- Reviewer: Muse
- Review date: 23rd Dec 2008
Without preliminaries, I begin!
The stripes are confusing and hurting my eyes, and I keep on getting distracted by them when trying to look at your actual content. They really don't fade easily into the background when I'm trying to concentrate on something else. If you must keep them, at least fade them out a bit so the colours aren't as bright and intense?
On some related colour notes, your website is quite predominately pink, and your portfolio establishes a kind of borderline style that you tend to use. I hesitate to sound like I'm trying to tell you to move away from your personal style, but I feel if this is your professional portfolio site where you offer web design services to othersâ€”well, I think I'd go with a style a bit less bright and pink. Make the website a little more subduedâ€”not to mute your style, but so it looks a little more approachable to potential clients and less of a personal site.
The green of your links is also quite hard to read. It's quite bright, and a green that's a little more earthy and toned-down might be better.
On your portfolio page, I'm not a huge fan of the border you've put around each of the preview imagesâ€”a simple pale pink outline would be better, I think. The images take quite a while to load and fill up my whole screen verticallyâ€”I usually prefer lightbox images to float in the middle of the screen without touching the edges of my browser, and it looks a bit odd otherwise.
h2s, across all your pages, are a little too close to the text before it. They need a larger top margin to clearly separate different sections by space, as well as by a heading with a marginally different text size.
Contact form is quite, quite green, and I'd prefer the form to be centred in the page, or a bit wider, or moved away from the left edge a bit. Otherwise you have that large empty space to the rightâ€”but a nice way to deal with that would be putting a cute little illustration there in pale green.
So, to recap: tone down the colour scheme so it's not as attention-grabbing (so the content can take centre stage when necessary), space out your
h2s, consider doing something about the green.
I thought I might as well organise the review according to the areas you want commentary in. So.
The first paragraph works fairly well, but it's a bit choppy.
Welcome to my portfolio! I'm Hannah and I have been designing and developing websites for five years. I like valid, clean, and semantic markup. I like to use designs that are simple, functional and catchy. If you need some help with your website, be sure to look at what I have done, and what can I do for you. If you're interested in working with me, don't hesitate to drop me a line!
I love the last two sentences, although (because the green of the links is rather bright) it kind of feels like you're dropping the links on all at once there. However, it does really work well in gently guiding visitors to other areas of the site, and strikes a good balance between approachable, friendly, and professional.
However, the sentences "I like valid, clean, and semantic markup. I like to use designs that are simple, functional and catchy" sound a bit simplistic and repetitive by both starting out with "I like".
If I were your copywriter (which, incidentally, I wish I could do for a living), I might write it like this:
Welcome to my portfolio! I'm Hannah, and I've been designing and developing websites for five years. I design simple, functional, and memorable websites, with valid and semantic code to keep it all running smoothly, no matter what the internet throws at them. If you need some help with your website, be sure to look at what I have done, and what can I do for you. And if you're interested in working with me, don't hesitate to drop me a line!
(My personal preference.)
I don't quite know how to put it, but the tone you've employed sounds more like a personal blog than anything else. I have to question whether it improves your image if a potential client knows you write fan fiction and so on. Depending on how you want to project yourself, you might want to focus more on your skill set, qualifications, and history as a web designer and developer.
Also, the pictureâ€”it also doesn't really project yourself as a professional. A straight-on headshot would be fine.
This could be reworded better:
Here is a showcase of my best works; they are ordered from new to old. Click on a thumbnail for full-sized view; to close the full-sized view press the "x" button on your keyboard or click the "x" in the top right corner of the image.
Instead of "Here is a showcase of my best works; they are ordered from new to old", it'll sound better as "showcase of my best works, ordered from new to old."
And "Click on a thumbnail for the full-sized view" sounds preferable to "Click on a thumbnail for full-sized view".
I actually quite like your idea of putting bulletpoints under each item in your portfolio to show what you accomplished with that site, because it's a good way to show off your skill set and the range of things you can do. Is it possible to link to the websites you've designed, however (if the layout is still up)?
I don't quite like the sentence "I can do a variety of things for you for a small fee! What would you like done?". Perhaps something along the lines of "I offer various services" would sound better than 'a variety of things', although my version sounds a bit dry.
I think the line "One year free maintenance ($10/hour after the year is up)" might sound better as "One year free support and maintenance", which might be more of what you're thinking. (Support also just sounds better.)
The asterisked notes would probably be better in a slightly smaller text, because they're not the main content but rather elaborations of certain details. Also, the single-asterisked note (* Extra pages are $5 eachâ€¦) should go before the double-asterisked note (** Packages including hosting and domain cover those costs for one yearâ€¦)
Honestly nothing to say here, it's all good. ^^ Perhaps offer a PDF version of your resumÃ© as well?
Everything else I need to say:
I don't really consider myself too qualified to judge your packages, but I think for the audience you're targeting, it's well-done. You've clearly outlined what you're going to do, and at rates most small website owners will think reasonable.
(Oh yeah, perhaps you had better clarify if you're going to be doing any copywriting or not? Some of them note you're going to provide content pages, but it isn't clear if you're going to help, say, write the about pages on some of the packages.)
All in all (this section doubles as the summary, incidentally), it's a nice site. However, it does lack a certain professional tone to it. Granted, I think your clients aren't likely to mind a little bit of informality, but the site is branded a little too strongly like a personal site (with the colour scheme and about page), as opposed to a showcase for your work and a way to find new clients.