Okay, looking at the site. :-)
Here`s one thing that pops right out at me. You immediately tell say
that if I`m here to view and order, then click the "View & Order"
button above. Why not include a redundant link right in the text
itself, so I don`t have to look around and find the "above?"
Additionally, I`m not a big fan of black or dark backgrounds. They look
terrific, but in the majority of cases, the designer uses a
low-contrast font. Your mid-level blue on black isn`t all that easy to
read. I don`t want to have to work to read the site, I just want to
read it. :-) So how about moving the brightness of the text up to light
blue, closer to white?
I don`t think the site is too psychedelic. :-) It looks pretty cool,
actually. I don`t know if your intent was to evoke images of a
race-track with the curving three lines, but it works that way for me.
However (there`s always one of those, right?), what I`d suggest is to
bend the lines differently.
As they stand, my eye gets captured by your logo area, then the lines,
and pulled up and off the top right of the screen. I have to stop and
re-focus, then try to find where I was. At that point, the button-tabs
get pretty much lost. And that`s despite their size and brightness! It
took me a minute to figure out why I was having a hard time finding the
tabs, until I realized the blue "race track" kept pulling my eyes off
the top of the monitor.
I`m expecting to click on each of the small photos you have and go some
place. For example, when I click on "Color" I`d like to see examples of
your color work, and some content explaining what your philosophy of
color photography is all about. Something along those lines. Same with
the Black & White, then the Sepia images. Why are they there, what
will they do for me, and how come they don`t take me some place
Likewise, scrolling down, I see two small examples of your work. I
expect to click them and be taken to a whole new world of examples. :-)
Even if you put me on your Gallery page, that`s fine. Or if you give me
a full-size version of the collage and the photo-text images. I want to
do stuff! Make some "action" features....things to do...places to
go...the wind in my....um...well, I don`t have hair.... :-)
I didn`t like clicking the Gallery button, then seeing a bunch of text
and links. I realize this is a big problem for photography sites, but
it needs to be fixed! When I click on Gallery, I want to see pictures
similar to your Portfolio. I don`t want to then click more and more.
For the purpose of examples only, consider the thumbnail galleries on
porn sites. The images are large enough to be enticing, and each one
offers either a full-size image or a link to a particular person`s
"portfolio." Why am I mentioning a porn site? Because sex sells! It`s
one of the biggest money-makers in images.
Countless people have tried all kinds of ways to improve their cashflow
on porn sites, or to break into a totally saturated market. The people
who succeed are the best of the best at marketing. They`ve learned
eveything, tried everything, and found what works at the most common
Back to the point: When I click on "Gallery" I expect to see a
thumbnail gallery, where each set of images is grouped, each group has
its link, and I can go to various types of slide shows. You Portfolio
slide show could be tied to a proof-sheet of say 5-7 thumbnails on the
Gallery page, see?
What`s also weird is that you take me off the new site and put me onto
what I think you said was your old site? You`ll eventually want a
common "look and feel" across the board. So if you keep the black and
green layout, use it on your link pages as well, in my opinion.
Otherwise, change the home page back to the earth tones of the other
site. They look nice too, although, as you said, a bit typical.
Big problem on the "About Me" page. I`m on FireFox 1.x, and have no
intention of downloading yet another plug-in to view whatever it is. So
I tried viewing the same page in Explorer (IE 6.x). There, my Spybot
popped up and warned me of a change to the Regsitry!
If it weren`t for your being a community member, I would`ve clicked
away immediately from the site, and made sure to blacklist it. However,
I understand how certain aspects of technology aren`t necessarily under
I`m not sure what the plug-in is supposed to be, but I can`t see it in
FireFox, which I use to keep a "clean" system, so never download
plug-ins. Nor could I see it in IE because I`m for sure not going to
allow a Web site to make a permanent change to the Windows Registry.
I`d speak with a professional and find out what`s up with that.
So I scrolled down and took a look at the text. Which makes little
sense. :-) You`re saying (essentially), "Here`s something about me, but
it was done a long time ago, and probably doesn`t apply all that much.
The photographs, which is my line of business, were taken by someone
Um....so why am I reading about you in this fashion? LOL!
The "About" page on a site is an opportunity to make up for the
anonymity and lack of personal contact e-commerce naturally involves.
It should be warm, friendly, personal, and above all, begin to engender
an emotional connection of some sort with the viewer. Web sites are
mostly text and images, like watching a movie. They need more than that
to initiate a willingness to spend money.
Some sites have such a strong retail presence, with a professional look
and feel, they don`t need an "About" page. But just as many sites are
offering something new, different, or at a radically different market
price. Even eBay has the "feedback" system, along with the "About Me"
profile. So does SuN.
In other words, an "About" page isn`t really a biography. It`s not
quite a résumé either. Instead, it`s a common way to provide some
credibility and credentials. I`d much rather read a 1-paragraph
statement about your professional background in horses and photography,
than scroll through what you have, see?
Like a good résumé cover letter, the "About" page should focus on what
you have to offer. What examples can you use of how your photography
has brought pleasure to someone, won awards, become reknowned, or
otherwise "done something" for the world and customers?
Right now the View & Order page doesn`t make much sense in relation
to the Gallery page. I`m not at all sure which one to use to find my
event and order personal pictures, versus finding my event in the
Instead of offering "file name," I`d suggest a dynamic dropdown arrow.
Name the event something, and let your attendees know that name at the
event. When they get to your site, they drop down the box, scroll to
the event name, and that`s that. None of this searching based on wholly
mysterious and unexplained criteria.
If you have to keep what you have at the moment, then I`d suggest
replacing the picture in the middle of the screen with a VERY easy to
read (text on white background) version of the ? Help paragraph you
have at the bottom of the page. If I`m looking for my pics from an
event, I don`t care to see another horse.
I know you do horses, but I clicked on the View page to find MY pics,
right? So how come the explanation of how to find MY pics is almost an
invisible afterthough? :-) Make it black type on white, and increase
the font size. Put it into numbered instructions, and show me
immediately how to find my pics.
All in all, it`s not a bad site. But even during this analysis, I come
away realizing I have very little of an impression of your actual
photographs! And that`s the whole point of being in business, isn`t it?
How come I can`t think of a single image that stands out in my mind
I think it`s because there`s too much Internet and Web technology going
on. Think of a museum or art gallery. The "background" is as low-key
and unobtrusive as someone possibly can make it. The pictures and are
should be the entire focus.
This site lacks focus. On the one hand it`s a photographer, but on the
other hand it`s a "buy my pictures of your party" site. Take a step
back and consider: "What exactly is it that you want to do with your
Is this site in its present form helping or hindering in that goal?