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Topic: Website Critique

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Posted by SRyan ;] on 500 Points
I'm armed and dangerous with HTML, and I'm playing with ideas for a website for a sculptor. Thanks to those of you who provided links to other artists' websites last month, I was able to help the sculptor identify some features and goals for her own site.

One result: She agreed that she wants a "splash page" to set the tone of the site. I'm not a big fan of splash pages, but it does appear to be a popular (and yes, sometimes effective) page for artists and creative folks.

We're early into this process, and I thought I'd ask for YOUR reactions to the first designs I've put together. Remember, these are just for the "front door" of the site -- there are no deeper content pages posted yet.

Are you game? Good! Do this:

Go to this page [inactive link removed] to see example one. In the bottom left corner of that page, there are links to examples two and three.

Example one is static. Examples two and three each have images that rotate in 2-second intervals.

Take a look and give me feedback. Which is your favorite, if any?

Thanks, everyone!

¤ Shelley ¤

[Moderator: Inactive link removed from post. 2/14/2011]

  • Posted by Michele on Accepted
    Hi Shelly
    I am neither a fan of splash pages, nor one of animated gifs.

    So, I like the stillness of the first option - but it lacks punch. The colours, composition of the third option strike me as the most powerful - I also like the strap line, 'sculpture that touches the spirit'.

    Just get that image to stop jumping around the screen - it is very powerful when combined with the hand, less so with the other two images.
  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Author
    Thanks for the quick response, Michele and Cal.

    Another site that I visited used a new image randomly on the splash page; the visitor could also change the image by clicking it. However, I'm opposed to putting anything on a page that is a surprise or a mystery to a website visitor -- must be my Usability dominant gene. The script-driven "slide show" was my solution. Glad to get your reactions there.

    Maybe as an alternative to Cal's speed control idea, I should place a simple button labeled Next Image. (That would apply to examples two and three.)

    Any other input, oh venerable KHE experts?
  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Accepted
    Good morning Shelly;(well it is morning here in New Zealand)

    i like Option 2. And YES there should be atleast 3 pictures i think but no more than 6.

    i also agree with Cal you need to be slow down the rotation. You could have a button with "hold" the picture in place while you take a look at it.

    cant wait for the rest of it. look very intersting to me.

    have a nice day felllow GMAILER


  • Posted by Pepper Blue on Accepted
    Hi Shelley.


    I love sculptures. Very cool.

    At first the speed seems fast, but after a couple rotations, it seems to slow down, and once the site was go live I would want to click through to view them individually, so if what you are trying to accomplish is a "call to action" to enter the site, it works.

    Have you looked into a 360 degree viewer? I've never worked with one, but the 3 dimensionality of the medium could work very well with it if executed correctly (not with every one, just a few and then you could check your web logs for popularity statistics).

    Also, I would like to see it with images a little crisper, brilliant, although I know it is intended to look like this. My eyes are straining to pick out the definitions. I imagine they will be once the site is built?

    Overall, I do really like it, I think you're on the right track.

    I hope that helps, have a nice Labor Day!
  • Posted on Accepted
    Hi Shelley

    I'm not a fan of splash pages.

    Liked the strapline in 3 because it gives more of a connection and feel of the artist. The text in 3 still feels texty even though trying to be personal, maybe Billie's signature might be more authentic - even if you have to tone it down if it is too wild.

    I prefer the image size in 2 just because you have more of a focus on the sculptures although the abstactiveness of showing parts of the scultures is interesting.

    Maybe play around with each element abit for different executions.

    Hope that helps you Shelley.

  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Author
    Phil, Carl, Tim, Zahid...

    I appreciate your impressions and opinions! I knew I could count on you and the rest of the community to speak your mind.

    The three images on examples two and three are the first of 20+ that I'm cleaning up for digital use. Not all of them would be used on the splash page, of course. What you see on the splash page examples are "faded" versions that will be represented in more detail on the deeper pages.

    Tim, I'm intrigued by the 360-viewer contraption that I've seen on Nextel's website. They use it for online "demos" of their phones. Don't know how hard it would be to pull that off here.

