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Q: Review and evaluation of website ( Answered,   9 Comments )
Subject: Review and evaluation of website
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: severisth-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 25 Feb 2005 12:03 PST
Expires: 27 Mar 2005 12:03 PST
Question ID: 480843
I've been hired as a consultant to review www. pivyjig .com (remove
spaces). In order to give them the best possible service, I am getting
suggestions from as many places as possible.

What I am looking for is a somewhat comprehensive outsider review and
evaluation (from a long time Web user). I beleive the goal of the
website should be to promote the sales of the Jig. Any suggestions for
improvement of wording, color, design, functionality, usability,
additional features,
overall experience, etc. would be great!
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
Answered By: tox-ga on 26 Feb 2005 18:19 PST
Hi there,
The following is my personal review/evaluation up to this point.

I hope this answer helps and if you require any clarification or
additional assistance, please let me know.



***Issue 1 : The top-banner.***

To casual web surfers looking around for products they want, the
banner is an element that gives off the first impression.  The quality
of the banner represents how professional the business is, and this
banner is failing to carry out its purpose.

1)	The logo, which is well designed, looks pixilated and bothers the
eyes of those looking at the banner.  Because logo is the most
outstanding part of the banner, this needs to be addressed.  Most of
the logos are produced in vector-based programs like Adobe Illustrator
? meaning that the produced logo will not lose its quality when it?s
resized.  The same is not true for compressed format like jpeg files ?
and I?m assuming that the original logo was saved in non-loseless
formats (like gif or jpeg files) then resized to fit the banner.  The
solution is to have the original designer of the logo resize the file
again in its original format.
2)	The slogan on the banner doesn?t really scream ?our products mean
business?.  The slogan should be written in such a way that it talks
to the target audience, not having your jigs talk to the fish.
3)	The shark on the banner doesn?t seem to be related to the theme at
all.  The images used in a banner should represent something.

The color scheme used on the banner, however, is well thought out and
should be kept the same.  It is unfortunate that the rest of the
webpage doesn?t really offer the same contrast or synergy.

***Issue 2 : Menu-bar***

First of all, the most widely used desktop resolution nowadays is 1024
x 768 or 1240 x 1024.  Gone are the days when 800 x 600 was the
staple.  At both resolutions, the text used in the menu-bar doesn?t
stand out nearly well enough.  The size should be increased by at
least 1 point then bolded.

Secondly, the color used in the menu-bar is out of synch with the
color scheme used in the top banner.  The color should be kept the
same OR sharply contrast each other ? the choice should be made in
order to provide the most comfortable surfing pleasure.  In this case,
I?d recommend going with the type of deep green-blue used in the
banner.  This provides more contrast for the white text in the
Lastly, embossed menu-bar buttons aren?t smart idea.  It provides too
much distraction away from the text ? which is what you?d want your
customers to be focusing on.  Surprising amount of attention can be
gained by spacing out simple geometric shapes ? rectangles in this
case ? properly.  Try changing the buttons into simple, mono color

As an afterthought, the menubar should always be aligned in such a way
that it keeps in line with the top banner and doesn?t intrude the text
of the main body.  Currently, the page switches the placement of the
menu-bar when the resolution changes.  Also, the selected section of
the menu-bar should be highlighted in contrasting colors ? yellow or
orange for the selected button and black text is usually the most
common color scheme for pages dominated by blue.

***Issue 3 : Background color.***

Usage of dark color in the background color is often aided by white
layers where the text / product images will be placed for most
website.  This is to have the observers? field of view naturally focus
on a certain area where the important information placed ? this is the
same reason why detectives / police will use flashlight for the search
in a dark room rather than turning on the light.  Currently, the
bright blue color distracts viewer?s eyes and widens the field of
view.  This is not a pleasant effect.  It should be changed
immediately to a much, much darker color.  Usage of gradient ? fading
of one color into another ? is also commonly used to provide the
distinction between the most important text or images (which will be
placed on the top) and less important issues which will be placed at
the bottom.

***Issue 4 : General sizing / spacing problems***

Empty space is as important as the space used for text and images. 
Currently, the spacing between groups of images and the description
text is not efficient at all. For example, the merchandise / online
catalogue pages shows several pictures that really have no excuse for
not being the same size and having some space between them.

Resizing them to the same dimension and separating each cells will
show more consistency, allowing for more presentable online catalogue.

***Issue 5 : Too much variation in colors.***

The general consensus behind color scheme of a webpage is that the
simpler you keep it, better it looks.  Currently, the website uses
plethora of blues with different hues, neon green that really looks
out of place, and not enough contrasting colors to focus the viewer?s
field of view on important information.  The current color scheme
should be more homogenized to focused use of navy-blue, light metal
blue (blue with more grey mixed in rather than bright light blue),
white and controlled usage of orange.

The text should mostly be kept in either white or black.  Only
exceptions should occur when a page has two separate main ideas ?
which doesn?t seem to happen a lot in the current version of the
website.  Different sizing, placement as well as good usage of
supporting color are the best way to go.  Too much variations in the
color of the text just makes the page look really busy.

Finally, flashing text is generally never good on any websites.

***Functionality Critique***

For some reason, menu-bar completely disappears on the ?purchase
online? page.  This should be addressed.  Also, clicking on the logo ?
placed on the top left side of a banner- should lead the customer back
to the main page of the website.

Privacy policy, terms of use, and FAQ sections could be duplicated on
the top section of the page.  More importantly, when offering online
purchase services, one should design the site so the customers have
easy access to his cart to review the information.  This option is
currently only offered in the ?purchase online? page, which is
isolated from all the other sections to begin with due to the absence
of the main menubar.  Good place to place the ?view cart? is at the
top of the each pages, along with FAQ.

