BAF www.eriskay-associates.co.uk

Discussion in 'Website & Graphic Reviews' started by MarkTaylor, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Hi Everyone,

    From what I have read on this thread, I think it might be time for me to update my website - Please see the link above.

    I'd really appreciate some feedback on the overall design and usability of the site, but I am also interested to know if you think it communicates a clear message. One of the challenges I find in this regard is that my business targets companies from pre-revenue start ups to companies turning over in excess of £10m, as well as organisations in the not for profit sector. We also provide a range of products under the banners of consultancy, coaching and training so there is quite a wide offering - is there a better way we can communicate this.

    In terms of the logo, etc, we have always kept this pretty basic and unobtrusive, but I am beginning to think it is looking dated. Again, some feedback would be valued here.

    Many thanks in anticipation of your feedback - please don't hold back (but you can make positive comments, too!!)

    Best wishes,

    Mark.
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Edit - I will give 1,000 BAF Cash to the member who posts the most helpful reply in this thread.

    It sounds like you have a great business Mark and I do hope that it is growing for you.

    Showing that you are a member of BNI and Social Enterprise Scotland is a good idea for improving the credibility of your website and your business. The fact that you offer a free strategic audit is also a great idea as it will encourage people to start using your services.

    Given the high end nature of your target clients I do agree that whilst your website does look very good, it could do with some improvement to give it a more professional appearance. One thing that strikes me a little is the three stock images in the bottom half of your home page. I feel that they cheapen the appearance of your site a little and that it would help to add something more professional to that area.

    Good luck with it.
     
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  3. amazave

    amazave
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    I am able to design your website if needed, it will use a online software to do it but they do look the most professional.
     
  4. cesspadilla

    cesspadilla
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    Well IMO, updating the logo will definitely be catchy and a much more eye-candy website. When changing your website make sure that you provide them the information you need in the main page. The content in the main page seems really brief. You can also put a snippet of testimonials on the front page.
     
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  5. Fergal

    Fergal
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    I'm not sure that any of our members will want to use your services, if you reply to a review thread without offering any helpful suggestions.
     
  6. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Thanks Fergal - I appreciate you including some positives!! I am being rapidly impelled to the conclusion that a refresh or complete rewrite might be needed here. One of the things I am less clear on is whether the site should simply be a support tool to showcase what we offer and have done or whether I should be trying to generate new business from it... presumably, this has implications for the design and content... M.

    Ok, thanks Haley - I think you are right - the front page doesn't really engage very well!
     
  7. Jerlene

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    First Impressions
    When I first visited the site, I have to be honest, it looked a lot like a parked page and I actually thought you posted the wrong URL.

    Look


    I think a guest stumbling across your website would think your website was down or parked as well. The pieces of your website look good individually but when you put them together it just doesn't look right.

    Logos and Banners: The logo of the website is decent. It's professional, tells me exactly what your website is about, and lets me know what to expect. There's one more banner, which I'm assuming is an advertisement. It's nice and blends in well with the rest of the site.

    Advertisements: Like I said, I'm assuming that the banner at the bottom of the site is an advertisement and it blends in really well with the rest of the site. It's not instrusive and well designed.

    Color Scheme and Styles: I thin kthe style of the website is really nice, but the colours need some work. It's a little bland. I do like the browns that you're using, but I would change the green in the navigation menu. It makes your site look very dull.

    Page and Image Sizes: There's not a lot of scrolling that has to be done, which is always a plus! Everything is sized nicely, but I would stretch the page a little bit.

    Favicon, Buttons, and Other Graphics: No favicon is present at the moment. I would upload one to stand out from everyone else. You can use a filler for now. Here are some sites that have a bunch of free icons: http://www.favicon.co.uk/gallery.php
    http://www.freshfavicon.com/

    No button are being used either, but it's not necessary.

    I visited several pages and I only saw one graphic. It was the one on the Services page. I think it's dull and needs some modification. Just change the colours a bit, add a glare, something more modern and web 2.0.


    Overall Impressions

    Overall I like the website a lot.
    It's straight forward and to the point. No page is too long, boring, and filled with unnecessary fluff. I know what the site is about from the logo and the homepage. You've provided phone numbers, emails, etc. so contacting you for business is extremely easy.
    Really the ONLY thing I would change is the colours on the homepage. Other than that you've done a good job with this site.
     
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  8. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Thanks Jerlene - this really is good feedback - I appreciate the thought you have put into it. I have had mixed feedback about the content - some thing it is too technical and jargonese, but the truth is some people like that (albeit a minority!). I think you are right about the site feeling very static or 'parked' and I have recently been persuaded to record some video content (gulp!). I had not thought much about favicons and will speak to my web guy about this... Thanks again for your feedback. M.
     
  9. Jay

    Jay
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    Although your idea is great and the logo is simple and professional, I don't think the design compliments the wonderful potential that this organization has. Usually when people approach a website on the internet, they look for eye-candy like designs that are visually fulfilling. You are more likely to have someone stay longer and check the place out if it looks awesome. Don't get me wrong here, your design has nothing wrong with it! It looks perfectly fine to me, but I feel as though it doesn't complement what your business is about, what designs usually are meant to represent. The lovely woods picture you have there draws attention away from your website and the promotion of your services in a way because it does not have anything to do with Eriskay Associates. But I must say, the ease of navigation is great! Everything is where it is suppose to be and it is not a confusing jumble. To conclude, your website and approach to your overall message has no issue with it, but the visual appeal lacks the professionalism that it needs. :)
     
