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sheadakota
10-12-2009, 03:01 PM
Hi all my wonderful AW friends- I just completed my website (well actually a friend designed it) and would really like your opinion of how easy it is to navigate- is it easy to read? that sort of thing- still have a few things to fine tune, but most of it is avtive- thanks for looking (link is in my siggy)

I posted this under the blog thread as well but thought I might hit a few of you here ( I hang here :) )

stephenf
10-12-2009, 03:41 PM
I had a peep and everything looks and works fine.

sheadakota
10-12-2009, 03:46 PM
Why thank ye!

Misa Buckley
10-12-2009, 03:47 PM
I love it :D

Ambrosia
10-12-2009, 04:25 PM
Hi...

I think the inside of your website looks fine. I am not a fan of splash pages for entering sites. So I question the use of one on your site. I think it might be more useful to have the splash page lead to the excerpt of your book, once someone is already at your homepage.

From a Wiki article: "Since splash screens often increase the distance to the desired content and may take a long time to load, they are not universally liked by users."

Sometimes when users go to a site that has a splash page, they just keep going. There has to be something to cause the person to click on it to get into the site. Attention span is so short these days. That is my two cents.

Get that comment page up and running. ;)

Nice looking site.

robeiae
10-12-2009, 06:12 PM
Wait a minute...are you blaming me for your website?

smoothseas
10-12-2009, 06:13 PM
Well done and visually interesting. Had no problems with the splash page, but then we have high speed. In truth, if we were still on dial-up, I'd probably have navigated away.

Here's hopin' that you get lots and lots of hits, which translate into lots and lots of sales!

Maryn
10-12-2009, 09:14 PM
I hope my opinion is of some use even though I know very little about site design or terminology and can only report my experience and tell you how it compares to other sites.

The enter page (maybe the 'splash page' others mentioned?) loaded notably slower than I liked--and I'm on a high speed connection. It wasn't real bad, perhaps five seconds, but be mindful that many people still have only a dial-up. Who are your readers? If they're my age (how did I reach my fifties so damned fast?), the odds of the household having only dial-up increase. FWIW, I didn't like the page name that showed in my tab: ENTER WEBSITE. I recommend it be changed to annsimko.com.

Whoa. The synopsis page took over ten seconds to load completely. I don't like its name in the tab bar, "synopsis." How about capitalizing, and including the title, i.e. "Fallen Synopsis"? (And when your second title of the series is added, and the third, won't you be glad you differentiated from the start?) I find the synopsis' font way too small for easy reading. Since there's 'white' space at the bottom of its page, how about upping the size to fill the space and give fifty-plus eyes, or small monitor users, a break? Seriously, on my husband's laptop, I literally could not read this without zooming in. I didn't like the line wrap on the "Continue to Home
page" link, which wrapped just like that. It's a personal preference, but I didn't like seeing three fonts on one page: the synopsis, the link to the publisher (which looks just a little fuzzy and unfocused), and the menu at the right letting us select the site's pages.

The home page's name should at least be capitalized in the tab bar. "Home" is not a great thing to see in the tab bar. "Ann Simko Welcomes You" or something of that sort would be better. Again, I cannot read this with ease, and you've got a lot of unused space. In fact, now that I think about it, why are there blank bands on either side of the pages? (Is it to make the page useful in other media, like cell phones?) Again, the three fonts jars my artistic sensibility.

The bio page could be Bio, yes? Or Ann Simko's Bio. I like the personal details and think the photo of you should be resized so your pretty face is the size of the avatar's. Same problem with font size and readability, and three fonts vying for supremacy, as on all pages. I found it jarring that the headers About Me, My Family, and The Truth do not match the font of their content.

