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New Portfolio Site
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nowinowski
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Mar 7, 2009, 07:02 PM
 
My name is Nathan. I'm a designer living and working in Denver, Co. I just put up a new site at http://www.nowinowskidesign.com , and I would like any feedback. Also the site should be working in all modern browsers so if it is not working correctly in a given browser please let me know.

Thanks,

Nathan
     
besson3c
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Mar 7, 2009, 08:53 PM
 
If you are looking to make your site more compatible you can start by addressing the 154 W3C validation problems.
     
Cold Warrior
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Mar 7, 2009, 09:38 PM
 
It's very wide, maybe 1300 pixels, and the page has a lot of images which makes it load slowly.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 8, 2009, 08:14 AM
 
Student fresh out of school?

I'm not having a problem with width. I do have an issue with all the thumbnails for your work being darkened like that. It becomes a big black hole that makes the page look broken. It's a barrier, not an invitation. Yes, I know mousing over the images reveals them, but viewers aren't there to play. They're there to see your work. Give them thumbnails that invite them in.

The big navigation links "Contact, Work, Top" are a bit over-the-top for my tastes, too, but that's more of a stylistic affectation. I had to stop and think why the word "Top" was repeated. It's been a while since I saw a website that used that style of nav, let alone so boldly. That said, it's a relatively attractive site.

I understand why you did your email address the way you did (obviously trying to avoid spam bots), but an email link for a business should, ideally, be a mailto: function. At the very least, it should be cut/paste-able. Yours is neither. It requires the visitor to hand-type your address. That's another barrier. Search around...there are methods for having a working mailto: link that also thwarts collection by spambots.

There's a real 80's punk/new wave sensibility in the work. That's neither here nor there...just an observation. Personally, I'd love to see that come back in style. I have tons of work from then that I could dust-off and re-sell.
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Oisín
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Mar 8, 2009, 12:32 PM
 
What Thorzdad said.

Despite the fact that the style is very much opposite to what my own style is, I love the site. Except for the dark thumbnails. They make the page look deactivated. Lighten and brighten!

I also really love the Velocity logo in blue at the very bottom (with the reverse ‘dotted half-moon’).

Fix the validation errors, brighten the thumbnails, optimise image loading (it did load a bit slow for me, too), fix the e-mail thing—and I’d say you have a good site.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Mar 8, 2009, 04:00 PM
 
Interesting design. Quite different. i don't mind the darkened images so much although there probably is a more inviting way to get people looking at each piece.

However, the site is too slow. Bogged down by the larger images and there is no intuitive way to get back to the main images once a sample has been opened.

I agree with Thorzdad. I like the 80's punk feel to the images and the contrast with the large clear type is nice.

8.5/10
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 9, 2009, 10:08 AM
 
For some reason my eyes skipped the links to contact/work, the navigation just seemed missing. They are of course huge now that I notice them. What else could draw the user's eye down the page to finally find your portfolio?
     
nowinowski  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:01 PM
 
thanks to everyone for all of the feedback, it is really great to hear the good and the bad. There seems to be a consensus here and other places that the thumbs are too dark and I'm definitely going to brighten them up. Also, any recommendations on the best way to find and address validation errors, I'm a bit new at the coding game.
     
Oisín
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:22 PM
 
Go to the complete list of errors and just work your way through them, one at a time.

Many will undoubtedly be repeating errors (example: each time you do <img src="something">, you get an error—has to be <img src="something" /> to validate); and often when you have this many errors, just going through the code and fixing the most obvious ones will result in a drastic reduction in the number of errors, since one actual error can easily spawn five or six (or more) validator errors.
     
Timo
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:53 PM
 
site doesn't load for me (you're probably working on it)
     
Oisín
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:54 PM
 
^ Loads fine here …
     
besson3c
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Mar 9, 2009, 10:47 PM
 
Another really handy way to bring up the validator is to install the Web Developer Firefox extension (which is immensely useful), and then you can simply apple + shift + a to validate the page.
     
Wiskedjak
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Mar 9, 2009, 11:21 PM
 
Too wide and too long. It looks to me as though it was designed for print rather than for a computer screen. I would reformat it to fit on a 1024x768 screen, since that's where almost half of computer screens still sit (if they're not 1024x768, they're 1280x800). I understand you want it to be unique, but you probably also want it to be easily usable.
( Last edited by Wiskedjak; Mar 9, 2009 at 11:37 PM. )
     
nowinowski  (op)
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Mar 10, 2009, 02:42 AM
 
went through the site and got it to validate and fixed - what I *think* are all the problems that resulted from changing deprecated tags and such. Thanks to everyone for busting me on that, it was actually pretty easy to correct all 150 errors
As far as the sizing is concerned - I really hear where everyone is coming from but I always have to limit to 1024x768 at work and this was sort of a fun project, and for everyone who thinks that 1024x768 represents the plurality of screens out there - maybe they are depending on the market, but in my analytics report 1024x768 is about tied with 1920x1080 (24" imac) at 10%.

cheers,

Nate
     
Oisín
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Mar 10, 2009, 07:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by nowinowski View Post
went through the site and got it to validate and fixed - what I *think* are all the problems that resulted from changing deprecated tags and such. Thanks to everyone for busting me on that, it was actually pretty easy to correct all 150 errors
There are still 10 left, though they’re all from the JavaScript inserted by the server at the bottom of the document (not sure if it’s within your ken and/or access to remove that).
     
