Web Design Critique: Fitzhugh Decorating

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When one hires a decorating company, they expect that the decorators pay great attention to design, and aesthetics. Going by Arthur Fitzhugh Decorating’s website, they know what they’re doing.

Sporting the classic plain white background, with two widgets that stay at the top of the page even as visitors scroll down. The topmost is orange, and has links to the company’s Twitter, as well as company phone number and a link to the quotes page, for easy access. The second widget is the main navigation tool, with links to all of the pages in the site.

Certain pages also have an additional navigation section, one that doesn’t scroll down with the page, to the right of the content. Below this are the contact details of the company; telephone number, mobile number, and address, with an image from Google Maps giving directions to the company’s headquarters. At the bottom of every page is more navigation links as well as contact information; with all the information that’s seen in the other navigation segments. All in all, this abundance in navigation options makes the site easy to navigate through, with options to access quotations and contact details at all times, which is a big help.

As for content, the text is fairly straightforward; descriptive without coming across as superfluous. They say what the company wants to say without overwhelming visitors with gigantic walls of text. Formatting is also well-done, with starting text being a bit bigger than most to give it emphasis, while the normal text is just the right size to be legible without looking like it wastes space.

One thing worth noting, is that the starting text for the Our Services pages tend to be mere edits of a template, which always start with “We at Arthur Fitzhugh Decorating…”. While it’s understandable that the site want to make it clear that they’re a decorating company worth hiring, the fact that they repeat that message in several pages is a bit of an annoyance, all the more noticeable since they’re at the first part of several pages.

The images in the site aren’t too big, and some pages do lack them, but when they do show up, they add some much needed colour to the site, adding a clear, visual representation of what the company can do, which, given their services and their industry, is key. The way they handled these images, these ‘decorations’, show a concern for detail that’s desirable for a decorating company.

All in all, the site is well-designed, well-constructed, with good choice in its use of images, colours, and formatting, though the text might need a bit of work.

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Web Design Critique: Boardwalk Catering

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A straightforward, black and white site, contrasted with vibrant imagery of delicious, well-catered food. That’s what’ll greet people who visit the site of Boardwalk Catering, a wedding caterer in Sydney, one that believes in good imagery, if their site is anything to go by.

The site sports a straightforward layout, the header, with the mandatory links to all of the other parts of the site, as well as sites to Facebook and Instagram. Immediately after that, are the images of the catering that the company provides.

Notably, there’s a distinct lack of account control options, like Log In, with the only way to stay in contact with the catering service being the “Contact” page, which has a link in the main header. That being said, the contact is only for a single event, which might be problematic for anyone looking to hire this particular wedding caterer in Sydney for repeat events.

For the main page, these images are presented in a slideshow, and act as links to the company’s services.

Save for the images in Venues and the Main Pages, these image don’t link to anything. They may be clicked on to see a bigger version, but not much else besides that, which does come across as a bit of a waste of space.

Not to say that these images aren’t well-done though. Quite the contrary, the images are exceptionally done, and greatly presented, letting them give the site that splash of colour, and energy it really needs. These beautiful images are strewn across the site’s pages, making them feel memorable, and gives visitors a good idea of what to expect from this wedding caterer in Sydney, which is always a plus when you’re marketing.

The icon for Facebook and Instagram sport a black and white colour scheme, not their usual, more iconic iterations, which is strange for social media sites, which are heavily reliant on being bright and bold to stand out. This is somewhat indicative of the site’s biggest shortcoming.

The images on the site are well-done, well-presented and appealing, there is little doubt about that. However, the monotonous black and white colour scheme that it uses, combined with fairly small text, does make the site come across as barren, at least in the areas where there’s little images, only the fairly verbose walls of text that the site sports.

It feels as if the site invested too much into the images, to the detriment of everything else. Yes, they’re the lynchpin of the site’s identity, but everything needs to feel distinct and noteworthy, too.

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Web Design Critique: Catalyst Events Solutions

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Today we are going to critique the website of Catalyst Events Solutions which specializes in conference and event management especially for clients that are is Sydney. The company also boasts of having staff members based in Brisbane as well as Melbourne. Today we are going to critique its website which is at

  • When it comes to website design, the first thing the users will see is the aesthetic aspect along with visual impact. According to research, 94 per cent of users make their first impression based on the design of the website while 75 per cent said that they based the credibility of the company on the design handpicked for the website.
  • After aesthetics, another aspect to focus on is the navigation. This is the most basic way by which users can move around the website and learn information that relates to the company, their products and services. Getting everything right for these two aspects is important because it will help them decide whether to do business with the company or not.
  • When it comes to critiquing a website, the content should be reviewed just as carefully. The content should be able to educate those who read it.
  • Users do not have a lot of time to waste on a website that is hard to figure out. The users will only stay when they know they can get something out of the site. Otherwise, the users will not remain on the website and look for other alternative sites instead. Adding impressive features on a website is useless if usability is not made the top priority.
  • If you have existing clients that have visited your website recently, it is much easier to ask them for feedback on how the website can be improved. Clients who are looking for company that will handle conference and event management will more likely hire one with website that looks more put together compared to the one that is not the least bit professional looking either with the aesthetics, the design or the function as a whole.
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Web Design Critique: Amber Tiles AU

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“Amber has the answer”, is the motto of Amber Tiles AU, which it features across the company logo, both of which feature bold orange colours at the top of the page which pop from the site’s white background. It’s certainly good at grabbing attention, which condenses what the site does quite well.

