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#1 ionisis

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:26 PM

Ok, i was trying to take the design and change it to go in a new and more ergonomic direction, but i feel that i have failed. I love the menu, but the rest of the page doesn’t really seem to flow with it, and so i just wanted to know what others think. The design is based off of the main website’s design direction:

http://seo.ionisis.com

Thanx!

#2 ionisis

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 08:11 PM

Ok guys, i completely redesigned it again, and was wondering what you guys thought. I know that you shouldn't use white text on black, but i think that it looks soo much better this way, than the opposite way. You can try switchiing the colors using the "Light" and "Dark" links to the top right.

I pretty much want to know if the text is EASY to read, even though it is white on black. It's always goinng to be a little harder than bllack on white, but i just want to know if this to TOO hard, or if you find it "tolerable".


Thannx

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god, i hate this new keyboard!

#3 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:20 PM

Although I'm usually not a fan of dark sites, and hate hate hate the trend of using light gray text on black backgrounds, your white on black is ok on my eyes. And yes, it does look better. So while my inclination is to say don't do it, I could personally live with reading it on your site - and it does look cool.

#4 ionisis

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:14 PM

Ok, thanks for letting me know. I made the default as black text on white background, for obvious reasons.

Thanks again!

#5 Walter

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:49 AM

Hey Alex,


It seems to me that the readability of text if made up of many factors. Given the generally held rule that light text on a dark background does not increase readability maybe its possible to compensate in other areas. Your line lengths for example could be shortened, they seem long to me. Maybe you could use a slightly larger font? At one time I had read an article about changing various attributes of type; including as I recall, the tracking, to make light text on a dark background more readable, unfortunately I can't seem to find it. I'm a bit of a fan of your work Alex, and have noticed you tend to prefer darker sites, it might be well worth your time to investigate if any of these relatively minor changes in typography make the lighter text on dark backgrounds noticeably more readable.


Walter

#6 ionisis

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 01:50 PM

I actually JUST seen that article the other day; someone in another forum gave me a link to it. I always adjusted the line height for dark designs, but i didn't even know what tracking was until 2 days ago. I usually use a 1px larger font too. Someone else just told me something similar about the words-per-line count too, which i've never heard of before.

I guess that i'm backwards. I love fluid layouts, but everyone else seems to dislike them, especially if they're dark. What i think is funny, is that people don't really like fluid layouts, yet they keep buying larger displays :). Seems like a waste of space to me.....

Thanx for the advice. I think that i actually managed to create a "normal" design last night, for a law firm, so i'll probably be posting here soon to see if i can try my hand at "light" designs.... I swear, once i get caught up on bills, i'm gonna start hiring a designer :).

Oh, i do just wonder, when you first came to the page, what was your impression? Did it make you think "unprofessional" or "amateur" or "low quality"? I was hoping to pick up more business with the new subdomain for seo, but it's not really happening, and i think that my design is the problem, so i guess that i need to hear someone else say "Yeah, i wouldn't hire you if i seen that design"...

Thanx

#7 ionisis

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:36 PM

I think that I've got it. I sat trying different designs in Gimp for 2 days straight, and came up with some (hopefully) good oneS! Which one do you guys like better?

Edited by AlexGrim, 12 February 2010 - 02:59 PM.


#8 Walter

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 12:56 PM

Hey Alex,


Of the three Alex, from a visual standpoint, I like the darker one with the orange section headers....no contest in my mind. I do like the top nav bar in the one with the blue text, I'm assuming these are just mock ups and that you may plan on adding that in to the other one anyway.


Walter

#9 ionisis

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 05:42 PM

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, these are just mockups. I've been putting a lot of time into trying to get the word out to get more business, and i'm not getting any phone calls back, so i'm guessing that my current design is scaring customers away! Lmmfao. So i spent the last few days coming up with about 6 good clean "medical" and "legal" website designs, and trying to come up with a more "professional" or "corporate" feeling design for my site, so that the visitor will at least look at the designs i can offer them, and not run away because my own site looks so amateur.

You are the 3rd or 4th person to select that design, and it is also my favorite, so by 4am tonight, all of my subdomains will be using it. Hopefully by tomorrow night i will have my portfolio up for visitors to see. I hate design, and i'm not good at it. But i've learned a VERY valuable lesson here (and i advise everyone else to learn from MY mistakes :infinite-banana:): even if you're only selling SEO or Development, clients still expect you to be a damned designer! What luck, right?

As far as the nav bar, i'm really not to sure how i'm going to do that. Because i FINALLY come up with a "grid" layout (people have been harassing me about that for a while now), it may not be needed any more; but i REALLY like it, so i may find a way to work it in....