Wiskedjak
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Mar 10, 2009, 08:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by nowinowski View Post
went through the site and got it to validate and fixed - what I *think* are all the problems that resulted from changing deprecated tags and such. Thanks to everyone for busting me on that, it was actually pretty easy to correct all 150 errors
As far as the sizing is concerned - I really hear where everyone is coming from but I always have to limit to 1024x768 at work and this was sort of a fun project, and for everyone who thinks that 1024x768 represents the plurality of screens out there - maybe they are depending on the market, but in my analytics report 1024x768 is about tied with 1920x1080 (24" imac) at 10%.

cheers,

Nate
Where are you getting your numbers from? For general Internet population screen resolutions, I usually get my numbers from these sites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_s...resent_to_1999

Currently, they're showing that 73% of the general Internet population are using a vertical screen resolution of less than 900 pixels, with 60% of the general population below 800. 40% of the population has a horizontal resolution of less than 1024.
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=17

Now, your specific target market might have different numbers, but in my work experience, hiring managers of graphic designers might be running 1280x1024 monitors, but they're equally likely to be working off a laptop running 1024x768 or 1280x800 (hiring managers of graphics designers aren't necessarily graphic designers). If your goal is to land clients rather than in-house work, then it's even more likely that your target market will be sporting resolutions in the 1024x768/1280x800 range. When I've interviewed creative types, I usually prefer to have them go through their portfolio in the interview, and that mean a 1024x768 projector.

If the goal is to be fun, then go crazy and enjoy it. But, if the goal is to land work, then I'd do some analysis of your target market and redesign the site to be as fun for them to use as it is for you to design.
( Last edited by Wiskedjak; Mar 10, 2009 at 09:13 AM. )
     
Synotic
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Mar 10, 2009, 09:01 PM
 
Nice site. It might just be my personal preference, but I'd like to see a more formal resume put up on the site somewhere. I might like your work, but I don't necessarily feel comfortable just hiring "Nathan from Colorado" . It's not clear to me who these clients are, how involved you were with the projects, whether you worked as part of a team, and which projects are ones you actually worked on vs. personal projects/student work.

It's a small coding thing, but there's no reason that the horizontal scrollbar should be showing up until the frame actually hits the content. If I size the content, it's about 700 pixels wide, which is more than reasonable.

I understand the aesthetic, but I think should be some distinction between "Contact" and "Work." It's not entirely clear to me that they're links. If one were darker or lighter than the other, that'd probably do it. I also understand the large typography (I think that Wilson Miner pulls it off beautifully), but I think that having the navigation and the intro text so large actually works against the size and makes it look smaller. I would experiment with making either the intro or the nav smaller and seeing how it works against the "Hello."

"Hello," "Contact," and "My Work" seem to serve three different functions. To me, it works best with "My Work," where it's clearly a header. Contact is awkward because the margin above is different from both "Hello" and "My Work." I'd understand if it were greater to represent the divisions, but the margin isn't repeated with "My Work," so it just seems a little out of place. Also "Hello" reads hierarchically above the other two (or as something entirely different). It'd be nice to see some distinction made. I really like the artwork, especially the footer, but right now the sections are just confusing.

Altogether, the site reminds me quite a bit of Jason Orr's website. I think that a combination of spacing and font sizing makes the divisions of the site read a little more successfully.

Excuse the nitpicking, but I really like your work and think you have something good.
     
bluedog
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Mar 10, 2009, 09:18 PM
 
Nice work. I'm guessing you've corrected the dark thumbnails. Check your spelling in the Purple Crayons piece. If you are showcasing your work its imperative it contain no errors. Hint: Knowledge.

The advice in previous posts are all constructive and really good, a description on your involvement for each piece would be helpful and can highlight the skills and inspiration you bring to any project and how you may handle a potential client's work.
     
Timo
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Mar 10, 2009, 09:43 PM
 
So I click on "work" at top -- fine. Now at work I want to click on "web" or whatever. No go.

Don't love that.
     
Oisín
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Mar 11, 2009, 04:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Timo View Post
So I click on "work" at top -- fine. Now at work I want to click on "web" or whatever. No go.

