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Review of vegabok.com

 |  Review

Reviewed: Brian
Site URL: vegabok.com

The first thing I notice about your website is that it’s very tidy. It’s rare that I come across a personal or hobby website which takes such a professional approach to design. The subtle colour scheme compliments the crisp style of the layout, and is supported with individual images for each section, instead of a large flashy main image. This suits your type of website perfectly.

As I said in my “First Impression” – the presentation of your website suits the content and type of website you own. There were, however, a few things I spotted which I think could be improved. For starters, in IE 6 (resolution: 1024×768 if that helps) the first column is about 15 pixels further away from the left edge than the right column is from the right edge. I assume this is an IE bug of some such – look into this and see if you can fix it. Another thing I noticed, which is more about aesthetics and personal opinion than anything, is that each “block” of the columns don’t line up. I think if each block of text were the same size it would just add to the look you’ve got going already. The presentation under Galleries is also out of line – but with too much padding on the right instead of the left.

In terms of functionality, although your text doesn’t resize in IE because you’re using fixed font sizes, it is plenty big enough to see properly, and I can see no issues with how it is presented. Thank heavens you’re not using any so-called “fancy” effects or suchlike to highlight your text.

It is not immediately obvious that the title of each block is actually the link to that individual section, and was somewhat confusing that the link disappeared altogether when I went back to your main page (change your visited link colour!) The other links in the page (css, xhtml, etc) were suitably contrasted against the background and reasonably obvious as links. The navigational trail was particularly useful, and adds to the overall usability of your website.

I’m currently without my other browsers, so I can’t check for cross-browser compatibility.

Your content, although minimal it seems, was interesting. I enjoyed looking at your digital art, although would have liked a warning about the large file sizes of the images. I did wonder if any of your images have names though? Although naming your images obviously won’t add any further quality or such to your website, it does mean they’re easier to refer back to or point out in conversation.

As I just mentioned – your content is minimal. I would have loved to have read more, maybe about you or your relationship with Florence. Anything like that would give an insight to you as a designer. Although not everyone wants to read that kind of thing, some of us do – and miss it when it’s not there!

I didn’t spot any spelling or grammar mistakes, although this could be because of the sheer lack of text on your website.

This review is reduced dramatically in size simply because of the quality of your coding. Your pages validate as XHTML Strict, which is basically the highest you can go, and your CSS also validates. Your coding is very tidy, somewhat better presented than mine in fact. Your CSS is also compact and accurate – with correct usage of classes and ids. You even “shortcut” your CSS by compressing font and background tags/etc. I did notice that you always tend to specify your background colour separately though. Why not just add this at the start of the background declaration? For example, instead of:

background: url(”http://www.vegabok.com/img/rightbg.jpg”) scroll no-repeat top right;
background-color: #eeeeee;

You can use:
background: #eeeeee url(’img/rightbg.jpg’) scroll no-repeat top right;

That’s just me being downright picky though. Feel free to ignore this suggestion if you wish.

To summarise this review, I am somewhat disappointed in a strange way that I couldn’t write more. The usual flaws, such as poor spelling and bad coding, aren’t on your website which means there’s less to critique. Your content is all visual which restricts your website to those who can see. Overall, it’s a well designed website with a professional layout and an easy to use section-system. The navigation is clear and the written content you do have is always well presented. Keep up the good work, and don’t be afraid of adding to what you already have!

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

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