This is something I started working on back during the summer. It took me about 2 months to get it up and running with only a few hours a week. This is my first dynamic website that I have built. Right now there are some changes that I want to make but my website lacks content. I'm open to any criticism. If I get enough negative criticism I may even scrap my website and start over. I have other layout designs in my head that I might want to pursue but I don't want to waste my time if this is good enough. Check it out here. www.mens-code.com. Thank you everyone for your help.
I saw your website and would like to give a few suggestions regarding the design. Don't take these suggestions as it is, but try to think within them.
General Suggestions :
a.) Try to make the content encapsulation more subtle
b.) Fonts can be given some re-thinking.
c.) Proper text size hierarchy is missing.
d.) Color swatch needs some re-thinking.
e.) It seems you have only thought about the design technically and not from a designer's and user's perspective. Try thinking about the usability factor and the attractiveness factor more than the technicality or dynamics first.
Specific Points :
The website "lacks clear separation of contents". All the headings/titles in the home page seem cluttered. You could try using more and proper white-spaces to give it a cleaner view.
"All the borders need a lot of improvement". They could be made a lot thinner or if you do want to go with the large borders try to blend the color it into the background color i.e, choose some color which is only a little bit darker than than the background. The large dark borders makes the site look very constrained. The dotted borders running from top right enclosing the men's code gives an unpleasant view. If you want to keep border in the right, I suggest either run it through to the bottom rather than abruptly turning it after men's code, or if you want to go with the dotted borders only, then make the dots lighter and much smaller.
The "header seems to have too much of empty space". You can think about pulling your website up or making use of the space with some innovative content. If you are thinking of the empty space as a place for advertisements, my personal opinion would be "don't".
The "subscription bar needs a lot of improvement". It can be placed on the top right in the header, in-line with the top navigation menu. The text below can be made smaller since, it is not the focus of the website.
Try to "think about a proper text hierarchy for the contents" , rather than randomly choosing the sizes. Plan out exactly what sizes would represent similar content. Also think whether the headings are separated by color (in which case, the size can be kept similar for all content) or by the size ( the colors can be kept similar) or a combination of both( you need to do a good thinking for this).
The "text color" especially in the navigation-bar is very dark relative to the black color of bar. You can make the nav-text more highlighted. Since the users would want to use that bar for the navigation, why not give the usability a first consideration and then make the design considerations for navigation.
The bottom nav-bar containing the "next and previous" button can be be made smaller to just a little bigger than the text inside. Also the nav-bar can be put on the right side rather than the left, since the most of the humans tend to read from left to right, which would make it easier on the user to locate the bar without losing focus of the content.
The "color scheme" you have chosen seems very muted and neutral. That is fine if your aim is for the user to solely focus on the content. In this case your website would depend solely on the colors of the products/news on your website. On the other hand, you can use a more colorful but light color swatch to enhance the the attractiveness of the columns.
The "footer can be made less emphasised" and more orderly. Think about the text hierarchy here also. Try to make the font-size smaller and the colors more subtle.
Hope you take these suggestions cheerfully and come out with some very good design.
I am agree with devilsnare and would like to add that you may need to reduce a number of images at the top of your website ... so that I could really understand what the website is about!
I would remove google search bar it is not so neccessary to have!
Keep it up and good luck!
Thank you guys, I will be bring the website down and revamping the entire design. I had a feeling this would be the case of my design as it felt to cluttered to me as well. Thank you I will be taking everything into consideration from font size to layout. Thank you again, I hope to have it up and running sometime this week with a new design.
mods, can you delete this thread until I can post again. Thanks.