Simple website design critique please.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by click, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. click

    click Guest

    I've been playing around with simple methods to display my images on my
    ISP provided free site using javascript "lightbox" scripts from dynamic
    drive. I welcome comments back about this. Both links below have the
    same images and layout, but different scripts.
    This one is a perhaps bit a bit over the top with transition effects:
    This is simpler, but too easy perhaps to click on images to close, and
    perhaps the transition effects do add something?
    Some images are going to be taller than can be viewed without scrolling.
    Should I resize them so they fit in a browser window on say a
    1280x1024 screen, or should I forget about it and leave them as they are?
    Thanks for any replies, including any suggestions for other methods /
    scripts worth looking at.
    click, Jul 6, 2007
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  2. Clicking on the thumbs took too long before the full image displayed...
    most folks wouldn't check more than a few pix before they got bored.

    I hate to scroll images unless absolutely necessary, because I prefer to
    see the full composition at a glance.

    Perhaps 1024 x 768 should be your maximum design target, to fit even small

    For online viewing, speed is more important than size.
    Charles Gillen, Jul 6, 2007
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  3. click

    RL Guest

    The first one looks a bit better, but is it all really necessary?

    What is wrong with a simple HTML page of thumbnails and links to the big

    You could use a simple server-side script to generate the pages
    dynamically, or just do it on your PC before you upload new images.

    If you resize them or not, depends on what you're trying to do.
    Personally I prefer having large images as they are more useful.

    I'm probably in the minority these days, but simple is better IMO.

    - RL
    RL, Jul 6, 2007
  4. click

    click Guest

    It's a simple "free" ISP provided webspace so AFAIK server-side scripts
    aren't possible.
    I think it's necessary to do something, because simple links navigate
    way from the thumbnail index page, so if more than a few images are
    browsed, then navigating back to the index becomes a paint in the neck -
    either because the user closes a window (if the large images are opened
    in new windows/tabs), or the user gets lost in "back-forward" land.
    I tried to keep it as simple as possible.
    click, Jul 6, 2007
  5. click

    Nik Coughlin Guest

    Works without JavaScript too. Impressed! I prefer the second one.
    Nik Coughlin, Jul 6, 2007
  6. click

    click Guest

    Yep - throttling back to 64kbps (I just used up my broadband quota
    until Sunday :) ), then I see what you mean. On dial-up speed, it's no
    I'll take a look at the scripts and see if there's a way to bypass the
    image being pre-loaded so that at least it starts loading instead of
    looking at the stupid animated "loading" caption. But browsing images
    at less than broadband speed is a lost cause IMO anyway.
    click, Jul 6, 2007
  7. Dig it. Second one also has the "close" X at the top. Reduces scrolling.
    There's no such thing as making it *too* easy for users.
    Unclaimed Mysteries, Jul 6, 2007
  8. click

    click Guest

    It uses Javascript - but what I can't figure is that with ie7, browsing
    the page(s) on my HD, ie brings up a security warning. Browsing the
    same on-line it doesn't. I think my security settings are 100% default,
    so I have no idea why Microsoft would deem that html stored on a local
    drive would be more of a potential threat than html on the www. No
    problems with FF default settings.
    click, Jul 6, 2007
  9. click

    Nik Coughlin Guest

    It's just an IE thing. What I mean is, if you turn JavaScript off, it still
    works. Without the fancy transition, but it works.
    Nik Coughlin, Jul 6, 2007
  10. click

    Ralph Fox Guest

    Both are really cool.

    Some comments

    1. People *will* click on the thumb before the thumbs page has fully
    loaded. If they do, the effects don't occur.

    2. The grey semi-opaque layer only extends the width of the physical screen,
    When I scroll right, I scroll past the its right-hand edge.

