01:11 AM
Fraid I'm going to be blunt here but I have to agree with your girlfriend. Your homepage looks dull. You need to entice your visitors deeper into your site, make them want to come back, add your site as a favourite, want to do business with you. I also agree that the text size is too large. On my 15inch laptop monitor, it overwhelmes the page.
Your site is about houses (and urban developments!). As a visitor, when I first saw the site, I didn't realise this. Now that you've changed the page a round it's a little clearer. However, the page would benefit from some images of house; just to make it clear to people like me know before having to read too many words.
I would recommend that you re-lay out the page so that the 'About King of HUD', 'Market Watch', and 'Buyers and Sellers' are menus down the left hand side. You then need to take a look at better presenting the list of States. To be honest, I think you could more productively use your homepage and have a different way of selecting the State rather than lay them all out as you have. This comes back to enticing your visitors. You need to make the site stickly with some good content on HUD, there may be content feed of news that you could use.
Take a look at other sites, see what they do. If a site appeals, look at the layout, graphics, see what style entices you, then build a homepage with that in mind.
Well, I'm running out of time. All the best with the site.
Posted 30 June 2003 - 11:12 AM
In addition to the feedback you've rec'd, I'm concerned with the authenticity, confidence and desirability factors.
The site visitor has questions, and the answers will play into how long they stay at the site, recommend it to others, bookmark it or return to it themselves.
1. Who are you?
2. Why does the visitor need your service?
3. How is your service any better than going to the US Gov HUD site?
4. Where is your office located?
5. How may they contact you if nec.?
6. What is your experience with HUD, real estate, home buying/selling?
The intro paragraph doesn't need to be all in boldface text. There are spelling and grammatical errors. Educated users will subtract points for this. It looks like a directory (ie boring layout, page of links)
The navigation labels are generic and uninspiring, meaning they don't prompt the action you want taken (clicking, entering the site.) There is no indicator anywhere of which "click path" you want the first-time visitor to take. This is a common site or page abandonment issue. It's like entering a huge amusement park and being so overwhelmed you don't know where to go first. If you pick something, there's a fear of missing something else. (This is a bit of Human Factors input.)
Always think about your site visitors' needs, not your own
I don't have a strong feeling for the business objective for the site other than it being a directory and sales lead generator of some type. The reference to "our HUD agents" is empty because there's information on who "our" is.
From an SEO copywriting perspective, you need less links and more copy on that homepage. From a user interface perspective, the primary navigation should be separate from the alpha state links (not all together like it is there now.)
Yesterday when I first viewed the site from my laptop I was blasted with a popup ad on first download. I have less blocking software on that PC than the box I'm using now, which blocks everything suspect. Bopping folks over the head with banners, animated annoyances and interfering popups doesn't make for a professional impression.
Images of houses and people would help get the message across. There's no sense of community whatsoever, so the link to a message board seems awkward.
Study your target market (I can't tell who yours is) and competition. Websites on foreclosed houses are highly competitive and there's plenty of them on the 'Net.
I know you know this already, James, but for the benefit of our guests here, more general user interface feedback, (with less focused emphasis on usability factors) is available by parking a site at the Website Hospital in the forums. It's a great place for free user testing
A logo is simply for branding and ID. It won't sell the idea or inspire sales. Your layout, content and attempts to satisfy site visitor needs will work harder for you in the long run.
Good luck to you!
Posted 30 June 2003 - 07:45 PM
Posted 01 July 2003 - 12:29 AM
Another simplified tutorial is available at :
There are other ways of doing it, but this is the first way that springs to mind. Try a search for 'imagemap tutorial' in Google.
Posted 01 July 2003 - 12:59 AM
There are plenty of similar ImageMapping tools that make it all incredibly easy. Be warned that not all spiders may follow links in image-maps, and that the visually impaired can't necessarily use a map either. For those it is often worthwhile to create a text-only version, which can simply be a list of locations (States/Towns/Whatever).
Posted 13 July 2003 - 08:48 PM
How does the site speak to you when you are there? Do you like the feel? I know it is yelling at you, but I think I want that feeling. Please provide your thoughts on this.
Ps., the links are not really working yet. I need to get the feel down first, and then I will build the rest.
Posted 13 July 2003 - 10:29 PM
I just don't understand why. What is it about your anticipated audience that you figure they are going to like the yellow and red color combination, the allcaps, the completely centered page, and the large blocks of links?
I'm not sure that it's the right approach.
Tell us more about your targeted market, and maybe we cangive you some suggestions that might help.
Posted 14 July 2003 - 12:22 PM
Posted 14 July 2003 - 12:41 PM
The vibrant colours might work on the printed page, but I really don't think that they work on the web.
The homepage's content is a big improvement on the previous version, but the yelling and colours are putting me off. I think that they web needs more pastel colours for some sites. I feel the need to move away from the monitor and wear some shades to view your site! ;-)
I'd also space out the States list a little more as they are a little close together at the moment.
Posted 14 July 2003 - 01:12 PM
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