Topic: New site coming out (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="http://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=10269" title="Pages that link to Topic: New site coming out (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic: New site coming out <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

 
Wavmixer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Sunny SoCal
Insane since: Nov 2002

IP logged posted posted 01-08-2003 06:05 Edit Quote

Well one of my oldest client websites is ready for a face lift. http://www.wavmixer.com/keyboardconcepts

It will be replacing their current site at http://www.keyboardconcepts.com after the last couple of pages are done.

Hit me with your best shot, I won't run and hide if your mean to me


reitsma
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the bigger bedroom
Insane since: Oct 2000

IP logged posted posted 01-08-2003 06:37 Edit Quote

ooh! ooh!
do i get to claim first blood on this one?

better type quick...

ok, my first impression - ugh. i like the original better. at least the bad parts on that site were original.

whew.

the only thing worse than those red buttons are the way they look onmouseover. i'm sorry, but the whole navigation scheme looks like it's hitting the web a decade too late.

sorry, i really haven't been all that constructive, have i?

ok, as far as i can see, what this site lacks is forethought.

it looks like you gathered the content, and through it together in frontpage.

forethought is conisidering:

  • who will be most likely to read this website? (target audience)
  • what are they like?
  • what do i want to sell?
  • what sort of image am i trying to portay of the company and the product/service?
  • what information would my target audience most likely be seeking?
  • what parts of my site, if any, will be regularly updated?



forethought is keeping all these issues - and more - in mind as you design your site.

perhaps forethought would have established that a piano site should look classy, elegant, contemporary, and perhaps a little artistic and unique. this would mean a slightly different choice in colour scheme, for one. it perhaps would also convince you that a "click here!" "buy now" style of advertising could be inappropriate, and slightly cheapen the site. it also could lead you to deduce that bevels and dropshadows do not give the site the level of sophisitication required to communicate the desired image.

this idea of trying to enforce a set of established ideas on a site also encourage consistency and clarity to the site. at the moment, this does not seem the case - if you look at your left navigation menu (serif font, mixed case, slightly subdued and no mouseovers), and compare them with your top bar navigation (sans serif font, capital letters with drop shadow, quite glary and with mouseover effects), it seems they have been taken from two different sites altogether.

my advice?

Go and find some nice piano sites, see what you like about them, see which ones are communicating the sorts of things you want to communicate, and use a combination of sites (and your own imagination and creativity) as inspiration for a new site.



[This message has been edited by reitsma (edited 01-08-2003).]

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

IP logged posted posted 01-08-2003 07:24 Edit Quote

Nice opening shot by reitsma. If you're still standing, I've got a follow-up jab for you.

I will be brief, since reitsma did a good job of covering the general stuff...

About the navigation in general: as reitsma said, it appears to lack forethought. In other words, it's all over the place. You've got the links on the left (which are a bit hard to read, by the way), then those glaring red buttons across the top, and then the two picture-links on the right (with the unneccessary "click here" text)--there's no consistency, nothing hold the navigation together.

You're also using way too many fonts, but more importantly, you have way too little actual text on the front page. The lefthand links aren't rollovers; do they really need to be graphics? I'm also not sure if you need the "Welcome to the Keyboard Concepts Family" text in the middle--isn't that what the lefthand title graphic is for? You might consider putting the piano graphic up in the title bar (after shrinking it, of course) and putting more text in the main page--maybe even moving the about us info there. Remember, the less info you have on your front page, the more users have to click to find what they want.

Well, those are just a few tips to add to reitsma's advice. I think he has a very good point: you really need to rethink where you're going with this site, maybe even start from scratch. That's up to you, of course. At least you got rid of that blasted musical note circle thingy that follows the cursor.

Wavmixer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Sunny SoCal
Insane since: Nov 2002

IP logged posted posted 01-09-2003 21:54 Edit Quote

Well gee golly wilykers, only two responses? Thank you very much for your input. I do agree with most of everything y'all mentioned. Now here is the story. Keyboard Concepts has been my client since 1997 and this will be the third version web site I have made for them. On the previous versions I have had full control over the design. Now they have hired a big time west L.A. ad agency that has designed magazine, newspaper and TV ads for them. The whole idea behind the web site is that it needs to match the rest of the promotions. The ad company designed all of the graphics and layout. I originally had the black menu at the left using text with mouse over sub menus. The ad company wanted to use the graphic images and I complied with what they wanted. Other than writing the HTML for the site I also made the flash animation in the first splash screen. All of the design and artwork are from the agency.

I too think that the site leaves a lot to be desired, but I have no say in the design. So with that said, thank you for reaffirming my thoughts on the site.


Kartis Shone
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: Malmö, Sweden
Insane since: Mar 2002

IP logged posted posted 01-09-2003 23:18 Edit Quote

I can no more than agree with the above posts. As a musician and working at a Music Academy I definitely agree with reitsma that a serious piano company website needs to be classy - not cheap.

I am sorry for you Wavmixer, that you have nothing to say about the design. Sorry for the company owners that they will probably loose all their serious buyers with the help of the ad agency they hired. Seems like they know nothing about music business. Buying an instrument is a lifetime purchase, not something you do by mistake when surfing the web.

I like your old layout. The keyboard to the left is fun and kind of classy at the same time. I hate red advertisement text, boarders and pictures.

If you HAVE TO go for this cheap looking advertisment idea, maybe you should go for it hard. That is don't mix your better looking pictures and classier fonts with their crappy red plain texts and pictures. Make it as cheap as they want it to look - but don't put your signature under it. Make them ashamed, and run away as fast as possible afterwards.

reitsma
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the bigger bedroom
Insane since: Oct 2000

IP logged posted posted 01-10-2003 00:13 Edit Quote

some pretty funny comments there, kartis.

oh, and wav - sorry, i forgot that bit - lose the splash page.

Wavmixer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Sunny SoCal
Insane since: Nov 2002

IP logged posted posted 01-10-2003 05:52 Edit Quote

The owner and ad agency both wanted a flash animation. I thought that having a non-framed opening page would be a better place to put the flash. This way I could put all of the keywords in place for the spyders before going into the frames.

As far as the signiture file goes. That is free advertising for me. Not everyone is such a tough audience to sell to. If someone visits this site that will be advertised on TV, I just might pick up some new clients that will not have an ad agency.

Here is a client site that I'm working on. It still need more pictures of merchandise and content and is not done. http://haciendaimports.net . It blue stuco background started out as a light brown but the owner loves the color blue and had to have blue stuco.

Veneficuz
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: A graveyard of dreams
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 01-11-2003 14:11 Edit Quote

I only have a couple of things to add since almost everything has been said allready. The page title should be shorted down, to see the whole title I have to maximize the window at 1152. You should also run your page through a validator to check that the page uses valid formating.

If you really have to keep the splash screen you should change the background-color of it. Because of my default browser settings I get a blue background and a the white flash intro on top of that...

_________________________
"There are 10 kinds of people; those who know binary, those who don't and those who start counting at zero"



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