Review by Joyce J. Evans
When I first look at a Web site for a critique the primary things I look for is usability, a professional presence (business sites) and to see if the purpose of the company is meant. Since this is a business site with products I am assuming that it should be professional looking, easy to navigate and that its goal is to sell product.
With that in mind my critique is not meant to criticize but to help you see how it can be improved upon. By asking for a critique I assume you really do want an honest one.
Although I'm not big on useless intros yours isn't as bad as most and is acceptable for a business site only if you have it programmed NOT to play on the user's next visit-- which isn't the way you have it right now. I'd recommend fixing it so that the next time the user returns they are taken directly to the home page.
Upon arriving at the real home page you are greeted with a very tempting image--it's very appealing. The sites color and feel are appropriate for the content.
This site has a good start but it's only a start at this point if the goal is to present a professional image--which I assume it is. On top of the list is navigation. There is a need for good and consistent navigation. The current navigation appears only at the bottom of the page. The feel when you first arrive is that you have mistakenly entered an interior page with no navigation. I'd recommend adding top horizontal navigation in the currently blank area above your table.
The top of the site is bare; there is no company identity and/or name in the top left corner as expected. The home page needs branding that can be carried out through the site. A nice logo in the top left corner, company name and byline or image header/banner.
The table area isn't bad if you remove the blinking flowers and blinking text below the nice image. I see under the links that the moving text is supplied by deco--please move it back to where it came from. It's very distracting and unprofessional looking. You want the user to focus on your image and text--not on the blinking decorations. There is a statement that this site is the connection to sweetdeco.com. I don't understand, it appears that this is SweetDeco. Since this link is provided I won't comment on the state of the sweetdeco.com site. This reference is quite confusing and I don't see the need or the purpose.
Links - Flowers
This page isn't bad at all. It could benefit from a gallery type display where the thumbnails provide a larger image and perhaps a description and/or order number for each.
Images showing it in use or examples would help here. Perhaps an image of someone using the paper.
Other Wafer Decos
The fast moving background made me want to leave. Please consider removing it. It is extremely distracting to the content of your site. If you want to display the confetti perhaps you can use a tastefully done and non-distracting background image.
Moving background again...
As a note, the Back to the Home page link returns you to the intro again NOT to the Home page. As a last recommendation, you may want to consider giving the user the option to purchase online.
Although it may sound like a lot of "critiques" the things I bring up aren't very difficult to implement and will improve the usability of the site. The site has a very good foundation from which to work.
Joyce Evans is a web designer, Dreamweaver/Fireworks expert, and author of numerous books for web designers and developers.
Visit Joyce at her web site: www.je-ideadesign.com
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