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Sekhar
08-27-2010, 12:41 AM
Guys, I'll be launching my web app "Herdcall" soon and wanted to get your opinions/thoughts on the website in terms of look/feel. The visual part is complete, I'm working on the text (FAQ/About have nothing at this time, and I'll adding a video for overview).

http://herdcall.com

The app is what's inside the phone (you'll see only that part if you open the link on a mobile device). Few things to note:

The starfish is animated and moves every once in a while
The phone and the "menu" paper I did in LW, the grass patch in Vue
The foam is from the lovely beach here in sunny San Diego :)


The app is functional, so do give that a spin too (that's where the meat is).

Sekhar
08-29-2010, 02:29 PM
Can't believe nobody wants to help out. This is not a gallery submission guys, where you just ignore stuff that sucks. I'm looking for input before the launch. May be this will help: I'm renaming this thread to the ever-popular format "What should Sekhar do make Herdcall presentable?"

MooseDog
08-29-2010, 02:53 PM
the programming must be incredibly complex (to this non-programmer), and understanding that it's destined primarily for mobil devices, i noticed:

on my monitor, why is the site so wide?

it took me awhile to figure out that the right-side page scrolls down, maybe add a visual clue.

you have seven seconds to hook a new visitor, it took me two minutes to figure out it was a beach scene (a starfish, a baseball and geocities sand would have driven me outta there, notwithstanding it tells you nothing about the functionality you've created and are asking folks to use.).

mho: ditch the bg image, white space is your friend, keep everything within the 960 grid, http://960.gs/, get some google analytics code in there so you can watch how folks behave once on-site (as a beginning).

congrats for the really complex part, the site as is isn't at the same level. continued success.

Jim_C
08-29-2010, 03:19 PM
Can't believe nobody wants to help out. This is not a gallery submission guys, where you just ignore stuff that sucks. I'm looking for input before the launch. May be this will help: I'm renaming this thread to the ever-popular format "What should Sekhar do make Herdcall presentable?"

I saw that it wanted to know my position, freaked out and exited.

http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Props/hidesbehindsofa.gif

Sekhar
08-29-2010, 04:11 PM
the programming must be incredibly complex (to this non-programmer), and understanding that it's destined primarily for mobil devices, i noticed:

on my monitor, why is the site so wide?

it took me awhile to figure out that the right-side page scrolls down, maybe add a visual clue.

you have seven seconds to hook a new visitor, it took me two minutes to figure out it was a beach scene (a starfish, a baseball and geocities sand would have driven me outta there, notwithstanding it tells you nothing about the functionality you've created and are asking folks to use.).

mho: ditch the bg image, white space is your friend, keep everything within the 960 grid, http://960.gs/, get some google analytics code in there so you can watch how folks behave once on-site (as a beginning).

congrats for the really complex part, the site as is isn't at the same level. continued success.

Thanks! The mobile devices will only see the part inside the phone image; the extra stuff is only for desktop (and iPad) browsers.

I agree about the scrolling part, will be adding a scrollbar. I'll also add some pointers to what the site is about - yes that isn't obvious.

I do have Google Analytics (you don't see the script in page source, but it's loaded by the main script).

WRT size/composition, the active elements are all inside the viewable area (I've tested on 1024x768 upwards); the beach/starfish/etc. are just meant to be visual cues rather than active elements (they don't respond to mouse clicks e.g.).

The reason I chose this retro look is to go 180 on the Web 2.0 style, which has become cliched. Did you dislike the old fashioned look in general? Trying to see if I should just go back to the usual solid colors/white bg/cutesy images.

Sekhar
08-29-2010, 04:12 PM
I saw that it wanted to know my position, freaked out and exited.

http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Props/hidesbehindsofa.gif

You can say no and the site will work fine. I'll make that explicit, thanks. Please decline and try the app - would love your input on how the phone stuff is laid out and whether it's intuitive.

MooseDog
08-29-2010, 04:37 PM
...The reason I chose this retro look is to go 180 on the Web 2.0 style, which has become cliched. Did you dislike the old fashioned look in general? Trying to see if I should just go back to the usual solid colors/white bg/cutesy images.

neither, just sayin' i couldn't figure out what it was, so i got snarky :D. which means i blew through your seven second window. which means the mona lisa would fail as a web image :D.

definitely "liked" the book design: i knew immediately what you wanted me to do. "design' in a generic sense, will communicate what you're trying to say if we were sitting at a bar talking.

long story short, whatever style you settle on will be the perfect one if it hooks another user, i.e. if they "get" what you're doing really really fast :).

as an example, the library screen of the ipad, old wood shelves, cardboard bound books, old fashioned but nnnnooooo doubt what's going on.

shapeshifta
08-29-2010, 05:17 PM
I noticed that the star fish is moving, but I would think you would want to animate the wave. The wave would would move faster then the star fish. Also when you click on application it the "app" is not centered on the right side of the book.

Sekhar
08-29-2010, 05:25 PM
I noticed that the star fish is moving, but I would think you would want to animate the wave. The wave would would move faster then the star fish. Also when you click on application it the "app" is not centered on the right side of the book.

Yeah I wanted to animate the wave, but couldn't figure out a way to add a video with alpha (this is easily possible with Flash). Anyone know how to do that? My understanding is that it isn't possible today (with MPEG4 or Ogg Vorbis or the new Google WebM, the three formats supported in HTML5 browsers). I need it with alpha if I need to be able to place the video at will, since the background is not solid.

Rayek
08-30-2010, 01:29 AM
Well, you could try to use a couple of different alpha PNG images, animate (move) these, and switch/fade between several states of the water using a css3 transition at the same time. For best effect, use layering. Only a couple of images are required. Some 2d games in the past used the same technique to simulate a nice "waves on beach" effect. Though it is a relatively time-consuming approach for a single eye-candy effect.

As you mentioned, this is simple to pull off using Flash based video (which does support an alpha channel). This is one of the many reasons why HTML 5 video will not replace Flash video anytime soon. (I am not saying this is good or bad - it is just a fact at the moment)