[thelist] Site check please

Alex Beston alex at deltatraffic.co.uk
Wed Dec 28 17:59:23 CST 2005


>Sorry for the delay in my response. My home PC was down for two days
>and I didn't have time to write at the office.
>Anyway, thanks everyone for your feedback.
>I'll review the page in the light of your comments.
Probably missed it for now, but I'll pitch in my comments too, if I may.


re: site check for http://tinyurl.com/e2yzq A.K.A. 

First thing that struck me, was, not the lack of photos of carpets - 
thats what your selling, right? - was the way the slick menu was divided 
in half. the top half seeming to be some different half and the 
otherhalf relegated to the bottom. Didnt make much sense. looking at the 
top half wondering what its meant too do. I came to the decision that 
the top half is a mistake in the rendering (using FF 1.5 on Win XP). 
Otherwise, the menu is nice. in keeping with the current fashion for 
gradient fills, beveled gradients, mirror effects, what have you, in the 
banner of a page.

Ok, now the logo, top left. if thats the logo youve been given, well, 
thats what youve been given. the font on name is excellent, but the rest 
of it - whats a blue ball doing there? it attracts attention, but seems 
a tad odd. anyway, if its the clients artwork, you cant do much there 
other than position it.

Links. The blue highlighted words, being attractive, draw the attention, 
and first thought is that they are a link, and seems there are exactly 
17 of them.
Mouse over the links - ahh, no - theyre only hightlighted words. Silly 
me. Something at the bottom. Ahh! Its the same words as at the menu on 
top, and on hover, yields a top blue line with a darker blue background, 
and a red bottom line. hmm. Well ok, but at a look without using the 
mouse, not sure where my links are in the text. The only clue is that 
they are below the yellow line and they are a smaller font than the body 
text. Sorry to rap you over the knuckles, but it should be obviously 
what is a body text link without the need to experiment with the mouse, 
and Im guessing, but that would contravene the WAI guidelines which you 
proudly state below. It may not be in the WAI, but I hope its in some 
guidelines some where or other.

The text is 5 paragraphs, 135 words, excluding the header. Perhaps you 
could have provided a translator link or a translation with yout request 
for a site check, but at a guess, its good, brief copy letting the 
customer know whats available. I think 200 is the ideal number of words 
for seo, but this is probably ok.

Copyright notice. good - some forget to provide one.

"xhtml 1.1 | css2.0 | wai-a". Ok, i have to diverge here. Current 
practise (is it practise or practice, sorry i dont know!) seems to be to 
put the technical names for protocols and standards names for what the 
site is written in. I know youre applying what most put, but sticking my 
neck out, I dont think this is a good practise at all. Lets say I am a 
carpet buyer. Im thinking, "whats xhtml? whats css? and whats wai-a?" 
Better would be to say, "This site is written using up-to-date 
technology" with a link describing the tech. This "xhtml 1.1 | css2.0 | 
wai-a" is really a nod to other techies and designers rather than having 
anything to do with the target audience. I kinda doubt that joe designer 
will be looking at your clients site with a view to buying carpets, but 
he'll be impressed that your applying standards. So hopefully you get my 
idea that this statement is inappropriate here, unless it explains, 
without scaring the carpet buyers in the world. Well, it wont scare them 
but its extra stuff that has no meaning for them, so why put it there? 
Probably peer pressure - thats what everyone else does, right?

Other than all the above, its easy on the eyes (that curvy line is 
somehow relaxing and the black background and highlighted orangey left 
column is attracting) but on the whole, is too generic to be about 
carpets; one could use another product, change the logo and the rest of 
the text and we would be back at the same problem. too generic. I would 
read the rest of the site, but I 'm not sure if its about carpets (other 
than carpetsland!) (I need pictures of carpets and theyre so visually 
appealing!) and theres no offer of english translation, so I wont go 
into the product catalogue. If there were more clues, I no doubt would 
see what I could buy. Actually, can I buy anything from the site? Theres 
no "acredited ecommerce seller" so it seems theres nothing like that. 
Thats no bad thing as I dont want to buy from any site unless I really 
really have to have it. So the site exists at the moment to let me know 
whats on offer, avoiding sending off for a catalogue, which is great.

The other reason I dont look further than the front page on site checks 
is that I believe customers make up their mind on what they see on a 
first parse. So, no matter how good the page is, I can only say if the 
design is worth going beyond or not, or how well does it draw people in, 
appealing to the target audience, seducing them tasters of thing that 
they are after.

So to me, if someone says, what do you think of this website? I just 
think, ""No mate; what do I think of your first page!"

["my 2 cents?" Why on earth do people say this? I have been looking at 
sites since 1996, so I'm sure my inputs are worth a tad more than 2 
cents! Maybe 4 cents /irony]

Anyway, good luck with your client and I hope my comments have been at 
least of some small use,

Alex Beston,

More information about the thelist mailing list