HTML Opinions needed....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DeathStar1, Mar 18, 2002.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Other than telling me my work stinks. That I already know [​IMG]. I need to know how to make it look....smoother, or more pro looking. I'm trying to come up with a new site design that I plan on sticking with for the next few years, and I don't seem to be making any headway...
    I was promised an HTML class in a VC course I took a few years ago, but that hack of a school didn't even get online access untill we left, so that was a wasted opportunity. Now I'm back at square one.
    The new test site is at http://www.ninjaturtlesnetwork.com/test.htm . Right now I'm just toying around with menu designs. The original, of course, can be spotted at the base address.
    Thanks for any help..
     
  2. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

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    One of the hardest things for beginners to do is learn that less is more. There's no more important thing to remember when you design a site.

    On your test page, from a typographical point of view, everything is too dense. Kill the shadows and outlines--it makes your menu difficult to read. Consider making the text smaller and giving it some "white space" in which to breathe. Also, fewer colors will make everything coalesce better.

    My 2 cents. Good luck with your project.
     
  3. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    Hello,

    My suggestions:

    1. Get rid of the frameset. Unless you can truly justify the need for frames, their benefit is usually outweighed by their cost.

    2. Color Scheme - Be very careful that the colors you choose are appropriate for the subject of your site...blend well together and don't strain the eyes of your user. I for one have a hard time even looking at the two colors on your current site.

    3. I agree...lose the drop shadow or give the menu options more room. Changing the background color to something less severe might help the text become more readable.

    4. With that many options you might want to consider moving the menu options to the left in a more organized fashion.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  4. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >>One of the hardest things for beginners to do is learn that less is more. There's no more important thing to remember when you design a site. >>
    I would exactly call myself a beginer. I've been doing it for the past ten or so years, starting out with a wordpad like program, and only recenlty moving up to DreamWeaver. I like to use the term un-educated [​IMG]...
    I tried making the text smaller on the original page, and that seemed just too tough to read, wich is I tried it a bit bigger this time around. Probably too big, so I'll rescale it. Hopefully the scale of the text will allow me to space it out some more...
     
  5. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >>1. Get rid of the frameset. Unless you can truly justify the need for frames, their benefit is usually outweighed by their cost. >>

    True, but I usually find it easier to manage with the frameset. Just change the menu once if I come up with a new design, and it's done. No going through 100 or so different sub pages making the same updated change.

    >>2. Color Scheme - Be very careful that the colors you choose are appropriate for the subject of your site...blend well together and don't strain the eyes of your user. I for one have a hard time even looking at the two colors on your current site. >>

    That's what someone else warned me about. I changed the color of the red from a bright to a darker color in the menu design, and I'll have to do the same with the main page. I was originally going to go with blue, but I liked the look of the red a bit better. The green almost made it look too....sickly looking, if that makes any sense...

    >>4. With that many options you might want to consider moving the menu options to the left in a more organized fashion. >>

    I was thinking of moving the menu to the left side of the screen, but I tried that before. For some reason, I like the idea of a top menu better. Guess I'll have to try the side menu again...

    Thanks for the tips. I'll try and post an updated version soon...
     
  6. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    A few suggestions from a layman:
    - Blue on red is a no-no. (they are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and so require slightly different amounts of focusing by our eyes. In certain situations, you can get a shimmering effect, from your eye shifting focus on the red/blue borders.)
    - Also, you've got dark blue with a black shadow on dark red. The contrast is too low. And because you're using a narrow, but chubby, font, the gaps and holes in the letters get lost, making it harder to read. Increase contrast, and maybe use a less chubby font.
    - Frames: Don't use them. Ever. They are so much easier to design with. But they are harder for the user to deal with. You can't bookmark links properly either.
     
