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millyskate
11-14-2011, 02:28 PM
The time when I have to set up a website for my work has unfortunately come round, and I would love to get people's opinions and recommendations regarding websites they enjoy browsing.

I'm especially interested in FSU's good taste for artist/photographer/small business websites.

:)

Ajax
11-14-2011, 02:39 PM
Please, nothing that starts playing audio or video as soon as you log on to the website. In fact, no audio or video at all.
Simple is always better.

Aceon6
11-14-2011, 02:49 PM
When I worked for a web firm prior to the dot-bomb, we'd always do research at http://www.coolhomepages.com/ to see what other firms were doing.

As for artist/photographer sites, I find the ones that display the portfolio using thumbnails to be the easiest to use. Bonus if each image is well tagged and the search feature actually works. See Getty Images for proper tagging/search feature.

Oh, and don't forget to put Contact Us in the upper right as well as the footer.

hydro
11-14-2011, 03:55 PM
I like this site for inspiration: http://webdesignledger.com/

barbk
11-14-2011, 04:11 PM
Please, nothing that starts playing audio or video as soon as you log on to the website. In fact, no audio or video at all.
Simple is always better.

+ a gazillion. I immediately click away from sites that start making noise at me. If I want to hear something, I'll click on an audio or video link.

And please make sure "Contact Us" provides email, address and phone information in a way that the user can copy-paste it into a to do note or other file. (Some websites do them as images or in some other form that is not amenable to copy/paste, which is really annoying.)

millyskate
11-14-2011, 05:06 PM
Thanks. ITA about the noisy/video stuff. Flash is on its way out, I hear, anyway... I like things that are clean and simple, but modern looking all the same. And I've seen surprisingly few good combinations...

luna_skater
11-14-2011, 05:22 PM
Perhaps more important than looking at good websites, is looking at bad ones: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

Sometimes what should seem like an obvious thing to avoid, isn't. And, it's rather ironic that the site I linked above is actually terribly hard to navigate. :)

znachki
11-14-2011, 05:42 PM
Clean and uncluttered always gets my vote. A very clear "about us" is something I always look for. As others have said, the "Contact Us" should have multiple contact points.

Also, I'd rather have choices in a dropdown rather than multiple click throughs. How do others feel about that?

And yes, Flash is, thankfully, on its way out.

You should also give thought to accessibility by the disabled, such as making font sizes adjustable for the vision impaired.

Anita18
11-14-2011, 06:50 PM
Agree with everything said here so far. And yes, Flash IS on its way out, since Adobe announced last week that they would cease Flash development for mobile. I bet Steve Jobs is smiling benevolently up wherever he is. :lol:

Small business pages run the gamut, but if you're leaning more toward artist/photography sites, I think looking at the examples on http://www.prosite.com/home/examples are a great way to start. It's very user-friendly, clean, and uncluttered. The work is center-stage, not the site.

One small business site I came across recently that I thought was very well-designed is http://thebutcherandlarder.com/. Note that all the really important information is at the top - address and contact, as well as HOURS. I tweeted the designer and was like, "Thank God someone thinks store hours are an important thing to know!" :rofl:

Oreo
11-14-2011, 07:00 PM
The classic source of inspiration is over at Zen Garden. Click on the links to the right to see what people can do with CSS. http://csszengarden.com/

millyskate
11-14-2011, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the inspiration .... keep them coming.
That butcher site is great. And the Prosite builder I had not seen before... some great ideas.

There's a good chance I'll be paying someone to do it for me, since I need it to look good and I have little time to devote to it at the moment. I'd like to have a few things that I like to show them.

luna_skater
11-14-2011, 08:13 PM
There's a good chance I'll be paying someone to do it for me, since I need it to look good and I have little time to devote to it at the moment. I'd like to have a few things that I like to show them.

Choose your designer carefully. If you don't have any in mind, I'd be happy to recommend some great people/companies. I work in the creative industry. (I don't do web design, I just know rad people who do.)

Also, don't be like these people: http://clientsfromhell.net/ ;)

MacMadame
11-14-2011, 08:54 PM
I'm pretty sure millyskate isn't going to hire anyone. She's a student!

Anita18
11-14-2011, 09:10 PM
Yeah good website people don't come cheap, especially if you want someone who can design and code! I'm just starting to take on work so I "come cheap" compared to experienced pros, but I'm also juggling a bunch of stuff so someone would still have to throw A LOT of money at me for me to do it in a timely manner. :lol:

I think the Behance ProSite service is great for an artist/photographer to quickly throw together a great-looking gallery site (plus it's connected to the Behance network so you'll get exposure there), but it does cost money. You'd be spending money for a domain and hosting anyway, but you can get both for much less than $11/month.

An artist I'm friends with uses http://www.weebly.com/ which is free, but it's kind of like Frontpage/Dreamweaver in that unless you know what you're doing, it's easy to have it look amateur. I spent some time helping my friend fiddle with his site's CSS because he didn't know how to do it. :lol: It's super-easy to put in a good-looking gallery though, so if that's all you want, that's also an option.

millyskate
11-14-2011, 09:41 PM
I'm pretty sure millyskate isn't going to hire anyone. She's a student!

Actually, I might :shuffle: :slinkaway

I'm a student about to start working.... and I have been working throughout my studies. But still, I'm working on a tight budget for sure.