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Off topic: Does this website a friend made for me look professional enough?
Thread poster: ZeHgS

ZeHgS
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
Member (2012)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Oct 5, 2014

Hello!

I have a friend who is learning Photoshop. He was looking for something to work on just for fun, so he offered to make me a website and I accepted since I already had a domain I bought many years ago and never used. Do you guys think it looks professional enough to be used? Please check it out:

http://www.jg-translations.com/ (actual site address)
http://jg-translations.com/improved_2.png (more up to date version)

Please be honest, nobody will be offended! Mostly I wanted it just so I could have an "addendum" of sorts to my curriculum and cover letter, and the file upload functionality is really just for show. It has no content as of yet, but if you guys think it's at least passable, then I will finish it.

Thanks so much!

[Editada em 2014-10-05 01:58 GMT]

[Editada em 2014-10-05 12:23 GMT]

[Editada em 2014-10-05 12:33 GMT]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:39
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not professional Oct 5, 2014

There is not much there yet but to me, it does not look very professional so far. It looks like a kind of game, for example, when you say: "Translate a file in 3 steps", it sounds as if the viewer is supposed to do the translating him/herself. The same when you say; "I want to translate/edit/proofread". And a few other things: I would not publish your email address but rather make it so the viewer can click on an email icon but your address is not shown, just like in your proz profile. When I click on "proz profile", I get my own profile, not yours.

All in all, my suggestion is: if you want a professional-looking website, get a professional to help you design it.


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Error 404 Oct 5, 2014

It looks like some of the links aren't working correctly, I keep getting a 404 error.

I started making websites the same way, and everyone has to start somewhere. I don't think I would use this site because you need a lot more information and a clearer call to action, plus the links aren't working.

I wouldn't say it's a bad site, but it needs a lot more before it becomes a useful tool.


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ZeHgS
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
Member (2012)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 5, 2014

Thank you both very much for your replies!


Tina Vonhof wrote:

There is not much there yet but to me, it does not look very professional so far. It looks like a kind of game, for example, when you say: "Translate a file in 3 steps", it sounds as if the viewer is supposed to do the translating him/herself. The same when you say; "I want to translate/edit/proofread". And a few other things: I would not publish your email address but rather make it so the viewer can click on an email icon but your address is not shown, just like in your proz profile. When I click on "proz profile", I get my own profile, not yours.

All in all, my suggestion is: if you want a professional-looking website, get a professional to help you design it.


By looks like a game do you mean kind of childish? Do you think if the colors were tweaked around a bit it could help? What about the "logo", do you think maybe if I changed it it would help?

About the wording, what if I changed it to "Get your file translated in 3 steps" and "Get it translated!", do you think it would sound better? Removing my e-mail was a great suggestion, I'm gonna do it ASAP!

The changes haven't been implemented yet, but here is a picture of what it's gonna look like:

http://jg-translations.com/improved_2.png

Do you think the globe helps or is it worse?

Of course, but professionally made websites cost several hundred dollars (or even thousands), and I am not sure I would really get a significantly bigger return on my investment if the website were made by a professional. My main concern is more along the lines of "does the website look ridiculous or bad enough that a potential client accessing it would be repelled to the point that even if they are impressed with my writing they wouldn't hire me?"

edit: I changed the whole thing, which version do you prefer?
http://jg-translations.com/improved.png


Triston & Gaby wrote:

It looks like some of the links aren't working correctly, I keep getting a 404 error.

I started making websites the same way, and everyone has to start somewhere. I don't think I would use this site because you need a lot more information and a clearer call to action, plus the links aren't working.

I wouldn't say it's a bad site, but it needs a lot more before it becomes a useful tool.


Yes, I am aware! That's because I haven't made any of the content for those pages yet. I'm only gonna make the text for the FAQ and About sections after the website's appearance has been tweaked enough. How do you think I could improve my call to action? Is it a visual thing or is it the words I'm using?

