The winner of our free website review is: Barbara Babkirk. Congratulations, Barbara! And, thanks to everyone who entered our draw.
So, we begin reviewing Barbara’s website — www.barbarababkirk.com — with today’s focus on the design of the home page:
On the right is Barbara’s home page. Of course, if you’re following along at home, you might want to actually open up her site in a new browser window.
Overall, I like the color scheme. The scarlet red / burgundy /yellow combination is quite nice, in my opinion. However, I find some of the smaller yellow text difficult to read on the home page — e.g., the "learn more" under the ribbon at the top left and the text underneath Barbara’s name. Same goes for the khaki colored font in the bottom text menu. I would suggest that she use a font that is lighter in color (or white) and/or sans serif, such as Arial or Verdana, for easier readability at a small size.
The main menu is easy to find, right in the middle of the page. This is good. You can quickly get into the rest of the site. There are a couple of suggestions I would make about it, though:
- Again, the font is hard to read. I have trouble making out some of the words. Script fonts can be nice, but you need to pay extra attention with them to make sure they’re readable. If staying with the yellow color and this font, I’d try making it bold for starters. Or consider going a bit larger, a lighter color (white or close to it), or an easier-to-read font altogether.
- I like the photos but, for the most part, don’t see the relation to the headings beneath them. For Bio, it’s pretty obvious, but the rest don’t seem to reinforce the headings. It is a good idea to use icons and words in menus to reinforce what each item is, but the images need to be representative. For example, the photo above "Contact" might be of someone talking on the phone.
- Also, I’d either make all of the photos the same width or follow a pattern, such as every odd numbered photo (counting from the left) one width and every even numbered one another width. This would tidy it up.
One other minor thing I’d fix on the home page is the overall page width. For some reason, I’m getting a horizontal scroll bar (at the bottom of my browser window). This isn’t the end of the world, but it shouldn’t be there. A quick look at the page’s source shows me the table used for this page is set to 103% — meaning wider than the screen. There’s no reason it should ever be set to higher than 100% (unless you’re an artist, wanting to show your portfolio in a different way). For the most part people hate horizontal scroll bars. Luckily, here, there’s no need to use it to see anything to the right, so I’m guessing that was just a typo that should be fixed.
Overall, there are nice elements to the home page and it’s obvious thought was put into the design, which is appealing, but could use a bit of tweaking.
More to come in the next few weeks…