The excerpts page would be better with its tab capitalized and the name of the book added: "Fallen: Excerpt" (why the plural 'excerpts')? Even though chapter one is available online through the publisher, it jarred me to be offered chapter four when I don't know who these people are or what's going on. In fact, I wasn't even sure of the gender of Dakota. (I had a fifty-fifty chance and guessed wrong.) How will jumping in to a book in progress sit with the person who has not read chapter one? Same issues with font size, multiple fonts. Scrolling was easy and let you put in a fair amount of content. The thanks for reading was also a nice touch, made you seem warm and likable. (Which I already know, but your readers might not.)

The comment page needs to be operational, of course. The contact page could be named "Contact Ann Simko" for better effect, yes? (Man, I should have been in marketing. Get your name or the title on every page's tab.) I like the avatar waving bye. In fact, I like that it's the same character in different poses on each page.

Overall, the site's just fine, but IMO, some tweaks and enlarging would help older site visitors like me a bunch!

Maryn, hoping this isn't too nit-picky

Williebee
10-12-2009, 09:26 PM
Some great comments so far.

Before you lose hope on the shiny stuff that so much work has obviously been put in to?

Consider a front page that gives visitors the choice of high speed content and slower speed content (smaller pictures, simple frames, etc.)

To follow up on something Maryn said (and this is a do as I say, not do as I do, because holy crap am I guilty of it) Everytime you name something, or add a title that someone is going to see, look at it from two points of view: what will they think/do, and what do you want them to think/do?

great art. lovely concept. good luck!

William Haskins
10-12-2009, 10:15 PM
looked great on firefox, cable modem...

AnonymousWriter
10-12-2009, 10:23 PM
Love the changing banner down the right hand side (where the menu is).

Nice website.

sheadakota
10-13-2009, 01:37 AM
Wait a minute...are you blaming me for your website?
Why yes, yes I am.

sheadakota
10-13-2009, 01:43 AM
I hope my opinion is of some use even though I know very little about site design or terminology and can only report my experience and tell you how it compares to other sites.

The enter page (maybe the 'splash page' others mentioned?) loaded notably slower than I liked--and I'm on a high speed connection. It wasn't real bad, perhaps five seconds, but be mindful that many people still have only a dial-up. Who are your readers? If they're my age (how did I reach my fifties so damned fast?), the odds of the household having only dial-up increase. FWIW, I didn't like the page name that showed in my tab: ENTER WEBSITE. I recommend it be changed to annsimko.com.

Whoa. The synopsis page took over ten seconds to load completely. I don't like its name in the tab bar, "synopsis." How about capitalizing, and including the title, i.e. "Fallen Synopsis"? (And when your second title of the series is added, and the third, won't you be glad you differentiated from the start?) I find the synopsis' font way too small for easy reading. Since there's 'white' space at the bottom of its page, how about upping the size to fill the space and give fifty-plus eyes, or small monitor users, a break? Seriously, on my husband's laptop, I literally could not read this without zooming in. I didn't like the line wrap on the "Continue to Home
page" link, which wrapped just like that. It's a personal preference, but I didn't like seeing three fonts on one page: the synopsis, the link to the publisher (which looks just a little fuzzy and unfocused), and the menu at the right letting us select the site's pages.

The home page's name should at least be capitalized in the tab bar. "Home" is not a great thing to see in the tab bar. "Ann Simko Welcomes You" or something of that sort would be better. Again, I cannot read this with ease, and you've got a lot of unused space. In fact, now that I think about it, why are there blank bands on either side of the pages? (Is it to make the page useful in other media, like cell phones?) Again, the three fonts jars my artistic sensibility.

The bio page could be Bio, yes? Or Ann Simko's Bio. I like the personal details and think the photo of you should be resized so your pretty face is the size of the avatar's. Same problem with font size and readability, and three fonts vying for supremacy, as on all pages. I found it jarring that the headers About Me, My Family, and The Truth do not match the font of their content.

