Photo Website Design

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bob & Anni, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Bob & Anni

    Bob & Anni Guest

    We've just re-written our photo website using a new piece of software and wouldn't mind any comments.
    Not so much on the photographs, they're probably a matter of taste, but more on the operation of the website.
    IE is it easy to get around, fast enough, any useful features missing, obvious bugs etc.
    Just want some opinions before we spend too much time on expanding it.
    BTW There is a help page (top RHS)
    Bob & Anni, Jan 6, 2004
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  2. Bob & Anni

    Ed Ruf Guest

    Black text on a dark gray background is hard to read.
    Ed Ruf Lifetime AMA# 344007 ()
    See images taken with my CP-990 and 5700 at
    Ed Ruf, Jan 6, 2004
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  3. Bob & Anni

    tivot Guest

    more on the operation of the website.
    Reasonably fast to load/display via dial-up connection

    Nice layout - homepage title needs to be much more distinct from the
    background (fairly hard to distinguish on a TFT monitor)

    All in all, congratulations
    tivot, Jan 6, 2004
  4. Bob & Anni

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    The glaring problem is that the black type on dark gray, and even the blue
    (links) type on gray are TOO HARD TO READ!

    Have a heart. Some of our eyes are older and need a little more contrast.

    Other than that, the navigation is a little weird and inconsistent. The back
    arrow points up for some reason, the categories don't expand and collapse
    smoothly and the category menu goes blank on the bottom level (why is it
    there at all? just to hold the back button?). When you view the larger image
    there is no back button.

    Overall the graphic design is amateurish and inconsistent. The font sizes
    vary too much. The graphics don't go with the look of the site in color,
    size or style (specifically the orange arrows and gallery icon.) In short,
    not elegant.

    On the positive side, it does seem to work and I was able to get into the
    categories and find images. A search box would be nice.
    Tom Thackrey, Jan 6, 2004
  5. Bob & Anni

    Grant Dixon Guest

    What software did you use?

    Grant Dixon, Jan 6, 2004
  6. Bob & Anni

    PlaneGuy Guest


    1. firstly, the site seems to load accurately on both IE and netscape, so
    that is a good start.

    2. Next, I firmly agree with the other comments, that the writing is
    sometimes very hard to read. The thivk black and thick blue text on the dark
    grey background is very hard to read - even with my realtively good 26yr old
    eyes (so all those old codgers who just posters, don't need to feel too bad

    3. Page loading time is quite good on dialup.

    4. I like the categories on the left of the main page, and the added info it
    includes. However, I dislike the manner the UI changes when you click a
    category. The new listing (of albums) now has images where there were none
    before. Then, clicking an album, changes the UI once again, removing all
    info from the left "selector", and placing all the thumbnails in the main
    portion of the screen. (and I've now worked out that the image in "album"
    lists, is random and so it changes. This is not good if you want return
    visitors to remember a click through pattern.

    5. The way in which you have a navigation bar at the top, is a very good

    6. In the footer, you should make the words "please email for details" a
    hyperlink, such as

    7. There is a slight bug on the contact details page (I guess): " If you
    haven't had a response in 10 days, please reclass="albumpath"mind us "

    8. Back to the navigation bar at the top, you have the following link...
    "Our Sister Site", Guestbook, Information, Contact Details. Then in exactly
    the same font and format, you have the date. It isn't a link, but looks like
    it should be.

    9. The guestbook colour scheme is much easier to read (and I like the title
    graphic more too). Whichever scheme you use though, make the colour scheme

    10. Multiple language support is a great idea. However, I would change the
    name next to drop down list from the language name, to the word language.
    eg, why bother having it say English: Engish?

    This all sounds harsh, but I think you have a really good basis for the
    site - and some nice pics in there too. Will have to have a proper look in
    the near future.
    PlaneGuy, Jan 6, 2004
  7. Bob & Anni

    Alan Terry Guest

    I would like not to have to scroll down every page that shows the larger
    images - can you lose the logo strip for those pages?
    Alan Terry, Jan 6, 2004
  8. Hi, Bob,

    Thanks for providing alternative inks for non-framed browsing; that's very

    Others have commented on the readability. I used Netscape, and the text at
    the botton with the copyright information is so small it cannot be
    read. The text on the left frame (abstract, architecture, etc.) appears
    even smaller.

    The use of reddish frames aroung the photos on the front page misleads me
    into thinking the images are links.

