Site URL: aneesah.pixelled.com
Firstly, my apologies for taking such a long time to get your review finished. Unfortunately, that is the woes of going on holiday not long after I open submissions. A slight error on my part, I think.
I’ve said it time and time again – I love the integration of photography into websites, and yours is no exception. It always seems to add a touch of elegance when done correctly, and yours is just great. The colours are bright: attention-grabbing even. I love the way the Lily appears to be jumping out of the photograph and the texture of the top image corresponds well with the background pattern, giving the page an earthy feel.
One of the things that I did notice as an instant drawback is the size of your sidebar. I don’t think it’s fairly proportioned in comparison to your “content box”. I think the sidebar could do with being about 25-40 pixels wider, and this could easily be achieved by extending the header image. The layout would still fit in an 800×600 resolution too. While we’re talking about the sidebar – in Internet Explorer (6) there seems to be a sharp “jump” at the bottom which you may need to look at.
I think the way you’ve brought the orange from the flower down into your main navigation and blog titles ties the colour scheme together. The swap of green on yellow in the main bit to yellow on green text in the sidebar is a nice touch. You seem to have noticed the little details which stop a layout from falling apart. This isn’t new either, you seem to have managed this in previous layouts, which shows consistency. Bravo.
There are a few little things that bug me regarding your website. Firstly, the smilies in your blog are too high and therefore push sentences upwards, causing my eyes to register the next sentence as a line break. Secondly, the navigation setup: although you’ve explained that clicking the top image brings a visitor home, I clicked a navigational link across the top, and then wondered why I couldn’t see any content. It took me a few seconds to register that your links to sub pages were in the sidebar. Lastly, the underlines of the links. Here and there they don’t look too bad, but if I scroll to the bottom of the page all I see is mess – the links under the plugs add clutter to the page. If I were you I’d change the bottom border to a
text-decoration: underline;, or remove them altogether.
There’s my biggest nitpicks out of the way!
When I first started browsing your content, I was surprised that a page on your family came before any information on you. However, it became clear to me that your family are very important to you which explains exactly that. Your content pages are all very well presented and lack any unnecessary nonsense which makes them easier to read through without distraction. I sense passion in what you do – you put effort into yout things. You also seem to know where to add detail and where not to – meaning the reader is more likely to pick up on important facts. For example, your thoughts on your religion go way beyond anything I usually see on a personal site and are of great interest to me (who has avoided religion her entire life). This means that not only is your site related to you and the way you think, but actually educates other people on it too. Great!
I’m not really qualified to judge your art, as I’ve never been that great at it personally, but you do have a talent which I hope you recognise. One thing I’d like to suggest is that you make your thumbnails all the same size – it would make the page appear more professional. Your book shelves sketch reminds me of how I used to have all my books…
Your how-tos were easy enough to follow, although some of your example images were a little large for the job (putting the border around an image, for example) and could be scaled down to increase loading time.
There’s no point in me critiquing every single page of your content, because most of it can be generally summed up with the words “unique”, “interesting” or “talented”. I enjoyed looking at your site, and will probably be back regularly to see any updates, and to check for things I may have missed. Although I won’t be using any of your visitor content, I can see why it appeals to the general public and think it’s a great addition to your website. (Even thought your pages would be just as super without it!) Your book reviews puts my meagre book project to shame!
Every page I checked validated XHTML 1.0 Transitional – keep this up. Clean code makes for easier to browse websites overall.
Summarising your website is easy, because I can just keep complimenting the depth to the content and the neatness of the design. Little things like the handy tooltips and the contrasting colours are just some of the little things you’ve added which improve the quality of your site, yet are so easily forgotten by other people. Although I did nitpick some of the elements of your presentation above, I had no problem viewing the website in a variety of browsers, and the content was easy to read. Considering your mother tongue is not English, your website reads well. It’s one of those websites that are perfect for saving for a rainy day – because you can get lost in the little sub sections of content. Keep up the good work; don’t be afraid to improve on what you already have though (if you can)!