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Old May 3rd, 2006, 03:10 PM   #1
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Critique my site, part 2.

About six weeks ago I posted my business website for critique. One of the good suggestions that came up was to have a website directed specifically at brides (as Travis said, "brides want to feel special"!)

So here it is:

http://www.thecinematicwedding.com

Note: Viewing this site requires Macromedia Flash.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 03:28 PM   #2
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I just looked over it and for the most part it looks nice. Easily navigated, not overly complicated. I like that there is no 'non-skippable' demo or animation at the beginning. It loads quickly. The animation wasn't really overdone, although I don't care for the spinning hearts whenever you mouse over a picture. One other thing that I didn't really like was the vertical text on your headings. I found it annoying to read the text sideways. I'm talking about the different section headings, the "Your Weddng Video, Our Demo Video" etc. I like the pictures you used though. They look good.

With all of this said, it looks much better than my site. So well done. Hopefully others will have a more detailed analysis of the site.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:35 PM   #3
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You need to get rid of the rollover effect on small images that are not buttons. Having an effect on a small image is the industry standard for for a button.

Other than that your site looks very, very good.

Mike
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 06:03 PM   #4
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Chris,

You should make even smaller, because i was still able to see it:)
OK, that was a joke!

Comments: It is too small, very very small! You have to consider that when people browse the net might do it through 15", 14" or 13" inches monitor which means that it won't look good since it only covers 1/3 of the screen.

Also the vertical links do not look good but confusing.

Pricing on public is not good,hide it, it ll give you more flexibility in the future.

I liked the "theknot" look and colors. Just make the site bigger and it ll look wonderful.



Size does matter in everything (from SUV's to camcorders) - the bigger the better.

Good luck with your business - Anthony
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 06:40 PM   #5
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vertical buttons

I have to agree, the vertical text isn't the most easily read text on the page.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:07 PM   #6
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consumers in general want prices listed as chris has. how would it give you more flexibility if the rates werent listed? use your own judgement on this one chris...do what works best for your business. keeping rates available for viewing or not. i will always keep them posted and our clients like the fact that we do. im sure by not having rates available will start communication between you and prospective client(maybe).....but overall, it sucks to go to a website with a product or service listed and no prices(just call or email now for that), that really sucks....and may turn some folks off(i would bet that it does). but having your rates listed will certainly not turn anyone away unless they couldnt afford you to begin with.

i liked the look of your site a lot. like others said....its a little small(scaled i guess) but really nice. sweet colors too.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Mooney
Chris,

You should make even smaller, because i was still able to see it:)
OK, that was a joke!

Comments: It is too small, very very small! You have to consider that when people browse the net might do it through 15", 14" or 13" inches monitor which means that it won't look good since it only covers 1/3 of the screen.

Also the vertical links do not look good but confusing.

Pricing on public is not good,hide it, it ll give you more flexibility in the future.

I liked the "theknot" look and colors. Just make the site bigger and it ll look wonderful.



Size does matter in everything (from SUV's to camcorders) - the bigger the better.

Good luck with your business - Anthony
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:45 PM   #7
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Why I don't have pricing on line:
A. No one (of my competitioners) know my pricing because,,,they shouldn't!
The reason is,,,because they are my competition:)
i.e. If I know that "chris" offers a service for $1.500 , then i ll offer $1.400 and get the job - simple, right?
B. I am flexible, I have booked wedding in my normal rates, and in times ,,,of starvation(!) I booked for 1k (!) . In simple , I can "play" with pricing with different customers.
C. I can change my pricing in the middle of the seazon (i actually just did) just because feel that i am "hot" or because i am in starvation - did i mention flexible?

Most professionals i know do not post pricing - some give a "starting" price (when they have many packages to chose from).
Videography and photograpy do not sell appliances but services.
That is why I will never post prices (all though i did when i first started!)

Chris, i ll put it simple : if you and me do business in the same area and i know your prices and seen your clips (i don't post prices neither clips) then i ll get all the business. Why? Think about it, makes sence with all writen above.


Once again, good luck.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 08:12 PM   #8
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hmmm, yep, i still disagree.

our company:
prices high-medium to high-end*
rates posted*
sample clips posted*
no low ball rates-we stick to our prices and get them everytime*

our competition is not the low ball guys, our clients can see a major difference in our work and personalitites from that. if they want a 1k videographer, they dont call us, or if they do...we simply decline.

our competition is not a big deal, we have actually referred over 20 clients to various competitors this year whos work we respect(reason- we were booked on particular dates and the networking has been good)

average weddings booked: 30 to 40 per year and thats more than enough for us as we do other production work.

the clients we have worked with would not have went with someone else do to saving a couple hundred bucks......they not only book us for our work but for who we are as well(fact).

I never said video or photo sells appliances, i said products "or" services, RE-READ my post.

do your thing though....doesnt effect me.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Mooney
Why I don't have pricing on line:
A. No one (of my competitioners) know my pricing because,,,they shouldn't!
The reason is,,,because they are my competition:)
i.e. If I know that "chris" offers a service for $1.500 , then i ll offer $1.400 and get the job - simple, right?
B. I am flexible, I have booked wedding in my normal rates, and in times ,,,of starvation(!) I booked for 1k (!) . In simple , I can "play" with pricing with different customers.
C. I can change my pricing in the middle of the seazon (i actually just did) just because feel that i am "hot" or because i am in starvation - did i mention flexible?

