Author Topic: Updated Website, looking for critique  (Read 2194 times)

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Hassan Arshad

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Updated Website, looking for critique
« on: May 01, 2010, 09:05 AM »
Hello everyone,

My name is Hassan Arshad and I am a freelance photographer and designer currently in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  I do freelance work for Fort McMurray Today and I am going back to graduate school at UBC for my masters of Journalism this fall.   

I have recently updated my website and I would really appreciate any critiques on it.   The more input I get the better I can make my website, so please don't hold back any constructive criticism.

Thanks in advance!

Offline Warren Toda

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Re: Updated Website, looking for critique
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 04:02 AM »
My ~700¢ worth:

Web site design first:

• Turn off the drag-to-share plugin. It pops up over every graphic (except thumbs) and is very annoying.

• personally, I wouldn't use any image from Wikipedia. Some are of dubious origin, and others lose their "Fair Use" protection immediately upon copying to another site, (assuming they even fall under the USA's "Fair Use" clause, which is not quite the same as "Fair Dealing" in Canada).

• On inside picture pages, there's no point in having all full-size images first, then thumbs at the bottom which only repeat the full-size images thru fancybox.  Although, a few pages have no full-size images, just thumbs+fancybox. Scripting error somewhere?

• too many navigation options: top bar, middle bar, middle thumbs bar, and piles of links below the fold, including unreadable black text on a dark grey background.

• You've got at least four different types of link hover styles. Some hovers become unreadable white text on ~white background.

• Text areas on pages should be narrower. Text running the full width of the page is difficult to read. There's a reason why newspaper and magazine columns are narrow.

• Some picture sets are repeated in multiple categories which makes it redundant and confusing.

• Resumé link throws a database error.

• Coding errors for "Donald, the one-eyed blues man" and on one of the wedding sets.

• There's two "Wedding" links but they lead to different pages.

Overall, the site design is too much, too busy, too distracting. Maybe try another template?


The design of the hkimaging html site is way better, (the Flash version was much too slow to look at.)  But this site also has various issues:

- when you do reverse text, there's an optical illusion that makes the text appear smaller and thinner. Example: on the "Investment" and "Promotions" pages, which seem to use a different font or font size than the other pages.

- Contact page input boxes are invisible (black on black); input text is invisible as I type, then shows up as red asterisks or dots.

– I'd rethink some page names. Example: "Investment" - are you looking for investors? "Raves" is confusing on pages that also have "Favourites" - I thought raves and favourites meant the same thing.

Don't be afraid to use standard terminology. If you want to look cool, do it with photos, graphics and in your bodies of text, but not (so much) in the instructions (i.e. navigation). There's a reason why traffic signs are fairly standardized across North America.

– No need for the wedding page to have a secondary set of nav links at the top. Somehow assemble/edit the pictures into one set.

– Get rid of the right-click script: it's useless and went out of style 10 years ago. There are better ways.

- Some characters are not reproducing properly on the Raves page (unless those weird bullets are on purpose).


Photo stuff:

• Pictures on the main sight seem to be mostly personal pictures, as opposed to photojournalism. Maybe separate them into different sites?

• The Safehouse Outreach set is 45 pictures long but could be edited down to about 4. In several sets, there's no point in having both colour and B+W versions of the same/similar photo.

• Many pictures on both sites aren't sharp (except for the skateboarding, some building pictures and a few others). Maybe the originals are sharp, but on the web pages, they're off either a little bit or a whole lot.

• Many pictures have bad backgrounds and/or foregrounds; not enough depth of field and/or wrong focus point.

• Many of the building / cityscape pictures are quite nice.


When shooting people, put content first, and camera style/technique second. When you tilt the camera, use a low angle, use shallow focus, etc, there should be a reason why, other than to show that you know how to do it.


Use shallow focus to force the viewer's attention onto something: eg. a subject's eyes or a bride's ring. These, (eyes or bride's ring), are important to a photo no matter what the focus, because they (eyes or bride's ring) tell a story and shallow focus is used for emphasis. But shallow focus used on, say, an arm, means nothing since an arm is rarely important in a picture.

Low camera angle is used to show/emphasize height, (either lots of it or the lack of it). It can also be used to force a perspective. But using low angle for no reason is confusing as it sends the "wrong" signals to the viewer.

Tilting the camera often creates diagonal lines in an image which, in turn, create another graphical dynamic which often needs to be balanced against/with other shapes or lines in the photo. Balance can be positive or negative. Tilting a camera just-because, only makes viewers' necks sore.


« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 04:27 PM by Warren Toda »

Photographer in Toronto