    3. Many full-sized images are wider than the screen, and people
    hate scrolling horizontally.

    4. Start displaying the full picture immediately. People hate waiting.
    Ralph Fox, Jul 6, 2007
  11. click

    Pete D Guest

    Not bad but I have a pretty fast connection (5Mbps) and wonder what it was
    like on a slower one.

    Prefer the second one by the way.


    Pete D, Jul 6, 2007
  12. click

    Gizmo. Guest

    Boh pages work fine on Safari (prefer the second one btw) ... although very
    slow to load - on a 6.5Mb connection
    Gizmo., Jul 6, 2007
  13. click

    bugbear Guest

    On the second (simpler) page, the images should definitely
    be PROGRESSIVE JPEG (normally a tick-box option
    when saving)

    bugbear, Jul 6, 2007
  14. Why doesn't the back button work?
    That was the first thing I tried to leave the picture...
    not I don't go looking for your close button, because
    every designers idea is different.
    Aaron Lawrence, Jul 6, 2007
  15. click

    click Guest

    Yes - I don't know if there's a way to work around that, but I have
    resaved the thumbnails at high compression reducing file size by 2/3, so
    at least the page should load faster.
    So it does - I hadn't seen that. That overlay is resized to the window
    size on loading each image, but doesn't take into account if the table
    holding the thumbnails (or anything else on the page) exceeds page
    width. Darn it - there doesn't seem to be an easy fix - only to try to
    make sure on redesigns (if using this script) that nothing on the page
    exceeds typical browser width. Making the overlay larger would just
    force the browser to add scroll bars when they aren't needed.
    I agree, but unfortunately, the script relies on pre-loading images, so
    using progressive jpeg makes no difference. With broadband (locally -
    ie in NZ) the images and pages load fast, but apparently not from o/s.
    Now my broadband is throttled to 64kbps, they are taking 4-10 seconds to
    load - which is way too slow.

    Back to the drawing board I think. I'll see what else I can dig up and
    try again.
    click, Jul 6, 2007
  16. I have a 768 kbps dsl and is so-so.(In greece).I like the first one
    better.Excellent picturs BTW.
    fer the second one by the way.
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Jul 6, 2007
  17. click

    ray Guest

    Rather slow to load on my broadband - think about the poor suckers with
    Suggest you do both.
    ray, Jul 6, 2007
  18. click

    bugbear Guest

    Indeed. Viewing a website with some of M$oft browser
    can be horibly deceiving, since if a viewed image (not in a web page)
    is larger than the browser window, it scales it down.

    Many people are unaware of this, and post
    5 Mb imagefrom their cameras, 3000 (and up) pixel across,
    and don't realise that the picture's "too big"
    (in some meanings of "too big") since it
    "looks ok" on their machine.


    bugbear, Jul 6, 2007
  19. click

    Paul Allen Guest

    That's a bit of a stretch. The image pages are one step away from the
    index and it's trivial to put a "back to the index" link on each image
    page for users who are confused by "Back" and "Forward".
    I'm with RL. "As simple as possible" is a link to a JPEG file with no
    HTML around it at all. More pleasing presentation can be had by
    wrapping HTML around each image, with slight increase in complexity.
    Adding in Javascript is a big jump that risks problems on the user's

    Of the two designs you offered, I think I prefer the second. It
    distracts less from your images. (They're very nice, by the
    way. You see some of the same things I do, and you inspire me to
    get out and capture more.)

    Paul Allen
    Paul Allen, Jul 6, 2007
  20. I think I prefer the second one as it seems a bit faster to use, but I'm not
    keen on having fancy "loading" icons which spin etc. As a general rule I'd
    say simple=best. I've tried various gallery programmes to create HTML to
    use with my free webspace from my ISP and I have tried jalbum which is not
    bad, but it's quite fiddly to use with almost too many "options" to decide
    on. I have settled on the very basic HTML pages that Irfanviw creates,
    which are easy to tweak in notepad if necessary.

    cheers adrian
    Adrian Boliston, Jul 6, 2007
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