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any suggestions on how to improve my web

The Sandman 16 Feb 11 - 07:09 AM
Maryrrf 16 Feb 11 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Jon 16 Feb 11 - 08:52 AM
Mr Red 16 Feb 11 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Feb 11 - 03:29 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Feb 11 - 03:59 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Feb 11 - 04:02 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 11 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,PeterC 17 Feb 11 - 04:18 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Feb 11 - 07:46 AM
The Sandman 20 Feb 11 - 08:53 AM
Tootler 20 Feb 11 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,KP 20 Feb 11 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,ma 21 Feb 11 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,mattkeen 21 Feb 11 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Jon 21 Feb 11 - 09:06 AM
Jack Campin 21 Feb 11 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Martin Dardis 21 Feb 11 - 11:57 AM
The Sandman 21 Feb 11 - 12:15 PM
Jack Campin 21 Feb 11 - 02:11 PM
The Sandman 22 Feb 11 - 12:50 PM
Jack Campin 22 Feb 11 - 01:11 PM
The Sandman 23 Feb 11 - 12:54 PM
Crowhugger 23 Feb 11 - 02:16 PM
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Subject: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 07:09 AM

all comments will be given consideration,thanks,http://www.dickmiles.com/introduction.htm


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Maryrrf
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 08:44 AM

Hi Dick,

I like the site, it's nice and easy to navigate. But I found the text hard to read against the background. This could easily be remedied by putting the text in a box with a white or solid color background so it would stand out a little more. Also, I personally don't like it (and a lot of other people don't either) when the music starts playing as soon as you open the site. If you're furtively browsing at work, for example, you don't want that. Better to allow people to click on the sound samples rather than just have the music start automatically. Also, it's good to include some hi res photos for downloading, in case a folk club wants to make up some promotional materials, and a few quotes from reviews - and if you really want to be helpful, a 'canned bio" that they can cut and paste. As someone who makes posters and flyers that makes my task a lot easier and saves time.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 08:52 AM

I quite like it and personally don't have a problem with the background (although I accept others may have).

I agree with Mary about music starting unasked but this did not happen to me (Firefox on Linux). I'd suggest you scrap it but alternatively, you might want to be aware that you seem to me to have come up with something that is not cross platform.

Links to a few samples from your CDs would be nice.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 09:31 AM

some plugin or other on the homepage is blocked on my version of FF 3.6.13 and in IE6 and FF it is invoking a warning about external app - probably Windows Media Player.

This may be because the web designer has all the best gear - and your audience don't! It may be because I am running FF portable on a proxy server (& remote instance of XP) but IE is the same.

I keep my website old fashioned for this very reason - the data are king, gizmos aren't. Your website has to function and look good because the psychology of these things is good looking appears trustworthy. So no problems on that front. Though looking good is not how I judge these things (consciously anyway).


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 03:29 PM

I found it to be a nice, legible site. No music played when I opened the page, but I was able to hear a sound sample when I selected one.

Good job.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 03:59 PM

I'm using Firefox 3.6.13 on a Macbook Pro.

The music played automatically, and I'd prefer that it didn't.

I agree that the background is a little bit much. It's especially hard to see the little audio links on the Discography page.

I'd suggest going through with a fine-toothed comb and changing the text (including on the buttons) to either first-person (I, my) or third-person (Dick Miles, his). It's a bit odd to have a mix. My personal preference would be first person, FWIW. More personal.

Actually, even if everything is in the first person, I'd shorten the button names to "Books", "Shop", "Links", because the "My" is just redundant -- obviously they're yours. The essential info is all the reader needs to choose a button.

You might want to put another button for "Shop" at the bottom of the "Books" and "Discography" pages, just to make it easy and obvious, once the reader has scanned through the material, since the main button is out of sight by then. -- For that matter, it's nice to have all those buttons repeated across the bottom, to save the reader scrolling back up to the top (although, your pages aren't terribly long, so it's not too onerous).

~ Becky


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Feb 11 - 04:02 PM

Forgot to say -- on the Introduction page, the last line of the third paragraph runs over your foot, so not quite enough room was left for the image, as my browser renders it.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 04:12 PM

thanks, folks.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 04:18 PM

Music played autmatically for me (FF 3.6.12 under XP)


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Feb 11 - 07:46 AM

I actually like the auto music playing - my own page has it, but based on comments seen here....


I'll get me hat ....


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 08:53 AM

I'll get my brain


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Tootler
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 12:39 PM

I've been to your site before, Dick and I have found it clear and easy to navigate.