  8. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    I understand the problem of code management and your desire to use frames to reduce maintenance headaches. My suggestion would be to use a dynamic scripting language (ASP, CF, PHP, etc.) and implement include files. Another solution and one that I have used is to create a .js JavaScript file that contains all of your commonly used JavaScript functions. Straight HTML allows you to call this JavaScript file using the following command (ignore the single ticks...they are there so the code would display):

    '
     
  9. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >>Having given a bunch of criticisms, I'll end with praise. The most important part of a site is content. It looks like you've got a lot of stuff on your website, which would be appealing to TMNT fans. And it's in a fairly clean, uncluttered design. >>
    Heh, Praise is so rarley given these days ...I'll take whatever I can get. [​IMG]
    When I first started out, the site was all text. I have it saved somewhere, I'll have to refind it, and I didn't update it for at least a year. Then I did some experimenting and did what just about every other page did at the time and borrowed graphics from different sites. Very little original information.
    I didn't care for it at all. Then, I got a TV Tuner in 1996, and two years later, managed to get 3D Studio Max and Photoshop on a Student Discount. Since then, I've been using all original material. If it's on another site, it won't be on mine [​IMG].
    The only hard part about mainting the site is new stuff. The 3D Section is the only one that seems to get updated these days, as I try to self teach the program. I havn't found any new TMNT connections to interview, although I plan to go back to that soon. I took a buch o' screen shots off the credits from the show, so it gave me a bunch of new names to work with. Maby I'll get lucky with that.
    I would have to say the ultimate interview would be with Kevin Eastman, although Peter Laird was a big plus as well, not to mention a lucky find. On the voice actor side of things, I'm currently trying to hunt down James Avery(Shredder), Peter Reneday(Splinter), and the VA's for Irma(Jennifer Darling), and April(Renae Jacobs). Info on these four seems non existant...
     
  10. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Make sure it works on a variety of web browsers (Opera, Lynx, etc.) or notify the user that you need a specific browser. Check out some graphic design books at the library. Color & contrast are critical (we need to easily read the text). Bright red isn't the best background (very few colors will stand out against it). You could have the best technically designed site but if the color schemes are bad no one will visit it...
     
  11. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Adam;

    Do you suppose you might be able to give me a hand with my own website? I was looking to do exactly what you describe — using one or two main files for the layout. I checked out the links you provided, but they're way over my head. I know the basics of HTML, and I don't want to do anything more complicated that what you said. The pages you link to have a lot of info on forms and programs and lots of other things that confuse and scare me.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  12. John_Pech

    John_Pech Extra

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    Untitled Document
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Carl - while it's not very difficult to use any of the server-side languages (PHP, ASP, etc.) you might find it more effective to use a site management program. I've not used this one, but it's geared towards the novice, and provides templates (what you want, to help automate the design process). Info about "CityDesk" and the trial download are here: http://www.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/
     
  14. Jon_R

    Jon_R Stunt Coordinator

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    No doubt my work enjoyed streaming those anime episodes. Very interesting to see the fundamental changes made so American audiences would accept them.

    Content is vital, and you've got that. There are some spelling errors here and there, but those are easily fixed. What you need is a basic stable and flexible building block to your website.

    If you go to my website you see its just a log of daily stuff, but I don't write all that. I use a program to manage it. However, I also use SSI to include a sidebar on each page.

    You can never tell by looking at the html source that SSI is used, its SERVER side so when you see it, it looks like the html was added in.

    The interface you've chosen is sort of cumbersome for every page. Don't get me wrong, I love the custom work you've done but using that on every page, instead of say making a larger version on the very front page with a fancy style intro page w/ links.

    BTW the colors on my website aren't the greatest, I am still working on them.
     
  15. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Here's an updated design I was toying around with. While I did take the advice into account, I seem to be following the same patterns I've always had, sadly...I also need to find a lighter color background match.
    LMK what you think...
    Site test
    I'm also looking for a Non Java Counter, considering I can't get the one on my current page to display thanks to Windows XP. Any cool looking ones out there?
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I like the colors much better. Bright text on dark background can work; I see it occaisionally.
    I suggest using text for the menu, not images. They will load faster, and allow people to resize the text if desired (it's a bit small on my monitor).
    Re: counter. Do you have access to your server logs? If so, there's no need for a counter, as all the info is in there. In any case, I recommend against counters. They are so 1997 [​IMG] (But if you insist, counters are trivial in PHP, if you have access to server-side programs.)
    Oh, and make your logo-banner a link to the primary page.
     
  17. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    Yep, but my Home connection is so danged slow, it's easier just to view the counter rather than get an analyzed log reported up.
    And I mentioned before that my site was online since 1994. Here's what it looked like for about a year [​IMG]..Dear God, it hurts to look at that today....
    First Page
     

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