Does this website suck? -Updated design

So we are doing a new website for a client, and the main idea for the “wow” factor of the site was a video to be featured on the homepage. The client is a fun and attractive girl, and we thought, lets film her saying some little snippets about the company, and have her be the main interest on the page.

We went down and shot the film (with our new Canon 5D Mark II :slight_smile: ), and she was really nervous but in the end we felt like we got some usable footage. So we took all of the clips, and created a little custom flash player. The player loops through a series of random “idles” until you click, then it plays a clip from the queue, then goes back to the idle loop until you click again. Obviously this took a fair amount of code to get to work smoothly, and it still isn’t perfect. But we liked it pretty well.

Here it is:

It is on the hidden page, because the client really disliked it, and did not want to use it at all :(.

I am chalking it up to her own personal self loathing, we all suffer from that, usually we dislike pictures of ourselves and can’t stand the sound of our own voice. But possibly it is simply bad editing and bad design work. What do you guys think?

I really appreciate any thoughts you have, feeling a little down about our abilities right now. But please be brutally honest and tell me what you think.

Edit: See last post for update.

To be honest it looks rather cheap. If the video is so short, at least don’t cut it and make one fluid clip.
Here is some inspiration on how it’s done in a great way. It’s in German but it’s worth watching. Click on “Website Begleitung”.

Well, to be honest the website looks like it’s from the 80s and doesn’t represent their clients very well. Seems like they were working for Taylor Swift stuff. Therefore the website shouldn’t look cheap and trashy in my opinion.

I’m not even sure if this is supposed to be a joke because the design is so horrible. (No offense, but it really looks bad.)

No not intended to be a joke, thank you for your honest opinion. I am fairly new to art and design, (just a couple years) so I expect that I simply have much to learn.

Only recently I have got out on my own to try and create a design studio, and I need to be good so I can feed my family. :slight_smile:

Would you (or anyone else) expound upon the design tenets/principles that make it horrible? I really want to improve, and without input it is hard. Thanks again for your comment.

Edit: of course tastes are so different, if there are things you like about it, that feedback helps too!

First of all I would think about who is your audience. I can’t really tell from your website what your company is doing (First big problem). The huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge (wayyyyyy too huge ;)!) headline says “Digital Litho”, so I am assuming you are responsible for printing stuff + probably making files from clients print ready? Or do you also design the products listed in your services? If the latter is the case then as yourself: If someone wants to have something designed for him, would this website design attract him? Would he get the idea with the registration mark navigation? Would he associate the CMYK splash in the background as a halftone raster?

Where would you look first when you go to your website? You have to look pretty much everywhere, because there is no clean layout. The whole screen is full with big images and text. No white space that lets the eyes rest and leads them.

It is a printing site… what it is needed :

a) an option to place an ORDER
b) a good graphicall layout (actual layout it is CRAP with big C)
c) if possible something like a online shop type of layout

Look at lots of sites with selling point …

You will see : clean layout , like : Home , About , ContactUS, Place and Order …images that reflect : promotion , product placement , new product , price per print , transport.

Cut the video on the first page , make it a standard Youtube advert and place it under About or some other way that does not kill the audience.

The overall big text it is NO GO! I opened the site then after 1 sec I feelt one thing : CLOSE THE DAMN WINDOW! , this it is cause to the big things on screen that bomb the eye.

If you can aford pay a graphic artist to make you a layout.

In the way it is now scares future clients.

example one

example two

example three

You will get the ideea.

I agree with the client that the video really doesn’t work. While a fun idea, it ends up coming off as goofy instead of professional; her obvious nervousness is cute, but that probably isn’t going to help convince people that this is the right place to bring their business in this case. Also, the inkblot cursor is truly awful, and the sound quality seems a little off.

Possibly more effective for wow-factor would be a looping slideshow of the equipment in the shop inter-spliced with examples of work they have done.

Lastly, did you design the big CMYK button thing? It’s not terrible to my eyes, but it strikes me as sort of an in-joke that is taking up an inordinate amount of space on the page.

Your willingness to ask for honest feedback is a sign of great hope for you to ultimately succeed. Good luck, and don’t give up, man!

The interface looks badly photoshopped. If it’s an art site, a more artistic theme would be better and not that city as a foreground.

The looping before you click is off putting. It looks like a 1,000 ft tall woman is going to crush the city and be very happy in doing so.

To be honest, though, the person you should be asking is your client. What does she want out of the site?

