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Need some feedback on my latest project, the next level, LvL8!
#1
Lightbulb 
So yeah, I am working on a new project and finished the site this morning (well mostly, I still need to configure MyBB with my normal settings and plugins along with some minor tweaking here and there). The server isn't 100% configured so right now the site is still not live yet.

I am very happy with how it turned out although I fear I am the only one. It's one of the few websites I ever built myself (using a free template of course) that I was happy with how it turned out. I feel the biggest complaint I will get is that it is to small. My wife complains I never use all of the screen real estate with my websites but coding everything on an 8.9" screen @ 1280x768 doesn't help.

The site works best on Google Chrome but I did test it on IE8 and the only problem is an issue with some areas of the forum have 1 pixel more padding than the other areas of the site... not sure how or why but if I fix it for IE8 then it looks off on Chrome so oh well. I originally designed it last night using IE7 and notepad so when I got home I went and recoded it to look good on other browsers so chances are it doesn't look to good with IE7 anymore.

All that being said, what do you think? Feel free to be brutally honest. Big Grin

www.lvl8.net
-Joe
AFreeCloud - Free Cloud-Based Web Hosting!
#2
Brutally honest, eh? Alright.

The logo is not that great. I don't like how there is a light gray around the body. The blue text of the forum names don't go with the site at all. You should have more than three boards for a hosting site (I think so at least.) I would get away from the default forum icons (the New posts/No new posts/Locked icons.) The text seems too small. There is too much space between the navagation and the bottom of the white (wayyyy too much space.) And finaly, why is the navagation at the bottom of the screen?
#3
Center the thing vertically! It looks terrible on my monitor. It takes forever to load and the nav buttons are really weird, first hover I get no cursor change, no change, then I get a BG change but no cursor change, and then finally I get a BG change and a cursor change.
#4
Don't like the scrollbar of the right...
vBulletin/Wordpress/Magento/MyBB
Developer and Designer
#5
Thanks for the feedback. I was expecting a lot worse so I am happy with the responses so far.

I agree I would like the thing centered vertically and I might do that if I am able to (Photoshop isn't my forte). The colors are also out of my control since I can't see them and have to rely on what was given to me but I will get some help from others with that.

As for the logo, I particularly like it and feel it fits the site, can you suggest something else or another idea? Keep in mind the logo is not an actual image but built into the background image. The forum icons can be changed easily and I will look for something that fits better.

Now about the amount of forums, my goal is to keep it very very small. I was considering not even having a forum or partnering up with an existing forum but then decided to see what it would look like in such a small area and decided to keep it. I also moved a lot of the navigation links that people are used to having at the top to the bottom... I actually removed them all but decided to add them back somewhere out of the way. I particularly feel that the Member List, Search, and Help shouldn't be in the main navigation menu for the website since they aren't major areas to begin with.

My focus was small and simple. I almost considered writing my own, very basic forum script because MyBB is to advanced for what I am looking for. I don't want a forum that 100s of people use every day, I want a forum where people might post a few times a week. More importantly, I just wanted the option there so even if nobody uses the forum, I won't care to much. Wink
Ok, fixed on IE7... hopefully it still looks right on Chrome and IE8 (with hopefully the pixel issue resolved).

As for the changes, I am still looking into my options. Smile
-Joe
AFreeCloud - Free Cloud-Based Web Hosting!
#6
Made a handful of changes to the images. Big Grin
-Joe
AFreeCloud - Free Cloud-Based Web Hosting!
#7
Well here goes nothing...

First of all, I know your trying to create some revenue but the ad at the bottom looks terrible, place it on your actual board instead of the homepage. Second, the main logo is almost as horrible the header pattern! I would suggest placing the logo outside of your container, which you should consider expanding to something in between 840-920px, If that makes your description look small, add some padding to it or beef it up.

[Image: iYa29IFsjRtGF.png]


#8
Thanks for the feedback.

I'm keeping the advertisement on the front page since that's one of the best locations for revenue, I will try to find a better way to fit it in but unfortunately I don't have many options. Sad I also want to keep the ads/images off the forum to keep them as "light" as possible.

I am hearing a lot of complaints about the logo but nobody can give me any feedback so I've changed the font because I'm assuming that's what everybody does like. If you still don't like it please let me know what you don't like about it so I know what to change. Wink

I've reverted back to the original header image how does that look?

I expanded the container to 800px, if I expand it anymore it starts looking more like a rectangle than a square which just looks weird.
-Joe
AFreeCloud - Free Cloud-Based Web Hosting!
#9
I feel like you are trying to cram everything you can into a 740px x 470px (or whatever it is) space. If you can't use white space efficiently with a width and height like that then don't use it at all.

I noticed you have some issues with the toplinks on the forum page. Everywhere else is fine but on the forums, the links jump down to the container where they can barely be seen.

And I know it isn't necessary but could you link the logo to the homepage? This is becoming a common convention that is recommended among most designers.
#10
Does the container look "crammed" to you? On my screen it looks fine and on most pages don't even scroll for me.

What browser are you using? All of the page layouts look identical in Chrome and IE8.

The logo is not an image or text, it's part of the background (although I can still create a link of the empty space it's not a priority). Wink
-Joe
AFreeCloud - Free Cloud-Based Web Hosting!


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