Writing

Letter to Tim Anderson of Webaloo, who keeps sending me emails offering web site design and optimization

Hi, Tim -

Many thanks for your generous offer of a complementary website evaluation! Since you are offering web design services, I thought I'd take a look at the Webaloo web site to get a feel for what you do.

Here's a screenshot of your homepage as it appears on an iPad:

The first thing I noticed, Tim, is that the Webaloo site apparently doesn't have an encryption certificate, since Safari reports that the site is "not secure". No biggy, I guess - not every site has to be https, but there is a submission form on the page and someone picky might want a secure transaction. Also, you know, it's just best practices to have a certificate these days. You might want to look at Let's Encrypt since they offer free ones.

The next thing I noticed was the massive banner div that takes up about the top quarter of the screen and stays fixed as you scroll down the page, leaving only about three quarters of the screen height for content. Now, as a designer, I know you appreciate the value of white space in a clean design. But from an information architecture and visual hierarchy perspective, this is really more like dead space than white space, since it just sits there at the top of the screen with options I've already looked at and don't need any more. In fact, it looks like the big honkin' logo in the left side, and actually just the number 15, ends up claiming the whole width of the screen for some reason, no matter how far down the page you scroll. The screenshot I took shows the page scrolled down to the hero image which, as you can see, is cropped at the top by the banner div.

And speaking of that image, did anyone think about color contrast when they paired the green phone number text with the green background of this image? That number kind of gets lost in the weeds, doesn't it?

Of course, the craft of web design is certainly more than skin deep, so I took a look at the page source. It's not a complicated front page, but holy crap! That's a lot of html in that page! I pasted it into Pages and it came to over 23,000 words (however Pages ended up parsing all that obfuscated code) and 49 pages of 11 point font! No wonder it takes so long to load on my devices. And that's not counting all the linked assets: Javascript libraries, tons of style sheets, scripts....

Come to think of it, Tim, if you've been feeling like your web site is becoming too complicated and fussy, maybe needs a visual tuneup and some usability optimization, and just isn't commanding attention like it should, don't hesitate to contact me for a complementary evaluation. You can find me at victorriley.com.