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  • Feedback/Critique please

    Welcome to Hydara Fabrics - The Best Place for African Fashions
    Fatuma Hydara
    Hydara Fabrics
    Your #1 Stop for Affordable African Fashions
    http://www.hydarafabrics.com

  • #2
    Design Critique
    • The first thing I notice is your banner. Although it is a good height, the background causes the area to be too big. You should get rid of the "black" in the banner. Remove all padding (padding:0px;) and all the margins (margin:0px;). This will bring your content UP the page. That is what you're selling.
    • Next, your banner/logo: Keep the fabric collage, but nix ALL text except your store name; possibly your address, phone number and hours. Store name on left. Slogan or tag line 1/2 that size lined up under the store name and slightly offset right of center, possibly a different font. All other text in the banner goes to opening text. It does not belong in an image. Bots don't read images.
    • Make your title text smaller. Visually the text should fit on one line. It is currently out of proportion to the text in your links. The banner need to be aligned "left"
    • You might consider taking the lighter blue shade and making it a muted greenish-gray like in your fabric collage. The Dark blue background on the title bars could be a muted lavender, again in matching a banner "fabric" shade. Of course the text link colors (hover, visited, etc.) may need to be adjusted.
    • Set the "alternate" color to #fff; and the border to "#ccc;
    • Remove ALL text references to free shipping!
    • Your shipping policies go on the Policies page, not on your product details.
    • I love this product! If they made that pattern on leather I'd buy it! What "throws" me on the product detail page is the layout. Try a different one. The setting is in the Advanced tab. Try listing 2. It has been shown that getting the BUY button close to the product helps. Some people, especially older people, may not know to scroll, so getting the basics within sight is critical.
    • Remove all "white space" possible.


    This should get you started. I hope it helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Critique Part 2

      Opening Text - Revisions to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation, as well as to improve keyword use:

      <h2>Hydara Fabrics- African Fashions, Fabrics and Accessories<h2>

      Hydara Fabrics sells beautiful African fabric laces, wax prints, Islamic Abaya/outfits for both men and women, shoes and matching bags and jewelry. You will find beautiful outfits and accessories, fabric for wedding dresses and __________. Hydara Fabrics has you covered! (THE END --> link all text underlined to categories or subcategories)
      • (move this text to About Us) We have been serving customers in The Bronx, NY since 2001. (now tell me WHY I should buy from you) We specialize in ____________. Our core beliefs are _____________, ________________ and ______________
      • Contact Us: Hours, linked email, any other forms of communication
      • Descriptions: more detail! EX: necklaces - add length, use a list format whenever possible
      • Back to shipping: Change "FREE SHIPPING WITHIN THE UNITED STATES
        (excluding Hawaii and Alaska)!" to Free shipping within the continental US. This Goes in your Policies > Shipping section.
      • Consider accepting credit cards. MANY people do not like PayPal. Get an SSL.
      • You can nix the 3D self-promotion in the footer.
      • The rollover color on the top nav needs a darker color.
      • Once you get these things done, fill in all your category and site pages meta and custom titles.


      OK, I'm done for now. Good luck in your venture online!
      Last edited by celebra1; 11-04-2011, 12:40 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        With both the right and left columns, your actual content pages are long and skinny. This is visually problematic and functionally ineffective especially on the listing page.
        Move the search box into the top menu bar on the right, then move the best sellers to below the the menu on the left column, and get rid of the right column all together. The pages will be so much more visually appealing.
        Getting rid of the right column will allow you to change the listing page as Celebra1 mentioned to a layout that brings the add to cart up next to the item's image. This is especially important since most of your images are long and skinny, which pushes the add to cart button way down the page.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks so very much for your help. I did as you suggested (tell me what you think), but I'm still having some trouble with the bit of light blue remaining on the site, like in the search bar and shopping cart link at the upper right side. Also, I can't seem to figure out how to change the color of the shopping cart text. I tried going into the html code (which was pretty scary) and looking for places that had colors other than the ones I wanted, but I can't seem to find where those bits of light blue are coded in. Do you have any ideas of what I could do? Thanks again!
          Fatuma Hydara
          Hydara Fabrics
          Your #1 Stop for Affordable African Fashions
          http://www.hydarafabrics.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Progress Report

            Looking better!

            The blue search button is an image.
            <input src="assets/templates/v40002/images/search_btn.png" name="search" value="GO" type="image">

            You can create a new button, name it search_btn.png and reference it as
            <input src="assets/images/search_btn.png" name="search" value="GO" type="image">

            I would highly recommend that you do NOT code using Word. It leaves a ton of unnecessary code. One thing that the Google algorithm judges is correct coding...

            Always copy the entire template code into Notepad and SAVE it BEFORE making changes. It will make the experience less scary with a backup. You can revert back too, but a backup is always good!

