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Hello All,

I finally decided it was time to introduce myself. I just started my tshirt shop, and I have to say this site has been a fantastic source of info. My site is just about up and running and would love some constructive criticism. We're specializing in conspiracy based clothing that is edgy, funny and thought provoking. We've gotten great feedback so far on our product let us know what you think!
www.conspiringmind.com
 

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You have a horizontal scrollbar at 1024x768 (May be because I'm on FIrefox, like 20% of your customers will be). That's not a good thing; you shouldn't even have one at 800x600.

The layout itself definately needs some work, but I'm having a hard time saying exactly what you should do to change it. It seems like things are 'too big' so to speak; everything is sprawled out inefficiently or something.

If a color of shirt is sold out, default to a color that isn't sold out.

Your header graphics (such as http://www.conspiringmind.com/Theories/images/Theories_11.jpg) shouldn't have the whole width includes in the picture itself; since the sides are a solid color, simply define them as that solid color and center the picture between them. Not a huge worry since the pictures don't seem to be very big anyway, but still something to think about.

Your background image has the same thing repeated 3 times; it'd make more sense to only have it once and repeat it as needed IMO -- it leaves a ton of useless whitespace on pages like http://www.conspiringmind.com/Links/ (Which currently has no links or is broken, btw)

Your blog has a massive horizontal scrollbar at 1024x768. There should be a link on the sidebar from the blog back to the rest of the site.

The first About Us Tab graphic doesn't display on the FAQ.

The tab that links to the FAQ from the Links section instead links back to the Links section.

The page always seems to be trying to load something (it keeps the 'reading from www.conspiringmind.com...' deal on the status bar).

Add alt text to your images.


There are a few other things that don't look quite right, but that should definately cover a lot of the issues.
 

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thanks for the input twinge, all your points are things we're addressing right now. we just added the links and blog tabs a couple days ago and we're still configuring them, we know they're a bit messy now. we appreciate you taking the time to review the site, we're hoping the additions will be done by the end of the week. as far as the links page being empty right now, that should be full of links by the end of the week. the blog is a new program we're playing with, it will be set to look like the rest of the website, for some reason we're having trouble configuring that right now. also, why is having a horizontal scroll bar a bad idea, i've seen that mentioned a couple times, and can you explain what Alt text is for me, i'm pretty new to all this. thanks for invaluable feedback! anymore suggestions on the site or designs is appreciated!
 

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Its really frowned on across the board as far as web design goes. I think its basically because we expect to see information vertically on a website; plus, it gets confusing if you have to scroll both up and down AND left and right. Also, you want to have most everything visible on screen at once so customers don't have to take extra time to search around for what they're looking for. Finally, you have to make it look good to the lowest common denominator -- 800x600 resolution, in this case. Just because most people have switched over to 1024 or higher doesn't mean there aren't still 20% of your potential customers using 800x600, and you have to account for that.

Alt text is short for alternative text; text that will show in place of an image under certain circumstances (primarily, an imageless browser). More important that the accessibility issue (since nearly everyone is using images anymore) is the factor that search engines like to see that alt text in place.
 
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