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dwburman
08-21-2009, 04:16 PM
Hi guys,

I'm thinking about making a new website for myself and I'd like to know what other people think of the current site (http://dwburman.com). In particular, I'd like to know if there is anything I need to drop because it makes me look bad but I'm interested to hear other critiques as well.

Thanks for your time,

dwburman

cresshead
08-21-2009, 10:46 PM
i'd go wider for a new website...955 pixels wide

re>2008 Graphics and Animation Reel if you can recut it so it's 16:9 also alot of the flythrus are fast...the more you have the less nice it is to watch them and don't get time to 'see' much..use a tech killer bean uses of a fast fly then slow-mo arc at the end.

also after watching that reel i could not load the rest of the site...connection timeout, so you might want to host it somewhere with a better datacentre.

Rayek
08-22-2009, 12:05 AM
I do think your web site is generic-looking; your work shown in the projects pages suggest that you can do immensely better design-wise. The top logo is horrible in my opinion - too bulky and throws off the page's balance. It doesn't add anything. The button bar is classic, boring and looks like it was taken from a run of the mill template (as does the entire design).

However, my main concern is the structure of how you present your work: I first clicked on the models and misc imagery categories, and wasn't exactly blown away. I almost left the web site, but decided to check the projects page, and lo and behold, the quality of the work shown was vastly superior. It threw me off a bit, honestly.

The photography page seems a bit chaotic, with showing both your artistic photo's, as well as work-related pictures. The project page could benefit from a more visual approach - the text links at the right do not really tell me anything about the visuals.

The structure is too rigid in my view, and there are too many choices... I would suggest that you simplify and consolidate your content. Get rid of the images and 3d models category. Present your best models with a 360 orbiting animation, for example. Make sure the potential clients get to see your best work from the start - pull them in. As it stands now, the site looks a bit like a dead relic from the mid-nineties.

Your reels are very good and I enjoyed watching them - however, the links at the bottom of your page do not attract the viewer's eyes. At the very least, I did not notice them at first at all and started clicking on the buttons at the top. User generally do not look at the bottom/footer of a web page. Your reels deserve better and more attention.

Think about adding a frontpage slideshow component that allows clients to click the project that is shown in the slideshow (I wanted to click on "architectural viz", but it does not link to the project). fpss: http://www.joomlaworks.gr/content/view/24/42/

My final comment: the visual and structural/interactive design of your website definitely does not do justice to your talent. I would rethink design, navigational structure and the way you present your work. As it stands now, it's a bit average looking. Boring. If not for the reels, I would have been left with a feeling that you're yet another average fish amongst thousands of others. Not the intended result for a portfolio web site, me thinks. So there's nothing wrong with your content, just with your presentation.

Sorry for the critical comments - it's all meant in the best constructive way possible. I teach at a web design college, and our students have to design and develop their portfolio web site in term 3 - I have seen what works to attract potential clients, and what does not work. Don't be boring - you are allowed to go all out when designing your portfolio web site!

Get some creative inspiration by checking out these websites:
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/30/50-fresh-portfolio-websites-for-your-inspiration/
http://designm.ag/inspiration/portfolio-sites/

dwburman
08-22-2009, 11:12 AM
Thank you both for your comments. They are very helpful.

@cresshead: Thanks for the reel critique. It's about time for me refresh the demo reel so your comments are appreciated.

@Rayek: I've learned quite a bit about CSS since putting the current site online so I'll be able to make my own template this time around. I do have a mockup for a new design but it needs to be simplified.

Thanks again.

AdamAvenali
08-22-2009, 11:27 AM
you have some great work here, dwburman. one of the major things that threw me off was the modeling section. when i first visited the site the slideshow piece started off with an awesome image of the dinosaur-ish creature with the nice fade from the wireframe to the displaced/bumped version. when i went to see the piece in the modeling section i was left with a smooth shaded version from layout. i would either revamp the modeling section, drop it completely or make a reel with rendered images. good luck :thumbsup:

dwburman
08-27-2009, 08:30 PM
Thanks again for comments.

I'm mostly done with the site redesign. I still need to do the graphics for the front page. The content is more organized. The modeling section is gone until I can do some nice renders.

I hope to have it online this weekend.

GandB
08-27-2009, 08:45 PM
I can't really add much after everyone else; other than to echo what's already been said. The demo reel was outstanding; I watched it first, therefore looking at the other sections, I was a bit let down. The header graphic does look out of place (on the top); and (as was said), the buttons could use some flash animations.

Definitely out of my league though!

-Keith

dwburman
08-28-2009, 06:09 PM
The new site is up online: http://dwburman.com/index.php

If you just go to http://dwburman.com you'll get the old site (but only until the new "simpleGray" site goes live).

My to do list at this point:

Make the home page impressive enough to make visitors want to look deeper.
Add more content... I have a few menu items turned off because I haven't added the content yet.
Edit the graphics demo reel to include some new stuff and freshen things up a bit.
Rebuild the drawings, photos, and misc images sections so they are more ordered.


Thank you all for your comments.

Nemoid
09-01-2009, 11:40 PM
home is not bad . maybe you should give the opening image more importance, and the name less importance.maybe writing it smaller could do the job. or, making image bigger, too. right now you end up noticing your name too much compared to image.

archijam
09-02-2009, 01:38 AM
Looking good! (perfect iPhone site by the way)

IMHO A few small tweaks of the existing css (font size of titles on secondary pages, shade of orange, margins etc) would really lift it... But it's already a good functional site.

dwburman
09-02-2009, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the input :)
Nemoid: You may be onto something there. The balance does seem a bit off. I'd like to have a more dynamic front page experience but that'll have to wait until I finish some work I'm doing for someone else.

archijam: I'd like to hear your suggestions in more detail. Do you think the titles on the secondary pages are too big? Do you dislike the shade of orange or is it an issue of the color not matching the logo? What are the margin issues you are referring to? Now that I look at it, I can tell the left and right margins are different so I should probably fix that.

Web design would be slightly less annoying if everyone had the same browser and gamma settings. I had to adjust the shade of gray because it was too dark on the PCs so now it's slightly darker than I'd like on the PC and slightly lighter than I'd like on the Mac. :)