Here's a variation of the blue design. It's the exact same thing, but the colors are shifted 180 degrees. I'm still voting for the one that you picked though. But that band that i'm the webmaster for ( http://ViolentWorkofArt.com ) really likes this one, so i'll probably be using it on their website in the next month.....

Thanx!

Edited by AlexGrim, 12 February 2010 - 02:59 PM.


#10 Minna

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:25 PM

Of the three screenshots the middle gray one is easiest to read perhaps but also the dullest. The other two ones are more vibrant, despite that I usually dislike sites with dark background.



The orange links in the site linked in the first post, there's the problem that the orange colour almost causes simultane contrasts - the background should be darker and/or the orange links lighter.

#11 ionisis

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:32 PM

Ha, i think that i've finally got a good design, and to make things better, i have my entire portfolio up now. What do you guys think:
http://design.ionisi...=SELF_Portfolio

Thanx

Edited by AlexGrim, 30 January 2010 - 03:53 AM.


#12 Walter

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 11:13 AM

Hey Alex,

Maybe its just me but its a little confusing....the portfolio part. I see various designs for the Ionisis site. Maybe they are different pages? If so they lack contiunity for me. The Same holds true for the other sites in the portfolio. Again...Maybe I'm missing the point...Maybe they are alternative designs? If They are alternative designs.....I'm not sure thats such a good idea. I think it would be better to show the range of you abilities with different sites rather than different designs of the same site.
Also....In the past when I've looked through web site designer's portfolios....they've always been links to live sites. I think this is much more effective than still photos. See if some of the more experienced folks here can weigh in in order to make sure I'm not totaly off base here.


Walter

#13 ionisis

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 11:31 AM

Actually, i beieve that you're correct. This has been pointed out to me by a couple other people now. So, the majority rules :)

Yeah, i guess that my idea was "hey, we did this site, but look at how many ideas we came up with for it". I'm not sure if that makes sense, but it did to me, at that time :D. Evidently, i need to change it.

Just curious, does the overall tone of the website, as it is now, feel "amateur" or "unprofessional", or would you say that it has a professional feel despite the dark look?

Thanx

#14 Walter

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 01:21 PM

Hey Alex,

There are only a couple visual elements that I find a little off putting. The footer box at the bottom of the page is a different width than the content above it. This makes the page look unbalanced as you scroll towards the bottom of the page. The black background in the search box at the top makes it a little difficult to locate.

As to other things:


The videos at the top of the page confuse things I think a bit. I watched a couple of them and they seem to be put out by different companies than your own....."Get me on Top" and such. I think this is dangerous in that you are in affect advertising for these other companies. If you are tying to demonstrate some tips for SEO..it would be better if you make your own vids and branded them with your companies image and such.

You might want to give some thought to your content. Phrases like, "more than most", "why SOME clients call us the best" and "more thoroughly" really give me pause. It tends to focus my mind on the idea that you believe that I can find better and that some of your clients don't have a high opinion of your work. When I get to the phrase that says "SEO is only a tertiary Focus"....I think you lose anyone looking for an SEO Firm. You're Telling them SEO is not your "main" thing... not even your "second" main thing... which is probably fine for a webdesigner...although I don't think I would adverstise that..... but not for a site focused on SEO

The page that links to the google results......how do I know which of the sites that is listed is there because your company helped to put it there?


I Hope That Helps Alex


Walter

Edited by Walter, 05 February 2010 - 01:26 PM.


#15 ionisis

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:48 PM

Thanks Walter, i'm not sure that i followed what you meant in paragraph 2, but i am thankful that you made me aware of some of the miswordings, et al.

The page that links to the google results can be verified by visiting the website in the google result, and seeing the Ionisis logo/link at the bottom of that website.

Again, thanks for your time, and for pointing out some crucial mistakes; that would explain why i'm not getting any business :)

#16 cdepaola

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 02:10 PM

Howdy Alex,

I also agree with Walter regarding the footer on the seo sub-domain being a different size then the content directly above it. I understand why it is showing this way but I might look at customizing that module to be transparent or the like. Another option would be to fill the left column with content all the way down to the footer to even things out.

Your left column navigation... To make it integrate better with the rest of the site I would change the link color to white to match the content of the site. Also some terms are capitalized some are not, my personal preference is for capitalizing the first letter but in either case I think you need to choose one or the other. Finally many of the links are for terms or abbreviations that I have no knowledge of which make it confusing to me. I would think of possibly making your navigation more user friendly. These may be terms understood by industry insiders but they aren't the ones looking for your services. Someone like me, who has nearly zero knowledge, is looking at your site and I'm going to move on to another company that speaks more at my level.

