View Full Version : Critique my old website so I can improve the new one

01-20-2013, 01:00 PM
Hey guys!

So I have been working on a new website update but would like to hear some feedback on my old website. The "content" will generally be the same but a bit more in depth. Let me know what you think of the current content, what I would be missing, which portfolio pieces you think are not strong enough, do I have too many, which pieces I should be showing that I already am not.

Website: Wozcreative | Elwira Wozniak | Portfolio | Toronto Mississauga Freelance Graphic Designer (http://www.wozcreative.com)

Much appreciated!

01-21-2013, 05:08 AM
It's hard for me to critique your site, because I really like it. A part of me wants to say don't change a thing, but I do understand why you're redesigning so I'll do my best to offer some thoughts.

I guess what I most want to see is more. More information. Instead of just an image of the project, maybe some information about what you specifically did. What were the goals of the project? Did the design achieve the goals?

Another thought is to organize the portfolio. I see websites and business cards, logos, etc. If I'm visiting the site thinking of hiring you for a logo, but I don't see one right away, I might not realize you do logos and leave before I figure it out. How about some links on the side that filter the portfolio so I could quickly see the type of work I'm thinking of hiring you to do?

It's hard for me to say which projects you should include and which you shouldn't. What I would suggest is feature the projects you'd like more of more prominently. Don't think about which projects clients will be most impressed with. Think about it more as what would you like to work on. Then show whatever you've done is most like the work you want.

I really like this line about your clients

Some of the wonderful brands that I’ve had the pleasure of working with:

In your process section mix in "we" more. There's a lot of "I" and some "you." For example you start.

STEP ONE. You approach me with a problem or idea. I then take the time to learn about your business, products or services. I ask questions that will help me understand the intentions of the project(s).

You could rewrite is as:

STEP ONE. Together we'll define your design problem. I'll ask questions to better understand your business and you'll ask me questions to better understand the design process we'll work through to successfully complete your project.

I'm not saying my version is better, but it mixes the pronouns. That shifts the emphasis from you to the client or rather you and the client collaborating. It can help them visualize working with you.

Hope that helps.

01-21-2013, 12:42 PM
Thank you for the input!
I agree with what you've suggested, especially with the way I have written things.

the image and description will definitely be something I will be adding to my update. I have still used "I" but as per your suggestion, I will be changing it to "we".
I also have a categorized portfolio in place. Hopefully this will help, sometimes I do get clients asking me if i do something which was already in my portfolio. They may be missing it without the categories.

I am also gearing it towards more of an "agency" feel so it is not as much of just freelance. I'm a bit tired of working on projects with middle men. When starting out middle men were my ideal clients.. but now I want to get to the source of the project so I can be direct.

The general branding will be updated and the background will no longer be black (it intitially showcased my work really well as I love using color).. but now it is about the content and persuasion of getting a client to have faith that I can reach their objective.. so more white so the text can be read.

01-21-2013, 01:14 PM
I'm a bit torn on this. On one hand it's not a bad site, definitely better than the majority of sites I see out there. On the other hand, it just feels kind of flat to me. I'll see if I can articulate what I'm feeling and hopefully it will make sense.

You start out with a strong statement at the top, which I like. Then underneath that there's a whole slew of pieces in your portfolio. They're all good, but are they all achieving the "wow"? Also, as Vanogh pointed out, all of them mixed together makes it hard to see a particular type if you're looking for something specific. A menu of portfolio pieces by type would be helpful. I also think it might be interesting to narrow down your pieces to the ones that you think best illustrate wow for each type of design and then do a small write up that explains why this piece is achieving "wow". That shows clients you understand what you're going for and how to get there.

The discovery, design, delivery part needs a bit more fleshing out in my opinion. Right now it gives a decent overview of your process, but it feels a little abrupt to me. I know you don't want to waste people's time with a long drawn out explanation, so maybe it is as simple as using more "we" and less "I" and "you". Or maybe it just needs some testimonials from past clients about how great it was to work with you.

