Check Out A New Home Page (And Win A Prize)

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 06:24 am

I started a live test of a new Bee Happy Graphics home page, and I’d like your comments. Comments on such things as “Is the slide show at the bottom much help?” or “Is there some other criterion besides subject, location, and primary color that one might use to find images?”. Are the priorities correct? Is it effective? Is there something else that should be here or is important information missing? Can you get to the good pages quick enough from here? Of course, there are still other corrections and possible improvements to the whole website pending, like fixing the menu system for smartphones, etc, but I hope those will come soon enough; they are not part of this test.

All of the comments with viable suggestions for improvement will receive three (virtual) tickets to a drawing for ten dollars off any print (either Nancy’s image or your own). All other comments stating a preference for either the old or new page will receive one ticket. For comparison purposes (and possible reinstatement), the old page can be found here. The drawing will be held sometime after March 11, 2018. You need not be present to win.  This reward may be combined with other promotions.

Author: Bruce

Although I grew up in Garden Grove, California, I have lived here in South Miami longer than I've lived anywhere else in the world. I've been married to my wonderful wife, Nancy, longer than I was ever without her. We were both teachers. Nancy recently retired after 40 years. I have also spent time as an officer in the Coast Guard, a commercial property appraiser, and an electrical engineering student. Now I'm technical support for Bee Happy Graphics. That means I handle this blog, our web page, and all E-mail, I do all post-processing and printing of the images, I cut mats and glass and frames. If you have a technical question, I would be the one trying to answer it.

10 thoughts on “Check Out A New Home Page (And Win A Prize)”

  1. Bruce (& Nancy) I really like your new website because it is clear and easy to follow to different contents. The bio is excellent. One thing, though, I would like to be able to stop the change of the slides in order to be able to study the photos in detail. Other than that, GREAT WORK!

  2. Thanks for the comments, Frank. I’ll figure out how to do that (pause the slide show) the next time I get the chance.

    That reminds me of a rules clarification: as written, you get three tickets in the prize drawing. If you had another viable suggestion, you would get three more tickets. Those “voting” for either the old or new page would receive one ticket, but as is the American way, only the last vote counts for a ticket.

  3. I am copying this comment from Robert Sullivan (past president of Kendall Camera Club), published on their Forum on 2/14/2018.

    Bruce,

    First, the good news. You and Nancy have a lot of incredible work. The variety is impressive as it covers such a wide range of subjects and locations. The quality of the images is top notch and should impress any customer and client as well as make competing photographers envious.

    That being said, your new home page doesn’t “Wow” viewers as much as it should or as much as your work does. I think that a home page should be the place where people land (some are even referred to as “Landing pages” 😉 and the sense of what your company is really hits them. What you do and what your company is about should be immediately and strongly conveyed, which (hopefully) will interest viewers and make them want to look for more. Just like when judges of our photos often comment: “My eye wanders and there is nothing for it to land on.” The same can be said for your home page. For lack of a better term, everything is even and nothing stands out. It appears that you are giving viewers everything in one heaping serving instead of starting with an appetizer so that they want to explore to see more. Instead of having the bulk of your website on your home page, I think that it should be an entry way to an amazing journey within in which viewers get an strong idea of what to expect. It should get their attention and entice them to explore your website to see what they might discover instead of bombarding them with everything up front.

    I had surgery a couple of weeks ago and planned to revamp my website (http://www.robertsullivanphotography.com) while recovering. Like you, I decided to have a slideshow (sort of) on my home page that I intended to showcase and convey what my business does. I changed it from the fine art to what has been paying my bills over the last several years.

    I think that your choice to have a slideshow is a good idea, but it could be better and it could be utilized better. This is the opportunity to “Wow” viewers as I mentioned above. I would move the slideshow up to where the word “Welcome” is and remove that greeting. I think that the scrolling images should be much, much larger so as to capture people’s attention and make them want to look for more inside your website. My choice to show my work is to have a “Portfolio” tab at the top of my pages with drop down menus for the various categories such as your “Most Recent”, “Most Popular”, followed by your various subjects. The portfolios listed are a subset of my overall portfolio and allows my clients to click on the category that is of most interest to them.

