My latest design endeavor. (Review?)

49 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
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I am building a new site for my job and after several attempts I think I have created something I am happy with.

First attempt. My boss said he wanted it rustic. He doesn't want it to look like other rehab sites. I'd never done anything rustic or for a business, at that. I build modern styled sites so this was an alien concept for me. So I started throwing stuff together until I reached this finished product. He loved it, but I am a perfectionist and I hated it.

Second attempt. Still trying to be rustic/ranch-y. I liked it better but it still looks like crap to me. So I laid it to rest.

Third and final attempt. I like it. =) It's simple and with Georgia font filled in it looks very nice, I think.


Let me know what you think about my final product.
#design #endeavor #latest #review
  • Profile picture of the author rlhurst
    I started from your 3rd attempt and worked backwards.....
    I have to say, my taste was the opposite of yours. I like your first
    attempt the best. If your boss wants rustic, I say make it rustic
    whether you like it or not. In fact, I'd like to see more wood!
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  • Profile picture of the author ralchevd
    I would stick to the first one too. Maybe you could try to fill with content the third one?
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  • Profile picture of the author Pat Flanagan
    I have to agree with rlhurst on this. First of all, your boss loves design #1, so hey, it sounds like your work is done. But here's why I like it...

    Think about what your site is promoting -- rehab and recovery. Put yourself in the mindset of someone who either personally needs that, or has someone close to them who needs that. What is the first thing you see when you visit each of your designs?

    1) I see beautiful outdoors and calm animals, gives me the feeling that visiting Touchstone Ranch will get you away from it all, so I (or the other person) will be able to concentrate on recovery. Not so sure about the Louis Armstrong video but I'm guessing that's a placeholder.

    2) Looks clinical to me, I see a horse in the header, but I don't know, could just be your facility's logo. I see a lot of text I need to read. This place could be a cinderblock building on a busy city street, for all I know.

    3) A bit better, but I can tell I'd have the same impression as #2.

    I don't think this is a business area where flashy Web 2.0 design techniques are really that important. What your business is selling is addiction recovery and you seem to have a unique setting and methodology for it. The photos sell it. The other two designs look like everyone else.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobKonrad
    Hey Larches,

    I have to agree with the previous posters - to me, it just went from bad to worse with 2 and 3

    Original one looked very warm, calm.... 2nd one looked depressing in comparison (probably not the best thing for a drug/alcohol recovery center?), and the third one is just plain and boring (for my taste).

    I'd go with #1....

    Cheers,
    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Originally Posted by Larches View Post

    He loved it, but I am a perfectionist and I hated it.
    Let's face it: that's not true.

    You didn't 'hate' it because you are a perfectionist... (you are not the only one!), you didn't like it because your taste is different. It's that simple. :p

    However, in this case your "different taste" doesn't necessarily mean a better result, sorry. You have talent and skills but your ego (and emotions) took it over and while chasing the perfection... you created two boring and soul-less design.

    I'd also go back to version #1, get rid of the ugly black bg and work on it from there. Oh, and there are some beautiful pictures on the blog - use them. (And when you are done, make the site and the blog to look the same!)

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author pow999
    i go with u. the third one is the best. IMO
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    Wow, thank you all for you input.

    I felt like the first one was very cluttered, too busy and just plain harsh on the eyes. (And yes, the video is just a place holder.) Maybe if you take one more look at the third attempt now that I have a little bit of content filled in? The video will also be a video of the ranch and what it's like here.

    Now I'm just unhappy, haha. I can't go back to the first one now because I've already discarded it. The second one is the one they want to use, but they have no eye for design anyways (and obviously, neither do I), and the third one (although favored by me) is no bueno, according to professional opinion.

