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Feedback on website and questions
Thread poster: Chiara Pallotti

Chiara Pallotti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:28
Member (2013)
English to Italian
+ ...
Mar 11, 2013

Hello,

I have just finished my website and I would very much like to have your opinions on it:
www.chiarapallotti.it

That's my first website, so I am still unsure about a number of things:

1- At first I thought it would be better to use the 3rd person, but now I am not sure I like the sound of it. Although I still think it may sound more professional, it seems to me that it also creates a huge distance between me and the reader. Opinions on this?
2- Picture of myself: to include it or not to include it?
3- Any other sections you think I should absolutely add?
4- References and end clients: I prefer not to mention end clients due to confidentiality reasons, but what can I add then? References from agencies? Is it of any use?

Thank you very much for your time
Chiara


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Van Lee Pereira  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Feedback Mar 12, 2013

Hello, Chiara

Your website is very good. It's simple and have relevant informations. Besides, it's cohesive and consistent.

A greeting from Brasil,

Congratulations,

Van Lee Pereira


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Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:28
Member (2012)
Russian to English
+ ...
Looks very nice Mar 12, 2013

Hello Chiara,

I just looked at your website and it looks very good. I like the fact that it's simple and easy to read and all the necessary information is in one place.

Good job!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some comments Mar 12, 2013

Chiara.p wrote:
I have just finished my website and I would very much like to have your opinions on it:
www.chiarapallotti.it


It looks nice.

This is what it looks like in my browser:


I was confused for a second about the text at the top of the page until I realised that it is a menu with links. The asterisks do not sufficiently show that these are separate options on a menu, in my opinion.

All of the menu links work, except the "Contact info" link, which doesn't scroll the page all the way down (but that is a side-effect of the type of page link you chose to use).

The first or second thing I did when visiting the page was to scroll down a bit, and then I got to a section called "About Chiara", and I had no idea who or what "Chiara" is. It sounded like a place name, so for a moment I thought that I must have landed on a poorly designed tourist page. The fact is that I did not realise that "Chiara" was your name, and that means that the opening scene of your web site had failed to communicate that to me.

One thing that I have discovered now that I live in a country that is not my country of birth is that different countries have different longhand writing methods... that sometimes differ so much that you can only figure out what is written, with some effort. I realise that you used a font for your name in longhand, but you used a font that looked good to you (as an Italian person, who learnt how to write longhand the Italian way). I saw your "name" at the top of your page, but at first I thought it was just a scribble -- you know, some clipart of illegible longhand to make the web site look pretty. Eventually I returned to it and realised that it was your name, and I was able to figure out the individual letters, to spell your name.

The text is too close to the left side of the screen -- my first instinct was to try to scroll more to the left. And of course your text goes beyond my right-hand margin (see screenshot) because I don't maximise my browser window. This means that I can't read any of your text without continuous scrolling back and forth. Even if I scroll to the right, the text hugs the right margin so tightly that I still have the impression that something must be cut off (even if it isn't). My suggestion is to not use full text justification on a web site -- let the right-hand margin flow naturally. And give the text some breathing room on the left-hand side.

The black text on blue background is rather difficult to read.

I know that the abbreviation "CV" is used in many places to mean the curriculum vitae/résumé, but (believe it or not) the first thing I think of when I see the word "CV" without any context is a constant velocity joint. But jokes aside, even if you ignore that quirk, I still think a better label for here may be "training" or "education and training". After all, the section that is labelled "CV" on your web site does not contain your whole CV -- it only says what training you had.

The fact that the background of the menu at the top is the same colour as the background of some sections of your site is confusing when I've scrolled down so much that they seem to bleed into each other.

Some language issues:
* the the Istituto Giannina Gaslini
* very good ood knowledge
* turism and travel
* in one place you write "email", in another place you write "e-mail".

You say that you're a "technical translation graduate", but the word "graduate" implies to me that you're a student or that you were recently a student. Perhaps other people have a different emotional response to the word -- after all, the dictionary meaning of "graduate" is "someone who graduated, i.e. someone no longer at university", but since I usually encounter that word in the context of studies, my first response to the word is: this girl is fresh out of college.

