This is topic Help me critique my final project for web design! in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Philosofickle (Member # 10993) on :
I'm sure that by now you are getting sick of me asking for help with my web design woes. But so far I feel pretty good about this project. I like the way I've designed it, and I like the uniformity of the pages and the navigation.

I was just wondering if any hatrackers had any advice, from either a design, content, or coding standpoint.

A few of the links are empty right now, so far I've done, "What are Shenanigans" "Where Do We Perform" and I'm working on "Games that we Play".

So take a look.
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
First thing to do is run each page through the markup validator. Right now, it shows several errors. You should also validate the CSS. Right now, the CSS seems fine.

When switching between "Games that We Play" and the others in that list, the title drops down in Firefox and is visually jarring. Also, the red bar should extend all the way down on all those pages for consistency.

If you use firefox, the web developer toolbar add on is a great way to get access to those tests. Also, I think it doesn't handle narrower width browsers gracefully. The WB toolbar can help test in different window sizes, too.
Posted by Jon Boy (Member # 4284) on :
It's not loading at all for me.
Posted by Philosofickle (Member # 10993) on :
I have a page anchor above the header in games that we play, would that be what's causing that?
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
Can't open it.
Posted by ambyr (Member # 7616) on :
Do you want comments on the text, or just the design?
Posted by Philosofickle (Member # 10993) on :
Any and all comments are welcome.
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
When clicking between the various pages the side bar sometimes cuts off just below the last item and other times extends to the bottom of the window. That's kind of distracting. Also, the page shifts up and down a bit while clicking around - that's also distracting.
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
By convention, clicking the title should take you back to the main page. It doesn't do this now.
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
The spacing between the last item on the sidebar and the little graphic below it is not consistent across all pages.
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
The "for more pictures click the refresh button" and "click the picture for more information" both seem a little strange. The user interface should be intuitive enough that you wouldn't need text describing how to use other user interface elements. Adding buttons or links that include the text "information" and "additional images" would be better.
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
It's not obvious that the "CONTACT US" text on the main page is a link.
Posted by Philosofickle (Member # 10993) on :
I've just changed the contact us on the main page to stick out a little bit more.

I'm working on the sidebar issues. The problem with the sidebars right now is that it's a repeating background image along the y-axis that only goes as far down as the content goes. Once I ad content to the empty pages and ad a few page breaks below the content, it should all be uniform.
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
I would have expected green as your main color, but maybe that's too cliche.

I would go ahead and make the home page a bit longer vertically. Your logo takes up almost half the space and the rest feels crammed unnecessarily. On my screen it looks long and skinny.

The inside pages don't match the home page consistently. You have a theater background on the home page and the other pages have a white background on that frame. Also, the home page is centered and the other pages are not. That lack of continuity is confusing--makes you wonder if you're still on the same site.

I like the design of the side navbar. However, suddenly you've got three fonts--a serifed, sans-serif Verdana, and that funky Hobo-looking font--all on the same screen. You should choose a main font and also a complimentary font for accent text.
Posted by jeniwren (Member # 2002) on :
Just a there a reason you used a table for your layout instead of CSS?

I love the graphics. You're much better at that than I am. (I'm taking Advanced Web Page programming right's my Beginning Web Pages final project from last fall (if you're interested):

I strongly prefer a very consistent aesthetic, from homepage all the way through the site. So from that perspective, I would prefer to see you make your site all the same layout. I like the homepage layout and think you could do a lot just with it for the rest of the site.

Practically, I would increase the height of your home page (essentially making it taller, growing the menu and curtained area), utilizing the space where you have the curtains as your "main" area. I would also lay it out using CSS instead of a table, so that you could set that area to "overflow: auto". Leave everything else from page to page the same, just changing the "main" area for content.

Overall, I like the direction you're going. It's very clean looking and again the graphics are a real strength. Looking at your site, I think I'm going to focus on getting better at the graphics side...up to now I've been focusing on the programming side.

When is it due?

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