The excerpts page would be better with its tab capitalized and the name of the book added: "Fallen: Excerpt" (why the plural 'excerpts')? Even though chapter one is available online through the publisher, it jarred me to be offered chapter four when I don't know who these people are or what's going on. In fact, I wasn't even sure of the gender of Dakota. (I had a fifty-fifty chance and guessed wrong.) How will jumping in to a book in progress sit with the person who has not read chapter one? Same issues with font size, multiple fonts. Scrolling was easy and let you put in a fair amount of content. The thanks for reading was also a nice touch, made you seem warm and likable. (Which I already know, but your readers might not.)

The comment page needs to be operational, of course. The contact page could be named "Contact Ann Simko" for better effect, yes? (Man, I should have been in marketing. Get your name or the title on every page's tab.) I like the avatar waving bye. In fact, I like that it's the same character in different poses on each page.

Overall, the site's just fine, but IMO, some tweaks and enlarging would help older site visitors like me a bunch!

Maryn, hoping this isn't too nit-picky
Maryn ( who is wonderful!) Thank you so much for all the comments! I really appreciate all the time and the very helpful comments- I passed them on to my webmaster- who designed this for me and he is addressing what can be addressed- the font for one- working on that!

The spaces on side has something to do with getting everything in without having to scroll sideways - that would be bad-

the excerpt - unfortunately is a publishing/ contract issue- I can't put the same excerpt on my site as my publisher has on theirs and they have chapter one- this was approved by them to put up- but I could put another if it works better-

I won't address all -but belive me - my web guy is- he is a perfectionist and I knew he would want to know what you thought about it.

JoNightshade
10-13-2009, 01:51 AM
I think it looks beautiful; the only complaint I have is that the font is too small. I've got to squint to read it.

cscarlet
10-13-2009, 02:18 AM
(People still HAVE dial up nowadays??) LOL

The splash page for me loaded fine, and I actually think that was one of the most visually interesting parts of the page.

I agree, the font is small (and I don't have eye problems).... and I would personally consider putting the menu towards the top (with the banner below it) as opposed to having to scroll down every time you want to go anywhere.

I really like it though!!!! :) GREAT JOB! (err... great job to your friend? ;) haha)

sheadakota
10-13-2009, 02:28 AM
Thanks Jo and cscarlet! I really was pleased with what we came up with- but most of the credit does go to my friend and web designer- - the font is top on his list along with getting the comment and review page up and running- thank so much for taking the time to look at my site and comment on it!

Susie
10-13-2009, 02:55 AM
I liked it, shea, much good luck and your book cover looks super. Calls for :Cake:! :)

sheadakota
10-13-2009, 03:09 AM
Thanks Susie! Me loves chocolate!

TabithaTodd
10-13-2009, 03:31 AM
Loaded fast and great for my (Chrome, Wifi DSL) and I love the site. I don't mind splash pages, I kind of like the one you have because for me it works for the content of the site and works for the theme.

Beautifully done!

sheadakota
10-13-2009, 03:42 AM
Thank you Tabitha! My web guy said it was a give and take with the design- I had to lose some stuff to get others- but all in all I think it came out great- thanks for taking the time to let me know!

Silver King
10-13-2009, 03:46 AM
looked great on firefox, cable modem...
Same here. And all of the pages loaded instantly without any trouble. The font might be a little on the small side but still readable. And I agree with Maryn that your bio pic should be bigger so that we can better see your lovely mug. :)

Overall, I'd give it a solid A, and I'm pretty darn hard to please.

aadams73
10-13-2009, 03:56 AM
I like it a lot. It loads fast, and I like the color and graphics. My only complaint is the font is a bit small. But I often have trouble with light fonts on a darker background anyway.

And you look fantastic in your photo. :)

sheadakota
10-13-2009, 04:17 AM
Silver King and Aadams- thanks so much- I wanted to put a pic of my horse instead of me, LOL- but he (web designer) wouldn't let me:tongue

Can you tell I'm just a wee bit excited over all this?

Maryn
10-13-2009, 04:29 PM
And fully entitled!

sheadakota
10-14-2009, 03:35 PM
Bump- I just wanted to thank everyone for looking at my site- made a few changes due to your comments- Oh the comment section is now up and running! (I hope!)