Also, the news headlines placed on the mid-bottom portion of the page
doesn?t seem to much purpose other than filling up space.  The
front-page usually should serve as the means to provide the customer
with most recent news of the products being delivered to them, not
something that they can read off of any webpages or magazines.

Finally, the product descriptions should have only ONE unified section
to allow users to have easy access to all the information they want. 
Currently, they?re spread over 3 different pages.  One page can have
different sub-sections to allow for easier navigation and information


Request for Answer Clarification by severisth-ga on 15 Mar 2005 09:47 PST
The information you have given me so far is great. Can you also spend
a little time reviewing the interior pages individually?
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: willcodeforfood-ga on 25 Feb 2005 14:56 PST
Here's a little feedback, but by no means a comprehensive evaluation
of the site.  You've made a good start and just needs a little polish
to make it look professional.

1. Clicking on the main top banner should take me to the default or home page.
2. The navigation area needs to be "registered" so that it shows in exactly 
   the same location on every page.  As it is, it seems to jump around as the
   pages load.

1. Use relative size fonts to allow users to enlarge text using the font size
2. Make sure you can view all pages in 600x800 without scrolling side-to-side.

1. The page transitions seem a little over the top.
2. It would be helpful if you highlight the currently selected page within the
   navigation area.
3. Don't use blinking text.  Find a more subtle way to highlight that
4. If possible, use a single family of fonts.  Use a second family but only if
   it will be used to denote context, such as Arial Font = Product Descriptions.
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: severisth-ga on 25 Feb 2005 15:55 PST
Great, thank you willcodeforfood!

Don't be afraid to be brutal - it's not my website. :)
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: mewtwo-ga on 25 Feb 2005 17:19 PST
I was actually interested in buying, but I could not find any prices
for the baits.  When you click on the "buy online" menu button, all
you get is T-shirt advertisements.  Some of the pages are too busy for
my taste.
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: frde-ga on 26 Feb 2005 04:09 PST
The first page took some time to come up on my ADSL (but slow machine)
- using IE 5.00 on a 17" monitor

Then it wanted to run an ActiveX Control 
- since I ban those I did not see what was probably a Flash intro

The page is 'designed' for screens larger than 800 x 600
HTML is not meant to be a desktop publisher - although jerks use it as that

The white and green print on the hard blue background gave me eye strain
- and an attack of aesthetic gastritis

The left hand menu is a bit peculiar - light blue type on medium blue

Since the code is using CSS I would have expected something a bit more
menu like. One can get quite flashy in a helpful kind of way with
menus and CSS.

Loading that huge picture at the bottom of the page is probably doing
no favours, ditto I guess those TWO JPEGs showing the products.

I don't know what the background behind those products is meant to
look like, but on my 256 colour depth it is most peculiar
- also those two JPEGs are of slightly different size
- which is what made me realize that one big picture was actually two small ones

Then on the next page ('The Tank') we have JavaScript, real clever that
- so much better than simple hyperlinks

Just about all the pictures on the left hand side look as if they have
been cropped by a toddler.

I especially like the one titled 'Size Really Does count!'
The 'missing' bit on the right intrigues me.

I am glad you did not design that site yourself.

While I lay no claim to being a great web page designer ( I hate doing
it ) I do know the 'old rules' of HTML and some old rules from print
and design.

That site is violating the lot.

Ah ... 'Created with Visual Vision EasyWebEditor' that explains a lot.
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: buhbow-ga on 26 Feb 2005 06:33 PST
i only looked at the home page and a couple of others (couldnt go any
further, it was just draining the life out of me). that massive gif
down the bottom of the home page with the cute girls in it (which
should be a jpeg) is just wrong - 720kb   so so wrong. the css that
their html editor is producing nearly brings tears to your eyes.
through the mess you can see what sort of design they were aiming for
here but it just hasnt come together. i really hope they didnt pay for
this, or the program used to make it. *sigh* i should help a fellow
aussie out.
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: severisth-ga on 26 Feb 2005 11:45 PST
Don't worry buhbow, you're helping them out by helping me with this
question. I'll be putting all of this together in a recommendations
proposal which they will be giving to their webmaster to use to
improve the site. A few months from now, it should be much improved!

mewtwo, you make a good point, which I agree with wholeheartedly. I'll
be recommending that the option to buy be presented on the homepage
early on, in order to appeal to visitors who are already interested in
the Jig.

frde, thanks for the brutal reply! Your comment made me laugh in a
couple of places. I hadn't yet noticed the filesize of those
graphics!! I'll get those fixed as well so we aren't losing dial-up

Keep 'em coming!
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: severisth-ga on 09 Mar 2005 09:18 PST
I've submitted the site for review, gosmart-ga. Thanks for the tip!

Everyone else, I'm taking your suggestions to heart and am putting
together a nice proposal for really improving the website. If you have
any more thoughts, please keep them coming!
Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: musicianscooler-ga on 09 Mar 2005 09:32 PST
The graphics are are jagged. I might make the button color blue to
better match the site, then make the mouse over purple. I would
definitely lose the tranistions. If you are looking for an outside
opinion, go to

Subject: Re: Review and evaluation of website
From: lpdesign-ga on 09 Mar 2005 23:34 PST

I have had a quick look over the site and have the following suggestions.

The image at the top I feel could be made a lot sharper.  It is
comming accross as badly created image with wishy washy text.  The
Logo should be a top priority to sort.

Maybe consider using a different colour font and get away from the
black text on a white background.

If you need to outsource this or any other website contact me:

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