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Old February 16th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #1
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New website design

Well after a month or so, of designing, tweaking and re-tweaking, my new website redesign is finally online.

If anyone has some time, I would appreciate some feedback (good and bad) about the new look.

My old site was too copy heavy (yes, I did cut copy here, believe it or not). I wanted to give my site a tight, fresh, and graphically friendly look.

My main emphasis of the site is Wedding video, with an added focus on Event video.

Here's the site:
LVProductions
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:59 PM   #2
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Michael,
Very nice look and very functional. Really appreciated the samples right up front and the flash viewer really plays them quick. Quality is high. Good job.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #3
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Great site Michael! It's very well laid out and easily navigable. It loads fast too. Very unlike a lot of bludomain sites I go too.


My only comment would be the home page. There's something I find "amiss" with the strong royal blue on the right hand side as bg color.

It maybe perhaps a personal preference. But there may be some other color choices which are more elegant and softer on the eyes.

Cheers.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #4
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Michael-

Great site! Usually when someone mentions that a site used to be copy-heavy it still is. Not so in this case. I found the information to be comprehensive, and easy to find.

I'm not sure what it looks like on Jason's monitor, but on mine the blue of the main page is not too strong at all. In fact, I think it is a good use of color (as are all the pages).

If I were to nit-pick (ins't it great when a critique is just a nit-pick?) I might change the phrasing of one sentence "Or maybe, on their wedding day, show your children how vibrant and full of life you both were at your wedding." to read "Or maybe show your children on their wedding day how vibrant and full of life you both were on yours."

It's not often I can say this, but I would honestly contact you regarding your services based on this web site. Well done!
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Old February 16th, 2008, 10:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Magbanua View Post
Great site Michael! It's very well laid out and easily navigable. It loads fast too. Very unlike a lot of bludomain sites I go too.


My only comment would be the home page. There's something I find "amiss" with the strong royal blue on the right hand side as bg color.

It maybe perhaps a personal preference. But there may be some other color choices which are more elegant and softer on the eyes.

Cheers.
Thanks Jason and everyone for the feedback.
Actually I think that I have to agree with Jason here a bit. After viewing the main page again, I realized that the blue is a bit too hot, and hard on the eyes.

So I decided to keep in the blue theme and calm the color down a bit by making it a bit more of a subdued blue, almost jade color. I had already used green in a couple of spots and wanted something that was calming (reds were too hot) for the main page.
I am also a graphic designer, and studies have shown that the color can influence emotional reactions in people (orange=hunger, green=freshness etc.) with blue=trust. So I wanted blue for my main page more than any color.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Frank Simpson View Post
Michael-

Great site! Usually when someone mentions that a site used to be copy-heavy it still is. Not so in this case. I found the information to be comprehensive, and easy to find.

It's not often I can say this, but I would honestly contact you regarding your services based on this web site. Well done!
Thanks Frank, that's a great compliment coming from a fellow vendor.
I'm happy how tight the site turned out. While not as elegant as some peoples sites, I wanted something that was both masculine and feminine and the same time.

The only thing I have to now is to optimize my site a bit better for web engines. Not much, but a bit more tweaking of the meta data and alt tags. And add a testimonial page as well as a blog.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 03:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jason Magbanua View Post
Great site Michael! It's very well laid out and easily navigable. It loads fast too. Very unlike a lot of bludomain sites I go too.

Cheers.
One other thing in regards to the bludomain comment.
I had originally started off with developing an all Flash based site, but decided against it for a couple of reasons.

1. It is possible, but extremely difficult to optimize a Flash website for search engine usage.
2. From my experience, all Flash based sites, tend to run a bit slow, and sometimes lock up in browsers

So I figured that it would be best to develop the site in mainly HTML and just rely on Flash for the Video Gallery, by using a Flash jukebox. That and of course I do a lot of Flash numbers (audio/video) encoding crunching on my end, to get the best image at the smallest file sizes. My average FLV file is somewhere around 10-15 mb's or so.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #8
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Wow, that is a beautiful web site. Did you use any type of program to help build it or did you just use code. I am vaguely familiar with programs. I'm envious of your web site :)
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Old March 24th, 2008, 07:19 PM   #9
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Wow, that is a beautiful web site. Did you use any type of program to help build it or did you just use code. I am vaguely familiar with programs. I'm envious of your web site :)
Mary thanks for the compliement. I'm happy how it came out as well. I went through several different designs and tweaks on this one. I was tired of my old site and thought that it needed a much tighter, fresher look. The main goal was to relate a fresh light hearted feel for potential brides and video clientel. This is why I tried to change up the colors on each page to create a feeling and mood for what the page contained. Of course it also helped to have good video from which I could pull frames from.