1- At first I thought it would be better to use the 3rd person, but now I am not sure I like the sound of it. Although I still think it may sound more professional, it seems to me that it also creates a huge distance between me and the reader. Opinions on this?


It did not bother me.

2- Picture of myself: to include it or not to include it?


If you include a picture, then it makes it clearer that this is the web site of a person. At the moment, you're hoping the reader will read the text and be able to figure it out.

4- References and end clients: I prefer not to mention end clients due to confidentiality reasons, but what can I add then? References from agencies? Is it of any use?


Mention vaguely some of the most recent projects that you worked on. The downside of this is that you would have to update it regularly, unless they were large projects.


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GerSi  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 11:28
Member (2010)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
some answers to your questions Mar 12, 2013

Hi Chiara,

1. In my opinion it is better to use 1st person, it is more suitable for the texttype Webpage as it sounds more natural. I believe many university professors prefer 1st person nowadays, though, I'm not sure, if this is the case in the medical field as well. I suggest you do a little research to what your prefered clients like better and are more comfortable with (because of the trust in your expertise).

2. Some digital marketing experts say it is good to include a picture, let your clients know you
are a person, not a machine. Perhaps you could test it for a couple of months and see, whether it functions better with or without the picture.

Also a hint: if you are going to include a picture, include a picture where you are smiling. It doesn't have to be a big smile though. It is said that it attracts more clients (applies for women only).

3. I don't think you should add anything else - keep it simple, it works.

4. You could just state that they can get the reference list upon request.

Good luck


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Chiara Pallotti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:28
Member (2013)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Mar 13, 2013

Thank you all for your suggestions, in particular to Samuel for his thorough review. I will revise the page according to your comments.

Chiara


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Samuel has said most of what I had to say Mar 13, 2013

But there's always something left to say!

IMO, the 3rd person works OK for the intro, but not for the "About" section. Personal details need to be just that.

The CV section is not a CV, as others have said. The most important parts of a translator's CV are the languages and the services you provide, followed by your experience. Of course, it follows that those services, with experience to back them up, should be very high on the page, normally above your training.

Perhaps it would be possible to dispense with those rather confusing labels at the top of the page and just display the title and first bit of the text for each section; then expand that section when the reader clicks on "more". I don't know the technical terminology for it, but I'm thinking something along the lines of:


INTRO
*A linguistic degree alone does not make a good medical and pharmaceutical translator*

Apart from linguistic proficiency, it requires many other skills: more

ABOUT

Chiara Pallotti is an Italian translator specialising mainly in Life Science translation, from English and Spanish into Italian. She more

...


That way, readers would be able to click first on whichever section interests them most. They'd have a taster of each on the screen they see when they arrive. But I think you'd then want to ditch the Intro as a section in itself. The top of the screen could have an introductory sentence or two, with a quotation. The second part of the intro is actually about you, so belongs logically in that section.

Final point: PROOFREADING! There's no such word as "ood"!


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
No, "more" would not do it for me Mar 13, 2013

Sheila Wilson wrote:
...just display the title and first bit of the text for each section; then expand that section when the reader clicks on "more".


This is generally a bad idea, unfortunately. In general, a user must not be forced to perform additional steps to gain access to information.

The "more" link is useful in a blog or suchlike where users tend to interact more with the text they read, but on a business web site the important information should not be hidden. Remember, the visitor will initially only skim read the page, trying to find the content that he is looking for or that will trigger a response of "yes, this is the page I wanted", and if you hide information, the visitor won't see it when he's still trying to make up his mind about whether to leave the page. You can use the "more" option for pages with a captured audience.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Possibly a valid point Mar 13, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:
Sheila Wilson wrote:
...just display the title and first bit of the text for each section; then expand that section when the reader clicks on "more".

This is generally a bad idea, unfortunately. In general, a user must not be forced to perform additional steps to gain access to information.

You may well be right, Samuel. My point of view, as a not-very-comfortable computer user, is that clicking comes more easily than scrolling. But the one thing that I'm sure we'd agree on is that the first view (the screenshot you provided in your first reply) must have enough convincing text in it to cause the reader to do something, other than heading straight for the "X".