I think you've done an excellent job of designing a theme and sticking to it. From the futuristic logo font, industrial background, and speech synthesis on your video it all blends together well as a theme. However with that said I think the Ionisis font is generally difficult to read. While the combination again is well put together from a theme standpoint it makes me think high school or college student. Not that there is anything wrong with that, nor am I implying that a high school or college student couldn't do a good job of SEO, because I'm sure they could do better then me, it just makes me think unprofessional.

I hope I was able to put those thoughts into a readable and understandable form. Sometimes my mind gets to rambling and it translates into my writing.

#17 ionisis

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 07:16 PM

Thanks for your input.

The capitalization of the acronyms was actually done differently in the menu than it was in the footer, on purpose. You see, if you google something like IIMS, you will see stuff like Indian Institute of Management Systems (or something like that). So, i wanted to carve out a new niche for that acronym, being Ionisis Information Management Systems. After a few days, i got it, but i noticed that IIMS was not the same to google as iims; so if you then googled iims, i was nowhere to be found. So, i did it both ways on the website, and made sure to use the acronym html tag, so that google new that iims and IIMS was Ionisis Information Management Systems. And for the record, it worked ;). Also, if you just hover your mouse over the acronym, it should popup a full text description of itself. So i can understand what you mean, but for now i'm trying to burn my company's name into google's radar, for quite a few different acronyms, and even give some of them a new meaning to google :wacko:.

As far as the footer goes, i'm sure that you noticed that only happens on the page when the content area is longer than the menu; but you are the second person to say something, so i'm going to see what options i have. I think that i know a trick i can use to make the menu stretch to be as long as the content.......

Yeah, the theme used to be way different, and i didn't want to change it, but i thought that the other theme was the reason that i'm not getting any calls. When i tried to come up with this theme, i wanted it to come out looking like the rear end of a lamborghini reventon. I think that i got it close. I actually came up with a few different layouts and color combos, some white some dark, but everyone i showed the designs to unanimously picked this one (even my conservative / upper class uncle), which surprised me, so i went ahead and changed it.

I think that another part of the problem might be the words i use when i email companies. I'm not a very professional person (i lived in a cave for 29 years), so i think that i'm just approaching them the wrong way... What kills me, is that i've got the skills, i just don't know how to market, and i don't know how to lie. I had a customer back out on me a couple of weeks ago because i wouldn't tell him what he wanted to hear (to me, that is lying, and i'm not ok with that). Almost literally, right before he cut me the check, he asked me "can you guarantee me front page?", and i told him that no one can ever do that. I told him that i'd likely get him front page for about 4 to 10 terms, but that because of the way the SEO game works (your competition stepping on you, search trends, etc), no one can ever guarantee anything. Well, some other company guaranteed it, and they got the job. The sad thing is, i could beat their results into the dirt; i just don't lie, or make promises that i cannot be 100% certain of.

This happened to my last customer. He hired some other company to do one of his sites, then hired me to do the other. They 'guaranteed' him front page in 90 days. I had his other website done in 2 weeks and in 4 weeks he was front page for 11 terms, and i charged him half the price. The other company still isn't done with his other website, and it's been 4 MONTHS for them, and they drove the site straight into the ground. It is literally worse now than it was when they started. But they 'guaranteed' 'stuff'. I guess that's what i'm going to have to start doing...... I'm going to have to start guaranteeing 'stuff'. Lmmfao, oh, the irony....

Ok, i'm done ranting. I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks all.

Edited by AlexGrim, 09 February 2010 - 07:20 PM.


#18 ionisis

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:06 PM

Ok, i've got another approach to this. I know, this is a bit drawn out, but i refuse to give up on this :). Really, at the moment, i only have 2 questions:

Of these 2 new design types, which one looks like it is better, so far;
Does either of these look better, or more 'professional' than what the site is using right now?

Thanks, i really appreciate the feedback...

#19 cdepaola

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:22 PM

I like the first one and at least to me it looks much better then what you currently have, at least from the screen shot.

I like the background, the consistent text color between modules. It flows nicely I think.

#20 ionisis

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 09:34 AM

Ok thanks for the input. I've got to get a few more opinions before i can make up my mind, but i think i'm going to go with this new one anyway, seeming how the current one isn't working. It could be that the current design may not be 'bad', but that it doesn't fit the clients i'm shooting for (lawyers, doctors, reale state)

Edited by AlexGrim, 14 February 2010 - 09:56 AM.




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