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The Markstar Group

Sat, Nov 25, 2006

Business | Author:

www.markstargroup.com

Introduction

The Markstar Group is formed by a team of designers dedicated to offering its customers professional websites, web hosting, and domain registration. A quick visit to markstargroup.com revealed that the team had spend alot of time in perfecting the site.

Form

My attention was captured by the cartoonish, graffiti-like art in the header when I first entered the site. The graphic gave me an impression that they might be targeting at creating websites for musicians, graphic artists or creative people. I wasn’t sure if that was the author’s intention, but that was what I got from the headers and strong color contrast in the home page. Looking at the content of the site, I saw a well organized and meticulous designer behind the scene.

The colors used are soothing to the eyes and complement each other. My only concern is the interplay of greys in the site. There are situations when the background greys are quite close to the black text in the body; this does not provide enough contrast for the eyes to read the text easily. The author has also used adsense graphic intelligently to break the monotonous content.

The layout and spacing used in the site is very consistent. That implies that the creators are well-organized and meticulous – something desirable from web designers. However, as a web design company, I would expect more from them. I looked through all the pages, looking for evidence of strong design skills but couldn’t find any. Perhaps the author might consider changing the header graphic on every pages to add abit of variation to the user’s browsing experience. However, the current banner used (main_banner.jpg) is already 33 kb, so I would take that into consideration if I want to re-design the header.

The portfolio page is the most important section for a web design company. The company is probably new, so it is understandable that they do not have a strong portfolio to show. One good idea is to describe every project that they have done thoroughly. By making every project looked ‘big”, they convey a message to their potential customers that they are passionate and takes pride in their work.

Function

I would like to give a thumbs up to the navigation. No one would ever get lost in the website. This is probably because there are only main menus and no sub-menus. The author managed to keep the content simple and therefore, does not need to make the navigation deep. The only section that has deeper categories is the support section. Even when using a ready made knowledge-base script as a plugin, the author managed to customized the colors to fit into the overall look and feel of the entire website.

Markstargroup.com has also provided a positive demonstration of the use of adsense in the entire site. Commercial websites that want to use adsense must know how to place their ads correctly. The most common problem with most business sites is to prioritized ads over content. Unless your purpose is to want your visitors to click on the ads rather than to look at what you have to offer, ads can be damaging to the reputation of your company. The ads used in this website are not overwhelming and tactically placed – another plus point.

The team has left their company details in the “About Us” and “Contact Us” page which is quite unusual for many small or ad-hoc web design companies. Unless the company has a strong organization behind it, many people would prefer to keep it as a secret. Would you use the services or buy products from someone that does not provide a reliable way of contacting them? It is quite unlikely…

Markstargroup is offering hosting as well. Therefore, they have to be easily contactable if someone has problems with their website. I strongly suggest that they also leave their direct email and phone number but that would also depend on how ready they are in the business.

Conclusion

Markstargroup.com has done a good job in introducing themselves to the world as people who can design and host websites. The design and colors used in the website also suggests that the team is young and energetic. The website header and portfolio graphics gave me these few keywords:”teens, games, funky, rap, creative, art.” These keywords probably also imply their target audience.

As a new company, they show great potential in what they can do but it seems that they still need to work very hard in terms of credibility especially when the web design and hosting industry are highly competitive.

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