I had this up on the old forum

Hi guys i had this up on the old forum for crit and got smashed by B and a few others, it lead to some great improvements in my opinion. Ive done what i can in the time that i have to revamp this Frankenstein website haha here is v3 slightly improve still way off , i need the next set of crits to work n please. Thanks (Risen28 old forum name ).My Website B i know you will be commenting on this one. :slight_smile:

I’ll keep it short. Too much parallax, movement, and effects. I would clean it up a lot!

Hi there, Risen. I’m glad you made it over from the old, defunct forum.

It’s too bad we don’t have your old website to compare to the new one. If I remember right you had a habit of squeezing typography to make it narrower. That’s sort of a pet peeve of mine, I guess. Anyway, it seems you’re not doing it now. :smile:

Just based on memory, your new site is much cleaner, even though it still has a good amount of clutter — lots of words, type and various special effects of various sorts. It seems to be working for you, though, if the list of clients you display on your site is any indication.

The video is a good idea too. People like video, and it’s a good way to focus people’s short attention spans for more than the few seconds they typically spend on a web page.

I’ve pulled out one piece from your portfolio (below), because it seems to represent the kind of thing I’m talking about with much of your work and your website. A lot of your work is more organized and simpler, but this is a good example of where it’s not.

So like the advertisement below, there’s a distinctive lack of cohesiveness, unity and hierarchy in the site and in much of your work. It’s as though you like to fill up every empty spot with stuff that’s just sort of squeezed into place like an overcrowded closet or a living room cluttered with various nic nacs. If you see an opportunity to put in one more thing, you take advantage of it.

It seems counterintuitive to many, but subtraction (at least in my opinion) is more important than addition in design. In other words aiming for clarity and simplicity is typically a more effective approach than complexity. If you really want someone to pay attention, you don’t lecture them, you whisper so they’ll lean in to hear you.

So look at what you have below. There’s no order to it. Some of it’s flush left. Some of it’s flush right. Some of it’s centered. There’s hardly a trace of an underlying grid that might help unify the various elements that are just scattered around the ad wherever you could squeeze them in.

There’s no visual hierarchy. A viewer doesn’t know where to look first: The man in the corner? The logo up at the top? The disjointed collection of type in the other corner? The viewer’s eyes will just jump around from one spot to another, then tire of it before you’ve communicated the message.

There needs to be balance, hierarchy, cohesion, rhythm and harmony. If your ad were music, it would just be a collection of nearly random notes rather than a melody.

So take what I just said about this one ad and apply those same thoughts to your entire site, and you’ve got my critique (which is just one guy’s opinion). Really, though, I think you’ve improved since the last go-round.


First off Hey b its great to see you again finally ,i learnt today that you were a guy haha always assumed you were a lady :slight_smile: .

Spot on lol you have a good memory i must say you were right about it.

It is, but i am not happy, or oblivious to its flaws otherwise i would not be here asking essentially for help, i have cleant it up. You know how a mom or dad may have a ugly unique boy and think he is the best looking guy ever even though they know he iss not going to be a model one day. Im kind of in that boat struggling to let go.

Thing is im leaarning about graphic design and coding as i go and every time i discover something new ( when i get the chance ) i try apply it on my website. This is probably why i have this patchy non cohesive feel because thats what it is.

Its not like my client websites where i sit for a few days and actually lay everything out on paper before i touch the computer.

But yeah its moving along and if i can slowly fix it whilst getting in some work im happy. Thanks for the time on the detailed crit B i do appreciate it.

Theres a saying that i always think of in these situations “A Plumbers taps always leak” :slight_smile:

Rehashing this one.
I hope you are doing well B. Its been a while and since we last spoke I have been very busy. Lots of projects coming in. I still have that dormant fear in me… that Im only getting this business because of my google my business listing in which most cases i dont believe the people clients ever visit the site.

This time of year is especially crazy but on the 20th i will be turning off, and geta good month on the website. I have installed hotjar to look at how users move through the site. This data will assist me in the new design.

So for one last round I submit this to you for your keen eye Website ( granted YOU have the time ).

Il tell you something particluar ive noticed. many users go straght from the fisrt page t o my portfoillio sections and browse and broswe and leave. that what most people do. Ive tried the pop uo thing something which im against but i though may as well try it. Ive tried some call to actions even a contact form on the popup modal offering a discount.

This all being said I dont know what the conversion rate is for this type of website. I dont believe I am anywhere near where i should be… though to be brutally honest at this moment i could not handle a greater influx of clients. So i should be very grateful in that regard.

Best Regards

Hi, Risen,

I think it’s to be expected that people head straight to your portfolio of work. They want to see if they like what you’ve done for others before considering any next steps.

I can’t imagine anyone will hit your first page, see the big, intrusive pop-up thing and want to click it. Like I said, if they’re considering hiring you, they want to see your work before anything else.