    Well... stay tuned for #4. Should be here by the end of the day. -_-
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    • Profile picture of the author Pat Flanagan
      Originally Posted by Larches View Post

      Well... stay tuned for #4. Should be here by the end of the day. -_-
      Hopefully design #4 will look like design #1. I agree with Istvan who said the black should be replaced. Other than that, the #1 design was the only one that really conveyed anything positive to me. The other 2 designs were too clinical and, frankly, generic. Don't get hung up on presenting information, something like recovery requires first getting the emotional appeal right, THEN they'll stay on your site to read the information. I think you're really overcomplicating things by letting your personal tastes get in the way of what will appeal to your target market. It's an easy trap to fall into.
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      • Profile picture of the author Azarna
        Another one here who prefers 1 to 3, by a long way.

        1 looks interesting, engaging, but 3 is just boring.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pat Flanagan
      Originally Posted by Larches View Post

      I can't go back to the first one now because I've already discarded it.
      I realized I'd overlooked commenting on the above. People... NEVER discard any of your designs. Always keep everything you do. Hard drive storage is cheap. You never know when something you decided not to use in the past will prove useful in the future, thus saving design time.

      NEVER discard work, doing so GUARANTEES that you've wasted time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Design #1.

    Use a color picker, create a color scheme using header colors (brownish...) and go from there, replace the black for something more "earth". Maybe add some greensih touches?

    The first design is powerful, just needs color/contrast/earth / nature tones.
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  • Profile picture of the author wickedwebdesign
    I like the 1st one, just make it more clean and tidy and that will be the best ! 2nd and 3rd just look like a regular and boring blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author J3thro M
    We like the first design and it wasn't hard to decide.
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  • Profile picture of the author K Meier
    Definitely the first one. But have you tried the first design with a brighter background?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ibcontact
    I like your first one and second one site ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    I can't fade any other color than black into the wood or it looks like crap. Black makes it look like the wood just fades out, but any other color look horrible.

    But, I'm on to something similar to #1. I must finish by tomorrow afternoon, so we will see what happens!
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    Well. Let me know what you guys think.

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/68...sBMYIZQ4=w1024
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben_R
    cant see how it could be the first one but like you say it only preference's and ultimately
    its up to your boss -

    i think the 2 nd one looks the best - but then not so rustic
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  • Profile picture of the author Pat Flanagan
    Larches, went to look at your latest design but I get a 403 Forbidden error on your link.
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  • Profile picture of the author aeroturner
    hey ur first design was good !! i think improving that one would please ur boss.. replace that black background with a wooden finish .. and the raunchiness in the top degrades as we go down so maintain the same theme through out !!
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
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    • Profile picture of the author Technostones
      From your original post I felt stronger about the first one. I did feel it was a little too black. In your last post(today) much better bring out the brown earth tones.

      I agree - do not delete any of your work. You will recycle design elements when you least expect to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    And now my 'supervisor' says it's not ****ing good enough and that I have to go back and add a contact form, 800 number, a ****ing interactive test that people take and it tells them if they are a drug addict or not.

    -_- If anyone in this thread has experience creating a website by making an image in Photoshop, chopping it up in Imageready and then editing it to be an actual web page in Dreamweaver, you would all understand my frustration. With this method you can't just go back and edit. You have to go back to the PSD, change whatever needs to be changed in the design, go back into Imageready and slice it all up again, then go to Dreamweaver and set up all the background images/color, page formatting, content, etc, allllll over again.


    SO ANGRY!
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
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  • Profile picture of the author aeroturner
    Second attempt is pretty good looking !! than the other attempts
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  • Profile picture of the author Kyle Oliveiro
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by Beetlesales View Post

      Where did you get your template from?
      If you're speaking to me, I don't use templates. I make a blank document and just go.

      Originally Posted by Kyle Oliveiro View Post

      The latest example looks awesome. Good work!

      A few euggestions:

      - Try reducing the saturation/brightness of the background because it stands out a bit too much and takes attention away from the main content. (Your previous example's background was better)

      - A logo next to "Touchstone Ranch" at the top would look good. Again, I feel that the header of your previous example was better.

      - Increase the line height of paragraph text to improve readability.