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  10. Thanoz

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    Hey,
    (I am writing this review of your site without checking what the above people said, if i say the same things i apologize, credits to previous posters)
    1.Images
    1.1 I don;t really understand the use of (bamboo) trees as your main image next to your logo. Was it built-in with your template?
    1.2 Logo is OK, wouldn't change it for no serious reason.
    1.3 The 3 images you have lack optimization. Try changing the alt="image1" to something more descriptive and seo friendly.
    1.4 These 3 images again, seem scaled down to fit, maybe in real size they look good, but at this size i don;t like them.
    2.Fonts and font-related issues
    2.1 i would reduxe the font size overall 1-2 pixels(from 16px to 14px). It might give a fresher look and a more professional one.
    2.2 Alternatively, you could use Verdana as your primary font. It is a good suggestion.
    2.3 Reduce the size of letters at the left sidebar if it's necessary but the word e-mail taking two lines and being separated is a tiny detail that needs to be altered.
    3. SEO/SEM related
    3.1. Can the scripts(< script >) you have in the <body> be placed before </head>? If yes, do it, it will result in better perfomance and speed.
    3.2. I don't like the facebook like in the right column after the main article. Better send it left on the sidebar, and instead of the one you got now, add a section "we're social" ;)
    4. Other
    4.1 At http://www.eriskay-associates.co.uk/services.html , i don;t like the fact that there are link before and after the image. Add all the links together and the image below them.
    4.2 I don't know what your opinion is, but i am against on putting the email address as link in websites. For spam safety reasons it's better to use a transparent image with a link ;)
    4.3 A not so white background or some very light effects on the current backgrounds (like a barely visible wave line or something) can add a pinch of salt ;)
     
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  11. noreturn

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    When I first entered your site I also thought that the site was down with hosting issues of some sort. But once you start looking into the site you find that it's truly a legit site. I personally think that the site could go for a new feel with a Web 2.0 feel and it would be much more welcoming. You say you use logos like plain but infact i think you could get a web 2.0 logo that is plain let me show you an example:

    [​IMG]

    Those are just some examples of some good plain logos. Also another thing I would recommend is not having sub from already shown under sectors.

    As fro the structor of the site I think it looks really good, agian just down have the sector sub sections already shown. I think the problem with it (showing sub sections under Sectors) thats active. Maybe add an Home page. One thing that through me off was your slogan is supporting growing buisnesses, but then you have pictures of a forest. I think you would be much better off putting a picture of a buisness city or something.

    Last thing I would suggest to you is doing a format more similar to:
    http://customkitchensinc.net/

    I hope that this will help improve your site!
     
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  12. Jerlene

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    The content is fine, just the design itself needs a little work. The content is straight forward, exactly what it should be.
     
  13. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Hi Jay,

    Many thanks for your feedback - it really is useful to get insights and perspectives from people that aren't too close to the business. I take your overall point about the overall design not complementing what we do, but I've always been a bit cautious about eye-candy - personally, I am cynical about anything that smacks of style over substance. That said, you appear to be suggesting that the site has substance over style(!) so I guess we have got some work to do here.

    I really need to get some inspiration on the visuals I agree the woods is a bit irrelevant (although when we put it up there was some positive reactions and, seemingly, some positive connections - a natural approach / growth / helping see the wood for the trees /etc) but I do struggle to come up with meaningful visual ideas - there is always a risk of being corny, or too clever-clever!

    Hmmm... maybe, it's a problem for the designer!

    Thanks again for your input and good luck with your own work.

    Mark.
     
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  14. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Hi Noreturn,

    And thanks for sticking with the site even though you thought it was down! Point taken!

    I have started to work on content and will get more animation and even some video involved. I also agree that there is dissonance between the messages and the images and I have started to think about re-wording and redesigning the whole thing.

    In terms of logos, I don't disagree with your selection but still find it hard to come up with something that works for my business. I think what we will end up with will be quite basic and unobtrusive rather than anything 'clever'.

    Thanks again for your feedback - it really is appreciated.

    Best wishes,

    Mark.
     
  15. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Hi Thanoz,

    Wow!

    This really is a very comprehensive response to the problem - thank you.

    You have made a lot of useful suggestions and there is little or nothing here that I disagree with but I will need to get my web guy to look at the technical points you have raised. I suspect we will end up making a lot of changes to the layout and content. In terms of the logo, it just feels a little tired to me (perhaps because it is the first thing we came up with five years ago and haven't done anything with it since).

    Thanks again for the great feedback.

    M.
     
  16. Thanoz

    Thanoz
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    @MarkTaylor, having a logo established over years ago is a good way to achieve "recognition" in your field. If you see, all great size companies retain their logos over the years. For example, Coca Cola, Nike, Adidas...
    If you decide to change it, don't go for a TOTAL change. As you can see in my attachment below, the revision of a logo happens when the company does a new turn, or the situations change and needs to make a new impact.

    A very beautiful graphic to check.. ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You see that over the years even though they "change" their logos, they leave "marks" of the old (Like the calligraphic "F" letter in Ford) to help customers recognise them and gain the trust.
    It's a blend of innovation and tradition.
    We can talk theoritically about logos for hours :)
     
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  17. Fergal

    Fergal
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    That is a great graphic Thanoz. Very interesting to note that those famous logos didn't get more detailed or complex over time. In fact the opposite is true, they got simpler and clearer as time went on - their owners took away from them, rather than adding to them.
     
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  18. smartkathy

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    Hi,

    To be very frank, You site not look professional as per you business.
     
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  19. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Yeah, we are working on some new logos, etc at the moment... I have some good choices but am finding it hard to make a decision! M.
     
  20. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Wow! I've just revisited this thread after quite a while and realised that I still haven't done anything with the site. The good news is that work has been very busy but the bad news is that I might not stay busy if I don't get this done. A friend of mine suggested I should put more effort into facebook and other social media, rather than the website - does anyone have any advice on this? M.
     

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