site is too dark, reworking :(

I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that the site is too dark, especially the home page. There's just too much going on that's all varying shades of dark gray and black, so I'm doing another design and editing/"removing stuff" pass.

Pushed out a copy of the site earlier but I realized that I forgot to push out a few files for the new forum. I'll try to get to that later today.
Plastic Future
Jun 20 at 11:06 PM
Weird...I feel that the old site is darker than the update. Grey is lighter than the black, and although there is more red-orange in the old version, that's a typically aggressive color. Makes me think "dark" in content, even if not in tone.

I'd be careful in the lightening lest it fight with the inherent lightness/brightness of most cel/comic art.

I like the homepage navi being on the left instead of the right. Meshes with how western-reading people tend to view things.
Mirana's Production Art Gallery
Jun 21 at 12:28 AM
Yeah, there's been a dozen versions of that home page bobbling around over the years. Can never really decide what's important.

The feature gallery images really do pull people in, even if they don't really help any casual user make a decision about what to do next. The gallery update list is useful if you know what it is, but it's probably intimidating information overload if you don't.

My concern is that the home page doesn't really answer the question, "Now what?" Everything is just sorta stacked on top of everything else. There should be a clear hierarchy of things that are either important or easy to grasp on top, then everything else relegated to the sidelines.
Plastic Future
Jun 21 at 10:39 AM
[quote]My concern is that the home page doesn't really answer the question, "Now what?"[/quote]

You could tell people what to do. Since ?Sign up now? is a link, you could also change other key words in the top text to links.

Something like:

Sign up now to join the world's largest animation and comic art collector network.
New to Production Artwork collecting?
[b]Search[/b] Collector Websites, [b]Shop[/b] for new cels in the Art Market, and [b]Share[/b] your thoughts, questions, and ideas in the Forum.

The word ?Search? could be a link to the search, the word ?Shop? could be a link to the Art Market, and the word ?Share? could be a link to the forum.

[i]*Plus you could tongue tie people by having them try to say ?Search, Shop, Share? really fast.[/i]
Edited Jun 21 at 2:24 PM
Chris' Cel Site
Jun 21 at 2:11 PM
Regarding the front page tweaking... BIG thumbs up! Nice touch having the top navbar turn orange upon hovering over it. Like the subtle brightening of the background, too. Having the featured gallery back on the left felt a little odd at first (we got kind of used to it being on the right on the new design), as that's the first thing the eye goes to... but that's sort of the idea, isn't it? :)

If you're worried about front page clutter, may we suggest removing the "Live Chat" from underneath the featured gallery image? You can still get to the chatroom through the "Community" tab. That should be enough. And, unless you plan to make use of it again, why not remove the front page poll, as well?

We're cool with the idea of only sponsors being featured. It's a respectable perk. As an added bonus, the back-to-back positioning of the featured gallery box and the "Support the Site" box would be a tie-in. ;)
Edited Jun 21 at 2:54 PM
Jun 21 at 2:53 PM
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