OT: Website and Video Critiques wanted. :)

i c e wrote on 8/28/2010, 1:18 PM
Hi all,
I have spent the last two and a half months building this webiste. I had never done anything like it and I was/am way over my head. I did all the vids (about 5 new HD that you guys haven't seen), graphics, photos, and customizing plus getting in about 15 languages. They are real happy with it but I would like to know what you all think.
Anyone who would like to offer any critique or what you would like to or not to see.

I will say before hand, the opening video is TOO LONG. I know this but they won't let me change it. *sigh.

http://www.ifanyoneisthirsty.com ( if this comes out as a hyper link, I am going to celebrate. Would be my first here on SVPF).

thanks guys, really appreciate any help here.



Steve Mann wrote on 8/28/2010, 3:52 PM

It's a well done flash site, but the contents will be invisible to search engines.
The splash screen took 30-seconds to open. Finally, I am not thrilled with the cursor blob. Either make it fade out quickly, or drop it altogether.
ushere wrote on 8/28/2010, 5:09 PM
you want honest answers?

a. people could die of thirst waiting for it to load.

b. the blob is cute ONCE!

c. the page itself is a mess - there's just too much going on. (bear in mind, i'm a minimalist)

d. but you certainly did put a lot of time and energy into it
lynn1102 wrote on 8/28/2010, 6:03 PM
I was having a problem trying to figure out what you were trying to say. The font is very hard to read. Very long load times. I couldn't make it thru any complete video - dragged out too long. I also say forget the cursor blob. I originally thought it was a site problem unit it kept happening.

nedski wrote on 8/28/2010, 9:14 PM

Too be blunt, I give the web site two thumbs down.

One for the content, the other for the organization of said content.

If you are trying to portray the mind of a schizophrenic(s), you have succeeded.

You have talent, try to find a customer/client who'll put it to good use. :-)

Again, pardon my bluntness.
dibbkd wrote on 8/28/2010, 9:31 PM
If the site is geared towards teenagers, they probably love it. (and I don't mean that in a bad way) I doubt there are many teenagers on THIS site, so the feedback may not be from who your audience targets.

If you created the site and videos yourself, you definitely have web and video talent, I'm personally just not crazy about the design of it. But hey, if your client loves it then that's what really matters.

musicvid10 wrote on 8/28/2010, 9:36 PM
After seeing the changes you made to the intro, I'll leave the criticism to others and just say again that you are incredibly talented.

Not being part of your stated target audience, I can do without the website bling.
Earl_J wrote on 8/28/2010, 10:40 PM
Well, i_c_e,
I like the energy of it ... as it is your first effort of this sort, it reminds me of the first effort by many video editors; the ones who discover the transitions folder and feel as though they will keep the viewers' interest by using every single transition in the folder...
I can appreciate the features you've added to the site, but so many?
I'm overwhelmed by the activity on each page. . . some of the drop-down menu items are simply poor design, white text on a white background, for instance - not a good method for keeping the viewers' interest... other activities are simply too much for my conservative tastes.

You've designed such an active site that I'm distracted by the techniques applied and tend to simply overlook the message ...

It's a graphic site, no doubt ... I have no idea which buttons are video, which ones are stills, or which ones are simply background images without clicking on them ... your targeted audience might very well want to spend the afternoon clicking on every item on every page, but not me... sorry.

It is energetic, active, and totally grunge ... but much of that is overwhelming for me when used in the same place... sorry . . .
I really did want to see what the message is ... I am intrigued by the approach of a faith-based effort outside the traditional mainstream endeavors of the past... but it began to appear as though it is a cult of some sort ... I never did stay long enough to find the values upon which the effort is based other than it is non-traditional...

Good luck with it ...

Until that time... Earl J.
Radio Guy wrote on 8/29/2010, 4:19 AM
Firstly, the videos are great and I must commend you as you said this was your first attempt it is way better than my first one years ago and adding to that 15 Languages.

The grunge look is great but as others have said it's way too busy and a lot of eye candy that distracts.