            Change your opening text to format like this - nothing more:

            <div>
            <h2>Hydara Fabrics - African Fashions, Fabrics and Accessories</h2>
            Hydara Fabrics sells beautiful African fabric laces, wax prints, Islamic Abaya/outfits for both men and women, shoes, matching bags and jewelry. You will find beautiful outfits and accessories, fabric for wedding dresses and __________. Hydara Fabrics has you covered! </div>


            Remove this:
            <div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-weight: bold;">*Be the first to know about new merchandise, sale promotions or amazing deals by signing up for our newsletter.</span><span style="font-weight: bold;"> *</span><br>
            </div>

            IF you need a newsletter message, put it by a newsletter sign-up - left or right column.

            BIG change to make your home page text fit - no scrolling should be necessary. First, remove ALL MS Word coding and ALL the nsbp; before your opening text start. There are a LOT of them. Instead, code it like I showed using the <h2> heading tags. Those automatically add spacing above and below, plus bold the text.

            You can remove the "Have any questions" section too. That info is in your header and should be on the Customer Service page.

            Check back when you have more questions.
            Last edited by celebra1; 11-05-2011, 11:32 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you for ALL of your help!

              Hello celebra1,

              I just want to begin by saying how much I truly appreciate your help. I'm a college student learning web design on the go (couldn't get any farther from my major too) in order to help my dad with his small business, who doesn't have the money at the moment to pay for a web designer.

              I just have a couple of questions in regards to your instructions.

              1. "You can create a new button, name it search_btn.png and reference it as
              <input src="assets/images/search_btn.png" name="search" value="GO" type="image">"


              Would I have to upload the new button first, before sticking this bit of code in?

              2. "BIG change to make your home page text fit - no scrolling should be necessary. First, remove ALL MS Word coding and ALL the nsbp; before your opening text start. There are a LOT of them. Instead, code it like I showed using the <h2> heading tags. Those automatically add spacing above and below, plus bold the text."

              First, what is nsbp and where do I find it in order to remove it. When you say for the home page to not need any scrolling, do you mean vertical or horizontal? If you mean vertical, I'm not sure how to go about doing so due to the "New Releases" bar and "Featured Products".


              3. How do I remove the "eCommerce software powered by 3DCart." in the footer?

              4. Why is it that my header image does not show in Internet Explorer? Does the image format play a role?Should I convert it to png, or gip or something in order to make sure it appears in all browsers.

              Those are all of my questions for now. Thank you very much once again.
              Fatuma Hydara
              Hydara Fabrics
              Your #1 Stop for Affordable African Fashions
              http://www.hydarafabrics.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Answers

                1) Just create a button and name it search_btn.png Upload it to images. The code is already there. <input src="assets/templates/v40002/images/search_btn.png" name="search" value="GO" type="image"> Remove the part that is highlighted. The button size is 25px by 22px. Create a button close to that size and add the word GO to it. OR leave it "as is". It doesn't look bad.

                2) &nbsp; = non-breaking space. It is created when you hit the space bar. When you removed the MS Word code the "100s" of &nbsp; went with it!

                The reference to scrolling meant horizontally. Your site should be visible horizontally w/o scrolling. As you can see now, your right column is now visible w/o scrolling L - R since the MS Word code was deleted.

                3) The 3D self-promotion code I think is in the Settings > Design > Store Language section.

                4) Header - rename it using NO SPACES! The format might be HydraFabrics.jpg Then upload it again. It doesn't matter what format it has, but .jpg is a smaller file size than .png You should add some keyword-rich alt text to the image tag. something like alt="Hydra Fabrics specializes in African fabrics, fashions and accessories" Alt text is for screen readers and is visible in some browsers, like IE, when you move your mouse over the area. It lets the bots understand your image better too and gives a way to re-inforce your keywords. ALL images need alt text. Also, since your banner/logo goes across the entire width, you can remove the extra <td align="right"></td> since it is empty. A <td> is basically a column. <td> stands for table data.

                Next step - Now that I see how your opening text lays out, make this minor change. Find
                <h2>Hydara Fabrics - African Fashions, Fabrics and Accessories</h2>

                and add this:

                <span style="text-align:center;"><h2>Hydara Fabrics - African Fashions, Fabrics and Accessories</h2></span>

                Then, go into your stylesheet. Find the text called menu-headers. Add this
                padding-left:5px; and then look at the font-size --> make it a bit smaller. The titles currently "hug" the left edge. This will push them over. But you need to slightly reduce the font size so it firs better and looks visually correct.

                Then, in your frame template, find this code just before the left column starts:

                <tr>
                <td><img src="assets/templates/v40002/images/spacer.gif" alt="" height="23" width="1"></td>
                </tr>

                REMOVE IT/Delete it, OR change the 23 to 5. That will bring your content UP the page so more is "above the fold"/lower edge of a viewer's screen.

                That's enough for now! I teach computer use and enjoy the challenge of coding. It's nothing you learn overnight! It truly is a foreign language!
                Last edited by celebra1; 11-08-2011, 06:34 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Descriptions
                  • You need to remove the MS Word code from your descriptions.
                  • Re-think your titles.
                  • Be consistent in gold-plated, either 2 words no hyphen or a hyphen CONNECTING 2 words.
                  • Avoid using ( ) It's like whispering. State the facts.
                  • Reduce hyphen use in titles except where absolutely necessary.
                  Last edited by celebra1; 11-08-2011, 08:34 PM.

                  Comment

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