The logo and the motto are located on the menu bar, which contains all the links and bits that you would expect from such a thing; home page, about us, offers, products, promos, contact information, that sort of thing. Located at the very top, even higher than the title and motto, are the search bar and the favourites page, which is convenient for anyone looking for floor tiles for sale or whatever it is they want.

Immediately after this, are the image links to its latest products and offerings, also featuring the bold orange colour scheme that the site loves. The slideshow, while nice, does feel a little too fast at times, moving through the options in just a few seconds.

This use of visual aids is prevalent throughout the site, with a lot of images and links that add a splash of colour to the site, which is good as the background is plain white, throughout its entirety. The images are nice and welcoming, but they tend to be empty, lacking any people in them, and a human element. On top of that, the site’s images on the products page. Yes, the image tells you which link leads to the floor tiles for sale, but the white text can be hard to make out.

As mentioned before, the site’s background is white all the way, which gives it that neat look, which doesn’t take away from all of its visual aids. However, the dropdown menus and some of the text isn’t black, it’s a dark shade of grey, and they’re also rather lacking in size and presence, which can be problematic. This is best seen at the bottom of every page, which have more links. They’re a lighter shade of grey than the usual content.

Overall, the site uses visual aids quite well, though the tones and hues used are lacking in contrast, which gives a feel of being overly invested in the images and the like.

 

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Web Design Critique: Academy Supply

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School tables and chairs neatly arranged in circles and half-circles, neatly placed together with nothing out of place. A simple image, but for a school furniture company, a powerful one, as it lets them tell visitors to their site what they’re about without even needing to say a word. Metaphorically speaking.That’s a good impression, by all accounts; a straightforward delivery of a clear message: ‘We’re Academy Supplies, we’re a school furniture company and we’re here to help.’

The slideshow immediately below the site’s fold does communicates its identity quite well, as mentioned before. Like the rest of the site, it’s a straightforward communiqué to the customer, telling them what the company is about. This message is reinforced by what else is in the fold, with product listings, special offers, design ideas, services and the like.

Little is in the way between the visitor and the information they want, as immediately after they scroll down from the fold and the greeting slideshow, the info that you would want is already there. For the main page, these are the contact info as well as the links to the products listings as organised by product classification.

There is, however, a catch. The images or the visual aids (logos, product samples) tend to be very big. Now, while this helps a lot when it comes to getting an idea of what the furniture actually looks like, it also means that the pages need a bit of loading as well as scrolling to properly explore.

The professional and straightforward approach that the site of the school furniture company takes is also readily apparent with its colour scheme; plain white complimented with a cool, light blue, with the only other colour coming from the bright pink chat link, as well as the dark green text. Now, you might have noticed that there was emphasized, and there’s a very good reason for that.

One of the most notable things about the site is that, besides the images in product listings and the one below the fold, there really isn’t much in the way of colour in the site. Long paragraphs of grey text greet visitors in some pages, without a single image or splash of colour to break the monotony. This is the site’s biggest weakness made concise; in it’s aim to provide a professional, efficient webpage for visitors, it went too far and ended up with something that felt somewhat cold and lifeless.

 

 

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Web Design Critique: https://www.illustrationweb.com/sg/styles/maps

Web Design Critique: https://www.illustrationweb.com/sg/styles/maps

First impression

This is a website where you can find artists that can create map illustrations based on your requirements. At the homepage, you will find different examples of illustrated maps from the different artists. When you click on an image, you will be able to peruse a larger size so that you check all the details. It also includes a portfolio of the artist in case you are interested. However, what will easily catch your attention when you arrive at the homepage is the call to action box at the left side that allows you to contact an agent. A little more information in the form of text has the potential to attract users who prefer to make an informed decision based on relevant information and not on the basis of images.

Navigation

The horizontal navigation menu is simple enough to use even for those who are not particularly tech savvy. However, a surprise await you because the other pages are more outstanding compared to the landing page. For example, if you will click on “videos” you will find a video of an artist performing a creative piece for a fashion edition. The landing page will be more exciting and enticing if a high quality video of an artist is highlighted while creating map illustrations. Nevertheless, the video shows the skills and experience of one internationally acclaimed artist. You will know more of the other artists when you click on “about” in the horizontal navigation menu at the top of the page. The social media icons at the bottom of the page are a marketing trick because it allows the website to interact with the user and increase the number of audience.

Content

The landing page may not provide the content you are searching for but it is more than made up for in the other pages. Just click on the links on the navigation menu for more interesting information. Content is organized pretty well and the generous use of white background tends to provide more focus on the images of map illustrations. The images were well chosen carefully to encourage a user to have one for himself.

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