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KARN
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: North Bay, Ontario, CA
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-24-2003 06:57 Edit Quote

Its actually been launched for over 2 weeks but I had to get throught many bugs and glitches before I actually tell anyone. I know there's still some bugs... like the one in the music player and such but i'm still working on it (on the weekends) to perfect it...
http://www.fusedeffects.com

after next week I'm adding christmas lights and stuff on to add some christmas theme to it.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

IP logged posted posted 11-24-2003 15:02 Edit Quote

Overall, I like the feel of the site. I'm a minimalist myself, so I understand where you're coming from. I do have a few comments, though:

Background music: This is a pet peeve of mine, and I know there are others out there who don't like it. I appreciate the fact that the music can be turned off, and that the device is featured prominently, but I think the music should be off by default. If someone wants to listen to the background music while browsing your site, then they can turn it on.

Too little: Less may be more, but I think there comes a point where too little is too much. For me, this design just looks washed out. There is too little contrast between the white background and the light gray, and the odd colored-text highlight is just not doing it for me. Aesthetics aside, the lack of contrast between the text and the background makes the site less than comfortable to read. It's not unreadable, but it's not as comfortable as it could be.

Pixel font: I find the pixel font (used in the menu and other areas) very hard to read. It mixes upper and lower case, and distorts some letter shapes. I don't know if it's supposed to be cool or not, but I don't think it's a very good typeface.

Vertical space: The header area is way too big. The header graphic itself takes up almost half of my browser area (maximized at 1024 x 768) vertically, and when you factor in the navigation bars in the center, the content area itself starts two-thirds of the way down the page. To add insult to injury, certain pages have vertical scrollbars, which means I have to manipulate two scrollbars (the internal scrollbar and my browser scrollbar) to see the content. This is not good.

404: I'm not sure how I feel about simply having an image for a 404 page. Perhaps an image and some plain text? I think it would be more accessible that way, and easier to process even for those of us who don't have to worry about certain accessibility issues.

Copy: Check your copy thoroughly. I noticed a few awkward spots, like "these tutorials are provided to you by" (on the Tutorials page). You might want to have a third party give it a once over to catch glaring errors like that.

That might seem like a lot of criticism, but I think the site has a lot going for it as well. It is simple, and that is a good thing. It's also consistent across the board--even the forum fits in, which is a rarity. The things I mentioned here are just some things that I think are preventing the site from fully realizing its potential.

[Edit: Grammar 'n' stuff]

___________________________
Suho: www.liminality.org

KARN
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: North Bay, Ontario, CA
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 11-26-2003 01:21 Edit Quote

thanks a lot suho... i'm working daily to perfect my page... thanks for the tips...

Cameron
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Brisbane
Insane since: Jan 2003

IP logged posted posted 11-27-2003 13:48 Edit Quote

Can't view the page as it keeps timing out. Is your host having problems at the moment?

KARN
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: North Bay, Ontario, CA
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 12-03-2003 06:25 Edit Quote

Yes sorry about that... our host was a little unstable for a while

Michael
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: *land
Insane since: Nov 2000

IP logged posted posted 12-03-2003 09:51 Edit Quote

Ohhh... I guess I'll give an opinion or two about this.

To start off, I'm going to hit up the same topics that Suho has covered above just so you can bounce the thoughts around yourself and get two people's perspectives on the exact same topics/aspects.

Background Music: I'm in agreeance with Suho on this. While it's become slightly less of a pet peeve of mine in the last year... I still don't like it too much. I also appreciate the fact that the music can be turned off ... and the buttons are featured prominently. I'll have to disagree with Suho about defaulting the music off. As he's said, it's his personal preference not to have the music -- and there actually are people out there that enjoy having the music on. However, that being said... I think the only music that I find tolerable on websites these days is when it's at an extremely low volume in the background. 95% of the time when I'm surfing around on the web, I'm listening to music on my computer.... so unless the music is low in the background of the site... it's going to annoy me to some degree.