I am using Firefox (v3.6.13) on Linux and the music started playing when I opened the site. It was pretty quiet and I personally do not have problem with this, but would like to see a button so you can stop it. What was irritating was that the opening music continued when you clicked on one of your sound samples on the home page. You definitely need to ensure the background music stops then. However, the general feeling about sound files playing automatically when opening a page is "Don't", so probably best to remove it altogether.

I don't have a problem with your background. The text is quite visible against it. I have something similar on my own web page, but I have steadily faded it down so it is now just visible but there - almost like a watermark. Maybe you should consider doing the same.

You do need to do something about the picture of yourself so that the text does not overlap the image. It's not just on your boots but in several places down the image.

On your shop page, a slightly larger font for the information on your CDs would be better, in my view.

A darker colour for the hyperlinks on your link page would improve legibility.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,KP
Date: 20 Feb 11 - 12:52 PM

1. On my Mac, on both Safari and Firefox, the music starts playing as soon as you enter the introduction page, and keeps on playing over the track samples!

2. There is nothing on the site about whether you do live performances, can be booked by folk clubs etc, and how an organiser should go about it

3. How about some links to Youtube videos of your performances?

cheers


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,ma
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 08:49 AM


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 08:52 AM

I think its worth considering the role of the Discography page and the My books page.
Why cant that information be included in the shop page?
If not then the Disc... and My books pages could have a "Add to cart" button by each item

I personally dont like the background - but that doesn't mean it doesn't work for your intended audience


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 09:06 AM

I've just taken another look at the sound the source shows the embedded file is an mp3. "I'm quite surprised Firefox did not find a suitable plugin". Anyway, I've got suitable ones in OpenSuse so not that I want it, sound does start automatically and my suspicions about something Windows only (already noted by others) was wrong.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 09:45 AM

The Books and Discography links don't work.

I really dislike sites playing sound when they open.

Firefox 3.6.13 on MacOS 10.4.11/PPC.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: GUEST,Martin Dardis
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 11:57 AM

I liked the site, it's easy to navigate. The image on the homepage is a bit too big and would cause problems for dial up connections.
I always have the sound on my computer turned down while visiting sites just in-case there's an audio file that plays automatically.
I loved your version of The Banks Of Claudy.
The backround image is fine by me.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 12:15 PM

Jack, The books and Discography worked for me.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 02:11 PM

They work for me now - definitely didn't first time.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 12:50 PM

If at first you don't succeed...try try again



"IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN. Don't give up too easily; persistence pays off in the end. The proverb has been traced back to 'Teacher's Manual' by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and 'The Children of the New Forest' by English novelist Frederick Maryat (1792-1848). Originally a maxim used to encourage American schoolchildren to do their homework. Palmer (1782-1861) wrote in his 'Teacher's Manual': 'Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.' The saying was popularized by Edward Hickson (1803-70) in his 'Moral Song' and is now applicable to any kind of activity."


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 01:11 PM

Unfortunately the usual maxim people visiting websites live by is the exact opposite. If there's any problem at all with a site I never go back to it unless I have some compelling reason.

If you have detailed logs it might be worth looking at them.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 12:54 PM

There is no problem with the books and discography , Yes I have detailed logs, thanks for all the comments.


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Subject: RE: any suggestions on how to improve my web
From: Crowhugger
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:16 PM

Great site generally and I enjoyed your music, but I, too, am one who dislikes forced background music. Even with an 'off-switch', by the time I find it I'm annoyed and ready to leave.

About readability, I don't agree that your background is the main factor, unless you've already lightened it since comments were made. To my eye it's the font, which has a light and unvaried stroke: the lines are thin and are all the same weight (compare to variable thickness of stroke in Times New Roman, Palatino, et al.). Also, the strokes are the same weight as the serif, and the serif at both middle and top is curve--more readable fonts will have at more of those serifs run parallel with the flow of text to promote smooth visual flow.

I noticed some proofreading matters: Text on Intro. page says you offer three tracks but there are four listed. Throughout the site the person speaking varies between first and third; best to pick one or the other, and then be consistent also with link names. In the quest to balance personality or character of the site with efficiency in getting information across, I prefer to visit sites that lean toward the latter--which means tighter editing than you've chosen.

The layout (other than rendering issue raised by others) is very friendly and easy to use, with no guesswork required to find things--exactly as it should be. I'm often amazed how many web designers expect visitors to guess where to find things from vague or in-joke link names.

Very well done so far! But I wouldn't visit again due to the sound issue. That's a deal breaker for me.


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