Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Links, Week 4

This week I’m going to start nit-picking individual aspects of the sites, that way I can apply specific information to my own design/functionality. here we go:

I like the size of the images used. None of them give away to much information up front, so you still want to click on them to find out more. (i.e. there’s still an air of mystery, “what’s behind door #3?”). I AM wondering if my front page should be a collage of images like this. It’s interesting to look at for sure.
the page is not overly designed, so the focus remains the work.
He chose to group the work into two buckets: client work and artwork, which is interesting since we were just discussing this. I think I prefer my “drawer menu” still, but I’m not opposed to this navigation.
Use of our favorite plug-in! I still like it, but not sure I want to use it. I’d rather designate a space on the page itself to view large images.

I find it a little odd that information from one section crosses over into another. Example? Under “work”, the right column is “who am i?”. shouldn’t that be under “about?” I’m confused! Another example: under “contact” there are “latest blog entries” in the right column. Weirdo.

One of the things we have discussed is the placement of “latest work” on the front page, which is something he’s done here. Although to be onest, I think I refer the idea of having a bucket of work to choose from and having a different one featured each time the page is refreshed.

I don’t like how “branding & identity” “webdesign” and “print” are NOT clickable on the front page. They look like buttons, and aren’t.

I still think I like the email form, to email the person directly from the webpage. I don’t think it’s necessary, but it adds a handy element that might up the number of emails.

Dragon Interactive
ok, this smacks of “trying too hard” in my opinion. The little 3D “shelf” they created as a backdrop doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. If you are going to create a 3 dimensional space, use it! All it does is hold type (that lays over the line between dark and light grey, which bugs me).

I dunno, even the rollovers, which they obviously spent a long time on, are too flashy for me. I think the overall design is all you look at, I barely even understand the WORK they do other than building their own site. (all talk no walk?)

One thing I DO like, though, is the color palette. So, there’s your bone, dragon.

the age-old question we’re continuing to face? “what goes on the front page?” well, studio3k’s answer? A little bit of everything! We have a phone number, a definition, a banner ad, recent clients, recent projects and even some news & articles. Oh keep scrolling! There’s more! About, services, and ANOTHER phone number.

Jeez. I don’t think this is the answer I’ve been waiting for.

Here’s a question: why do you get an overlay when you click on the recent projects but not the recent clients? They look the same, shouldn’t they act the same? Hm. And on a similar note, why aren’t “graphic design” “web development” and “corporate branding” clickable (in that big definition). Lesson here: if it ain’t clickable, don’t make it look like a link/button. Crazy, I know.

Okay, I threw dragon a bone, so here’s one for you, studio3k: I like your client list page. The images are crisp, clear, and a nice size.

I Am Always Hungry
well. There certainly is a lot going on here. It’s pretty interesting that each time the page is refreshed, there’s a new background. While they are beautiful, some of them don’t work so well (you can’t read the nav bar, it’s too cluttered). But I like this idea. It’s basically what we had been discussing earlier about fresh content on the homepage.

The “menu”…bold! Technically it’s similar to the ones I was dreaming of for my “portfolio” section. It’s just bigger, and animates on rollover, and has sound. I kind of like the sound.

So let’s get down a little closer. On nav bar, I like the method of letting the user know what page s/he’s on. The text turns orange and that little arrow extends from the left. The arrow is cute, but not cutesy. There’s also a history function, so that all the links you’ve already visited remain highlighted. I don’t know that I’ve seen this before built into a site (rather than the “history” function in your browser).

Man! You can even use your arrow keys to navigate through the site! see those four little squares at the bottom of the nav bar? Rollover them.

Scrolling through the work is smooth. All you have to do is click on the work and it moves to the next piece. It’s kinda neat how they animate behind the entire site, rather than being confined to a certain area within it. Not sure how I feel about that. Thoughts?

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