Why does this site not look genuine....i have been told?

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This is a site that i set up for a friend..it is his business. I used website baker the best open source CMS available at the moment and designed the template.

One of his associates said that it didnt look right...perhaps not genuine but did not mention why and how it could look genuine.

PLease could you tell me what you think of the slide show and the overall design as well as how informative the site actully is.

timjpriebe's picture

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What's the URL?

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Oh bugger sorry...1energysource.com

bawebsites's picture

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benf;220579 wrote: Oh bugger sorry...1energysource.com


Megan's picture

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It's funny the words people use when giving feedback about a design. I'm not sure what this person meant by "genuine" either. It would be good to talk to them and ask some questions about what exactlyt they meant. NOt "professional" enough? Not credible enough?

The layout is okay - a bit minimalist. Maybe a photo on the home page would help. There should also be an "About Us" section to explain more about the company and give the site more authority. The Contact Us page needs a physical address and phone number. That's one of the things that raises a red flag for me - is this a real company? If so, they should have a physical address.

Also lose the iframe or scrolling div or whatever that is, and tone down the gradient in the navbar a bit.

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I also don't really get the it isn't "genuine" try to find out more what that person meant.

As for the design. It is just a little to boring for me.

My suggestions.

- Add some imagery or more color to the site.

The green is nice, but doesn't create a warm feeling, and it doesn't make me want to stay at the site.

- Add some more content.

- Remove the Scroll bar in the middle of the page.

- Create standard margins.

It looks like the left margin is 20px then the margin between the two divs looks about 50px, then the margin on the right looks about 15px.

My sites
Creadiv - logos, icons, web design
What's My IP Address

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Thanks for the feedback. To start i want to talk about the scrolling div. The reason i put it there was so that you didnt need to scroll all the way down the page, and seen as most browsers support scrolling divs and not iframes i figured it may be ok?? Why do you suggest not to have any scrolling??

Yes it is a bit boring...megan thanks you are absolutely right about the address and phone number!!

Maybe some more images.

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The whole scrolling div thing is just one of my preferences. It actually ends up annoying me, because i am so used to scrolling down a page to find what I want that when it isn't that way I would expect I don't care for it.

My sites
Creadiv - logos, icons, web design
What's My IP Address

Megan's picture

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That's exactly it - people are used to having to scroll to the bottom of the page. They know how web pages work that way. Adding extra interface gadgets that break the normal perception causes usability problems. Scrollbars also look ugly in the middle of the page.

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Yes ok. Fair comment. I agree! Well i suppose its back to the design board then...thanks for your comments.

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The gadient on the nav bar looks a bit boring maybe you should ad some "shine" to it in Photoshop.

I normaly like it when a page isn't to crowded as it allows the users eye to concentrate on the content but I think the big margin you have between your content and your right navigation leves the page felling empty and sparse. Like Megan said some more content like pictures could help make the page look more full, reducing the padding could also do this.

Greg K's picture

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Reason to get rid of the scrolling content in the middle: View the page at 800x600 resolution... You have to scroll BOTH the page and the scrollable content area to read it all. (heck, even at 1024x768 the entire page still scrolled a little for me )

I open up a page, i don't want to have to find the scroll bar to click on (or make sure my mouse is within it for the scroll wheel), I want to just be able to roll my scroll wheel and move on down.

Other things that IMO, would make me question how serious you are as a company (yes, I'm real picky about judging a company by their website), btw, I'm on Firefox on Win XP.... Oh and these are besides the items already posted by others, largely with megan about physical address.

1. Second paragraph on home page, it seems to be indented... none others are...

2. Third paragraph: "and only ? EEC suppliers" I guess I would have to assume this is just a placeholder for an exact number you are waiting on.

3. On the list, the second lines being indented differently than the first line doesn't looks good.

4. Grammar on the 4th list item (granted, may be just here in US, don't know) Ok, several spots that seem to have Grammar issues (missing commas) again, may be a regional thing...

5. Right after the list, looks like that there are two paragraphs, but no space between them. Again with the next "group". What makes me thing that it should be (at least by what I think you are trying to do) is that they both have a sentence that ends and nothing else on the line when clearly there is room for it.

6. In general, one sentece per paragraph doesn't read well.

7. In all, when I reached the end of the page, I honestly felt like I was reading a paper that was in the middle of being written and that was as far as you got.

8. On the process page, for me I see a scroll bar even though it hardly scrolls.

Just looks like something just puts together and never completes.


envisean's picture

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Hi benf,

So this is actually my first post here, I'm mostly sitting on SkillShare @ cssBeauty, but I decided I'd check out where other developers might be sitting in. Ok, time to put on the design cap, constructive criticism. Oh, on the "genuine" thing, if I'm translating it correctly (thinking about what a non-designer would use to express their reaction to a website) is that he/she means it does not have a unique look, and therefore is just another company to be dismissed because they are not truly there to do business in a different matter. This site is for an energy saving company, take a look at ge.com, might give you some inspiration/ideas to make it more "genuine."

Good points of the site:
- It's simple, not too many tabs, clear but flow of navigation
- Colors work, green & white, well actually anything will work with white, unless we're talking about white & white, maybe not so much.

Bad points of the design:
- I feel as if you went a bit border crazy, sometimes a defined border does not necessarily have to be so literal, allow your eyes to draw the visual lines, it's ok to get rid of some of those borders.
- A lot of your text is very huddled together, definitely re-assess proximity of characters and spacing between lines. Utilize this to your advantage, if you can space it out to draw more attention to the areas you want, then do so. No one enjoys a busy site, especially one that is busy with words.
- Font-size contrast, what are headers and what is text, you can push things a few sizes up, it will help in clarifying the importance of certain blocks.
- scrollable div -- everyone has mentioned this already, I think scrollable divs were implemented in CSS as a last resort for the overflow issue, can't be completely too sure though
- Separation of the content and sidebar, perhaps it's just me, but on my browser it's pretty far apart
- Why the white banner sitting on top of the page? There's so much you can do it that!
- Don't be afraid to break out of this "Verdana" box, it seems that the site is so sheltered at this point, you're trying to play everything safe.

Hope this helps! Feel free to toss me an email if you have any questions about these comments!


Sean Hsieh
President / Chief Creative Officer
enVISEAN Media

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Thanks envisean....i think i will toss you an email!

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Joined: Jun 2007

A bit more color would help. On first glance it looks like the pages you get when you click a link and the site is no longer there.

An About Us page would help explain the business also. When I click a contact link I would like to know where you are, who I am contacting, if possible.

"I'm a figment of your imagination."

They have: 10 posts

Joined: Jun 2007

Ok some issues i see here..

1. There is too much white-space big blank spaces on the site. These should be replaced with nice graphics of computers people and network wires Smiling
2.The scroll box in the middle has got to go! There might be to much words for the home page on the site. Move them to a second page
3. Spelling is a MUST please go to every page a fix up the spelling.
4. The "image verification" on the contact us page has got to go..


They have: 1 posts

Joined: Jul 2007

From the initial appearance it seems somewhat plain and not interesting. When people look at websites they generally expect to see technical items, which I feel your website is somewhat lacking. Also, there is a lot of white space throughout your website. You may want to consider a different color scheme or graphics. Also you may want to consider putting more information on your sight about the business. I didn't like the scroll down box in the middle, it was distracting. Also, the marketing aspect of the site seems to be missing you may want to consider that. However, the main thing I liked about your site was the simplicity of it. It wasn't overbearing with numerous icons and pop-ups. That is GOOD!!!

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