avanwhy — 2012-05-22T13:58:58-04:00 — #1
I would gladly welcome your comments, suggestions and corrections in regard to a website I have been designing myself. The site hasn't gone "live" yet so I am including the temporary URL.
Specific areas I'm interested in getting response about are:
- Your initial impression when the Home page first comes up.
- Does the information on the Home page interest you enough to want to know more and explore the site further?
- Is navigating through the website easy and understandable?
- Do you find any links that are not working?
- Is each "category" (i.e. Speaker, Author and Playwright) explained fully?
- Which of the above mentioned categories would you, yourself, be interested in?
- Your opinion on the overall design.
- Do you like the color scheme used and the font and font sizes?
- Do you find the website tasteful; given the subject matter?
- And, lastly, any grammar or punctuation errors?
ralphm — 2012-05-22T20:20:19-04:00 — #2
This is not a criticism, but an observation: I assumed at first that I had landed on a sub page of a larger site—like the entry for a particular individual on a larger site about 9/11.
It took me a while to realise that this was actually a site just about Artie. So perhaps the site header could be a bit clearer, to indicate that this is a site all about him.
Does the information on the Home page interest you enough to want to know more and explore the site further?
It might help to break up the text a bit—say by having the first paragraph in larger text, and either adding a heading or two, or breaking the following sentences into separate paragraphs.
Is navigating through the website easy and understandable?
Seemed OK to me, once I realized what the site was about.
And, lastly, any grammar or punctuation errors?
Heh heh, there are always errors. But it does seem well edited, I must say. I don't like the double spacing between sentences (a typewriter convention that is long obsolete). Also, the text mixes words like "he's" with "it is", but the less formal "it's" would help the text to flow a little better, I feel.
I wouldn't recommend all the spans, size and color changes in the text. It's hard to maintain, and doesn't really help the flow of reading. But I see you are trying to make the text more interesting, which is fair enough.
avanwhy — 2012-05-23T00:19:32-04:00 — #3
Thank you so much for the very constructive comments. I particularly found it interesting that you didn't quite know at first what the site was about. I can see where I might need to clarify that. Your other comments are helpful as well. Thanks again.
j_in_calgary — 2012-05-23T00:32:57-04:00 — #4
The first thing I noticed about the site (and it was so distracting that I couldn't even attend to the content on the site) is the point of view. Because you are referring to yourself as "Artie," I looked all over trying to find out if there was some other organization promoting you, and when I came to the conclusion that you are the webmaster as well as the subject of the site, I was wondering why you are talking about yourself in third person. There are places where you have quotes about yourself from other sources, and that makes sense, but it's kind of off-putting to read about you talking about yourself as if you are reviewing yourself. Since you are dealing with such personal content, I think you would be much more accessible and sincere in first person. I don't think that removes the layer of professionalism you're seeking. As a writer, I would think the repetition of the word "Artie" would strike you as distracting, too.
Visually, I like that color blue, but I don't know if it's enough contrast against the black. When you change the font color within the same paragraph so that some lines are blue and some are white, it's a bit hard on the eyes (I didn't read all the content). I think the blue is subdued (which may be an appropriate tone for your site), and I'm wondering if the black is more of a problem. Since you obviously have some powerful content to share, I'd want to ensure your text is as inviting as possible. As a previous poster mentioned, changing font size in the middle of a sentence is also distracting--I noticed this happened for the title of your play--I'd just italicize the title without changing the color or size of the font.
The layout seems to work well, though, in terms of positioning. The tabs in the upper right on the home page are nicely sized and logical. Your writings page has a fine organization, but I wondered why the items weren't organized alphabetically or in reverse chronological order. I also wondered why there were blank blue boxes with no content--as if they were backdrops for images that you hadn't added yet, and then I realized they were the images you wanted.
Congratulations on your obvious successes so far, and good luck with the site!
ralphm — 2012-05-23T05:00:52-04:00 — #5
Glad the comments helped. I also was a tad tongue-in-cheek about there always being errors, but it's hard to spot them all—even in my own stuff. Here are a few minor text/punctuation suggestions:
It is about learning to live alongside the memories and images of trauma; something that reaches beyond just the survivors of 9/11; touching anyone who has experienced their own traumatic event.
It is about learning to live alongside the memories and images of trauma—something that reaches beyond just the survivors of 9/11, touching anyone who has experienced their own traumatic event.
His story encompasses grieving and mourning; which, he's learned, is different for everyone.
His story encompasses grieving and mourning—which, he's learned, is different for everyone.
Change (I think this is right, but perhaps check)
allowing one's self to live life
allowing oneself to live life
It is not about forgetting; but about moving forward . . . one step as a time.
It is not about forgetting, but about moving forward ... one step as a time.
The above change is to use a proper ellipsis, which actually has a special code that you can use, which is
&<font color='"#000000"'>#8230;</font> . Otherwise, have three dots with no gaps between them but a gap either side ... unless the part to the left is the end of a sentence. ... And later he went to check ...
This applies on several other pages, too.
It is Artie’s sincere aspiration to continue to share his story whenever possible; in whatever manner.
It is Artie’s sincere aspiration to continue to share his story whenever possible, in whatever manner.