Just my thoughts.
alltheseworlds wrote on 8/29/2010, 5:53 AM
1) Far too long to load

2) I don't know what the site is about
Randy Brown wrote on 8/29/2010, 8:12 AM
Well I'd like to say it's a very interesting and refreshing view on attracting people to pondering what life is all about.
I am not a Christian per se but I really like the message and find what I did see interesting and unique. It's a bit busy for me at times but I'm 57 years old...I think it's perfect for youth though!
Dach wrote on 8/29/2010, 11:01 AM
People have already provided subjective feedback. The points about the target audience is very valid.

I would reinforce two concerns. Load Time... and the fact that the search engines won't crawl the site, which is a reason to be discouraged from using flash.

The blob... or ink trail did catch my "oh" attention and then immediately followed by "thats enough of that".

I want to reinforce and encourage that you evaluate your feedback, make changes where you think it appropriate and most importantly keep creating!

All the best,

winrockpost wrote on 8/29/2010, 1:01 PM
way too long to load,, but I waited... then got a legal warning for my trouble, then left the site
Former user wrote on 8/29/2010, 1:02 PM
I had written a long, bulleted list of observations about the site and I got to thinking about it -- yeah I build websites for a living, but who am I to give advice? If your site works for you and your intended audience, then it works! I know this sounds cliché, but do what makes you smile, because there are bound to be others that are smiling along with you :-)

i c e wrote on 8/29/2010, 3:05 PM
Hello Everyone,

Jim.. would love, love to get that list from you. maybe you could email it to me if you don't want to post it. thenightrunner@rocketmail.com

Let me just say how much I appreciate each individual response. I have been so into this thing that I feel I have not taken that step backward to objectively consider each area of the site. I admit that I got carried away and maybe lose some stuff along the way.

I am going to do some serious work on it in the next couple of days. I will fix it so the site loads much faster. I can't believe nobody likes the blob thing. oh, well. The site is for Teens/Students so I think they'll dig it.

The videos don't load instantly Lynn, as youtube or any other site, you have to play/pause and let them load. I can't help that. Maybe I should explain it someone on the first few pages.

I think I should clean and simplify. Again, thank you all very much for you time to help me with this. I have no problem with the blunt criticism. The point is the finished product...

peace and anyother chime ins are great.

Former user wrote on 8/30/2010, 7:23 AM
Well, I deleted the list right before I replied so I'll re-create it from what I remember...

1. Flash (entire site) -- Building an entire site based on Flash is generally not a good idea for various reasons. Some have already been mentioned but here ya go: Poorly indexed by search engines; Slow load times; Compatibility issues; Difficult to update and maintain; Some users just don't like Flash; etc.

2. Flash (elements) -- These can add drama and "bling" to a site, but some of the same issues as mentioned in item #1 are still there. Primarily those elements can be difficult to maintain, especially if you have a client that wants to do site updates themselves.

3. Auto-starting video / audio -- If you want to use a video component as part of your site design, then it would behoove you to create a short version of the video for the home page. And then link to a page for the full length version (kinda of like a "read more" option you see with articles). Also, if a user is viewing your site when they are in an office environment, having the audio just start blaring away isn't the best idea.

4. Landing page -- I'm not referring to the "Splash" screens of the past, this is the main page for your site. This page should be a summary of your site that encourages your viewers to explore the content pages. It's also good practice to have "pull quotes" from the most recent content on your site and provide links to this content. Think of it as the cover of a book along with "foreword" and the table of contents.

5. Navigation -- I'm a big proponent of having the navigation consistent throughout the site. If you use a horz "ribbon bar" with dropdowns for sub-navs, then stick to it. Both in content and style. A user wants to find content, not play a video game. Make it as easy for them as possible.

6. Consolidate Content -- Keep associated content in the same place. If you have videos and audio on the site then use a tab called "Multimedia"; if you have articles then a tab called "Articles" tells the story of what that page and/or section contains. I know it sounds simple enough, but sometimes deciding where content goes can be tough.

7. General -- You have to put yourself in a users point-of-view in order to organize your site. You have first hand knowledge of your site because you developed it. That's why having "fresh eyes" give you site a review is good to have. Web developers are in the publishing business, so just like the traditional forms of publishing: editing and proof-reading is essential...

