Author Topic: opinions about new website please  (Read 451 times)  

Online Luke Everhart

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opinions about new website please
« on: January 01, 2018, 02:48:37 PM »
I completely redid my author website.
I figure there are enough readers here that go to author sites regularly & obviously a lot of authors with their own so maybe(?) the curious or courteous will have a look. Any opinions would be really welcome.
Concerns:
1) seems professional enough or the goofy fonts throwing that off?
2) suitable for urban fantasy author (had some romancy vibe due to font choices and too-pretty color scheme on old one I was told)
3) MOST IMPORTANT: is the menu style acceptable or does the departure from the usual header nav get annoying?

www.lukeeverhart.com
(PS I'm aware that it still has lots of placeholder images and not all links/content finished.)

« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 07:45:39 PM by Luke Everhart »
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Offline C. Gold

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Re: 3rd porridge? or... it's about my website again... yeah, I know 🙄
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 02:59:58 PM »
Looks cool enough to me.

Online missbedora

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 08:14:41 PM »
I like the look of it. I admit, it took me awhile to find the menu. I scrolled all the way down, then looked at the top right (the social media links). I was almost ready to assume there wasn't a menu before I finally saw it on the top left. But then once I clicked on it, I liked the look. Maybe I'm just overtired?
My completely non-expert consumer-level suggestion may be to move it to the top left and make the font stand out more?

Offline Monique

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 08:34:44 PM »
I'm not sure how I feel about the menu. Am torn on that. Personally, I prefer simple, persistent navigation. Fewer clicks.

Most importantly, however, I do think that the header is cool but waaaay too big. All the good stuff gets pushed below the fold. It's not even apparent (on my laptop) that I've successfully navigated to a new page because the header is the only thing I see. I have to scroll to make sure I actually went somewhere.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 08:36:40 PM by Monique »

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Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 10:25:22 PM »
(1) Loading speed. Some people have fast Internet. Some don't.
(2) The header. It doesn't say "I'm a book author." It says "It's a site about magic."
(3) The first row of posts. The same.
(4) The menu. Hm.

I'd say, simpler it better.

Just my two cents.
Good luck!
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Online abgwriter

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 11:43:05 PM »
I think the layout is very innovative. I haven't seen many sites like that.
Some suggestions:
1- The font is throwing me off a little bit. I'd say simpler is better. Browse Google Fonts and you'll find plenty of great options that are both UF and crisp and clear. The current font just feels a little out of place and amateurish.
2- Just my 2 cents as a designer, but UF genre tends to lean more heavily towards cold colors. That is blues, violets, greens... You have a lot of orange and yellow. That might not be too relevant (I haven't seen your covers, so perhaps the yellow is a reflection of your branding framework) but I thought to mention it anyways.
3- I can't see the stock images in four of your featured articles. I don't know if that's just because you uploaded a placeholder on purpose or because the site doesn't allow hot-linking, but I see is a white 3D book mock-up that says "I can haz stock photoz." If it's intentional I'd suggest to fix that before you go live. Your main page is important, you want it to attract people's attention, not give the sense that the site is incomplete or in development.
4 - I don't mind the menu. I agree it's hard to locate at first but I think it's a rather nice touch and it creates a parallax impression that is very "in" right now.

As a side note:
When I visit an author's site I go to 3 places mainly: "About," "Books" and "Newsletter." At the moment your "Books" tab is empty, I realized it's supposed to be a drop-down menu, but that's not the first thing that popped when I clicked. Instead, it took me to a page and a "Coming Soon" message. If I hadn't been examining thoroughly and instead was just a reader passing by I would've thought you have nothing going on, because the drop-down menu needs to be clicked on to be activated. It doesn't appear automatically.
Your "About" and "Newsletter" pages are big blocks of text with no breakage or images. It made me dizzy just to glance at it.

Sorry I talk a lot  :P Just my 2 cents, hope it helps!
 

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Offline Just Griff

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 12:00:01 AM »
I like the slant. The site overall is slick.

I'm torn about the menu too. I like it a lot, but I think it would be utilized more if it were constant.

Tagline is cute but unspecific. I'm assuming if someone finds the site they'll already know you're an author and they'll get it, but it could apply to a lot of things.

The header font... not a fan. The first thought that popped into my head was middle-grade fantasy books. The wolf picture tilts the scales toward UF/PNR, but it's not enough to overpower the font.

Good luck!

Offline ThomasDiehl

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 02:23:18 AM »
Like many said, the menu is nice-looking, but it is very hard to locate. The buton is in the place I usually expect the site's title to be so it took me soem time to even realize it says "Menu". Maybe add a symbol so it becomes more obvious.

I would move some of the stuff out of the fold-out menu and incorporate it into either the homepage (e.g. newsletter sign-up) or other pages (F.A.Q. is in there twice). Contact brings me to a page that contains stuff that is part of the menu anyway - this I would probably keep in the menu and remove the page.
"Continue reading" is hard to read in white on such a light backgrond. There's also some almost completely invisible stuff in the footer.

The design looks very nice, though. The slanted angle and strong colors make it stand out.
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Online Anarchist

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 06:13:50 AM »
In my opinion, a website should be designed to convert visitors to leads/customers. Everything else is secondary. Moreover, the best conversion path is to get targeted folks onto your mailing list.

I recommend reading this article.

Fun fact: the author now writes for the BookBub blog.



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Online Luke Everhart

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 11:00:09 AM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I really appreciate it.  :D

Ok, I'm convinced the menu format is an issue. I'll go with a more traditional header nav bar menu.
As far as the banner size, yeah, it's huge. Once I have my actual book cover and banner images from a professional artist (I've got 3 slots with Lou Harper for covers coming up) the plan was to replace the generic image (even though I think it's cool) with a collage banner with book covers and some ad/call-to-action copy overlaid on it. Its gonzo size should then work for me rather than against... I think?

That'll also take care of clarifying the immediate author and UF impression issue that was in the comments.
Re comments about the images: the "I can has stock photoz" images are intentional & merely placeholders for pending book cover images. The wolves pic is also a pixabay free for use placeholder & will be replaced with an author photo (once I get a pro quality pic taken with a nice background -- maybe like Neil Gaiman's). 

Taking the recurring opinions in total, I'm convinced I need to:
* change the menu like mentioned above
* look for a different font that still has a little whimsy and magical feel but is a bit more professional
* change the header (that was already part of the plan; I just don't have any original pro images ready yet)
* use the header to satisfy the compelling comments re conveying at-a-glance impressions of: an author site, UF branding, & I've got a newsletter 

The link was helpful btw. I also think I'm going to add a 'join my newsletter' popup on arrival (non-recurring unless a visitor has completely flushed cache & cookies). Yeah, I know, lots find it annoying but Holly Ward & Mark Dawson and a number of other Indies rockin it use them.

Again, thanks for the feedback! Because I'm waiting on my cover images I've got time until my debut book's publication date & official 'launch' of my site. I wanted to get all the changes & tweaks out of the way well before then.
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Offline Nate Hoffelder

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Re: opinions about new website please
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 03:37:07 PM »
I love the use of this theme (I'm going to add it to my list of must-use themes) but -

the title and subtitle are really hard to read

and I agree on the menu - it's very hard to find
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