    Having the white links change colors is nice feedback that they are links
    since you do not use a consistent color scheme for links. Red links don't
    change color, though. White borders around images that are links is
    confusing, since links are red and red borders are not linked images.

    The navigation bars at the tops of the pages is very nice, very helpful in
    figuring out where I am and where I want to go to get back to earlier
    pages. It is somewhat confusing, however, that the link to the page I'm on
    is 'live.' Clicking on it changes pictures in the left frame, confusing me
    even more.

    The site loads fast and is friendly and overall easy to navigate. It is,
    however, hard to read with black on dark gray. I think the silver text
    works very well, and I'd suggest changing to that. Smaller text is
    unreadable without regard to color.
    Phil Stripling, Jan 6, 2004
  9. Bob & Anni

    Donald Gray Guest

    That proves it is hard to read....

    Try highlighting all the text - it is easier to read. Then you will
    find the s/w link at the bottom of the home page.

    Donald Gray
    Putting ODCOMBE on the Global Village Map!
    You do not have to email me, but if you wish to...
    Please remove the SafetyPin from my email address first
    Donald Gray, Jan 6, 2004
  10. Bob & Anni

    Bob & Anni Guest

    Thanks guys, some really useful comments, and I do appreciate the time you must have taken.
    I agree with a lot of what has been said and will make the "easy" changes first, like font colours, sizes etc.
    The black font was an attempt to prevent the text standing out too much and distracting from the photo - big mistake!
    I'm trying a dim grey now.
    Some hyperlinks have now been changed to match the majority in style but I am still searching the code for the blue links, give me a
    day or two.
    Error in the "contact details page" - well done on that one, I never spotted it.
    Software details are below the footer with a link to the author.
    The random thumbnails feature looked like a good idea, making the site look fresh etc, but it doesn't seem popular so I may disable
    it (when I find the code that does it).
    Anni will look again at the logos and graphics to see what can be done, she liked it at the time.
    If the "graphic design is amateurish" that's because we are amateurs, this is just a hobby and we are prepared to learn from your
    comments - thanks again.
    Not an excuse, but I am (like many males) colour blind (red-green deficient) so it's always difficult for me to work with colours
    that "work together". We've tried to make the site black/grey/white to accentuate the colour in the photos, maybe that makes it look
    drab - I can't tell.
    I hope I've covered everything, except the operation of the menu system. There may be little I can do about these without more PHP
    experience. I don't think they were ever designed to expand smoothly, just open/shut, which I think they do quite well. But I agree
    that the longer menu bars with thumbnails are awkward to use if you have to scroll down - I'll see what I can do to modify this.
    Finally, this was my first exposure to CSS so I'm still learning. Now I understand them better I will set about reducing the number
    of styles and the site should become more consistent.
    Thanks guys, Bob
    Bob & Anni, Jan 6, 2004
  11. Bob & Anni

    PlaneGuy Guest


    have just had another look at the site - much, much better.

    As for your comments about colour blind and use of colours, this is an area
    that I am really interested in, depsite having good colour vision. My
    ex-housemate, is legally blind, yet has a small amount of vision. What he
    does have though, has strange colour perception. Similarly, a friend is
    red-green colour blind, and a few friends are colour-induced dyslexics.

    I have noticed (disturbingly for those that want to develop sites for all to
    easily read) is that no-one grouping of colours is easy for all. The
    dyslexics tend to like colour schemes such as dark red text on blue
    background - which noone else seems to be able to read. The blind guy, who
    needs to have his head about 10cm away from the screen to read it, likes any
    really high contrast colour scheme - what colours they are, he doesn't mind.
    My blue green colour-blind friend, for some reason has a problem with the
    way that monitors use a "mosaic" or almost bayer like method to create
    pixels. As a guess, he must be getting confused by the individual red/green
    pixels. As such, he likes text and backgrounds, that are contrasting, but
    not bright.

    What I have come to the conclusion though, is that a dark background with
    light text, with contrasting colour or greyscale is the best compromise.
    Then everyone can read it, though some struggle a little more than with
    their preferred colour. The worst "compromise" seems to be black text on a
    white bakground - though if it is done by using default browser colours
    (rather than coding things such as "bgcolor=#FFFFFF") it is very easily
    customised by users in their own browser, or even wondows environment
    (making it a very good compromise).

    Its just something I find interesting, and hope you all do to.
    PlaneGuy, Jan 17, 2004
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