Topic: Personal Site (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="" title="Pages that link to Topic: Personal Site (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic: Personal Site <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-26-2006 00:04 Edit Quote

I worked on a personal site today. I am planning on having this site be an online resume.

It is a simple AJAX page that makes use of the excelent prototype library.

I downloaded the a Photoshop CS2 trial today and got to do a little graphic work with it. I normally use The Gimp, I have to say that having photoshop to use on this was a joy.

Comments and critism appreciated as always.

Dan @ Code Town

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 04-26-2006 08:33 Edit Quote


Why do you rely on JS for your navigation ? and why don't you use a navigation grid or at least fast rollover without preload ? When I saw your navigation flickering like crazy as I was hovering it while it was loading the 'hover' images, I had to have a look at code and ... doh! absolutely not accessible page.

While "AJAX" is shiny you should never forget about the accessibility. To do so is as easy as having a proper navigation on your markup, and have fallback links in case JavaScript or XMLHttpRequest are not available.

Beside, as a user of PhotoShop since the v3, I totally agree with you about PhotoShop vs Gimp ( which I used for ~6 months )


(Edited by poi on 04-26-2006 08:40)

Maniac (V) Mad Librarian

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

IP logged posted posted 04-26-2006 10:20 Edit Quote

I'll second the comment on the JS navigation. Why is it needed? Maybe I'm just not understanding what you're trying to do here. I took a quick look at the code and, while I'm not a JS guru by any means, I don't understand why you need all that code to do that. On top of the complexity, there is also no history (thus no back button) and you can't bookmark it. Not really a big problem with what you have there, but what happens when the site gets bigger and more complex? The techniques you use are your choice, of course, but I can't see how the JS technique is justified here.

Other than that, there's not much to say at this point, design wise. It's simple and it's clean, which is always good. You are going to have a lot of white space on the right of the screen on larger monitors/higher resolutions, though (my current resolution is 1280 by 1024 and half the page is blank--it looks kind of desolute). Have you considered centering the content?

Suho: | Cell 270 | Sig Rotator | the Fellowship of Sup

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-26-2006 15:30 Edit Quote

The update

While it hurt to take out all of the javascript I believe that you were both correct in that it was unnecessary, and did lead to a loss of accessibility. I also centered the content and on a larger display it does give a better feel by separating the white space.

I have used the navigational grid technique that you linked. It is a very nice concept.

My girlfriend took a look at the site last night and said that it was nice other than the font used in the image. She felt that a script font was not all that masculin. I am going to look around for a font that might better fit the concept of the site.

My current position is that of a software engineer. As I am paid to only dabble in code it doesn't make sense for my employeer to pay for a copy of PS. I find the cost of photoshop to be a bit prohibitive to personally fund. I am not doing any paid web design work (and this is probably better for the clients based on my skll at it), so when it comes down to my web design hobby Gimp wins out based on price. Were I to get back into doing more web design like this PS's ease of use will end up forcing a purchase.

Any ideas on spicing the site up a little bit? It is the subtle things that attract me to other websites but I am never able to pull that off on my own. I must just not have the eye for it.

Dan @ Code Town

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Columbia MS USA
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-27-2006 02:17 Edit Quote

Simple and clean. Just like I like them.

I like the tabs. Not the same and not different at the same time.

I've only used a trial version of photoshop in version 5 I believe. I really like the gimp. Besides the price is just right.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. --Groucho Marx

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-29-2006 00:51 Edit Quote

Thanks for the comments.

I have a new version. This one is a little larger to accomodate the new font.

Let me know what you think.

In IE there is a flash as the page reloads, it looks like it is taking a little bit to apply the style sheet. Any ideas on how to work around this?

Dan @ Code Town

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: raht cheah
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-29-2006 05:29 Edit Quote


edit: mind in the gutter mispelling

(Edited by JKMabry on 04-29-2006 05:30)

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-29-2006 06:02 Edit Quote

Thanks for the link. That is an interesting little bug.

Dan @ Code Town

Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-29-2006 12:45 Edit Quote

My first impression is that the site is dreadfully boring.

I realize, of course, that the intent is to keep it clean, keep it focused on the content. But you can do this and still visual interest - in this case the only visual interest is given by the navigation. There is nothing to draw the eye down *to* the content. So really, by trying to focus on the content, you've actually ignored it

Things I would play around with -

1) creative use of background image in the body (content area) of the page ( a single, faded, no-repeat image stuck in a page can make such a great impression...)

2) varied border stylings (a 2em thick light grey border down the left edge of that box instead of a 1px black one, for example...).