[Editada em 2014-10-05 12:23 GMT]

[Editada em 2014-10-05 13:25 GMT]


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Try going the other way around. Oct 5, 2014

When we build sites, we usually start with the content and then design the page around it. So, for example, if you want the people visiting your site to contact your for work opportunities, put a (relatively) big "contact me" button above the fold (the uppermost part of the pie that people see as soon as they open your page). There are all kinds of guides and templates for calls to action and designs. Mine's pretty simple, I want people to contact me about work, so I have a short blurb about my wife and I, and a contact button.

I would suggest that you write out all your text in something like word, and then give it to your friend to design around. There's no need for a lot of bells and whistles, just make it clear and easy to use.


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:39
Chinese to English
Not so much unprofessional as the wrong kind of service Oct 5, 2014

I don't think it looks unprofessional, it just brings to mind the wrong industry. Those big blocky boxes, large fonts and inviting buttons look to me like software download websites: designed to make things as easy as possible for casual browsers. It looks like a website that is designed to deliver an electronic service instantly and for free.

In general, that's not a very helpful impression to give when you actually want to deliver a professional, customized service.

I think one of the choices you have to make is whether the website is mainly about you or mainly about the service. If you assume that your customers don't know what translation is, then you should make it more about the service. If you assume that your customer base is made up of people who basically know what they're doing, then you should make the website about you: differentiate yourself from the competition.

It may be that there is an untapped market for translation among casual/unsophisticated buyers. But that's a hard business. I wouldn't want to do it.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
It doesn't display correctly Oct 5, 2014

1. I'm only seeing the front page so far, and it doesn't display correctly in Safari. The page should be positioned centrally on the screen. At present it's all pushed to the top, with a lot of blank space below.

Your friend should be a bit more careful with his HTML!

I haven't tested it in other browsers.

2. Is it only going to be in Portuguese?


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
@ZeHgS: Oct 5, 2014

First thing I noticed is all the text is actually images, and blurry. It's one of my pet hates: blurry or washed out looking text on websites.

Michael


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ZeHgS
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
Member (2012)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A Oct 5, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

I don't think it looks unprofessional, it just brings to mind the wrong industry. Those big blocky boxes, large fonts and inviting buttons look to me like software download websites: designed to make things as easy as possible for casual browsers. It looks like a website that is designed to deliver an electronic service instantly and for free.

In general, that's not a very helpful impression to give when you actually want to deliver a professional, customized service.

I think one of the choices you have to make is whether the website is mainly about you or mainly about the service. If you assume that your customers don't know what translation is, then you should make it more about the service. If you assume that your customer base is made up of people who basically know what they're doing, then you should make the website about you: differentiate yourself from the competition.

It may be that there is an untapped market for translation among casual/unsophisticated buyers. But that's a hard business. I wouldn't want to do it.


Thanks a lot for your comment!

That's an excellent point. I changed the text to the left in order to balance both "offers" a bit. What do you think?
http://jg-translations.com/improved.png

Michael Beijer wrote:

First thing I noticed is all the text is actually images, and blurry. It's one of my pet hates: blurry or washed out looking text on websites.

Michael


Thanks a lot for your reply!

The text is images because it has not been programmed yet. The website so far is only images and, once and if I get it to something I think is decent, I will replace all pertinent images with text.

And by blurry are you referring to the logo? I fixed it but haven't implemented it on the website yet. Here's how it looks:

http://jg-translations.com/improved_2.png

What do you think about the rest?

[Editada em 2014-10-05 12:36 GMT]

[Editada em 2014-10-05 13:24 GMT]


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Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 21:39
German to Swedish
+ ...
Semi-professional Oct 5, 2014

It looks semi-professional and somewhat low-rent.
Which may not be a bad thing.

