15 Year Old Site Designer

  willig_40 20:47 12 May 2005

Hi, I'm 15 and I design websites. I have wide knowlege of HTML and basic Javascript.

I have a few projects up and running, which I wrote intirely by myself please can you tell me what you think.

click here
click here
click here

Thanks -Will

  fly2hi 21:08 12 May 2005

Only one thing got me Will, on my screen the links are on the left, not on the right (stage fright). My boy is only 11 but I wish he would spend a bit of time doing what you're doing rather than playing the same game over and over!

  LeadingMNMs 21:16 12 May 2005

If your going to design sites specifically for 800 x 600 monitors (nothing wrong with that) then at least make sure that the page is centered. I'm not sure whats up with the horizontal bar reading 'Hosting and Site Design by Will . . .' on the Cardinal site and the image at the top does resize well.

Generally I would say a white background looks more professional and dark text on a light background is easier to read over light text on a dark background.

You could also do with some rollover effects on the links on your site (the other two are fine) just to make it clear that they are links. Also, the thumbnails are just the orginals resized by the browser, defeating the object of them being thumbnails, since the fullsize image is still downloaded.

  dcfc 21:27 12 May 2005

Pretty nice Will. I particularly like the last one. I see you are a big fan of tickers! You may want to play around with the font and boldness of the words in the ticker in order for them to be easier to read. In addition, some rollovers on the first site would be a great improvement stylistically.

  PurplePenny 23:47 12 May 2005

Since you are calling yourself a Site Designer I shall be harder on you than I probably would be on most 15 year olds. This is because it is important for you to learn good practice now if you intend to go on doing this (and maybe one day earn a living at it). I've only looked at you first site (Will's site).

I don't think that you can really call a W3C CSS icon an award; particularly as your CSS doesn't validate! That's a pity because you've put in good work on the CSS. It only has a couple of errors and warnings so you could get it to validate very easily.

You have some properties in the HTML which should go in the CSS (e.g. font size, color, align). Since you have a style sheet put *all* your styling in it.

You have no DTD and no character encoding specified. Even using a fallback DTD and encoding your site fails to validate.

You are missing ALT tags from images.

You have <a> start tags inside <td> start tags but the end tags are outside the td end tags.

You have two h1 headings and an h3, with no h2 between them. Heading tags should not be used for styling; they should be used logically. Each page has one h1 tag, the subheadings of that are h2s and the subheadings of those h3s etc.. If you want the headings to be different sizes then use the style sheet to change them.

As I said, I wouldn't normally be this hard on a 15 year old, particularly not on a personal site, but if you want to be good at this you need to start out right.

  PurplePenny 23:55 12 May 2005

"dark text on a light background is easier to read"

Not for everyone. I, personally, find light text on a dark ground much easier on my eyes. It can also look very stylish and professional.

  Forum Editor 00:28 13 May 2005

You're a web designer. You have a way to go yet, but you're on the way.

One thing that gets me going every time is text errors, and your work contains a few.

"If you haven't listened to Less Than Jake you then really should" Spot the error in that.

the plural of fairy is fairies - not fairy's.

"Jan will accept commisons on a first come first serve basis..." should be 'first-served'

Small errors in themselves, but indicative of a need to check your text very carefully before publishing. Even better, get someone else to do it for you - it's often far easier for another person to spot these mistakes.

fourm member's comment about Firefox is a good one, you must test your work in all the popular browsers before you publish.

Site tickers drive me nuts - unless they're on the BBC site, and very easy to read. Red text on a black ground is possibly the worst combination there is, and that italic simply makes it worse.

For someone who's just fifteen you've done well, and if you've visited the forum before you'll know that we're fairly outspoken when people ask "what do you think?" Experience teaches you that when someone asks that question what they really mean is "I'm pretty pleased with what I've done, and I want you to agree with me". We're all a bit like that, and there's no harm in it. The opinions you read here are offered in a spirit of friendly cooperation,so don't take it all too much to heart.

  PurplePenny 12:20 13 May 2005

is possibly the worst combination there is" ... which is a pity because it is a visually stunning combination and the obvious one for a band named Cardinal. I particularly like the combination the other way around (i.e. black text on a red ground).

Will, you can check out the effects of colour vision defects here: click here The effects can be quite surprising.

  Forum Editor 20:25 13 May 2005

is indeed visually stunning combination, but there are influencing factors that operate against it on the web. When you look at a poster, or a magazine page for instance, you're seeing colours in a different way to when you see them on a monitor screen.

When you look at a monitor (or a TV) you're seeing radiant colours, and some of them can be very much more intense when displayed this way. When you read a magazine, or look at a roadside poster you see reflected colour, and everything is less intense. Red on black looks fine when viewed that way.

  slowhand_1000 20:05 14 May 2005

As the others said, for 15 years of age you are doing well. But it's a good job I have broadband. Some of the pictures on your photo pages are very large indeed, they need resizing and optimising. Thumbnails should only be a few kb not up to 400kb and 1600 pixels wide.

On Art by Raven Jan I found the text in the bottom two panels hard to read, especially the link back to 'Home' If you made the change in colour a little less noticable so the last two were a bit lighter it would be easier to read.

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