3) get some color into that text! Get text in there with a proper heirarchy, lists, etc so that you can play around with the presentation. work on whitespace too. you've got a lot of it on the outside, but your text is bunched right up on the inside. space things out, get some balance in there.

I did take a quick look when you first posted, and I must say - although I didn't care for that font all that much, this one is, IMO, significantly less attracitve. It looks what you'd see on a high-school sports banner. I think perhaps your girlfriend got you too focused on the 'masculine' part of it I don't think you need to worry about having a resume that is going to mainly push computer related experience/education come across as overly masculine. Maybe if you were trying to join the wrestling team, or become a roughneck...

I think this site can be worked into something nice, but I do think it needs work to get there.


(Edited by DL-44 on 04-29-2006 12:46)

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-30-2006 00:15 Edit Quote

Today I am planning on working on the content.

Let me see what I can do with the content. That is going to be one of the harder things for me. I will work on that.

Background images are a great idea. I am not sure what I could use for this, I will hunt around to see if I can come up with anything. I am guessing that this doesn't have to be super fancy, just something to add some spice.

The border idea is interesting I am not exactly sure how it will work. I will play with it and see, that is the kind of fine detail that my mind just doesn't come up with at this point.

The font area is rather difficult for me. I will keep working on this.

I am going to spend a couple of hours working on the site, I will post an update when I am done.

Thanks for the feedback.

Dan @ Code Town

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-30-2006 00:26 Edit Quote

While on the topics of fonts, do you have any advice for the choice of a font? How you would go about selecting one?

Dan @ Code Town

Lunatic (VI) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-30-2006 02:57 Edit Quote

WarMage said:

How you would go about selecting one?

I have this incredibly scientific process - I scroll through my font-list, trying different fonts until I like one.

Then I duplicate the layer, hide the original, and continue through the list.

I generally end up with anywhere from 3-8 layers of text with different fonts. I narrow them down by cycling through them, eliminating one by one.

Unfortunately, I can't really offer any specific advice on *how* to choose....I don't have the analytic mind required to offer tips on what kind of typeface works where....I just look until it fits... =)

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-30-2006 04:29 Edit Quote

I got called out of the house to hang out with some friends so I did not get to spend the past 3 hours in front of the computer. I have come up with a font that I think might work it is called ArtBrush and it feels a little more like something *me*

I was also looking at the title image and it also doesn't have enough. I have couple of ideas I am looking at, but just wanted to throw it out there.

Dan @ Code Town

Maniac (V) Inmate

From: PA, US
Insane since: Feb 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-07-2006 06:56 Edit Quote

I personally prefer the first. As far as the font, since this is a personal site and you feel that it reflects you, then go for it.

Just a couple small behind the scenes recommendations. Use title tags on your navigation links. You might also consider appending " - Return to the Daniel Curran home page" or something similar onto then end of the alt/title in your header graphic for all level pages. For the homepage, remove the link to the homepage in your header graphic. It's the little things.

In Opera, your header graphic is not vertically aligned with the brown background. It is pushed down. I believe if you apply padding:0 to you body it will resolve the issue. Opera, by default, adds 8 pixels of padding to this element. No mac available, but it looks good in the following:

IE 5.1/5.5/6.0/7.0b2 on XP
Firefox 1.5 on XP
Netscape 7.2/8.0
Mozilla 1.7

Your pages currently do not validate. Add a meta content type. While you are add it add some other meta info as well.

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<meta name="author" content="Daniel Curran" />
<meta name="description" content="" />
<meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />
<meta name="revisit-after" content="31 days" />

Other than that, I definately agree the site could use some spicing up. I like the content background idea. Some color in that content area text, especially the h1, could do a lot of good as well. Perhaps using a different font face and/or some letter spacing for the heading might work? Perhaps text-transform:uppercase? Play around and try it. I'm sure once you get some real content in there other ideas for visual enhancment will come. Link colors, list bullets, things like that.

It is clean, does it's job from what I can tell. Not bad, for a software engineer.

(Edited by Ramasax on 05-07-2006 06:58)

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Rochester, New York, USA
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-07-2006 19:38 Edit Quote

I have done a major update to the site. I am no-longer sure that the layout that is currently there is going to best display me.

It has been a while since the update as I worked on some other things in the mean time.

Dan @ Code Town

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: Jun 2003

IP logged posted posted 05-08-2006 11:37 Edit Quote

I like the site, it's clean and simple, I do think it could do with a few design touches here and there, like a bit of depth added shadow or round corners to your content box, to work with the round tabs (I like the tabs!).

I think a nice repeating pattern for your background would be ideal, something that won't go into the content area, but fill the surrounding space. kind of like flock wallpaper.


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