Don't love that.
Links are all grey; white text in non-clickable. That part of it works fairly intuitively to me.

I agree with Synotic that the sections are a bit confusing (or rather, unclear), but I like that. It gives the site an aspect of chaos and non-conformity that I think suits it.
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 11, 2009, 12:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
Links are all grey; white text in non-clickable. That part of it works fairly intuitively to me.

I agree with Synotic that the sections are a bit confusing (or rather, unclear), but I like that. It gives the site an aspect of chaos and non-conformity that I think suits it.
It also makes Jakob Neilson spin around in his office chair til he gets dizzy and makes another post on his website about mystery meat navigation.

(also, I'd like to not have to click TOP to get back to the rest of the navigation... some part of the navigation should be recurring/consistent/locked down.)
     
nowinowski  (op)
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Mar 11, 2009, 08:54 PM
 
First thanks a lot to everyone for all the feedback it is super helpful.

As far as the screen resolutions I am looking at My google analytics to grab those and a few of the lightbox popups are going to overshoot vertically on around 50% of the resolutions that are seeing the site which is no good. But they are in general much larger than I was expecting.

The server is through yahoo and I cant believe they are putting in non valid code - that is a huge pain.

I'm definitely going to try to work in some way to address my input because I chose pieces that were almost exclusively 100% my design or direction, and I think that is getting lost, as it seems pretty common to throw stuff in your portfolio that just passed through your hands so people always are curious as to the provenance of the work.

thanks again,

Nate
     
Veltliner
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Mar 17, 2009, 12:44 AM
 
Beautiful website.

Loads fast.

Like the full screen-approach which seems very up-to-date to me.

Like the big images that are also links.

It's written in xhtml strict - congrats.

I have seen a few designer websites - I really like yours. Good luck!
     
Oisín
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Mar 17, 2009, 06:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
It also makes Jakob Neilson spin around in his office chair til he gets dizzy and makes another post on his website about mystery meat navigation.
Ugh, don’t talk to me about Jakob Nielsen.
     
arjo
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Mar 20, 2009, 09:45 PM
 
For the most part, I like it.

As someone else noted, the darkened thumbnails don't look quite right. Otherwise though, not too shabby. Also, is that some Helvetica I see? That's not a web-safe font, so I take it you're using JS to load it in? Nice work.

You may also want to put a contact form on your website. That way, people have a quick and easy way to get a hold of you when they visit your site, and they won't have to write down information and go through extra steps.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 21, 2009, 08:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by arjo View Post
Also, is that some Helvetica I see? That's not a web-safe font, so I take it you're using JS to load it in?
Ummm...Did you look at the page source and css? He simply states the font-family hierarchy "Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif" the way it's been done for ages. If you happen to have Helvetica on your computer, that's what your browser uses. If you don't have it, your browser uses Arial. etc.
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Apple Pro Underwear
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Mar 23, 2009, 01:21 AM
 
Aesthetic-wise, I have no problem. It's actually saying a lot about you I bet.

However, I wonder about a few things:
- Is the website not working hard enough for you because of the design?
- Is your copy a little bit too pussy considering you have huge design balls (judging from the design)?
- Are the demographics of your potential clients going to appreciate the design?

If you are seeking clients in music, clubs and art then this would be great. However, if you need some serious dough and are seeking any client at all, maybe this is the time to show off your conservative side.
     
nowinowski  (op)
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Mar 24, 2009, 05:18 PM
 
thanks for checking it out. I put up the site mostly to have something to show for prospective grad schools and other designers to get feedback on my work. I'm so busy right now I can't really pick up any freelance for at least 6 weeks anyway and I figured this point in my career might be the last time for a long time where i can let it all hang out :-). I'll definitely take a look at the copy.

thanks,

Nate
     
revMedia
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Apr 4, 2009, 06:28 PM
 
I like the style, and your work. Many people are turned off by navigation that seems different, or experimental. Design is all about pushing boundaries. Nice work.
     
yoshu
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Apr 16, 2009, 12:22 AM
 
Your site looks great, but why are you using arial as the first choice of you font stack for the body? You then go ahead and use helvetica as your first choice in your paragraph stacks. Also you don't need
Code:
<style type="text/css">
In you style sheet, that's only used for embedding in the html markup.

Nice site otherwise!
I design and develop websites, check out my site if you have a minute...
Tucson Web Design
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 16, 2009, 10:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by revMedia View Post
Design is all about pushing boundaries. Nice work.
no, I would say Art is about pushing boundaries. Design is about communication. Design can also be art, art can be design... but communication has to be there. If the viewer can't find what he's looking for, has the site been effective? For sites in which the experience counts more than the information, art may trump communication. But to be great design, why not have both?
     
   
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