You might consider a smaller, more discrete, less-annoying, but still noticeable slide-in thing on the bottom of your portfolio pages for the calls to action. If they’re interested in contacting you, they’ll see it. It’s not as though hiring a designer is an impulse purchase.

Your website design has gotten much better. For that matter, it’s gotten better to the point where another problem is becoming more evident — your writing. Looking through your site, there are numerous problems with awkward sentences, sentence fragments, random capitalization, misplaced punctuation and things that, well, just don’t make sense.

Designers aren’t necessarily great writers, but when potential clients are making decision on whom they should hire, they might not make that distinction. Putting myself in their position, I just might regard the writing as a reflection of the designer’s attention to detail and quality.

Most successful design freelancers (or small design firms) have lots of professional contacts who come in useful. If you know a good copywriter, it might be good to propose teaming up on occasion.

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that Im only getting this business because of my google my business listing in which most cases i dont believe the people clients ever visit the site.

I don’t understand. Why is that a problem? In general, though, it’s good to get business from various sources: past client, referrals, colleagues, your website, etc.

Upon quick glance, I noticed several technical issues:

  • You have an HTML site mixed with WP. Your blog looks like a different site. (I had my website in HTML in the past with a blog in WP, but they looked seamless.)
  • Spelling errors on the text on the page and in alt text.
  • HTML pages with spaces in them (not good practice), can cause broken links in some cases.
  • Slow load time (go by the Fully Load Time, not the letter scores). Speed is a Google ranking factor.
  • Tons of empty space below the footer.

Alot of the writing is the result of trying to get lsi keywords into the website, its helped me rank 1 for the queries i want but then again whats the point of being one if your site doesnt convert.

But I must hatefully admit because it makes me feel stupid.

Its definitely a weak point the grammar thing. Not just that but establishing a clear flow with my subjects on the page. Its something Ive tried to remedy by reading a bit more in general and writing abit more but im sad to say im not really getting any better at it. Some people are just not made to write I guess. ( though I do have the finances to invest in a copywriter and iI think its a really good idea B. )

@ creativeboost

I do get work off gmb, some from my website and referrals too. I am not complaining just trying to refine what is weak. Yes the wp blog thing is a mess. I can design it to look similar but time is always a issue. It needs to be done though and it on my list for December.

The load time is something i have tweaked endlessly. From cloudflare, minifications, sprites even messing around with how i write my javascript to me and to most testing services it loads ok. I have always had people from forums tell me its slow. I guess there is still work to be done there.

I agree both your and b’s points though. I would love to be a great writer ive done everything on this site, everything from learning what a div is to the seo was on my own no formal education. There is so much more that i have learned with regards to JavaScript and php that i have so many ideas, but it may just be like the as b stated that i find something new and i try to make it fit… Its sort of hard to give a piece ( ie the writing away ). I guess however a successful person which is what I want to be knows where his strenghts and weaknesses lie. Maybe i need to start being honest about that to myself. I have this very strong belief that a person can achieve most things in life if they just perservere and that it trumps in the long run any natural talent given to you. However as I move out of the freelancer way of thinking one saying comes to mind.,

Jack of all trades master of none.

Thank you guys for taking the time. The insight on this forum is always beyond any feedback i get anywhere else.

Hi Risen,

The way I approach design sometimes, is the way I approach conversation. You’re site is saying a lot to me, and I get overwhelmed quickly and disengage. The same way I would if someone were talking AT me as oppose to having a dialog with me.

Something that will nip you in the butt as a self taught [anything] is when you learn to do something cool and try employing it. So you become really good at making cool things, but not so much at making effective things. A key discipline in design that being self-taught won’t teach you is restraint. It’s good to know everything, but you don’t need to employ everything all at once.

I’d recommend mocking up your page (as is) in a quick pencil sketch, and X off all the fluff graphics that aren’t necessary, and clean up your copy. If SEO ranking is driving your design and copy, you’ve created a bigger barrier for your business. It’s like drinking salt water. You focus on SEO to get more hits, but you get less buy in, so you double down on more SEO… and the cycle continues.

Just as an aside, I’d recommend if you’re going to link social media accounts with your business account, that you separate personal blogging–and business blogging. I’ve been interested in starting an instagram account for posting work, so I like to check other peoples business related IG accounts. When I clicked on your’s I thought it was linked to the wrong IG account, as you have personal workout photos incorporated with design mockups and work. If I were a potential client, that would make me feel a little uncomfortable. Thats purely from a business marketing stand point–not a design one, unless were talking about consistency in branding.

I think you’re on the right track, and your head is in the right place. You just need to get out of your head and trust the design process.

"but oftentimes better than a master of one.” (no one ever finishes this quote)

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