Web Design Goodies Critique #4

By Joe Burns

Web Design Goodies Critique #4

Published October 03, 2000 By Joe Burns, Ph.D. Greetings, Fellow Designers...

Do I have any dentists out there? Let's see a show of hands. Good. Open wider. Okay, now spit.

This is the third time I have asked people to submit Web sites for critique. The vast majority of those who contact me to have their site evaluated are not people who put up a Web page for their own enjoyment. Most are business sites looking for some design help and probably some exposure. I am more than pleased to give them that exposure.

One type of site that seems to show up a great deal is the Web design site. These are businesses that offer to build a Web site for other companies. The first thing I look at on these sites is their own design. If it's not great, how can they build a great site for me? Today we'll look at such a site.

Now the obligatory release statement...

>>>>The critique below represents the opinions of Joe Burns, Ph.D. Feel free to disagree, argue, forget, or accept anything he writes. The purpose of the critique is to offer examples that you may use, repair, or forget when it comes to your own Web site. As always, remember that there are simply no hard and fast rules to Web design. Any choice is the correct choice as long as that choice aids the user and adds to the site's purpose.<<<<

Title: PA Dentist
Author: Joe Corcoran
Load Time: 5 Seconds, 57Kbps modem, cleared cache 9/04/00 10:42 AM.
My Screen Size: 1024X768
Browsers Used: Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Navigator 4.5

Design Image

Concept: I will build you a Web site as long as you are a dentist. Isn't that great? Talk about niche marketing. Not only will I build you the Web site, but I will also house it! This is a really neat idea, and dentists are coming to get some work done, so to speak.

Praise: Unlike a lot of design sites, this one offers examples and references. That's great. I am always wary of a design site that won't, or can't, show me work they have done. This site's content gives the impression that the owner understands the dental field and can create a site that will reflect that knowledge. The design is a table format that arranges elements in columns of varying sizes, which all fit nicely. The author has made a point of using differing fonts and text sizes to fill each space rather than allowing the bottom of the page to simply trail off. Those are the good points to the page. Now, let's look at a couple of concerns.

Concern #1: I stated above that if a site claims they can build me a page, I look at their design first. If I see problems, I'm afraid those will show up on the site they build for me. I see that here. First off, in the banner image, the blue arc after "padentist" arcs using pixels rather than a smooth flowing line. I see a lot of pixels in the arcs on the letters too.

Suggestion: Redo the image using an antialias filter to smooth the lines. As it stands, the image is showing too many pixels. You want the rounded elements to be truly round. The antialias filter will do that for you.

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