Critique my first attempt for me?

Hi,

Could some of you, who are much more experienced than I, critique my first ever website for me?

http://www.yorkroadmarine.com/test/

Tell me what I’m missing or if it’s confusing, colors too bright, not bright enough, navigation OK, etc. etc.

Whatever you can see that needs improvement I’d appreciate very much your input.

Thanks!
Misty


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Dear Misty Ann

Without in any way detracting from the great care you have put in…

Moving text - as if I am too dumb to notice and decide what is relevant to
me! Makes me think the owner of the site is dumb.

I only had a quick look at the home page. It is all quite sharp and hard
edged - for my eye. Lots of different ways of enhancing text all on the same
page.

You will call the page something more informative and useful than home when
it goes live wont you :wink:

The urge to welcome is great with a new baby that is envisioned to be a be
welcomed by the visitor. But welcome is as welcome does - so I would be more
receptive - welcoming to the eye- less hard edged/blocky and a little more
spacious and find and settle with a look and feel that isn’t trying to be
too many things. The cartoon submarine - is it in a periscope? What?
Marine craft are very visually attractive and I cant help but feel the sub
is a hindrance - and is instead of something inspiring. I mean - most people
who are into boats love boats.

Meanwhile - that is simply one bloke’s opinion and not anything more than an
offering to be considered - and you asked very nicely!

with all good wishes
Brian

Misty Ann said recently:

http://www.yorkroadmarine.com/test/


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Hi Misty

http://www.yorkroadmarine.com/test

Looks great and for your first build, you should be very proud.

Home Page > In the body text where you mention repair and service, you might want to link this text to your repair and service page, likewise with any other text that is relevant i.e the brand names: Yamaha, Suzuki etc.

Images> This is the where sites shine and you have some lovely photography, but they look like they have been over compressed. Look at the originals and try and make them half the size so the Freeway compressor has less to do.

Page Titles > In the page inspector palette look at ‘title’ you might want to revise these to tie you into the product. York Road Marine St. James City Florida - Mercury inboard and outboard engines.

Links > On your Mercury page you have graphic for current promotions. The click takes the visitor to http://www.mercurymarine.com/about/index.php
you might want to open this page in a new window rather than the visitor being absorbed by another site. Click on the graphic > apple ‘k’ > opens Edit Hyperlink > choose _blank near the base. This will open the link in a new window.

Hope this helps - Kind regards RogerG


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For a first site, not bad at all. It’s a ton better than a lot of Marine based sites that I’ve come across. Right now I’m currently working on an Automotive and Marine engine and parts website and I know how hard it can be to get a design going that works for the type of people who often visit these sites. Not everyone is a boat person.

It’s very boat-esk and people who often visit these sites don’t get into the gimmicky web crap you see on a lot of other people’s sites and they just want to get the information they need without going through a 100 pages of garbage.

I’d be proud of myself for first having built the website and then I’d suggest building on the smart things that people have mentioned like more attractive page titles to tie the site together and RogerG hits on some great spots.

Also, nobody is “dumb” here on Freewaytalk. Moving text doesn’t make you considered “dumb”. We’re all learning here and everyone is here to help other people who ask for our help.


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Hi Misty Ann - design of any sort is difficult enough, but coping with the extra demands of a web site is greatly added effort!

In general, the idea is to lead the eye. The eye has to be drawn to the most important information first, the next important second, and so on. It takes a lot of experience and several techniques to get this done successfully. A few simple ones.

Make use of ‘white space’. In other words, allow elements space to breathe. Don’t pack things too tightly. I don’t necessarily mean literally white space, the gaps between elements could be any colour, it’s the gap that’s important.

Example (sticking my neck out here!): www.peterwardhomes.co.uk

Each important item is either surrounded by a gap, or is near other related items that are surrounded by a gap. It’s easy for the eye to follow what’s going on. Hopefully!

The extreme culmination of this principle would be placing a small advert in the middle of an otherwise white newspaper page. It would be really noticed in and among all the other pages crammed with adverts.

Navigation - I try to keep my menus to 7 elements or less. Not always possible but a good rule of thumb. Maybe you could combine all the engine manufacturers into one button named ‘Engines’ or similar, with a submenu for each manufacturer. Each manufacturer is mentioned in the page copy, so you won’t lose anything here. You could also link them from this copy to the relevant pages.

Use a coherent colour scheme. Three or four definite colours and a few hues of those colours at the most. My preference is for muted colours except for small areas of brighter colour where an element has to be emphasised. The other muted colours help exaggerate the effect of the small areas of bright colour. A candle is more effective at night than during the day.

Use a coherent font family. This really means one or possibly two font types with the differing weights adding emphasis only when necessary.

Overall, I try to convince a client that building a website is about what you leave out, and not about how much you can put in. Focus on the truly important, and ditch or relegate everything else to less important pages, if it must be there at all. Information overload is a recipe for users rapidly moving on.

Having said this - your site is much better than the first one I did. Much better. We all have to start somewhere, and yours is not a bad start. Thanks for being brave and asking. The right thing to do - it’s how I learned.


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