2008 Site Under Development.. Critiques PLEASE

I have been getting mixed reviews from my team, but raving reviews from friends. and i am not sure who is just being polite, and who’s being truthful. I would really appreciate outside reviews. I am quite confused at the moment, and was wondering if anyone would be willing to help me out thanks!

Hm… It’s really compact (could be a positive or negative) but the text is to demanding, not to mention jaggies all over. Also, replace the FIRST website button with the FIRST logo, it’s more professional that way.

My $.02.

*I have no web design experience but do have an eye for organization and color theory.

Im not sure how hard any of this is, it’s just what i thought would make it better.
-I would suggest trying to make the website be the size of the screen. Or some how use that gray space.
-More color. I would suggest more than white and black with a little yellow. But be careful what color you make the text, it might be hard to read.
-Avoid text that says “click here” i think its kinda unnecessary.
-I agree with Budda648 about the first website button.
-a history link might be nice on your menu bar.
-I think you should replace “FIRST robotics team 1114” with "Lightning Lancers team 1114, Or some thing like that. You want to your name as your identity right? not just your number.

These are just my thoughts, i am not an expert and you can disagree with me.
DB

I wouldn’t put “Team members click here” on the home page, as most people visiting the site don’t care. Just tell your team members to go to a page like www.first1444.com/team.html

Some of the spacing is inconsistent. It is often a pain to get this right, but it does look better. In particular, the body text needs a space buffer to the left.

Check your site’s syntax with the W3C’s validator: http://validator.w3.org
It currently has a few errors.

I’m using Firefox. If you aren’t already, make sure you test your site with IE6, IE7, and Firefox. Testing it in Safari and Opera is probably a good idea as well.

Thank you very much for all the ideas.

A few notes and questions

-The links on the left are just temporary placeholders.

  • How wide should i make the content area?
  • The notes on each page are for me and my “writer”. I am not the best at being articulate.

I don’t know if its just me but I think that the fonts on a website should look a bit more professional (except for the team logo or name). Also, the only other issue I see that has already been mentioned is the cramped feeling of the content. Just my opinion.

What are more professional fonts. I am currently using Tahoma

What are more professional fonts. I am currently using Tahoma

I think the reference about the fonts was to the yellow font in the logo, which was somewhat over-used before. Tahoma is fine for the body text, IMO.

FIRST has logo usage guidelines which describe how to use the official logo. There’s also a version of the logo on a black background, which might look better on your site.

The page width is pretty good as it is. You usually don’t want the content more than about 600 pixels wide, because that makes is difficult to read. I might make the links on the left a little smaller, and the body a little larger.

There are many schools of thought on this matter. There are basically two extremes for how the page width is chosen. One is to make it completely fluid and display at any width. The Technokat Site is pretty close to this, if their logo was a bit slimmer the page could display on 640x480 monitors on up. On the other end are pages like Kika Mana’s That are set at a fixed width. (798px in this case) In between are pages like Team 228’s that have a minimum and maximum width. (770px and 935px in this case) As for which to use, I’d say make it as fluid as possible, while preserving presentation, and please, please, please don’t use tables. Tables (particularly nested ones) make pages harder to navigate for the visually disabled. <div> and <span> tags along with a little CSS is a much better way to do layout. (gives you more control too)

The content was in a different font when I had made the comment. It was not in Tahoma, it was the same as the font of your team name in the heading of the page. Tahoma looks nice.

I realize that it needs to be in CSS, and i have been brushing up on my CSS, and just did the current one quickly… I already have a half developed CSS version that looks the exact same

When it comes to websites, I love graphics. To make it look a little more professional make “killer graphics”. By “killer graphics” I mean use today’s popular graphics techniques.

  • Glass (like Windows Vista)
  • Reflections
  • Gradients

The sidebar is kinda big. Those are just notices and should be made smaller. The content should take up the main portion of the page.

Make the top banner clickable and direct it to your homepage. This is almost standard (even though you have a link called “HOME”)

Within the main pages (like Media, About, Team) you should have a sub navigation to further break down the sections. For example, under Media you would have a page for photos, one for banners, and one for videos.

Feel free to take a look at our team’s website. (see below). Hope this helps.

I redesigned all the images. I don’t have the ability for the “mirror” image. Let me know what you think with the new images.

What image editing software are you using? To make the mirror effect, all you do is copy and flip the text upside down, and give it a gradient fill going from about 60-70% opacity at the top to 0% at the bottom.

I am using Fireworks

I didn’t do it exactly like Art explained, but the same basic concept of copying the part you want and then inverting it and placing it below the original, making it look “mirrored”.
http://www.team330.org/images/header_yellow.jpg

The example would be the text.

I use Fireworks too, and my version is the 2002 release. :wink:

Here’s a sample image of what you can accomplish in Fireworks.

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/2548/sampletextgraphicsyg8.png

And here is a link to the editable version that you can download and open in Fireworks, to change colors, fonts, etc. to learn about the mirror effect: (http://adutra.team228.org/files/sample-mirror-text_Fireworks.png)

Apple usually has a lot of mirror effects for text and images on their website, and software. (Cover Flow in iTunes!) Plus, Apple always seems to have a good grasp on balancing just enough gradients, glass effect, and mirrors to make everything look good. IMHO, Microsoft went too glass- and mirror- effect frenzy in Vista, but in the XP Royale themes they struck a good combination.

Hey Thanks for that. Now I understand what you mean. It looks better than what i had.

Well, I recoded a whole lot, and it’s much different now than before. I am aware of some spacing issues, and would really appreciate comments

The site looks really good. The new header image is really clean looking. There are only a few things I would fix (Some of these may fall into your ‘spacing issues’ category, but I will say them anyway.):

  • The main table looks like it is about 10-20pixels too wide. Make it shorter so that it ‘meshes’ with the header images in width.
  • I would change the white edge around your header image to transparent or just make it the same color as your background
  • Some of the menu buttons have text that looks “pixelated”

Everything else looks really good! Keep it up!:slight_smile: