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I am starting a new project, and I want to make sure I am hitting the feel right. The links do not work yet, nor is there a logo there. Still waiting on my friend to make the logo. I want some sort of king maybe sitting on a house or next to one, or on a throne. Then with a stick and his crown around it. Something cool and professional.

 

I need to make sure the feel it right, because I am going to have the same look on every page.

 

Thank you,

 

James Sanson

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Where's the site James? The link at the bottom of your message is showing a holding page. At least, I assume it is.

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Ah, that's better.

 

Are you after feedback on the homepage or suggestions for the logo?

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OK James, thanks for the clarification.

 

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.

 

Kind Regards,

James

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Thank you. The free server is just for now. All of my sites start off on one to get feedback, and then I move onto the next level buy paying for server space.

 

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.

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Fraid that you'll have to explain what HUD is to me! ;-)

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I agree with James. You need a decent, professional-looking logo to start of the page. (And I'm hoping that banner(s) is going to disappear once you move to paid web hosting.

 

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!

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Do you think I should make font smaller than two?

 

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.

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Just found out what HUD is! Good ole Google!

 

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.

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Greetings James. On to another new project I see :)

 

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 :wink:

 

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!

 

Kim

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how would I create or buyer a map of the USA, so that they can click thier way to thier city?

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One way of doing it would be to use an image map. Although I've not had change to read the tutuorial, there's one at :

 

http://hoohoo.ncsa.uiuc.edu/docs/tutorials...ng.html#Example

 

Another simplified tutorial is available at :

 

http://lightsphere.com/dev/ismaps/

 

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.

 

Kind Regards,

James

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Map This is a program that can be used to create, edit, and convert Clickable Image Maps for the World Wide Web. Map This does this by allowing you to actually draw the areas to be defined on the graphic you wish to use, attach HTML "url" references to each area, and save the image map data off into either NCSA, CERN, or HTML 3.0 format for use on the World Wide Web.

 

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).

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I have went back to the creative board and this is my new attempt.I know I need to kill the ad space and poppups, but I have not paid yet. However, I will like I have done on all of my site.

 

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.

 

James

http://www.kingofhud.com/

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If you wanted yelling, you've definitely achieved that.

 

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.

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There are three successful realtors in the HUD market for Arizona. They use these vibrant colors in the media all of the time. Plus, I know caps are yelling, and I guess I am yelling. It is not the kind of yelling like you are mad at somebody. I think caps really need to be explored more, because I do not feel caps are always wrong. However, I would like all of your feedback on this page. Go ahead and tell me like it is please.

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Do you mind if I'm honest?

 

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.

 

Kind Regards,

James

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what colors do you think I should use as my layout? If you have the codes it would be great. I will at least look at it. Remember I want that zing and pazzas to it. Main users should be first time home buyers and investors.

 

Thankyou,

 

James

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I'm just getting a placeholder page from Verio right now, James. :)

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The color, the caps, and a few typos. Do you thik this looks ready to mas produce? Would you stay here or leave based on the feel alone?

 

James

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I like the feel of their logo / banner. I think I would like this look on top of my page. Or should I just do a funny king?

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OK, I see the change in colour and also the hyphens to space the states. I'm a little confused by your mention of logos as I can't see one on the site.

 

Regards,

James

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I could not find my post. The logo is to follow. My friend was making one for me flaked out. Now I need to find somebody who is good at this to do it for me. I lost contact with my other friend in Austria that did the one on http://www.Consultantshopper.com/ for me.

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One repeat of some earlier advice:

 

STOP SHOUTING!!!!

Regards,

James

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James,

 

I'LL SECOND THAT EMOTION!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I do like the logo, though maybe with the "King of HUD" as a slightly darker shade of red. But I really do have to agree with James.

 

Please, please, please redo the page without the allcaps. Believe me when I tell you that I downloaded the page to my hard drive and replaced about half of the allcaps phrases with leading caps phrases, and it made an incredible difference.

 

Using RED TEXT like that isn't a good idea either.

 

The RED hover isn't good either.

 

As long as I'm on a roll, how do you think your visitors are going to feel about music being played? Any music? I don't think it really adds anything to the site to have it, and it may detract from someone's experience. Especially if they happen to be surfing the web at work, possibly when they shouldn't be...

 

<edited -- typo :) >

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sansonj72, I think we may be reaching a concensus here.

 

Right now, your site has two different visual messages: a professional-looking top banner that catches the eye and creates interest, and content that, visually, screams "bargain basement!!!" In short, you're cheapening the look of your site.

 

You do not have to knock people's eyes out with color or ALL CAPS EVERYWHERE to get their attention. You can assume that, if they arrived at your site, they're interested. If they aren't interested, screaming colors and SCREAMING TEXT is not going to make them more interested.

 

I would suggest the following:

 

* make sure the top banner fits into an 800x600 screen,

less the 20 pixels for the right scrollbar

 

* Top menu: you've started with blue; make this blue, or

white on a blue background ... and get rid of the borders.

 

* Left menu: same; it should be blue.

 

The color scheme is red/white/blue, so conform to that rather than disrupting the color harmonies with black links. The text, of course, could be black.

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The text, of course, could be black.

... but #330000 is a subtle almost-black that would help enhance the blue theme of the rest of the page subtly but effectively.

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Nice. An almost-black with a slight tint of red. Very nice.

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OK, I didn't realize that we could do this with BBcode. Cool.

 

So this

 

 

[color=#330000]testing[/color], [color=#006699]testing[/color], [color=#ff0000]testing[/color]

 

 

Can become this:

 

testing

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