My original list was longer and included some comments about the actual design elements of your site, but those are the ones that I felt were just being critical of your artistic decisions. And that is just "apples and oranges" when you get right down to it.

Good luck with the site!

i c e wrote on 8/30/2010, 5:55 PM
Thanks a million Jim. I am just getting started with web design. I plan to be in this for a while so I really, seriously appreciate the time you took to help me out with all this. I couldn't agree more with everything you say. I wish I would have known this before. *sigh. But live and learn. Good thing I am only 21.

Like you mentioned, my biggest issue is how and where to put the content. I know that's like "duh, that's what web devoloping is dummy" but for me it seemed extra challenging, especially with this non typical content i.e. product/services/history/about us/ contact us/ ect..... you know?

Again, thanks so mucho. best wishes to you.


not to be a bug.. but ..like I mentioned before.. this is all first time for me. criticism is how I will improve.. if you wanted to say any of those other things.. would appreciate it.

Rory Cooper wrote on 8/30/2010, 10:51 PM
Ice good on you for extending your creative side into new territory.

Main point is if you give someone water to drink, it should be clean water. Your water is dirty , very negative look and feel, so rather use one clean clear image for your background = simplify it, you could over expose the new image so that it looks clean and clear

You need to simplify the site, one way is to limit the number of typefaces you are using.
Especially in the disc choose a language.

When using text in panels don’t make text too big filling the entire panel, you need neg space around text to be able to read it
Why has OPA video got an image behind text and the others don’t???? and why dirt grey???? Change it to CLEAN blue

Another way is use of color and panels = size and color = uniformity = you could justify the video panels same size left right to match text panels

I don’t mind the blobs but why ……red????? Like blood, very negative. Change it to look like water bubbles it will go with the look and feel of the site.

You are creative and courageous, very good. what you need to expand on is to look at the mind and mood of your work.
i c e wrote on 9/1/2010, 1:19 PM
thanks a million for your critique. You offer some very real solid help and advice. I changed the blood gross red. what was I thinking??? omg. I can't believe I did that. anyways...

thanks a lot. I will work towards changing some of the other things you mentioned and learn it all for next time.

thank you. I really appreciate your time.

take care,

Soniclight wrote on 9/1/2010, 4:06 PM

You just got here one reason I tend to be a bit squeamish on getting feedback at times - people are albeit courteously no-holds barred honest.

It can sometimes dent the ego, especially when one is at the front end of a new project, etc.

But looking back, it's always been helpful for many here are old pros with their eyes and experience on the Net.
I've been several years and am always grateful for the things I learn from them.


As to websites, I've had that temptation to use Flash, be it for whole site or banners, but instinct says "Keep it simple." I feel my site's code is so 1990's old school HTML (I haven't mastered .css yet but the site is so small it's not a prerogative anyway).

Where I do use Flash is whatever video is featured at my homepage, such as my most recent not-ready-for-prime-time-but-passable one there now. That said, it's in not the best format .(swf) and should be .flv -- but I lose some of the subtle Particleillusion effects in .flv.

My niche target audience is way different from yours or anyone here, but my reluctance to get fancy with visual bling, Javascript and Flash has served me well. It loads fast and works OK even though the overall design is not particularly slick.

It also breaks the "keep all content within first landing on page" rule (limit need to scroll down), but the design is also centered with plenty visual breathing space on each side.

One advantage is that I'm cheap labor (everything there is done by me, incl. music).
One day I'll do a real site re-design and put the Site Menu as a bar above or on the left, but it's not that bad as-is--just different.

If you want to see it, here is the homepage of my small labor of love on the Net.

i c e wrote on 9/1/2010, 7:05 PM
to be totally honest I don't understand at all where your coming from or the reason for your post. I greatly appreciate the critique and help from the guys here. no bruised ego. that's why I posted.

your site is no where near where my site is. sorry. it may take a little while to load... I deal with that but it is a full very content rich site with much to see and do. if you got your thing and it works for you, great, but it has nothing to do with what I am trying to do. besides, I think the content is appalling.

nothing personal. just my honest opinion.