Guys, thx so much for the feedback. I think I am back on track, thanks to your support. I am going to scrap the design, and start fresh. I’ll post when I have something new to show!

Here is the new layout I have come up with. :slight_smile:
I hope it is enough to get a feel for things, thought I would get advice early this time ;).
Let me have it, don’t hold back. Thanks in advance.

Shrunken image attached, Full Size Here

Thanks again for all the feedback and kind words of encouragement.


There are definitely better places to get critique on website design, especially since you are doing this professionally.

I can only critique the graphical part here,

  1. I don’t like the color scheme. It is too basic. And it may be a matter of personal taste, but yellow and blue don’t really look good.
  2. You always manage to squeeze in the yellow,blue,pink and black/green/brown (whatever it is, excuse my colorblindness), first on the buttons and now the butterfly. It’s surely not the company logo or related to the company right?
    It doesn’t really do the job of infusing some life and looks rather dull. Reminds me of the old blender blue background.

I could have written a bit more but I guess I don’t really have anything exact to tell you whats wrong.

What I feel is that it is a bit too simple, for a company that is printing stuff and their business is all about the bling.
It needs a lot more sophistication.
This website, although totally unrelated, uses a similar if not same layout:

Less media on the homepage, think subdued as opposed to garish, use intense colors sparingly only at important areas, if that.

I disagree unless guys like you frequent those places. :slight_smile: (Plus this is my home, I care what you guys think)
Seriously though I think I’ll get involved at sitepoint and elsewhere. Thanks for the feedback, it is gladly received. btw, that site is inspiring to say the least. :{) I have tried to learn what I can from the masters that designed it, by adding bling.

Still keeping the colors because they are the logo of the company. see attached and you will see what I am working with…even I know how bad these are.

@ jay Nice links, I’ll take time to peruse these…I think I might be seeing the light now.

Though I may have started badly again, I’ve decided to push this design further. Still probably need to tone everything down, but it may be headed towards a better direction? The client is getting happier, which is very relieving, and I owe it to you all.

I am trying to learn by fixing the design, and massaging the different elements till they reach harmony if it is possible.

Take a look:


It’s too “microsoft” I feel, so much intense contrast and vibration. Also, too many fonts, try to stick with about 3 MAX. 2 best. Also see this:

or this :

But seriously, tone it down, it needs to be pleasing to the eye, not EXTREME! The 90’s are over.

Again, check kuler or the other color site, and tone down saturation. You can have the intensity of CMYK, but it would be better set in a neutral tone, thereby drawing attention to important areas. The setting in toned down colors, the areas in focus in intense ones.

I think this one is perfect :wink:

ill advise you to use those spill effect on buttons when cursor is over it. U can also modify the cursor itself a lil bit using dhtml. If you like i can give you few links for that.

The typography in “Digital litho” is a lot better. “We print your life” though has something wrong about it that I can’t really put a finger on.
Maybe it’s the lack of spacing. But I’m sure you are working on it.
EDIT: Maybe the point you are trying to get across will be better done through a custom image, rather than simple fonts.

Graphically, this is at least a 100x better.

That ferrari project is what you probably remember me from. But make no mistake, my skills are absolute zero right now.

No, it’s not better. It looks like a circus, the colors are insane. Is this a pro graphic design site? Find a nice limited palette, again, guide the eye where it needs to go, use color and design, like diagonals, rule of thirds, etc. check out proper site layout.

“We print your life” though has something wrong about it that I can’t really put a finger on

Its 4 fonts. Thats whats wrong with it.

If you must have cmyk butterfly, pose it near important links, and keep the background subdued. To me though, cmyk butterfly looks too microsoft, maybe have butterflies of one of the colors. c, m, y, or k, in various sections.

I would stop designing right now! You need a good concept first! I would think about all the content you want to present. As someone pointed out you might want to consider giving more information like prices, papers to print on, etc. A shop system would be way too complicated for someone of your skill level though. This would be an (seemingly) ever lasting project for you. But with such a website design+info material I’d never choose your printing company.

(jay) has some great feedback. I’d advice you to create a number of photoshop mockups. Do research for what is out there, who your competitors are. See this print company for example:

Make a moodboard to get a feel for different concepts (but don’t steal concepts!).

You should definitely sit down inside Gimp/photoshop/illustrator and really flesh out some thumbnail concepts with more emphasis on what/where the content is.

Good luck!

It is not that bad! You may do something to improve the contents! Then, it can be good either!