Short and Sweet is a Australian based web design company, but unfortunately that was all the information I obtained about them from their website. There is nothing listed about who they are, or anything else about their business, but they have a few sites in their gallery to show the work they produce.
When first landing on this web site, I immediately saw a cow with a message about business, and a “software box” with a cow in it leaving me a bit confused as to exactly what this company does. The high placed header answers that question pretty quickly, but then I really am not guided on where to go.
This site forces me to read to get the message about what they do and I don’t want to read… Users don’t tend to spend much time reading content on a designers site and instead jump right into the portfolio.
Since this is a web design company the first thing I want to see is your work. If I like your work, I will then read about your services and prices to fit my needs. I feel that this design did not take the user into consideration when it was laid out.
I find that the link to the portfolio is buried much too deep in the navigation, and since this is a “web design company” that the link should be titled “portfolio” or the like. It is just what a user expects to see on a site that designs websites.
I am not totally opposed to the design of this site but there is much room for improvement. I am a fan of blue/green combinations, and like its use here. However, the “blocking” used makes the design look disconnected and does not “flow” well. My eyes are not led to “action” items, and instead they continually go to the cow.
The navigation, though well placed, could use some attention to the text, an increase in font size would be helpful, and I would prefer to see it connected to the logo “box” rather than having the empty blue space above it. The entire sidebar could be recolored to better blend the logo/navigation area so as they appear more “connected”.
The content area of the site is readable and that is good – obviously that is the most important part. I would like to see some leading/spacing used to make it a bit cleaner, and the bullets used on the front page should be enhanced and lessened to three areas of focus keeping it “short & sweet”.
The graphics used in the site do not match, and the use of clip art on the packages pages is not something I would like to see from a “web design company”. As mentioned already, the software boxes used in this design do not fit.
I wanted to give this site high marks for usability as there are not many pages to the site, so there is really no way to get lost here, however when I looked at the markup, all hopes for that high mark went down the drain.
Frames. Not usable, and depreciated. This part really brings my review score down.
Also, the opening of a new window on the packages page for an example, is not good design. Instead, an on site case study is what I would expect to see on a site of this type.
There is no web form in use for the contact page, forcing the user to open their email program to contact the company. Again, low score for usability. A web form is something a user expects on a contact page, along with the email and phone number. You have to give the user the easiest route, and then the choices.
Overall, this website is not terrible, but there are definitely some points to ponder. The company should rethink the images used to convey the overall message of the site, and pay a bit of attention to consistency in design throughout all its pages. The code is poor and depreciated, utilizing framesets.