      - I don't like how the top header is separated from the navigation like that. Try adding a light grey background to join the two elements?
      Touchstone Ranch Recovery Center ? Haha. Any better? I am going to add the company logo to the right of the heading image.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kyle Oliveiro
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        • Profile picture of the author Neodism
          Originally Posted by GilGarcia View Post

          Hey Larches,

          I know i'm new here, but I've done a bit of WebDesign and i wanted to give my 2 cents.

          I'm gonna stick with v10 trtc.us/10 - and v11 - trtc.us/11. Since those are you latest and most polished works from what i saw.

          The header on the latest version lost allot of impact, usually when you have a number, you'll want that number to stand out.

          White text on that background doesn't quite cut it for me. IMO you'll either have to increase the text a bit, or go back to something more similar to v10

          Try to use no more than 2 fonts.
          I personally like sans-serif for headlines and serif fonts for the body text.

          There's allot more to say, but good typography and element placing takes you a long way.

          Hope you won't find me too critic,

          Gil
          Thank you for your input. I like Georgia because it has more of a classy/vintage/sweet feel to it. (For this design, at least.) I know the header lost it's pop, but I'm at a loss of what to do. I have to have a picture up top, it's inevitable, but I guess when it comes to logo/banner creation I'm not too creative. =/ When I put text on an image for my banner it seems too busy and hard to read.

          As far as the call to action goes, I will work on it at a later point in time, but I am actually more interested in them seeing the "Chat" button, which I feel stands out. I like how it flows. I feel like the video and chat button will get the most attention; the two things I want them to see. In this business, I feel like people will be more reluctant to call than to chat.

          //This is my own personal belief. Just taking into consideration what I see people do and how they act on a daily basis. People will open up and be less nervous via email, text, etc, rather than over the phone. People get hesitant to make a phone call these days because it's intimidating.//



          Originally Posted by Kyle Oliveiro View Post

          Love the new navigation. Background still stands out a tad too much. Call to action at the top isn't prominent. Maybe add a dark blue background behind the white text. Links at the bottom look weird in green. Try changing them to the blue that you've been using?
          What exactly should I do with the background image?

          Also, I changed the links. =)
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  • Profile picture of the author lembone
    yes, The First site is what i would go with. But i do like the 2nd one too. but hey i mo pro at this so i am going to stick with the 1st one..

    Nice job
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  • Profile picture of the author GilGarcia
    Hey Larches,

    I know i'm new here, but I've done a bit of WebDesign and i wanted to give my 2 cents.

    I'm gonna stick with v10 trtc.us/10 - and v11 - trtc.us/11. Since those are you latest and most polished works from what i saw.

    The header on the latest version lost allot of impact, usually when you have a number, you'll want that number to stand out.

    White text on that background doesn't quite cut it for me. IMO you'll either have to increase the text a bit, or go back to something more similar to v10

    Try to use no more than 2 fonts.
    I personally like sans-serif for headlines and serif fonts for the body text.

    There's allot more to say, but good typography and element placing takes you a long way.

    Hope you won't find me too critic,

    Gil
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  • Profile picture of the author GilGarcia
    My issue is with that the white text on a different font without a background it just fades away.

    And my experience with customers is that those chat buttons are nice and all, but sooner rather than later they slack a bit and rely on getting phonecalls rather than having someone on the chat standing by and ready to talk ?

    Could be nice to integrate an chat is online/offline graphical element.
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by GilGarcia View Post

      My issue is with that the white text on a different font without a background it just fades away.

      And my experience with customers is that those chat buttons are nice and all, but sooner rather than later they slack a bit and rely on getting phonecalls rather than having someone on the chat standing by and ready to talk ?

      Could be nice to integrate an chat is online/offline graphical element.
      I'm an amateur, through and through. =/ I can't really code anything.
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      • Profile picture of the author GilGarcia
        Originally Posted by Larches View Post

        I'm an amateur, through and through. =/ I can't really code anything.
        Well for an amateur you're doing a great job
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by Beetlesales View Post

      I see you haven't responded to my email.