Most professionals i know do not post pricing - some give a "starting" price (when they have many packages to chose from).
Videography and photograpy do not sell appliances but services.
That is why I will never post prices (all though i did when i first started!)

Chris, i ll put it simple : if you and me do business in the same area and i know your prices and seen your clips (i don't post prices neither clips) then i ll get all the business. Why? Think about it, makes sence with all writen above.


Once again, good luck.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:21 PM   #9
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My wife thought it looked pretty

I asked my wife what she thought and she thought it looked "really nice and really pretty" I also got the comment "why don't you make your's like that?"...so there you go, critique from a woman (although she happens to be happily married)...

Cheers!
Jeff
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 10:30 PM   #10
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chris....just looked at it again, id venture to say it is one the best styles ive seen in a while, totally dig it and i bet the brides to be will to. good job.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #11
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Thanks for the good comments, guys. A special thanks to Jeff for asking his wife! This site is exclusively, unapologetically directed at brides.

How about the demo video? Did it load fast enough? Was it obvious how to start it?

Man, I've gone over the "pricing on the web" over and over with friends and associates. I'm going to try it for a while and see how I like it.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #12
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Chris,
Very nice site. Simple design and very clean. I agree with former posts regarding the onMouseOver animation...it makes us think your small pictures are buttons and it's slightly annoying when they don't do anything.

Additionally, I'd like to disagree with the posts regarding the size of your flash. I think that the size is appropriate because it shows up almost full screen when viewed at 1024x768 (probably the most common resolution used today). Most of the pros on this board that have better monitors likely use an even higher resoultion which is why your flash will seem small. The argument about the smaller monitors doesnt really make much sense to me because people with 14", 15" monitors likely use a lower screen resolution (ie 800x600) which make your movie bigger than the screen. If you made the movie any larger you will risk the chance of having someone with 1024x768 not being able to see the whole movie without scrolling...another thing I find annoying when your site is a full flash page.

To decrease the empty space above and below your movie, you can insert CSS tags in your html that remove/decrease the margins...something you probably should do anyway because you don't have any content in the html.
See this tutorial:
http://www.kirupa.com/web-tech/no-margin.htm

- JON
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Old May 4th, 2006, 12:22 PM   #13
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Not bad, but if you are going to list prices I'd go ahead and have a direct link to that on the main page. Otherwise you're making it harder for customers to find (or re-find) important information, which detracts from your otherwise decent navigation.

As far as posting prices or not is concerned, most people I know would figure that if the price isn't posted it's probably too high. And the argument that posting prices gives an advantage to competitors is misguided for this same reason; the customers I'm trying to reach would go elsewhere if I *didn't* post my prices. Plus posted prices can be changed in a few minutes if you do your own web site, and discounts can easily be negotiated during customer meetings. The only plausible reason I've ever heard not to post prices is that some high-end customers are used to finding this out later, but that's a rarified reality most of the world doesn't live in.

P.S. Requiring Flash to view your site may cost you some customers. Your use of Flash is better than most I've seen, but I personally consider Flash a nuisance and wouldn't make my entire site dependent on it. Also, a button to turn off the background music would probably be appreciated by some viewers.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #14
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With regards to the flash, there are many advantages that definately warrant its use on websites including its universal display in all web browsers (that have the plug-in). Few other web technologies can match its capability on that point alone otherwise it would not be so popular and Adobe would not have had to buy out Macromedia to regain their web base. Without getting into the semantics of flash vs no flash though, there is a great solution that can cater to both worlds and accommodate everyone.

Use a flash detection script.

Do a Google search and you will find a dozen or so examples, including a kit directly from Macromedia. Then, make a 2nd version of your website (index_alternate.html) that contains the essential information in html (or your technology of choice) or forward them directly to the macromedia flash player download site. There is also an option on exporting your flash movie to have these pages made automatically in at least MX2004 and later.

Your website should not be dependant on the frills of flash to make the content worth viewing (and yours is not so dont worry), but don't limit your creativity because < ~10% of your audience cannot see your site without very minimal effort on their part to download the plugin.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #15
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1024x768 is indeed the most predominate browser window size on the 'net, but this website is smaller than an 800x600 site... so there is a lot of screen real estate going to waste.

i would not bother with a flash detection script, rather, what you need is an index page that:

1) ranks well in the search engines
2) gives people a choice between flash vs. non-flash

flash pages can be tweaked to rank well in the search engines, but flash index pages fell out of favor with web designers years ago, for good reason... as in your case, it's simply too slow to download.

with css, you can probably create an html-based site that will look pretty similar to what you have in flash right now, and it'll be a lot faster to download.

putting the site url in the title bar is a rookie mistake, because the text is not a term that people search for on the 'net... utilize that space for something that will promote your business instead... we already know what the url is, because we are on the website.
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