Artie speaks not only of that day but also of what his life has been since then. How one moment in time reshaped, and redefined, his priorities, his beliefs and his future.
Artie speaks not only of that day but also of what his life has been since then—how one moment in time reshaped, and redefined, his priorities, his beliefs and his future.
Artie can attest to the truth that healing is possible. That, though one might never forget their own experience of trauma or tragedy, they can move forward.
Artie can attest to the truth that healing is possible; that, although people may never forget their own experience of trauma or tragedy, they can move forward.
These are just some things I noticed in a quick look through that I would change, but it's up to you.
navyfalcon — 2012-05-27T00:44:17-04:00 — #6
I would think the name would be 'Artie' eyewitness to 9/11 or simular
<meta name="description" content="Powered by BaseKit" />
You may want to change the content to a brief description of what the page
hope this helps
navyfalcon — 2012-05-27T16:40:33-04:00 — #7
Top of the source code
<html lang="en" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<meta charset="utf-8" />
<meta name="keywords" content="Use a few keywords. " />
<meta name="description" content="Powered by BaseKit" />
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
<meta name="rating" content="general" />
<base href="http://gator7-avanwhy-primary.hgsitebuilder.com/deadlink/" />
This is your title
You may want to change it
You can use an HTML Editor to change it to something that reflects your web site content.
Try alleycode (it is free and has a good help file)
http://alleycode.com/ (be sure to scroll down past the advertisements to alleycode)
This is your description
<meta name="description" content="Powered by BaseKit" />
You may want to write a short description on what the website is about (150 characters, including spaces)
- The title shows up in Google (66 characters - including spaces) and below the title, the description. People (visitors) determine if they want to visit the site by the title and description (and how close it is to first page - the farther it is from first page, the less likely someone will visit that website)
hope this helps
avanwhy — 2012-05-29T00:06:52-04:00 — #8
I worked on the website today; with some tweaks here and there. Biggest change is taking it out of the "third person" and writing in the first person.
Here's the link again if anyone is interested in giving a look.
ralphm — 2012-05-29T02:46:04-04:00 — #9
Looks good, Artie. One thing that was touched on above I'd second: make sure to use meaningful <title>s in your <head>. At the moment, the home page is called "Home", your about page "About" ... and so on. But think of the search value you are losing there. The page title is a powerful way to be found, so those titles should read something like "9/11 Eyewitness Story", "That Day In September: Powerful 9/11 Stage Play" etc. etc.
avanwhy — 2012-05-29T15:54:32-04:00 — #10
I think I finally understand what you are saying. Took a while for me to get there but I think I've got it right. I went into the website and saw where I got put the titles in. Maybe if you get a chance you wouldn't mind checking it out to see if I'm on the right track? Again, this is the link.
j_in_calgary — 2012-05-29T16:17:52-04:00 — #11
The change to first person is infinitely more accessible. I really like the changes you've made to the home page layout, too--much more inviting.
I'm wondering if some of the text could be grouped together at the top of the home page--it's poetic, but I'm sort of up in the air about it. On the one hand, it fits your content to pause, because it's a serious topic with big issues. On the other hand, every time you have a line and space break, you're giving the reader an opportunity to stop reading there and go somewhere else. If you create a little more flow by grouping some of that text (maybe 2-3 clusters), it might serve you better. It looks very nice the way it is, though. The color contrast and font consistency are much more effective.
You organized your writing pieces by date, too--looks good. I know articles should be italicized, but when you compare those headings to your blog headings, the blog headings are much more appealing. I think I would err in favor of text consistency and inviting legibility and get rid of the italics for the article titles.
The about page looks good, too. (Minor thing--there's a typo in the middle column that begins "I knew actor . . ." but since he's currently the director and you still know him, you might want to re-phrase that whole thing and say "A friend of mine name Richard Masur . . ." Similarly, on the home page, you have a line that has an agreement conflict that many people don't seem to mind anymore, but rather than saying "anyone who has experienced their own traumatic event" you could say "anyone who has experienced a traumatic event" and avoid the one/their agreement problem.) There is a lot of text on the about page, and it gives a good sense of who you are and why you're doing this and where you've come from, which are all critical to your intention. You might consider sub-headings to group the text in a more visually friendly way, so that people can scan the sub-headings and focus on the content that interests them most. The photos on this page are really powerful.
I like this color combination better than what you had before--it's appropriate for the mood and easier on the eyes. You've made a lot of changes in a short amount of time--good luck with the project!
ralphm — 2012-05-29T18:28:53-04:00 — #12
Yep, that's what we were talking about. That will make your site a lot more findable in Google. Well done.
avanwhy — 2012-05-29T22:57:07-04:00 — #13
Once again, invaluable suggestions. I understand what you mean about the lines on the "Home" page. I do like the look of it now but will maybe try some different structuring. I did make the change with "anyone who has experienced a traumatic event". I think the sentence reads more nicely now. Thank you for that suggestion. I edited the "About" page where I speak about knowing Richard Masur and him coming on board as the director. I just did that now so tomorrow after going back to it I'll see clearer how it reads now. Your suggestion about subheadings on the "About" page is an excellent one. I will definitely play around with that idea. I'll let you know when I've done those things. Thank you!
mittineague — 2014-09-14T18:58:23-04:00 — #14
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