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Taking Care of Business
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Old February 28th, 2003, 09:14 PM   #16
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Hi Rob,
Are you referring to the ochacups.com? It was a nice, simple site. It has a message to communicate and that's what it did. There wasn't anything that took you away from the content of the site. A couple small things I didn't like, but it's all personal preference really.

I wish Comcast didn't discontinue USENET. The flash forum there is huge.
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Old February 28th, 2003, 09:37 PM   #17
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I really don't like Flash for websites. All the sites I've seen that use Flash fall into one of two categories: they're either extremely well designed and amazing to look at but are confusing to navigate and offer little content, or they've got lots of great content, but made the mistake of using Flash in the first place, which isn't built for accomodating a lot of content past a few sentences. Flash is often 'clunky' and most 100% Flash sites don't hold a candle to traditional, well-designed HTML sites. HTML isn't dead, you can still do a great deal with it. Flash has a long way to go until it is well suited for general web design, but until then it should be used sparingly.
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Old February 28th, 2003, 10:11 PM   #18
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I mostly agree with everything that's being said here. 99% percent of sites on the net needn't use Flash for 99% of the content they deliver.

Still, Flash has its place and it's good to see well-crafted sites that afford a higher level of multimedia/interactivity than you could otherwise provide with HTML.

Much worse than using Flash is using HTML but cramming in every last tacky JavaScript applet, DHTML script, animated GIF, and MIDI trinket you can find. I think we've all been guilty of this at one time or another. There's something seductive about an animated news ticker on your site.

On the other hand, an HTML coder versed in PHP/MySQL can do some amazing server-side tricks that are invisible to the client side (and hence, the web surfer). Knowing just a little PHP goes a long way--I'm always pleasantly surprised to learn how many useful functions are part of the standard library. For example--allowing a form to send an e-mail? One function! Setting up a URL redirect? One function--you don't even have to use a META tag. For anyone who loves crafting web pages by coding with HTML and a text editor, learning PHP is the next step toward putting together cool sites with ease.

(Alex, I think your site is very nice. You've got a great-looking dog, too.)
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Old March 30th, 2003, 12:26 AM   #19
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Most interesting to see how you view and evaluate one another's sites! Personally I have some doubts about the effectiveness of websites as a marketing tool and sometimes wonder if it is'nt just a lot of hype.
The "trick" seems to be to get the customer to view one's site - that's the easier part - the major problem lies in getting the right client to guide towards one's site.
Or am I just negative?
If you would, I would appreciate your comments on my own site. My site is very simple though, because I view a site to be and extension of a good business card. . .
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Old March 30th, 2003, 12:40 AM   #20
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Ewald,

I like the overall design of your site. The colors and style complement the focus well. It loaded a bit slowly though. I'm not sure if that's due to a spike in users locally, or if it's on your end. One thing...I'd like to see some sample footage on your site. Going to a videography site and not seeing sample footage is like going to a photography site with no photos.

As for your comment <<Personally I have some doubts about the effectiveness of websites as a marketing tool and sometimes wonder if it is'nt just a lot of hype.>>... in my experience, web sites work well as either a delivery tool or a digital brochure. It's great to hand out business cards with your web site address and be able to offer interested parties detailed information about what you offer...and, more importantly, to show them samples.

If you aren't offering hands-on services or products from your site, then it's basically just a brochure...but with the potential of being greatly enhanced. But that enhancement takes some creative thinking. Just making a web site and hoping people find it will rarely bring in much business.

There are ways to weave the site in with your business offerings that will enhance the level of customer service, and in the process, bring more people to your site. For instance, it's simple to create a password-protected client area that allows them to preview and approve footage and/or order copies. If, for instance, a wedding videographer sets up something like that, then sends out IDs and passwords to everyone in the wedding party, they've accomplished not only the possibility of immediate sales, but also future sales from people who will remember you and possibly hire you in the future.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 06:06 PM   #21
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Website

We do a lot of business from our website. We did it our selves and we update it regularly.

www.earcandyproductions.net
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Old April 10th, 2003, 05:38 AM   #22
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Hello All -

I would love a crituqe of our web site.

www.RANSOM-ROSEN.com

I designed it all in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe GoLive and it uses Apple's QuickTIme if you want to view the minimovie.

Feel free to rip it appart if you see anything that could be better. How else do I become a better designer? One man graphics department - Web, Print and Video...

Thanks for the feedback in advance, I look forward to it!