    One comment/question about example three: The zoomed-in views are intended to create intrigue and compel the visitor to click further. Does it accomplish this?

    Example two presents those same sculptures in full view. Because the splash page won't represent EVERY type of her art (kids, animals, fishermen, biblical), I wanted to try an alternative way to represent some interesting detail, as in example three. Does the full view capture interest of the visitor better, though?

    Oops, this is supposed to be a simple Choose Your Favorite question. Now I'm making it more complicated, aren't I?
  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Accepted

    I prefer #3 - I think the framing and color contrast sets off the sculpture better than a white page.

    Like some of the others, I find the speed of image change way too quick. And far too abrupt. If it could be slowed, and perhaps dissolved rather that abruptly cut, I think t would be more pleasing. To me, anyway.

    hope this helps

  • Posted by Mushfique Manzoor on Accepted
    Hi Shelly

    i like the #3.

    - the color white is well contrasted by the sculpture.
    - I would like to have a link on each of the image that rotates so that i can click on each and see them closely.
    - Also i would prefer to set the pace of rotation myself.
    - On second thought, the rotation speed can be reduced.
    - can the signature of Billy and teh strap line can be more of his/her?? ( i mean his own handwriting).

    hope this helps

  • Posted by mbarber on Accepted
    Gidday Shelley - you've caught me on the hop of a very busy 6 weeks where I've had little time but to glance in occasionally.

    Here I was hoping to eat a roast chicken roll for lunch and now I am typing one handed!

    Version two for me though I take on board Michele's idea of a preference for a static view and to that end, I think the idea of slowing the rotation down to say 3-4 seconds might be better.

    Think of how much text you might use (the tag line from version 3 is great) and how long it would take the normal person to read (and comprehend) that text - then ime your rotations to that level.

    Tim's idea of a 360 degree viewer is a great one and I'm not sure if I'd use it on the front page until they've maybe gone one more click into the site. That said, I'm also not a big art buyer so not sure how the audience might typically use the medium.

    Another thought. I'm pretty sure I have seen a software programme that makies a desk top interactive to touch.

    Maybe you could make the interaction 'tactile' by encouraging a viewer to 'feel the face' or whatever. Then again, maybe I'm hallucinating on the tactile screen idea :-) Anyone else know of the programme?

    Final thought - all the bells and whistles aside, how do you think the consumers will prefer it?

    Gotta go, this roll doesn't like the lack of attention :-)
  • Posted by Carl Crawford on Member
    hi shelly;

    just a note on the 3d viewer. have a look at Ulead. i have some softwear from them that i got with my digital cam that can make 3d images.

    i really recommend this product!!!! it is EASY to use and does a good job.

    have a nice day

  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Author
    It's always good to hear from the voices down under! Marcus, you're making me hungry. ;]

    If I do keep the images rotating on this page (whether it's example two or three), I will definitely slow things down. I also like the idea of fading or dissolving in/out, but I think I would need Flash or some other tool to accomplish that. And I'm not crazy about using special effects that require visitors to download add-ins, free or otherwise.

    Regarding the artist's signature: I plan to get some scannable samples from her next weekend. The handwriting font on example 3 is temporary.

    I won't keep this question open much longer... the "vote" is almost evenly split between examples two and three, but the consensus is pretty clear on freezing or slowing the images.

    I'm sure I'll be back with new questions or requests for feedback as this project moves forward! I love you guys for being available to offer your thoughts. Many thanks, ya'll...

    ¤ Shelley ¤
  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Author
    P.S.  I just slowed down the timing by adding two more seconds. If you're reading this post for the first time, the image rotation was originally running at 2.5 mph.
  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Author
    Thank you, Kate, for contributing your input even after the question is closed!

    The bowl sculpture is striking, isn't it? It represents world hunger, and the strength of the hands supporting the bowl is dramatically different from the hands reaching for it.

  • Posted by Blaine Wilkerson on Member
    In spite of the fact I tend to lean towards Michele's philosophy of design, for an artist's website, splash pages are not that much of a detriment.

    Having that been said, I like #3 the best.

    Nice Work!

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