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Chiara Pallotti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:28
Member (2013)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Sheila and Samuel Mar 13, 2013

Hi Sheila and Samuel,

I have fixed the typos as first thing. I have also changed the CV label, now it is called Education and training as Samuel suggested. I agree it is more appropriate given the content. I have also removed the "graduate" part, I wasn't aware of the connotation that the word had... Certainly I haven't been a student for a while now.

I am thinking of moving the section on services and fields of expertise up before the education section. As Sheila said the most important parts of a translator's CV are the languages and the services.

I will see to the other issues, including the top menu, during the weekend. The labels at the top may be confusing, but I do not like the "more" option either.

Thanks again for your feedback!
Chiara


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Chiara Pallotti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:28
Member (2013)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Longhand Mar 14, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:

One thing that I have discovered now that I live in a country that is not my country of birth is that different countries have different longhand writing methods... that sometimes differ so much that you can only figure out what is written, with some effort. I realise that you used a font for your name in longhand, but you used a font that looked good to you (as an Italian person, who learnt how to write longhand the Italian way). I saw your "name" at the top of your page, but at first I thought it was just a scribble -- you know, some clipart of illegible longhand to make the web site look pretty. Eventually I returned to it and realised that it was your name, and I was able to figure out the individual letters, to spell your name.



I am curious to know other opinions on the longhand font I used for my name in the website. How many of you find it illegible? Samuel mentioned an interesting point of view that I had never thought of.

Thank you
Chiara


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
A quick comment Mar 14, 2013

Chiara.p wrote:
I am curious to know other opinions on the longhand font I used for my name in the website. How many of you find it illegible? Samuel mentioned an interesting point of view that I had never thought of.


I used to think my Dutch wife had terrible handwriting, until I moved to Holland and realised that all Dutch people have the same terrible handwriting. Particularly when it comes to writing numbers.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The longhand script Mar 14, 2013

If I'd stayed in the UK, I think I'd have thought it said "Chiana" - that "r" simply can't be an "r" according to the way the English are taught to write, but it is the same as a French "r". For the surname, the initial letter would have appeared very confusing, though I'm not sure what I'd have made of it.

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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:28
Danish to English
+ ...
On the longhand heading Mar 14, 2013

I'm an amateur genealogist, so I am used to reading many different kinds of old script in church records, many of which at times make me want to tear out my hair. I think this script comes very close to some of those 'ancient writing styles'.
Not very easy on the eye, and much more 'artistic' than anything I would relate to medical translation, except, of course, for the fact that people in the medical profession are notorious for terrible handwriting. So, if you want to communicate that you are able to transcribe handwritten medical records, then hey, go for it.

Now that I am at it, I might as well add a couple of other comments about your website:

1. I found the *** by the menu words at the top very confusing, as I associate * with footnotes, expanding comments etc. I would remove them if I were you, maybe find another symbol that is less ambiguous. You also use the * to introduce your text paragraphs, and again, I find that misleading.

2. The images you have chosen are, forgive me, very stereotype and boring to look at.

3. Personally, I don't like the use of 3rd person for websites that relate to just one person. One of the most important selling points we have as independent business owners is that we offer a personal service in contrast to 'impersonal' agencies. Dare to be you, don't pretend to be aloof (unless you are, of course).

4. I also find the black on dark blue hard on the eye, although it might be slightly easier to read if you chose a sans serif font.

5. Personally, I don't like to have to scroll down one long page, I prefer brief texts on one page each and then an easily identifiable menu to help me click through it all. To tell you the truth, I got a shock when I first clicked on one of the menu words, because the page flashed by so fast it almost made me seasick.

I realise that my comments are mainly negative, so I should add that I think it is impressive that you have put this together yourself. It looks reasonably professional, the colour scheme is quite nice (albeit cold and dull for my personal liking, but I can see that it works) and with some touch-ups, it will be a good introduction to the services you offer.

Cheers

Gitte


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KateKaminski
Local time: 10:28
German to English
It is a really nice-looking website! Mar 19, 2013

But it seems a little bit too creative for a medical translator - it would suit a novelist or artist (in my opinion).

But overall, really impressive work.


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