      Oh well, I tried.

      I actually never received your email. Furthermore; I'll be fine. Thank you for trying, though!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Burritt
    Nice job!

    You'll definitely want to put the legal stuff down in bottom footer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pat Flanagan
    Latest version is MUCH better than the original versions 2 and 3. I agree about the white text at the very top, I would just add a simple 2 pixel black Layer Styles stroke on the text, that will make it stand out more without being overpowering.

    The faded out picture behind the text and video box is a bit distracting, I don't know that it adds anything. If anything, I'd like to see a horse somewhere on there. As I mentioned about the very first design you did, one of the things I liked was the incorporation of a horse photo onto the page, since the equine therapy is a focal point of this center.

    Finally, your video (really nice quality, btw) makes no mention of the equine therapy, instead talking about some faith-based issues. You should make sure your marketing text and video line up with each other, or else it's going to be confusing to your potential clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author honeyclarck
    Try Try again.
    and the third one is the best. ok
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    • Profile picture of the author Neodism
      Originally Posted by GilGarcia View Post

      Well for an amateur you're doing a great job
      Thank you. That feels good to hear every now and then.

      Originally Posted by JeffBurritt View Post

      Nice job!

      You'll definitely want to put the legal stuff down in bottom footer.
      I'm not really aware of what legal stuff needs to be there. Inform me?

      Originally Posted by Kyle Oliveiro View Post

      Make the background darker and less saturated. You did it well in one of your previous examples. Also, I see you're having some trouble with the coding. If you still need help, feel free to PM me
      Can do! I'm actually wandering into CSS, finally. Trying to get rid of these retarded ass tables. I just hope I'm doing it right! I hope it works out between all browsers. Everyone here at my work uses IE, as well as 21.7% of the rest of the world. So I really need this to work, as obviously as with any project that anyone ever does, across all browsers. I will be finishing the home page in CSS and DIVs within a little while and I'll let you all see!

      Also, thank you for your help.

      Originally Posted by Pat Flanagan View Post

      Latest version is MUCH better than the original versions 2 and 3. I agree about the white text at the very top, I would just add a simple 2 pixel black Layer Styles stroke on the text, that will make it stand out more without being overpowering.

      The faded out picture behind the text and video box is a bit distracting, I don't know that it adds anything. If anything, I'd like to see a horse somewhere on there. As I mentioned about the very first design you did, one of the things I liked was the incorporation of a horse photo onto the page, since the equine therapy is a focal point of this center.

      Finally, your video (really nice quality, btw) makes no mention of the equine therapy, instead talking about some faith-based issues. You should make sure your marketing text and video line up with each other, or else it's going to be confusing to your potential clients.
      I can easily remove it. =) And you're right, I need a horse somewhere. The words tell you its an equine therapy drug rehab, but the pictures don't and that could be a problem. Understood, noted, on it!

      Also, the video is just a placeholder that I got off of Youtube. I have a nice-ish camera that takes HD video, a green screen and we will be making a video soon to go there, but I doubt it will be that nice, haha. I'm very new to Adobe AE, so I can't really do stuff like that. =/
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    Alright. I've (almost) successfully cloned the table-built site into a CSS layout. I'm having just a slight problem with positioning the text in the info-boxes. Can anyone take a look and point me in the right direction?

    CSSAttempt
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  • Profile picture of the author Pat Flanagan
    All I see is white text on a white screen, with a blue link menu toward the bottom of the page. Maybe your background graphic isn't uploaded?
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  • Profile picture of the author guptasandeep
    I also like the third one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    Funny how my images folder would just disappear like that. -_-

    Anyways, I got most everything all figured out. Now I'm just trying to find a way to override the CSS file for the navigation bar. See, my CSS says that links shall be blue. But my navigation bar is blue, so you can't see them. Solution?
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    Where would I place this code?
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  • Profile picture of the author Neodism
    -I only need the links in the #navigation to be white. The rest need to stay the blue that I have defined them in CSS.
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