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    Redesign in a tough market


    we just redesigned our site in an attempt to improve our rankings and also the appeal of our site.

    it is corresponding with some direct mail we are trying in the area.

    I would love some feedback and any ideas for changes.

    We decided to put small flash on our homepage. It's nothing major. Any thoughts, practical (non-theoretical) advice on using flash is appreciated. We are thinking about using it to have a monthly special or hightlight different services, etc.

    webdesign

    PS

    Here is the previous site too just for giggles

    previous web design
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    I do not use flash on any of my sites because of the required plug-in (player)...call me old fashioned but I can't bring myself to using something that requires downloading and installing 3rd party software just to see something on one of my pages...

    for probably (wild guess) 85% of the average user base there would never be any problems but I personally do not like it when I click on a link/page and I get a message telling me I either need a player or an upgrade to view the content I requested...and I try not to put my users through anything I do not care for myself (as a user)

    just my 2
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    I am also not a fan of requiring a plug-in to read the page. HOWEVER, a number of big web sites seems to be using this style now (having a small Flash banner to highlight deals and specials).

    What I found is that by properly using a small Flash banner actually light up the page (make it lively), and these days I really think that a lot of people will have Flash player installed (of course it also depends on your target segment). I started to accept the idea

    On the SEO side, if you are using the banner flash as a weekly deal thing, then what you need to do is either have another static link on the page to the deal page (which can be crawled by search engine), or actually make use of something like swfobject to make sure that the search engine can access your links.
    Last edited by ahk2chan; January 19th, 2009 at 01:37 PM.
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    if you plan to market yourselves as a web design company....i would probably sort out the 29 Errors, 1 warning(s) that the wc3 validator has found on the front page of your site.

    now days web standards are a very important factor in choosing a web design company...standards ensure unformity accross all browsers (amongst other things)

    for probably (wild guess) 85% of the average user base there would never be any problems
    Flash is actually present on 99% of internet enabled PC's as per "Millward Brown survey, conducted September 2008."
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    Menu especially on left side looks a little pixilated.

    I really like the consistency of the design, and the overall look.

    The only other thing I'd say is that your address seems kind of hidden, especially on the contact page. It is in an area that doesn't change so your kind of blind to that area when you get to the contact page.

    Thanks,
    Minnow
    http://www.minnowwebdesign.com - Web Design for the small business and non-profits.
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    There are also subtle photography rules when taking and cropping photos that your photo at the bottom of the page (man-1.jpg) violates.

    The fading of the bottom of the image should make it seem like he just disappears out of sight. It shouldn't make you wonder what that black thing in front of his crotch is. Either include that thing in the photo and fade below it or fade before it and dont' include it.

    My 2.
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    I think it actually works pretty well. The curved area at the top of the page looks good, but something about the text at the bottom isnt quite right. Its almost as if you have tried to combine two layouts on one page.

    Maybe just create an entry page from the top part with more details inside the site.
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    Originally Posted by Minnow
    Menu especially on left side looks a little pixilated.

    I really like the consistency of the design, and the overall look.

    The only other thing I'd say is that your address seems kind of hidden, especially on the contact page. It is in an area that doesn't change so your kind of blind to that area when you get to the contact page.

    Thanks,
    Minnow
    Great feedback. Thanks.

    PS

    sorry for the late response, this forum didn't send me any notifications!!!!
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    Originally Posted by chathura87
    I think it actually works pretty well. The curved area at the top of the page looks good, but something about the text at the bottom isnt quite right. Its almost as if you have tried to combine two layouts on one page.

    Maybe just create an entry page from the top part with more details inside the site.
    Could you define "text at the bottom" for me?

    PS

    our site is live here
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    Originally Posted by tumana
    There are also subtle photography rules when taking and cropping photos that your photo at the bottom of the page (man-1.jpg) violates.

    The fading of the bottom of the image should make it seem like he just disappears out of sight. It shouldn't make you wonder what that black thing in front of his crotch is. Either include that thing in the photo and fade below it or fade before it and dont' include it.

    My 2.
    Perfect. Thanks.

    We made some changes, the site is http://www.rubberducktech.com/
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    Originally Posted by curiousnewbie
    if you plan to market yourselves as a web design company....i would probably sort out the 29 Errors, 1 warning(s) that the wc3 validator has found on the front page of your site.

    now days web standards are a very important factor in choosing a web design company...standards ensure unformity accross all browsers (amongst other things)



    Flash is actually present on 99% of internet enabled PC's as per "Millward Brown survey, conducted September 2008."
    Sure, and I think that we should strive for standards, but having come from web design back in html whatever (you remember Netscape 3, right?) I still find that whole thing a pain in the pituty. IE is now getting to the place where you can work with em (IE7 anyway), but then you got FF defining things differently than you want, etc.

    It's just hard to push myself to really go after something that the industry itself doesn't seem to really care about.

    We are trying to stay close.

    There are things, EG: target="_blank" that aren't allowed which I still use in off site links.

    Neilson would call me a monster for doing that, but then again, having a PDF open up is blasphemy too.

    PS

    Thanks for taking a look, we've needed lot of help getting this launched in time :-)

    here it is (always a work in progress)
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    Originally Posted by TuxLives
    Sure, and I think that we should strive for standards, but having come from web design back in html whatever (you remember Netscape 3, right?) I still find that whole thing a pain in the pituty. IE is now getting to the place where you can work with em (IE7 anyway), but then you got FF defining things differently than you want, etc.

    It's just hard to push myself to really go after something that the industry itself doesn't seem to really care about.

    We are trying to stay close.

    There are things, EG: target="_blank" that aren't allowed which I still use in off site links.

    Neilson would call me a monster for doing that, but then again, having a PDF open up is blasphemy too.

    PS

    Thanks for taking a look, we've needed lot of help getting this launched in time :-)

    here it is (always a work in progress)
    PS

    For others coming by later, on the home page, the errors appear to be limited to the use of the FLASH. If you are not familiar, the validator rejects the <embed> and related tags having to do with Flash

    from their site:
    How can I include flash in valid (X)HTML Web pages?

    Many Flash authoring tools recommend, or enforce, the usage of the <embed> element to include flash animations or applications in Web pages. <embed>, however, was never part of any standardized version of HTML, and this practice produces invalid markup.
    .

    I've not gone through the rest of the site, but it's one my list of crap I hate doing, but feel good about after :-)
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    I love the site. Looks great. There is a problem with the text on the Testimonials page. Might just be my browser, but some of the text is on top of each other.
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    Originally Posted by dominoman
    I love the site. Looks great. There is a problem with the text on the Testimonials page. Might just be my browser, but some of the text is on top of each other.
    Yeah, gotta spend some time on that page.

    What browswer/OS are you using?

    I've tried Winders IE+FF and Linux FF
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    Looks great!


    the left column <p> text is just a bit hard to read in Mozilla.

    The font is very grainy.

    It looks better in IE.

    Good Luck,
    Judy
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