Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Help with website

Hello everyone
I'm needing help with my website.

http://www.wendyoffield.com/

It is currently a work in progress so it is far from done but I figured I would ask for input before I get to far along. I'm considering putting a more textured background, I think the site just seems kind of blah. I have enjoyed every one's websites and know that your the folks to go to.
Thanks,
Wendy O

4 comments:

Carmen Keys said...

Hi Wendy, glad you are building a website! That's great. I think you've got a good start here with your design and choice of colors -- it's clean and won't distract from your artwork. The main page I don't think needs much changing, maybe a little goblin graphic or something below your title? And there is a blue column mysteriously appearing at the bottom of the page that needs fixing.
For your menu, I'd consider adding an "About Me" or suchlike page so people can get a little more information about you. Also definitely need a "Contact" link in the menu with your email.
For your portfolio sections, I think getting rid of the bold outlines around the pictures and instead having a subtle background color in that window would help. Or, you could have a subtle design for the main background that is behind everything else. Right now the bold outline is distracting from the images, though I do like it around your menu bar -- it looks good there.
Also for the thumbnail images you have, I would make them a unified size in height or width (such as on my site, all of the thumbnails are 130px on the longest side as an example), it will help them look unified in general. Some people like to do square cropping for all their thumbnails -- I'm not a huge fan of that if it's a close-up of just one tiny element in the picture, but zoomed out a bit I think they work well too. Lots of illustrators do it that way with the squares so it must work pretty well, eh! :)
The zebra gardening needs a little fix in brightness/contrast in Photoshop or whichever image editing software you use, it's a little hard to see details. It is very cute otherwise though!
Lastly, I'd put the galleries in order of what you would use the most for an illustration assignment -- if it's watercolor, put that first etc. I am not sure if you want the sock goblins in the portfolio proper or not, are you using them in photo illustrations? They rock the casbah and are cute as heck, I'm just wondering if they'd work as book illustration material or if you want to put them in a separate area of your website other than the portfolio. But maybe you use them in photographic compositions so I could be way off here.
Great start! Don't worry about the design being too simple or "blah" as you said -- I think simple is good as a stage for showing artwork. Maybe just a background color or something would do the trick.

Isaac Marzioli - Freelance Illustrator said...

That was good advice. I second that the boxes around the thumbnails need to be either smaller or (maybe) they're not necessary.

Also - when you click on the sock goblin link - the links to the other two categories don't show up....oh, that actually goes for all of them - you'll want to be able to link to each of the other portfolio pages so people can view them without having to go back home or hit the back button.

I think you might want to keep bigger thumbnails - and just start shrinking them down when you have more work to show. It's best to keep people from having to scroll or do any extra work to view your stuff...so if you could keep the images in the view window (what's that called? the area in which you see the website...I don't know...the screen...keep them on the screen)...but, you know, without scrolling. But, while you'll keep them large, it would help if they were more uniform. You can do a little bit of cropping (and that can give a person reason to actually click on it to see the full image.).

I also think it might be good to have a purchase link or a store link or some way in which people can purchase your sock goblins...or toys. On the main page, it seemed like you had some toys (which I assume will end up on the goblin page).

Also - on the main page - maybe have your name bigger and welcome a bit smaller. Like, it could be, "welcome to the art of - WENDY OFFIELD"
and not in caps, but that your name is the big part.

marikris said...

Awesome comments above already, so I'll just add that if all else fails, there's Simple Viewer that I've seen in other galleries: http://www.airtightinteractive.com/simpleviewer/

You might like the Small Format one, and it's only just in case as a back up plan. The free version is...well, free, and I aim to try it once I have stuff to put online myself.

Good luck, Wendy! I will third the comments on the purple border, though. It works on some, but it kind of clashes on most and takes away from your art.

Tiddly Inks said...

Hi Wendy, I checked it out when you posted, but I haven't had a chance to leave a note. :) I agree with all the above comments. I also think the box was a little heavy, but I love how simple and straightforward the site it. :) I think you are on the right track and I look forward to a finished site. :)
Best wishes,
Christy