- AR
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Old April 10th, 2003, 07:09 AM   #23
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Robin,

Nice site. Easy to navigate and simple design. That's what I like to see in commercial sites. There are two bad links in your menu, though..."Editing Service" and "Photo-to-Video" produce 404 errors.

Aaron,

I like your site, too. Clean, simple, attractive design...and easy to navigate. Sorry...nothing to trash. ;)

For sites like both of yours, where a lot of information is offered, I appreciate simplicity and easy navigation. My site is more just a business card or brochure...not much there...and not much interactivity. So, I jazzed it up a bit design-wise to compensate for content shortcomings. Haven't gotten any feedback on the new design yet...if you have time, I'd like to know your thoughts.
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Old April 10th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #24
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Hi John.

Thanks for the kind words. Re: your site. I like it, very nice. The rotating torch light is an esp. cool effect. Took me a second to figure it out then... BANG... it was done in flash.

I like the way the navigation scheme rolls vert. like a film roll. Very creative!

Well done my friend.

Have a great day all...


- AR
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Old April 11th, 2003, 03:54 PM   #25
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Coming back to James's original post: I'd browsed through half a dozen pages idly wondering why the whole thing was black and white -- before remembering what colour most zebras are....

I'm on the side of those who don't believe in using Flash unless there's an excellent reason. 'Because you can' doesn't strike me as good enough reason.

No problem with navigation using the little squares; you soon get used to them. I confess to a feeling of being slightly lost on occasion, when all I wanted to do was to go back to where I'd come from. With space not being a problem on your pages I'd be tempted to include a [ a href="Javascript:parent.history.back()" ] link in there. (Javascript is all one word but the BBS software won't display it on the screen like that!)

While you say that the text content is temporary I'd avoid using justified text even though the font size is tightly specified in the stylesheet. Without automatic hyphenation, justified text tends to look messy.

Just a quickie comment for Rick Foxx.

On your home page and at least one of the other pages on the site you intended to use a white page background but this is not specified in the <body> tag. Anyone who has set up his or her system with (for example) a non-fatiguing pale grey window background will see your logo, the image and all those navigation buttons on grey: most untidy and not at all the way you wanted it to appear. :-)

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Old April 12th, 2003, 05:18 AM   #26
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hi. thought i'd put my 2 cents in too. I designed the pages for www.docuwild.com myself and was looking into making a flash version. But in the end i opted against it. Flash is fine for presentations & intros (though how many times don't you click on "skip intro" :) but when it ends up in the interface it usually just gets annoying. And for whatever cause.. never put music on a webpage. Especially not one you can't turn off. Nothing annoys me personally as much as suddenly have music blasting out of the speakers because i went to a webpage. Especially if i am already listening to something else.

Instead if you want some interaction with your menu elements, just use CSS2 & javascript. Keep in mind though that it can be quite a few battles before you get the CSS to be compliant with more than 2 browsers. (CSS is "stylesheets" btw)

Anyway, keep up the good work and concentrate more on content than flashy gizmos. The people who are looking to you wants to know 3 things right away. 1) what you can do, 2) how well you do it (and if you have clients =) and 3) how they can get intouch with you. Ive seen some pages where you have to actually do some detective work to find out how to even contact the company. This imho is not a company who wants business =)

/Henrik
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Old April 12th, 2003, 05:36 AM   #27
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Henrik-

I would love to know if our site meets those 3 things. I think it does...

www.RANSOM-ROSEN.com

- AR
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Old April 12th, 2003, 04:26 PM   #28
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Aaron. Yepp. i think that site does pretty much what it sets out to do. The only thing i was missing is a list of your current and previous clients. There are a lot of places on the net who talk alot about what they claim they can do, but the ones with the long clientlists have at least some form of proof that they deliver. (not that reliable proof but its atleast a start ;)

And your video production page might need a bit more info on what services you can provide and examples.

But it's a good webpage. easy to find the info and easy to navigate.

/Henrik
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Old April 13th, 2003, 09:48 AM   #29
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Thanks.

Re: the Client List. We once had a client listing but decided to take it down. Some of our clients did not want to be listed.

Now we just use the web portfolio as an, uh, undercover client list. 9 web sites, at least 9 clients.

The other reason we do not have a client list is that a big chunk of them are tech. support people. It is very hard to show the tech stuff with out people getting board... but I guess thats what I can use my new GL2 for.

Have a great day!

- AR
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