Get rid of the text bezel effects, outlines and reflections.
Get rid of the text gradient.
Consider adding a slight drop shadow beneath the gray box.
Previous/next buttons much too large.
The Previous button shouldn't be visible until it's enabled, because it adds clutter.
The 1-2-3 steps should be on separate lines.
I suppose uploaded files are to appear in the empty list space? Until they do, it's just a mysterious white box that wants to be looked at. Get rid of it until there's something to show.
"Services" is bad. Come to think of it, "Welcome!" is bad too.
An e-mail symbol that's followed by the text "E-mail" is a bad e-mail symbol (what is that M anyway?).
Text is too dense, needs more kerning.
Add some more "air" (empty space).
Add some more content.
That globe is not a good symbol for a one-man shop.
Consider adding a large horizontal photograph instead.
The additional text beneath "About" and "FAQ" exists for design reasons only. As it stands it's completely redundant and reflects badly upon your writing ability.
Add a "sales pitch" - the form isn't enough. Why should I hire you and not somebody else?

Also, while mock-ups are created in Photoshop, the actual website shouldn't be. HTML5 and CSS3 give you all the goodies you need.

[Bearbeitet am 2014-10-05 21:51 GMT]


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ZeHgS
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
Member (2012)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A Oct 6, 2014

Joakim Braun wrote:

It looks semi-professional and somewhat low-rent.
Which may not be a bad thing.

Get rid of the text bezel effects, outlines and reflections.
Get rid of the text gradient.
Consider adding a slight drop shadow beneath the gray box.
Previous/next buttons much too large.
The Previous button shouldn't be visible until it's enabled, because it adds clutter.
The 1-2-3 steps should be on separate lines.
I suppose uploaded files are to appear in the empty list space? Until they do, it's just a mysterious white box that wants to be looked at. Get rid of it until there's something to show.
"Services" is bad. Come to think of it, "Welcome!" is bad too.
An e-mail symbol that's followed by the text "E-mail" is a bad e-mail symbol (what is that M anyway?).
Text is too dense, needs more kerning.
Add some more "air" (empty space).
Add some more content.
That globe is not a good symbol for a one-man shop.
Consider adding a large horizontal photograph instead.
The additional text beneath "About" and "FAQ" exists for design reasons only. As it stands it's completely redundant and reflects badly upon your writing ability.
Add a "sales pitch" - the form isn't enough. Why should I hire you and not somebody else?

Also, while mock-ups are created in Photoshop, the actual website shouldn't be. HTML5 and CSS3 give you all the goodies you need.

[Bearbeitet am 2014-10-05 21:51 GMT]


Thank you very much for your great observations! I will have the changes made and see what I come up with.


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Carmen Swanwick-Roa  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:39
Member (2014)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Unclear and not professional enough Oct 6, 2014

For me, it's not clear what sort of service you are actually offering. From a first glance, it looks like Google Translate or something similar - insert text, click "translate" and your translation appears. OK, it does state that you provide professional translation services, but an uninitiated translation buyer might think that this means they can upload their file or type in their text and you will do the translation straight away. Now as a translator I know this isn't the case, but a potential client may not.

Remember that attention spans are short on the internet. If people don't find what they want on the first page, or don't understand what the website is offering, they will give up and look elsewhere rather than go further into the website for answers. It needs to be really clear from a first glance who you are, what you are offering and why someone should work with you.

Creating a professional-looking website doesn't need to cost much. I paid for a domain and made my site using Moonfruit, which was free and easy. I currently have a free website (apart from the domain, but I see you already have one) and I'm planning to upgrade to a paid plan in the near future. However, at the moment the most important thing is that my website tells a potential client who I am and what I do. (Have a look at mine if you like, there is a link from my Proz profile. By no means is it perfect and there are thousands of better websites out there created by translators, but it might give you a better idea of what I mean.)

Finally, translation into Brazilian Portuguese is very much in demand (I translate from EU/BR Portuguese into English so I know that the market is there and growing). With a professional-looking website you will be able to market yourself better to potential clients who will DEFINITELY be looking for you! Good luck!


