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  1. #1

    Complex Fellow Web Development and


  2. #2

    Your site looks awkward and off balance to me on the pages that don't have enough information for a vertical scroll. The top is touching the address bar in my browser, but there is a bunch of empty space around the bottom. You might consider either making your content lower so there is empty space above the top too, or stretching your content area.

    On your portfolio page, you have the information and thumbnails switched for the top two sites. When I click on either of them, I get the same site.

    Although color is a personal preference, I don't like the scheme you used. I think one thing that bugs me is the total lack of contrast. While I can't place the connotation this color is giving me, it's not good. I think I'm probably not the only one who doesn't love it, so maybe someone else can come up with better words for it.

    In Opera, the darker bar below your menu sticks out slightly beyond the border. While this might be a small thing for a normal site, it looks bad on a site advertising that they write css.
    Last edited by cira; 06-12-2004 at 12:29 PM.

  3. #3

    I like what you're trying to do with the theme but this doesn't work out. If you would like to stick with the nautical theme, here are some suggestions:

    1. The Paper

    I would recommend going with a flatter background and focus on making the edges look like aged paper. For the background color, use an "aged" color, such as a slightly yellow, brown, or grey off white.

    You have the right idea using the lasso tool to make the edges look worn, but you left it incomplete. There are a few things you can do to get the aged paper look. You can follow the steps for one way here: but you should also try experimenting with different ways, such as using the burn tool for the edges, to get an effect you like.

    2. The Color Scheme

    On my computer this looks like pinkish brown paper with grey text on it. This is not a good scheme.

    One way to get inspiration for a good color scheme when you have a theme is to look up images that fit in with what you are trying to do. In this case, old world maps might be a good place for you to look. They are something old ships would use and have that aged look. You can do a google search for antique maps or search on (I'm not advertising that you buy anything from this site, they have a lot of "brightly colored" antique maps that you can pull colors from though).

    Also try to use more contrast for your headings and background.

    3. The Fonts

    You could probably find a better font to use on the site. There are many old world looking fonts out there... do a search for free fonts and experiment. Or check out what kind of fonts other sites with similar themes use and get those.

    *** *** ***
    As for getting better with web design, here are a few ideas:

    ** Look for sites or products with a theme you like and see what they are doing. Find sites you like and learn how to mimic them. I'm not recommending that you copy other sites and never do anything original, but often when you are trying to learn an excellent way to get better is to figure out what the pros are doing. Once you get the basics down, you can start branching out with your own techniques.

    ** Follow tutorials. For getting better in photoshop, try sites like or one of the billion other sites out there like it. Do searches in google for beginner photoshop tutorials.

    For coding/programming, do the same. There are plenty of resources out there if you look.

    ** Focus on what you're good at. There are MANY aspects of web design. Some people are very talented in some areas and lacking in others. Some people can create beautiful websites, but don't understand how to make their page accessible to people with settings other than their own or how to market sites effectively. Some people are great at programming but can only churn out bland unprofessional looking sites.

    If you truely enjoy the areas you aren't great at, then just stick with it and keep trying to learn. You will only get better. Just don't do it for the sole purpose of selling your services or you may be disappointed. If you are interested in this, like I said, focus on what you are good at. Then you can find other people who aren't good in your area of expertise but great in another and colaborate to make all-around great sites. Or you can do work for a site that only needs a particular task and not one person to do the entire project.

    **Get and Give Critique. I see you've already figured out the getting part, but sometimes giving helps too. I'm not a know it all expert on all things webdesign, but that isn't why I come here to critique sites. I find it helps me get ideas and know what to avoid, and see if other people's perceptions are similar to mine. I also had a class that made us do this, and I think it really did help out.

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