Too Little: I'm a little torn on this one..... but I'll splurge and say that I think you could infact use a little more contrast throughout the site. In general, I think you just need to "tighten" things up a bit and toss in a dash of contrast here and there.
I took 10 minutes and just worked over a screen cap.
For me.... this would probably work a fair amount better:



All I've done is some re-positioning, tightening, and brought up the contrast/changed the colour on a few things. I find it loads more appealing because I don't get the "washed out" feel nearly as much. Some of the things going on in there are just a result of me playin around -- not to be taken as advice.
Just some things to think about ~

Pixel Font: I happen to like pixel fonts quite a bit.... use 'em all the time. I might go as far to say that I use some unreadably small ones at times.... but that doesn't mean I'm oblivious to what works and what doesn't. I dont' like the font either.... for the same reason that Suho mentioned. "It mixes upper and lowercase". I'd rather just see 'em all in caps than have lower case "b's" with uppercase "R's".... or whatever other instances exist in there.

Vertical Space: While I hadn't actually read down this far in Suho's review yet.... I think I've somewhat addressed this with the little "mock up" that I did. Personally.... I'd tighten things up more than I've shown above. Maybe toss the audio controls all the way up at the top... and take the little bits of holly that are opposite from the audio controls.. and put them on the same plane as the menu. You'll eliminate another quarter or half inch of useless space.

404: I don't have a problem with a lone image for the 404. I think it works fine. Slightly more readable would be nice... but I think it's fine overall.

Copy: Suho's advice, while seemingly trivial... is something we should all practice a little more.


I'd like to mimic Suho's comments about consistancy. The site flows... there's no doubt of that. I think you're showing a good product here.
A couple other notes from things that have crossed my mind:
When I was at the 404 page.. I had to use the back button on my browser............ by doing so, I essentially reset the main page, therefore the music came back on again. Fairly annoying.
The buttons on the left side bother me. They're links to pertainent things.... They're labeled "features"... but they're not getting much "love" over there in my opinion. I'd try giving them a little bit of colour. Honestly, I completely disregarded them for a little while because I thought they were just larger versions of the type of links that appear on the right side.

As far as the site being washed out or hard to read... I think you need to utilize what you've already set in motion on the page.
I could end up being off the mark, but it's worth a shot to incorperate that shade of yellow you're using .... throughout more of the site. Of course... I'm a sucker for yellow. heh.
So yea, use more of that yellow.. and use more of the black text. This grey on grey thing just isn't going to cut it for all your text stuffs, in my opinion. It'll work in certain spots... but not for the main chunk of content in the middle of the page, I don't think.

The little "blinking" next to the menu buttons is slightly annoying.. and doesn't give the same "smoothness" feel that you get from the site. I'd drop it and go with something else to identify the mouse-over.

Whether or not that's a good friend.... I'd stop the animation on the 3 link button down on the right side. Motion draws the eye.... even as subtle as it is.

The line, "Welcome to FusedEffects, the online hybrid of visual and auditory stimuli." bothers me. First off, I think it's "over the top". Second off... that sort of jibberish get's used over n' over n' over n' over n' over again. (often in this style of site) I think it's annoying.... though it may appeal to other folks. If you like it... might as well keep it, I suppose.

For final notes:
Good job. It's a good looking site with a fair amount of appeal. It's smooth, clean, not overly-original, but pretty well executed. I think you need to tweek some things... but you're well on your way to something better than the masses of the web produce on a daily basis.

Cheers.
[ side note: P3K. yay... I feel so special... warm fuzzies all over. ]

KARN
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: North Bay, Ontario, CA
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 12-04-2003 22:04 Edit Quote

Thanks a lot for the tips... I'll have to hold changes till after New Years though. Really, really busy stuff at my dad's company. But thanks a lot for the suggestions.



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