Phillip Bloom – http://www.philipbloom.net/
I began my research by looking at Phillip Blooms website. This website acts more as a promotional and work management site, but it still does showcase some of Phillip’s work. I was initially drawn in by the home page which is a slideshow of Phillip working and with a few basic navigation buttons to take you to the pages with more specified content.
I initially liked the UI present within the site, however, the longer I spent looking around the site, the more lost I became. There are two different aspects to the website; a blog, and a work site. Once you are in one side of the website, it is difficult to figure out how to get to the other side. I also disliked the fact that there were 8 different pages and on those pages there were links to other minor pages not on the menu bar. There was a lot of information that was trying to be pushed across in a very small space. I found the font styling a little bit to condensed, and there was a white box placed around contact, which really threw the aesthetic menu bar off. There also appeared to be four different font sizes on one page as well.
I found the actual navigation easy, and every page was labelled accordingly to the content found on it. I especially liked the footer with social media links which allowed me to quickly go from his site, to his vimeo, instagram, etc, very efficiently. The images that were featured on the site were eye grabbing and a really efficient tool in getting users active in looking and reading the content of the page.
Overall, the basic design of this website aids the UI and UX. There was nothing over the top of fancy, and the color design was extremely basic, which is good. There is room to improve the design by aligning all the small links at the bottom of the page, and on some pages aligning the text with the images would also help visually.
Morgan Norman – https://www.morgannorman.com/
I thoroughly enjoyed looking at Morgan Norman’s website. The basic design, layout, and colour all work well together. This website was more of a portfolio website which is what I am aiming for in my final design.
Like Phillip’s website, the home page was a slideshow of images with a logo laid over the top of it. This is a very effective and visually pleasing design as the eye directs you to the middle of the page and then onto the background images. The UI was designed extremely well. I personally found the look, feel, and interactivity of the portfolio website to be synonymous with the work and style of the photographs. The look was very simple block design with a static header acting as the menu.
The navigation was extremely easy as the menu bar was static and where you would expect it to be. There was an issue with the menu being on the top left side, while the logo was on the top right side. This was unexpected and I found it visually jarring, which didn’t help my immersion with his work or his site.
The contact, and about pages definitely need some composition work as they were both off balance and didn’t look simple or visually appealing. The contact page had 5 different numbers, 4 different addresses, and 5 different email addresses. This is confusing, as the client may not know who they should be contacting. The About page was bottom left heavy with a lot of negative space on the right. This may of worked had the logo not been on the right side of the page as well.
Nick Onken – https://www.nickonken.com/www/
This website was also a portfolio based website, but it was extremely different in comparison with Morgan Norman’s. Like the previous two sites, the homepage was a slideshow of images, this time with no logo centered, but rather, a menu bar and logo placed at the top of the page.
The font size was extremely small, which aesthetically may look good, but practically just doesn’t work well. Seeing as the only portal into the website is the menu bar, it should be pronounced and easier to read, so that users are not searching the page to find the menu.
The portfolio design was really good. Initially you can only see one image, and you can click left or right of it the load the next image. After some searching, I found that if you clicked the photo, the portfolio would become a grid design opposed to a single image design. I really liked this interactive design, however I stumbled across it by accident. If it was implemented more obviously with a thumbnail button on the side of the image to give an option of single view or grid view, I believe it would be more effective.
I really liked the contact and about pages because they were simple and effective. There was no unnecessary information that I didn’t need and it told me exactly what I would need to know if I wanted to get into contact with Nick. However, the font choice for both made the website look cheap. This does hinder user experience, as it gives off a negative impression of Nick and his work. Font choice is extremely important for setting the mood and look of a site, it is a shame to see such little thought gone into the font of what is otherwise a really nice website design.
The use of static menu aided the navigation of the page, and it was really helpful if you got lost, or did not know what page you were currently on. I think having a static header menu is much more effective than a hamburger, however in some circumstances the hamburger menu adds space, and allows users who want to access more content gain it without having to clutter a site with a menu.
Dave Hill – http://davehillphoto.com/#%2F=
I did not like the design or layout of Dave’s website. There was no homepage, and the menu was huge. Because the menu was so big, the font was condensed which made it even harder to read. Finally, because the font size of his logo and font choice were exactly the same, it made it hard to distinguish his logo from his menu.
The website navigation was basic with little animation which was good. The photos were presented in a grid form but could be click individually to zoom to a single view. The same navigation style was used in Nick Onken’s website, which was navigating left or right of the image and clicking the center of the image to either expand to a grid form or zoom to a single view.
The about page was simple and brief which is good, however there was a photo placed which obstructed further information about Dave. To find the information, you need to scroll down, and there is no indication that more information is available below the photo. The content of the about page is colloquial which helps make Dave relatable to any clients.
Overall, there was little immersion found in Dave’s website, and it wasn’t really on par with the design of the other sites. Despite the very minimal design, colour and look, the website still managed to feel cluttered.
Eric Anderson – http://www.ericryananderson.com/
Like many of the other websites I have looked at, Eric’s website began with a slideshow of moving images which led to the rest of his work. The website was a portfolio website, and worked off a basic infinite scroll design. There was no visible menu, however there was a hamburger menu which brought up an entire screen overlay.
I liked the initial design and layout of the website. The grid layers that the photos were presented in were efficient in displaying Eric’s work. The portfolio is also the first page people see when they enter the site which is important, especially for a portfolio website. The theme of a black and white website layout was signposted by the moving image slideshow on the home page, and it really helped set a very simplistic, modern, yet dated mood.
The hamburger menu was a big distraction as it did not fit in with the theme of the website. When you clicked the hamburger link, the entire screen would get an overlay menu which had a font bigger than anything else on the site. I found this to hinder my immersion and experience on the site as it seemed like two different people had designed the website, and then the hamburger menu.
I did really like the information page as it really did work well with the theme of the website. The text was slightly out of alignment and some of the smaller details had a very low contrast colour which made it hard to read against the background.
Overall, I found that the website was well made, bar the hamburger menu, and all the pages and parts worked well to create a good user experience. The minimalist design, and colour theme helped with keeping the focus on the photography, and the lack of button animation made the site feel a little bit more serious and business oriented.