First Client Site. Feedback?

over 5 years ago from , front-end design/shopify optimization


I recently started doing freelance more officially, under a business name.

Just shipped the first client website, and I’d really appreciate some feedback on it. Trying to improve my nunchuck, bow-hunting, and computer hacking skills.




  • Aaron SagrayAaron Sagray, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    First off, this is A LOT better than my first client site ever was. Also, model rockets are awesome

    If you were to change ONE thing on the site, it's gotta be the home page. It doesn't work hard enough.

    • Content matters more than visuals, especially for an ecommerce site
    • It doesn't tell me anything about the company or the products.
    • There's no specials, links to featured products etc.
    • No one is going to read that block of copy at the bottom
    • Compare it to a competitor - I didn't have to spend time figuring out what the company does. It's cheesy, but immediately obvious and engaging.
    13 points
    • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 5 years ago

      Throw a twinge of marketing in there; call to actions would be nice.

      People scan a page for interactive elements. There seem to be none. No big button saying "View our products", "Visit our store", "ROCKETS GOD DAMNIT!!! »" or "Lift off!".

      It doesn't matter really, what you put on the link, text-wise. As long as it clearly conveys what the next step is.

      1 point
    • Shane Boland, over 5 years ago

      Thanks for the feedback Aaron.

      The client wrote the content on the homepage. After multiple discussions about why huge blocks of technical jargon are bad, I gave up. This is definitely something I need to work on.

      That competitor site is great, I’m loving the alternating red and black "!!NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW!!" on the homepage haha

      0 points
  • Renz BRenz B, over 5 years ago

    You should watch your typography. Walls of text is not that appealing and let's be real, who's gonna read that? And... Lobster, really?

    8 points
    • Ramis KhawajaRamis Khawaja, over 5 years ago

      Ya, I was going to say that, only use Lobster for the main headings. It feels a bit too much when used for subheadings. Otherwise great work :)

      0 points
  • Shawn BorskyShawn Borsky, over 5 years ago

    I'll be honest, when I first opened this. I thought it was some sort of Mac OS X software with a cute name. Overall, I think this is a solid first client website, a lot of really nice stuff:

    The logo/icon and top nav is nice and clean. The shopping cart and navigation is clear. The site is mostly responsive and the logo bar looks nice on mobile.

    Some quick comments :

    • The navigation bar transitions in on every page, it feels strange when I clicking other links.
    • On mobile, the cart icon is noticeably squished and the menu is a bit cluttered compared to the nice logo bar.
    • The use of Lobster as a typeface doesn't work for me personally. The top is slick and clean but then the headlines are in a swash-serif style which feels inconsistent. Plus, All caps in script fonts makes for awkward shapes as in "MAC".
    • Its a little strange that the shop and content pages do not share a similar width guideline : one is seemingly fixed-width, the others are not. Especially, with the full-width navigation it feels strange on Shop.
    • This likely not in your control, but I would recommend trying to stylistically unify the photographs of the products. They feel inconsistent and low quality. You might consider doing a consistent color balance or treatment to make them all feel similar as well as unifying their height so they fit into the grid more gracefully.
    • There are a lot of little details that would be worth polishing : like fixing the padding in your drop-down boxes, the adding number on the "Add to Cart" button, making your vertical spacing between text more consistent and making sure your footer stays at the bottom of the window regardless of height.

    I hope those comments are helpful. Still solid first site. Keep designing and building!

    7 points
  • Daniel MuiDaniel Mui, over 5 years ago

    Congratulations on completing your first client website! I do a have a few pointers on maybe how you can improve the website or other projects moving forward:

    • The block of copy at the bottom of the page is too wide for me, however I do like the font size.
    • On the /links page, when you click on home it just reloads the /links page.
    • Animation of the navigation seems unnecessary, like you've put it in for the sole reason of having something interesting. I may be wrong?
    • A small thing, but the footer is inconsistent between the shop and the rest of the website.

    Good stuff Shane, it's a great start. Always keep learning :)

    2 points
  • Trevor LarsonTrevor Larson, over 5 years ago

    Just a heads up, looks like the main navigation is starting to overlap on mobile below 410 - 420px. A little padding reduction could possibly solve that!

    0 points
  • Mike Torosian, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    Not bad at all. On the home page the large volume of text under your hero area is a bit overwhelming, have you considered breaking that into columns? It would decrease line length and make it easier on the eyes.

    As mentioned, better photography would make a significant difference, even though I am not in the hobby I think model rockets are cool, but when I go into the shop and see the photos I am not wowed at all. I know things like tubes aren't that exciting to begin with, but good photography can definitely help spruce things up a bit.

    0 points
  • Austin PriceAustin Price, over 5 years ago

    Congrats on your first client site! I won't repeat the things other folks have said, but it's a lot of great advice, you'd be doing well to listen to it.

    One other simple thing you should do is font smoothing. It's not as noticeable with small type but you can really tell you're lacking it with that big blocky Lobster type.

    It's just a few simple lines of code in your CSS, but it would be a big improvement.

    0 points
    • Shane Boland, over 5 years ago

      Thanks for the specific feedback!

      I’ve seen a lot of controversy about font-smoothing and antialiased whatever. I used to use the text-shadow hack. Some people recommend "-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased" Others prefer "-webkit-text-stroke: 0.35px"

      How do you personally handle font smoothing? What CSS would you recommend I use?

      0 points
      • Austin PriceAustin Price, over 5 years ago

        I've been using the "-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased" along with "text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.004)", the text-shadow hack you mentioned. That seems to have been working nicely with everything I've used it on.

        0 points
        • Shane Boland, over 5 years ago

          Cool, thanks. I’ll give that a try...

          84 years later: Just ran a quick test in Chrome. The text-shadow didn’t seem to have much of an effect. But the -webkit-font-smoothing makes everything look much nicer. Especially with the smaller text.


          0 points
  • Ryan RushingRyan Rushing, over 5 years ago

    Rockets. are. the. coolest.

    I'd love to see at least one photo of rockets on the home page. Perhaps blasting off? Or even a video of one? Right now the home page doesn't give a lot of quick anchor points for the product.

    0 points
  • David PaliwodaDavid Paliwoda, over 5 years ago

    The home page text could be more digestible if it was split down into its key points and then had some photography to back it up. Rather than just talking about how there are no spiral grooves and how precisely machined the centering ring set is, show it.

    In addition, this would open up the page a bit more and allow you to set up some vertical rhythm.

    Consider how this page uses imagery to back up its key points and make space: http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/

    0 points
  • Anth WinterAnth Winter, over 5 years ago

    Hi, congrats on the first client site!

    The first thing that got me was the font. I feel that it doesn't sit well on the site, a bit to tall and awkward. The footer font should maybe be a bit smaller too. The footer font seems to be different on other pages to the homepage too, I feel that should be consistent.

    When flicking through pages, I don't like that the navigation transitions in all the time. Landing on the homepage for the first time is enough I think.

    Also, when I am in the news section and try to click back to "home", it takes me back to news. In fact, on double checking, the home link also doesn't work on "links" and "contact"

    Overall, I think you have a really nice, clean site. With some minor improvements it will be solid :)

    0 points