New website for forklift manufacturing business

Discussion in 'Website Reviews' started by brandontw, Jun 1, 2011.

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  1. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    Hi all, I've been lurking on this website for a while, and its helped me a lot, so i decided today to finally register and join the discussion.

    About 2 months ago I landed a job... finally. Its as the "marketing/mechanical drafting/design person" for a medium sized forklift attachments manufacturing company. My background is in autocad/architecture, and some graphic design. So this is a bit of a switch.

    Ive basically taken charge of redesigning the image of the company, as well as the technical drafting sort of details. Ive designed the logo, the website, and done all the renderings and 3d modeling of the equipment... its been a busy couple months.

    I had never done any web design before this job, but it was in major need of help. I spent a couple weeks trying to find an easy way out with web design programs, and templates and what not, but i just couldn't get what i wanted. So I gave up, got notepad++, and started learning html and css.

    This is the result:
    Home Page
    Product Page (where the majority of my efforts lie)

    Ive made everything you see on the site, from the rendered pictures, to logo and banners, to the PDF catalog pages at the end. (only Booms and Carpet and Coil Rams are done)

    Let me know what you think. I'm used to having feedback on my work, but i'm working in a bit of a vacuum here, so any feedback would be appreciated.



    Ive attached one of our old brochures to give you an idea of our old style, and the major changes ive made...
    Old Brochure
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  2. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    Your use of yellow is too extreme. It is nice in the logo and to highlight sections of your website would be nice as well but not the whole content background.

    You can very easily redesign the header to have CBI as the image part of the logo and the "forklift attacments" and slogan as a font. This will help with keyword SEO.

    Just an added little note. I'd suggest to add that your products are OSHA certified or any other the certifications that are required for building such equipment. Industrial equipment needs to be associated with safety all the time I would assume.

    I like the 3D modelling. I believe they show your products off very well. Did you use Blender to create them?

    I hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  3. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    Yeah... im still not sure about all that yellow either, but its what me and my boss agreed on after a few design drafts. Ive tried black body and dark grey wrap with white text, and that was hard on the eyes. I haven't tried white with black text yet, but im not sure its what my boss is looking for. What would you suggest?

    As far as the header goes... how can i use a specific font? Say i wanted to have it be text, but in that same font...

    Do you like the gallery and link style of the product and subproduct pages?

    As far as the osha comment goes, noted... ill talk to my boss about that.

    Thanks for the comments...
     
  4. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    It's not really that bad but it's a common color scheme for an industry that uses 'safety yellow' paint on there products.

    To clarify my point, it doesn't matter what color you put in the content background as it is because it's just a whole lot of one color and would be good to break that color up with a bit more styling of the layout. ** Or maybe even a textured background would help but whatever you do stay away from a checkered plate patterned :) **

    I do like the product menu and submenus. The main menu could use a bit more styling but that's me being picky. It is functional and it works as it is.

    As far as fonts go. You may not be able to use that particular font unless it's a commonly installed OS font or a web font. Check out Google Web Fonts as you may be able to find something that looks fairly similar and they are easily implemented.

    Not sure if you seen my edited part of the post.. but have you used Blender for the 3D rendering? If not what application have you used?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  5. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    Point taken... i actually just tried a draft where I just made the wrap black again and changed all the dividers to white and yellow and it looks pretty clean... maybe they'll be another design change published soon...

    And don't worry... i'm not going anywhere near that diamond plate pattern, if thats what your talking about.

    As far as the rendering... i draw all of our products in Autodesk Inventor, a parametric 3d modeling software, so i can make accurate working drawings for the shop to build off of. Then i export the files and render them in an opensource renderer called kerkythea.
     
  6. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    Well, i went ahead and changed it... got rid of the yellow background and changed all the text to white and made the borders yellow...
     
  7. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    Yeah I think that looks better than the yellow. I'm not saying to not explore other configurations of layout (I recommend that you do) but at least this way you don't have the CSS3 rounded corner issue with IE7 & IE8 :)

    It also wouldn't hurt to wait until others comment. Some of the members have some really insightful ideas.
     
