2. Concern: One banner will be enough. This is another very common mistake students make. They find two (or more) banners or identifiers and put them both on the page. You did it. You have Happy Kwanzaa on there twice. Look at the screen capture above again.
Suggestion: I got it the first time. Pick one. I like the square identifier that has the images of the mask, the candles, etc.
3. Concern: I'm going to stay on that image for a moment. I can see that you attempted to make the text Happy Kwanzaa festive by coloring each letter separately. The problem is that you didn't add to the page by doing that. You confused it.
Many of my students wear a long piece of cloth around their necks or a hat that carries the same traditional African colors (Black, Green, Red, Yellow) you have running down the left side. By running that stripe, you've set the colors for the page. Note that the stripe is left and high. That always sets precedence in the viewer's mind. You then color the text using colors that do not appear as one those four colors. It's confusing.
Suggestion: Find the hex codes for those four colors and use those colors again and again throughout the page(s). It will help tie the page(s) together in terms of color and consistency.
4. Concern: You navigation is incorrect. First off, there are no links when the viewer arrives at the site. That's not good, but you can easily fix that. I am concerned that the navigation is incorrect. It doesn't do what the buttons claim it will do.
For example, on the homepage, I'll click on the first principle, Umoja. I get to a page that explains the principle. That's correct, but at the bottom of the page, there is then a link that takes me back to the Principles Page.
Yes, I know that Umoja is a principle, but I didn't come to the Umoja from the Principles Page. You sent me somewhere I didn't want to go. That's incorrect and it happens a great deal on the site.
Suggestion: Here's the easy fix. Lose the homepage links to each Principle and to each Ceremonial Accessory. Simply make a link, on the homepage, to the principles and accessories pages. That way all of your back navigation will take people back to the page that first brought them to where they are presently. That stops the confusion and shortens your homepage immensely.
5. Concern: Here's the last of the concerns that jumped out at me. Look at these links:
Students often think in horizontal when vertical is requested. Those images are screaming to be placed vertically, one on top of one another. They would line up wonderfully and with the rollovers you've set up will look really cool.
Suggestion: You're page is a stacked format. One thing is on top of another is on top of another. That's dull. You must get some left to right eye movement. If you stacked those images up as a left-hand side navigation bar, then to the right of them posted the Happy Kwanzaa image, a quick welcome and then links to the Principles and Accessories, you would have a page that acts as a navigation center, that has left to right movement, that fits neatly on a single screen. Please don't take this the wrong way, but most everything else you have on the page is not required.
Well, maybe you should create page that contains the two books and make a link to that page. It's for sure you should get those books off of the homepage. They're taking up space and don't look right. Make them their own page and put a link. That will look ten times better and more professional.
Overall: You're so close to a stunning site I cannot tell you. An afternoon of work and you'll be so proud of this site. The content is there. Now let's frame it well.
Joe Burns, Ph.D.
Always Remember: When it comes to designing your Web site, the most important person is not you, but your user.