[thelist] design critique (or whatever you wanna do, really)

A. Erickson amanda at gawow.com
Wed Nov 7 12:55:31 CST 2001

Site crit: http://algonquinstudios.com/

Well, this site blows.

Just kidding.

Actually, on first glance, I really dig that opening screen. The color
here and there is really nice since you have set up this sort of stark
landscape of blacks and whites. I almost want to put that screenshot on
the right to help with balance (not bopping back and forth from each bit
of color -- moving=good, bopping=bad) but I think it could stay there

The screenshot itself is pretty fun -- I like the idea of playing with
that shape. It definitely makes it more interesting. I'm gonna click on

Which takes me to Great Arrow Graphics. One quick thing that I notice is
that on my monitor, the navigation uses a square to show where you are.
This square is on 'clients' and is about fifteen pixels offset from the
grey box that outlines the left sidebar area. It looks like a mistake. I
might suggest a different "you are here" treatment to make it slicker.
Maybe a two-toned circle next to the nav button that mimics the circle
in your logo? (Tell me if you want a screenshot.) You could also ditch
the delineation of that sidebar color and just use space and type to
separate the main content from the left side content. Shimmy that
screenshot up near the page headline and you'll have a pretty swank
layout, I think.

On that same page, I notice that the screenshots are to the right of
their caption. Because of the liquid layout, the captions in their small
font are hard to read because of the line length. If I make my browser
window smaller then it's more readable. Here's what I see: small font,
long lines, right-aligned. Some suggestions would be: bigger font --
might as well match the paragraph text, I think people will know the
difference; move the screenshot to the left so that your eye goes 1.
screenshot, 2. first line of caption, because the eye goes to the shot
anyway, it's harder to find the first part of the line.

Going now to 'principles' to see if there's a smokin' aardvark pic.

Well, there is a pic and there's smoke. Hm. 

One thing I'd say about those little images is to make them faces. They
don't look interesting. Faces look more interesting.

And then, on the top left of the page you have a screenshot of
something. I know what you're trying to do here which is to move people
to the portfolio section. However, it seems to me that that piece has
something to do with the page that I'm on. I'd either toss it or change
it. It either needs some sort of identifying headline, or the treatment
we saw at the beginning (perspective slant) or, preferably, both. 

One last final note, the overall look of the sub-pages might be improved
if you had the same size border on the top and sides. As I see it, the
borders on the side around around lets say 50 pix whereas the top border
is something like 10 or 15. Maybe you could find a happy middle ground
and see what it looks like. It might give a pretty snazzy design even
more snap.


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