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ZeHgS
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
Member (2012)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a Oct 6, 2014

Carmen Swanwick-Roa wrote:

For me, it's not clear what sort of service you are actually offering. From a first glance, it looks like Google Translate or something similar - insert text, click "translate" and your translation appears. OK, it does state that you provide professional translation services, but an uninitiated translation buyer might think that this means they can upload their file or type in their text and you will do the translation straight away. Now as a translator I know this isn't the case, but a potential client may not.

Remember that attention spans are short on the internet. If people don't find what they want on the first page, or don't understand what the website is offering, they will give up and look elsewhere rather than go further into the website for answers. It needs to be really clear from a first glance who you are, what you are offering and why someone should work with you.

Creating a professional-looking website doesn't need to cost much. I paid for a domain and made my site using Moonfruit, which was free and easy. I currently have a free website (apart from the domain, but I see you already have one) and I'm planning to upgrade to a paid plan in the near future. However, at the moment the most important thing is that my website tells a potential client who I am and what I do. (Have a look at mine if you like, there is a link from my Proz profile. By no means is it perfect and there are thousands of better websites out there created by translators, but it might give you a better idea of what I mean.)

Finally, translation into Brazilian Portuguese is very much in demand (I translate from EU/BR Portuguese into English so I know that the market is there and growing). With a professional-looking website you will be able to market yourself better to potential clients who will DEFINITELY be looking for you! Good luck!

Thanks so much for your advice! You made some great points and I will see how I can incorporate them and make my message clearer. In the meantime, some very major changes have been made, please check it out:

With menu:
http://jg-translations.com/version_2.png

Without menu:
http://jg-translations.com/version_3.png
(if you are unable to see changes press CTRL + F5 on your keyboard to update the cache

Which one do you guys think is best?
For comparison, this is the version we started with:
http://www.jg-translations.com/

[Editada em 2014-10-06 10:56 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:39
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Avoid globes unless you are a big agency Oct 6, 2014

Avoid globes - even big agencies cannot always offer really global services. Choose an image relevant to your languages and subject areas but avoid the prime tourist symbols. Use flags if there is any doubt - they are informative and colourful but neutral. (Still, not waving in the wind for my taste. Once seen, 'flimmer' is a distraction from the rest of your site.)

Make more of your subject areas and the types of texts you translate.

This will weed out some clients, but save your time and theirs in the long run if you can't help them anyway.

Aim to attract clients who know what they want - and presumably what they have to pay for it... and give information without talking down to anyone.

B2B marketing often has a very different flavour from marketing to the general public.


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ZeHgS
Brazil
Local time: 17:39
Member (2012)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a Oct 6, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

1. I'm only seeing the front page so far, and it doesn't display correctly in Safari. The page should be positioned centrally on the screen. At present it's all pushed to the top, with a lot of blank space below.

Your friend should be a bit more careful with his HTML!

I haven't tested it in other browsers.

2. Is it only going to be in Portuguese?





My apologies, I only just saw your post!

Thanks a lot for your post. The programming isn't ready yet, so it has only been made compatible with Chrome (the only one that's certain, at least) so far.

Yes. I am not expecting very much traffic aside from the clients I contact personally, and they all speak either English or Portuguese.

Christine Andersen wrote:

Avoid globes - even big agencies cannot always offer really global services. Choose an image relevant to your languages and subject areas but avoid the prime tourist symbols. Use flags if there is any doubt - they are informative and colourful but neutral. (Still, not waving in the wind for my taste. Once seen, 'flimmer' is a distraction from the rest of your site.)

Make more of your subject areas and the types of texts you translate.

This will weed out some clients, but save your time and theirs in the long run if you can't help them anyway.

Aim to attract clients who know what they want - and presumably what they have to pay for it... and give information without talking down to anyone.

B2B marketing often has a very different flavour from marketing to the general public.


Thanks so much for your comments!

Yeah, not only that, globes are not very creative at all. We only went for them because we couldn't think of anything else to represent translation. The logo will probably be one of the last things we will finish. To be perfectly frank, it might even take months find something worth keeping. Until then, I might opt to remove my name and keep the name by itself. Thanks!

[Editada em 2014-10-06 10:48 GMT]


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