  8. Brian Angel

    Brian Angel Member

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    Under the booms and accessories, you have it open a PDF doc in the same window. To avoid confusion I’d have it set to target: _blank, like you have on some of the other pages I noticed. Also on the subject of fonts.. Font Squirrel is a nice resource to find and use fonts on a web page that aren't common and I use them on every project I do to break up the over used system default ones, might be worth a look see because I can see some aliasing on the letters up top. And just a throw it out there idea, perhaps a little texture on the background or on an element to make it have a little more character. The modeling is really well done and the use of yellow on the products really lets someone who knows nothing about that subject know exactly what there looking at, which is always a good idea.
     
  9. DHDdirect

    DHDdirect New Member

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    Font Squirrel is yet another good web font resource. It's always good to have options :). I think I may prefer the font squirrel method as it gives you all the related font-face file types so you host them yourself.

    Thank you for the reference Brian.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  10. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    Thanks guys! Ill check out font squirrel at work tomorrow.

    And as far as the pdf files go.... i guess i decided to have them open in the same window because in my testing, i had our secretary look at the site, she has limited computer literacy, and her internet explorer blocked the popup, and she couldnt figure out how to get around it without assistance (i know, i know). I figured if she got hung up on it, then other people might too, and i really wanted the site to be very user freindly and easy. But i would rather have them open in a new window or tab... seems more legit that way.
     
  11. Brian Angel

    Brian Angel Member

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    248
    Honestly I think it would be more pro if you had it open separately. Opening a PDF file in the same window I think will just confuse people as they see it as a different kind of application, and that may increase your bounce rate when they don’t see any kind of navigation to take them back to the main site.
     
  12. leroy30

    leroy30 New Member

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    I think it's very good for your first website!
     
  13. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    What about an Iframe containing the PDF? We really want people to be able to get to the PDF's and we would hate for non computer literate people to get stuck behind their IE popup blocker..
    Thank you!
     
  14. Brian Angel

    Brian Angel Member

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    Its the same thing you have for your safty Products thou. Leaving and end user with no way to get back to your page would be worse than a pop up blocker comming up. Ad Im looking at it in FF and see nothing like that.
     
  15. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    Point taken...

    Ill change that next time i publish it, and ill make them all the same. there shouldn't be some one way and some another...
     
  16. brandontw

    brandontw New Member

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    Well, I spent most of the day figuring out font squirrel, and redesigning my header to be text and a logo image instead of a whole banner.

    I took forever looking through the fonts on font squirrel trying to match mine before i just decided to make my own package. Then it was fairly quick to implement it in my site.

    It took much longer than it should have to redesign the header, but i got it done... looks about the same, but its text now.

    Also changed it so all the PDF's open in a new window.

    I messed with some background textures, and i liked them, but my boss wasn't a fan, so its back to black for now...

    I'm glad to have your comments, keep em' coming if you have more.

    The site again
     
  17. Brian Angel

    Brian Angel Member

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    Lookin good. And about the texture, rule one, keep the client happy,lol.
     
  18. d a v e

    d a v e New Member

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    didn't get chance to reply before but a lot of sites open pdfs in the same window and the back button is there in the browser to go back - nothing strange or unusual in that.

    I think it is more "pro" to have links always open in the same window unless there is some special reason not to do so (and a pdf is not one of them).Opening new windows/tabs should be something that is under user control as it is part of their UI -so if you do open a new window/tab then you should let the user know (that it opens in a new window).

    resize your logo! it's way bigger than it needs to be!

    centred text for copy is not recommended - it harder to read than left aligned (not fully justified) text

    don't forget your favicon

    i like the font choice ;)

    "Meeting the needs of todays material handling industry" todays should have an apostrophe ;)

    the 3d product images are very nice, and clear.

    few coding errors on some pages

    again please left-align your text :)
     
  19. computerGeek

    computerGeek Banned

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    the yellow color is 'shouting' way too much, along with your font size.. it would also be better if you center-align your page..
     
  20. d a v e

    d a v e New Member

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    671
    font size is fine but reduce the line height a little - and left align it
    page is centred as far as i can see, computerGeek ;)
     

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