    As I mentioned, I would remove the greeting, “Welcome” as well as most of the instructions and text. It’s mostly fluff and navigating a website should be intuitive anyway and not require instructions. People just don’t want to read these days and they have gotten used to not doing so since most websites are made so that they don’t have to. Then, move the slideshow up to near the top and make the images much, much larger. If you can make it so that the slideshow is interactive…so much the better. I would like to see a feature or two enabled on it such as click to enlarge or click to go to the image purchase option. If a click on an image in the slideshow were to take them to the image purchase page, I would make sure that it opens as a separate window so that they can easily return to where they left off on the slideshow.

    Bruce, I hope that my critique is taken as constructive criticism. I have learned that it is always good to round out a critique with some positive points and there certainly are a lot. But for the sake of time and for getting to the points that I think that you want to hear about, I chose to focus on the things that I think could be improved upon. I will call you at some point to discuss my ideas, further.

    Robert

  4. I am copying this comment from another friend who responded via email late 2/14/2018. When people take that route, I assume they wanted to remain anonymous.

    Hi Nancy and Bruce,

    I hope all is well with you. I saw your request for a comment on your web page and I will let you know my observations. I don’t think that I have to remind you that this is only my honest opinion and not meant as a negative comment on your work.

    Just in case no one has mentioned it, the red, blue orange and yellow on the black background is really difficult on the eyes. The choice of colors, as well as the size of the font, make it difficult for me to read and there seems to be way too much to read. For a site that is supposed to enchant the visitors with images, the images seem to be the smallest thing shown. Why? You have some top quality Impressive Images but they can hardly be viewed. Give them the size that will impress the client and make them fall in love with them. The narratives are good but there is way too much information. KEEP IT SIMPLE!

    There is a lot more to be said but I will keep it simple as well. The Bee Happy Graphics is cute but not in the age of super graphics, lasers and so on. it takes up almost half of the screen. Why? The whole right side of it is empty. Its just one big shiny yellow against black which also bothers my eyes.

    Conclusion:

    • Less clashing colors, easier on the eyes.
    • Look under Pinterest for color palettes that are more earthy and natural and complement your nature images, not clash with them and compete for attention.
    • Bigger images, Less to read, more to view

    You have some impressive beautiful work. It should be the largest thing on the page and your slide shows as well. Cut down on the amount of information. Most people are busy and have limited time. So if they have to read a lot they just move on. They are really there for the images. So draw them in with it and keep it simple. Some of the information there is only interesting to other photographers anyways. I will stop here.

    I get emotional sometimes and normally just keep comments to my self but I hope that this gives you a different perspective,

    Have fun,

    Anonymous

  5. Enjoyed meeting you and Nancy in Bartow and as a diehard, going blind photographer I have to say, your work is wonderfully blessed. The one thing that I would like to see on your home page is a comprehensive menu. Being sight impaired, I love the black background with the contrasting and large font. There are pages out there that I can’t read at all because of the earth and neutral tones used. Your choice is a welcome exception. Thank you and may the Lord continue to bless you abundantly!

    1. Tony, thanks for your input. Besides the home page, the menu system is another area that I really need to work on. And your perspective is one I definitely need to consider.

  6. Our art festival season has been more hectic than usual and it doesn’t look like I’ll have an opportunity to consider proposed changes to the website as soon as I’d hoped. Consequently, you now have until Mothers Day to make comments. Thanks to everybody who has submitted a comment so far.

    And for a little more clarification, each idea gets three tickets, not each separate comment. If you have three independent suggestions, you will receive the same number of tickets whether you make three separate comments, or put them all in one comment. Thanks again.

  7. I am copying this comment from Walter Rojter (another former president of Kendall Camera Club), published on their Forum on 4/20/2018.

    Hi Bruce,

    I do mostly agree with Robert’s comments, including the variety and quality of work that you and Nancy produce. My believe is that it deserves a better presentation medium.

    I also see that you have put up a lot of work and are using dreamweaver to built it. In my humble opinion, the website looks dated and not organized in a beautiful way, I mean it is not a modern design and it does not make people feel wowed when landing on your home page.

    I think you could greatly benefit with other website builders that are easier to work with and do offer awesome and beautiful templates that you could adapt to your own needs.

  8. I am copying this comment from another friend (and KCC member) who responded via email 4/20/2018.

    I looked again at your website. It is very nice and professional looking. The header seems much crisper now. I am not a big fan of black background with colored printing. I find it much easier to read the traditional black letters on a white or lighter background, but that is just me talking crazy.

Your "two cents worth" is welcome. I don't give change.

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