I used code (HTML and designed in Dreamweaver) for everything except the JAVA Script Menu. For that I sued a program to create the menu and inserted it in my HTML.

The video gallery I designed using a flash video jukebox that someone referred me to.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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everything looks great, but i do not like the way information is left to side of the screen while these big pictures take over almost all the space and emphasizethe "boxed" look of the pages.
i do not like too the way page redraw/switch (would be better with menu and header in a persistent frame ? or page transition ?).
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Old March 24th, 2008, 09:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
everything looks great, but i do not like the way information is left to side of the screen while these big pictures take over almost all the space and emphasizethe "boxed" look of the pages.
i do not like too the way page redraw/switch (would be better with menu and header in a persistent frame ? or page transition ?).
What do you mean by the redraw?
I assume that you are referring to the JAVA drop down menu. I tried having everything in one frame but preferred a redraw menu style with highlighting. It's a personal preference I guess.

As for the large dominating pictures, that's what I intended to do. I wanted each page to be visually dominant with large graphics to covey an attitude for each page. Sounds strange, but the content is actually secondary in my thought process. Especially since some pages have extensive text.

My old site was too text heavy and as such I wanted to go int total opposite direction and go more graphical. Besides doing live sound and video, I am also a graphic designer for a direct mail company (mainly print but also do some web), and one of the main marketing tactics we employ is a dominant image (could also just be large bold text) to convey the thought, then the headline, then the copy and offer.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 12:18 AM   #12
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good design but you're not taking advantage of vertical real estate - on a monitor with decent resolution, you're still forcing me to scroll instead of just being able to see everything.. otherwise, good job - lots of previews and easy to find info
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Old March 25th, 2008, 07:52 AM   #13
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I don't like the font... it's probably just me but I hate seeing Arial or Times on a Web site. Maybe something like Tahoma or Verdana? They should come with any Windows box, and if you have Office for Mac installed they will be on your Mac.

I like the blue color on the main page... don't care so much for the purple on the 'About Us' page though.

I like the use of the pictures, and I thought the Vendors page was a good idea.

Also, I agree with Mike about the vertical resolution. Although it would interrupt your design, it would be nice not having to scroll. Other than that I like it (except for the font!)
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:51 AM   #14
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It takes allot of work from conception to final. Being a former web guy I can relate, although I continue to design my own sites.

At the moment I'm viewing your site through a PeeCee using Firefox.
When I roll over any menu or submenu, the main context underneath shifts left-right. It does not repeat this bug if another mouse-over is required. This does not happen using IE.

I would suggest when your visitors check availability via gigbuilder and the date is unavailable, that you provide a link back to the contact page instead of the home page. Less of a drill down if they need to try another date..

Congrats on your bookings, I clicked on "Editing Status" and see you have a moderate backlog :-)

Perhaps in the future for the next revamp, you can include other types of video work in your portfolio i.e. stage, band....
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Old March 25th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #15
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Vince thanks.
I am actually going to be adding some stage and band previews in the future.
they will be on a separate video page. The only thing about my stage shows is that they are for a lot of middle and elementary schools, and I have this thing about posting video of children online (I'm not a huge fan of that. It's just a personal privacy and comfort thing).

The flash jukebox is great in the fact that i only have to update an XML sheet and the video changes are instant. Much more efficient that having to create a separate page for each video, which I did on my last site.

As for the menu shift, I did experience this on my PC using Firefox, but it does not happen on my Mac (which I'm on now). Everything else was tested on Safari, IE, and Netscape with no issues. Don't know what the dael is with PC Firefox though.

Thanks for taking the time to look.
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