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Old 27-03-2010, 03:25 AM   #1
mtmckinley
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Default Updated website!

Hey, all,

I've decided to revamp my website for the first time in about 5 years. I've actually made it very very simple, without many bells and whistles, but have made the thumbnails much larger and gotten rid of some of the non-essential pieces in my portfolio.

I'd be interested in what you guys think! Or if you have any suggestions.

http://www.mtmckinley.net

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Old 27-03-2010, 09:23 AM   #2
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Hi mtmckinley
Just looking at the home page looks like you are into 2D concept art not 3D this is just my opinion.............dave
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Old 27-03-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
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I cant see how you think that as there is not a single piece of 2d art on the site ?????

Good to see the book has a release date - let me know when you able to sell a copy
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Old 27-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #4
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Sorry should have been more spacific, the top of the page looks like that to me..............dave

Edit: you have got two scroll bars one only shows the top of the page, I didnt see the second one till I looked at the page again

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Old 27-03-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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Looks a lot cleaner and better than before IMO

Good job Mikeh
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Old 27-03-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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Much better than the last one easier to get around

Nice mate.
Dave
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Old 27-03-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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Originally posted by tweetytunes

Good to see the book has a release date - let me know when you able to sell a copy
It's available now!

Thanks, guys!
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Old 27-03-2010, 04:55 PM   #8
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I was paging through it at B&N last week...looks like a lot of fun projects. Regarding the site, the only thing I would say is get rid of the frameset. Frames aren't used as much anymore and not that great for SEO.
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Old 27-03-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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It looks okay, albeit a bit neutral.

And I would change the download doc to pdf if I were you it 's a more open format ( not everyone has Microsoft or open office, a pdf reader is something almost everyone has), or make it a choice.

And there is something I am missing....a showreel, you have worked on quite some projects so I don't think you lack the material...

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Old 27-03-2010, 07:12 PM   #10
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Looks nice... I think resumé should have the other accent though?
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Old 27-03-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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I never have had a showreel. Too much trouble, in my own opinion. If someone's too busy to look at a few .jpgs, they're probably too busy to look at a reel too.

The purpose of this site is to demonstrate work to potential employers. To be honest, I really don't care if the site isn't really flashy.

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Old 27-03-2010, 11:33 PM   #12
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Yeah I agree, theres too much put on websites these days, 'it gotta be interactive'....or gotta have flash...errr no! Clog it up with crap and people get bored or just annoyed at the glitz. Waitng for sites to load content just bores me to tears and 9 times out of 10 I switch off and go look at something else.

If you are doing what Mike does or myself and anyone else in the industry,it really isnt about the bells and whistles that the site does, but the content itself. Yeah granted we all want a nice site. But remember what the site is for. Its about the work, not how tastless your personal tastes are LOL.

just my ten pennies worth.

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Old 28-03-2010, 12:13 AM   #13
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The site doesn't have to be flashy but you can lay things out in a way that promotes your work much better. Granted I do this for a living so I may be apt to geek out a little more on it. Indulge me. First some links then some tips.:

Gestalt Principles of Perception
960 Grid System
Smashing Magazine

Starting with the top. The first link is part one in a series of essays on Gestalt principles in design. It's a little bit of a heavy read but it demonstrates how color, size, object placement, etc. gives specific focus and weight to certain areas of the page (screen).

The 960 grid is a hugely popular CSS framework and makes it easy for organizing your content sections. When you download the zip at the site, it comes with templates for illustrator, photoshop, etc. along with the CSS and instructions.

Smashing Magazine is a good online zine that goes over trends and best practices for everything web....do a search for some of their portfolio websites.

Ok, so about your site. Here are some general thoughts and I realize you probably just wanted to get the content up online so you can point prospective clients somewhere but I'll post them anyway:

1) Frames/Framesets = Bad!

2) Home Page - rather than go straight to the gallery, use your home page to showcase your latest work. For example, a large image of your latest work with a button leading to your gallery or a button leading to a kind of case study or walk-through of the images creation showing wires, uv layout, textures, and in-game shot. Below the image, you could have a few columns....one for latest news, contact info, networking (skype, twitter, etc.) a 'recent work column one that has a couple of small thumbs leading to those items or your gallery. The 960 grid can help determining the thumbnail size and column width.

3) Gallery - Again, lose the frameset. Present all the content up front so a user can look without scrolling. Try left-aligning the all the thumbs to one another rather than centering to the page....it will have a better rhythm. If you changed the homepage like above, then you could organize your work by game art and by books, rather than everything chronologically. Also think about giving the content some breathing space...it feels very claustrophobic....white space is good.

4) Books - You spent a lot of time writing those, right? You're proud of them right? Then why just a tiny thumbnail with a short rollover description? Feature them! Give each its own page. Do a little self-promotion.

5) Resumé should indeed be résumé and yes, always good to offer in Word (most HR I've submitted them to prefer Word) but PDF would be good also....the fonts look better.

Anyway, just some things to think about. Oh, one last thing: If you decide to use the site more as a marketing vehicle to drum up business rather than simply pointing prospective clients you've already spoken to it, it's good practice to have some kind of 'call to action' button/graphic on each page.
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Old 28-03-2010, 12:35 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Jay
Yeah I agree, theres too much put on websites these days, 'it gotta be interactive'....or gotta have flash...errr no! Clog it up with crap and people get bored or just annoyed at the glitz. Waitng for sites to load content just bores me to tears and 9 times out of 10 I switch off and go look at something else.
Today's trend is more about using javascript libraries (jquery, mootools, etc) and ajax for functionality (and maybe small functional effects) than using Flash as much anymore for similar things. It's like anything else, though...it's how the tools are used or implemented.

Originally posted by Jay
If you are doing what Mike does or myself and anyone else in the industry,it really isnt about the bells and whistles that the site does, but the content itself. Yeah granted we all want a nice site. But remember what the site is for. Its about the work, not how tastless your personal tastes are LOL.
That goes for anything. Content is king. But, you should always present content in a way that is easy on the eyes and comfortable for the user. Good design can be as subtle as tweaking verts sometimes...it's the little things.
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Old 28-03-2010, 01:41 AM   #15
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Originally posted by NitroLiq


4) Books - You spent a lot of time writing those, right? You're proud of them right? Then why just a tiny thumbnail with a short rollover description? Feature them! Give each its own page. Do a little self-promotion.
The main reason the books aren't "up front" is because they help my career literally ZERO. Prospective employers usually are like "oh, that's kinda neat..." but then move on. When I did my first book (long time ago) I thought, yeah, this will get me noticed, but it didn't really.

The main reason I did the 2nd was to have the money to buy furniture.

The main reason I did the 3rd was to have the money to take my wife on a nice vacation before we began having a family!

But maybe since I *do* have a "books" section, I must have subconsciously wanted to feature them in some way, so I'll think about a new layout for that particular page for sure.
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