Great picture of you by the way. I'm envious because I don't photograph well. I would rewrite the About Me section though. You graduated from school in 2007 and you're now an experienced freelancer. Present yourself that way. Certainly you should highlight your education and what you learned at other jobs you worked, but the whole timeline thing and the emphasis on the education and then the job first just seems kind of like a resume to me. It's like you said at the top of the site, "wow" is what you're going for. "Wow" in this case, and in my opinion, is you are a talented designer who owns your own business and creates content that works for your clients. Where you went to school and where you worked prior to creating your company and important, but secondary.

This is all purely subjective of course, but when I spent some time on the site, this is what struck me. I hope it helps.

Harold Mansfield
01-21-2013, 01:33 PM
I would change "Wow is the one to aim for" to "Wow is the one we aim for", or something like "We do wow".

01-21-2013, 04:10 PM
Thanks for the input guys!

I like the option on revising my opening statement.. it sounds a lot better!

I also am a bit torn on the bio part.. though it does seem resume, like it is essentially a resume website anyway. It also plays a lot in keywords searches as well. I get clients who email me and tell me they have considered me because I have done ________ in the past. So I am not sure.. In a way I feel like I am putting too much out there about me and how I got where I was but that is also about trying to show people who I am and where I am coming from. My face is young so having a blurb without real world examples might not be enough. Also the education part, my school is regarded very high in the field and people who've gone there usually want to work with others who have too.

As a side note: My new website will have a services write up so it will focus not on my experiences, but what I can do for the client as a business. The services I offer, how it works etc.

I will have to change the "we" from "I".. the way I generally speak is a bit strange I thinks, so I will have to revise and revise.

Awesome keep them comingggg!

01-25-2013, 03:11 AM
I had that same feeling of your about section reading like a resume. Do you have any plans to look for a job? If so a resume makes sense. If you plan on staying freelance then I don't think a resume makes sense. Clients aren't going to care about where you went to school or where you worked in such and such year. They might care, but not as a prerequisite to hiring you. They just want to know you can do their job.

By the way when I said more "we" I didn't mean to drop "i" and "you" I think mixing them in a good balance works the best.

I like what Harold suggested in "We do wow" though I then agree with Kristine that your portfolio needs to wow. I do think some of your work has that wow factor. I think it's more in the print and branding work. Maybe you want to present the work you think wows the most first. Maybe you could start with one design from each type of work you do at the top, with a category name and then clicking reveals all the other work in that category.

Out of curiosity why are you redesigning? Is it more you're ready for something different? I do know that feeling. Ot is is more to help attract clients? Just trying to get an understanding of the goals of your redesign.

01-25-2013, 09:31 AM
All your suggestions will be helpful for the re-design. My reasoning for this was this one was designed to attract possible agencies that might be looking for "freelancers"... I have now grown (freelancing for 2 years), and have for the most part, grown out of working for agencies. I want to attract the clients directly.. change the whole message from "freelancer" to a design studio instead. I also want to attract more web work, larger branding projects and more consumer based product design. Though I don't have an issue of attracting clients now, I have been raising my rates and the types of clients I want to attract, I need a different messaging.

Hope that makes sense!

01-25-2013, 09:53 AM
Simple | stylish | well decorated

I found your total site in just one page?? :)

01-25-2013, 12:31 PM
Yes one page! I wanted people to find all information easily. Less clicking.

I will have a multipage site now though.

01-30-2013, 01:27 AM
Your reasons for wanting to redesign make complete sense. You're looking to attract a different group of people. It sounds like you know who those people are. You mentioned raising your rates. In that case emphasize quality and value. Your client list looks good and works in your favor I think.

01-30-2013, 03:12 AM
I'm not a designer and will let others critique your site. Just looking at Vangogh's post above I wonder if, since you are trying to attack a new client base (if that is the case) why not just do another site so you still have the customers from the existing site at least during the transition?

Just a thought...