Help wanted to evaluate the appearance of a website

22 posts in this topic

I have written the copy for a website but I am not doing the web-design. I have a difference of opinion with my client about the appearance of his website so I am hoping to find a few people to have a look at the website and say what they think about it - making suggestions as appropriate. The client is a German man working from London. There is no money pay for this, but I will be very grateful for help and perhaps can offer compensation in the form of an equivalent amount of my writing / business consultancy.

 

This is the website:    http://dev.rolkesearch.com/

 

My name is Robert S

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Have some text will you on that front page. Waaaay too much.  All the stuff you have in links to separate pages, should be that, separate pages, not all lumped on the front page.  

 

Where's the search for positions now for candidates?  What kind of candidates are you looking for?  That is not clear at all.  

 

No email as contact? 

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Thank you for your speedy reply. Your comments are noted; particularly which positions are open and what kind of candidates sought. Do you have any views about the appearance of the website?

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The design looks a little bit dated if you ask me -- I wouldn't be able to put my finger on it but I would say it's the image at the top with the blue overlay and the feathering effect. The logo at the top is also somehow not very sharp. And the grey-beige text against the blue banner at the top is NOT visible at all...you need a better contrast. And like the earlier poster said, all the sections need to be broken down into separate pages, not lumped together into one uber-long page. 

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Thanks, HighViolet. I am hoping to have enough feedback to be able to show my client some impartial views about the website's appearance.

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11 minutes ago, RRuoives said:

Thanks, HighViolet. I am hoping to have enough feedback to be able to show my client some impartial views about the website's appearance.

 

What does your client think about it? Does he like the site? I've worked as a copywriter before...so yeah, clients :p

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Your language switcher has to be fixed. As is, it will be an immediate turn-off if people see an English link and they are already on the English version. Unless they happen to move their finger over the too dim + symbol on the Android version they might think someone screwed the link up. The + symbols are a little dim and not at all intuitive. I would switch the flags so that the German flag is visible on the English site version and vice-versa. It isn't too bad on the PC, but I would still switch the flags.

 

The wavy background in the picture of the guy sitting down is distracting and the entire picture is also too dim. With a site that is text heavy and image thin I would get a professional consult on a better image. Sure the guy looks intelligent and intent on his work but how is he going to connect people in a digital age with a pen and paper in his lap? Agree in this sense with HV about looking dated.

 

The contrast on the entire site is waaaay too dim.  I find it difficult to read. And, as everyone else points out you need all of the other information on separately linked pages only. The front page should be a landing page with easily found and navigable links. The links seem to be that way but they are unattractive and there is already some poor grammar on the "About Us" link with "Why Choose us?" when it should read "Why choose us?" (Why Choose Us? is on the linked page which is perhaps better than "Why choose us", but match the link heading one way or the other).  Was the entire thing spellchecked before it got put online? Any reason you couldn't use a larger font? 

 

Quote

Our clients have unrestricted access to talent across the whole marketplace, whereas larger search firms will have many established client accounts from whom they cannot recruit.                       

 

Shouldn't this read from which they cannot recruit?  Accounts are not people. They represent people but aren't actually people.

 

Quote

It’s vitally important to know how to link people and integrate with the networks that are shaping society and business. We can help companies and teams find leaders who can do this and connect the functions in a company – sales, finance, product development – because this is what we really understand and are good at.

 

How about:  It's vitally important to know how to link people together and integrate them into the networks that are shaping society and business. We can find leaders to help companies and teams connect the functions within a company, such as sales, finance and product development . This is our area of expertise.

 

 

Also, as norcal_sf asked: Why no email? A contact form is OK, but the guy should want to get his email address onto every page. 

 

So much blue and gray. Maybe take a look at this?

 

Stupid insomnia. I feel like I'm pulling an allnighter back at school.

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Also, at least on my GS7, the site is not optimized. The image at top is cut off halfway. I didn't bother with the rest of the site and if it formats across devices.

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Quick copy thing ... most of the site is "we" except when you get to "How I work with candidates" ... might want to be consistent.  Also, as others have said, way too much text.  Not optimized on my GS5 either - the site probably at least needs to be run thru Browserstack (or equivalent) as a quick check.  Another thing that others have mentioned ... the site needs a search / application button way up at the top so people can quickly search for talent or apply to be considered for positions.

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Thank you everybody above; your comments are really helpful. I wrote the copy, but the client chose the ratio of "we" to "I", which has always seemed awkward (even though he explains the we as being able to call on the aid of various collaborators). The inability for the site to reformat according to viewing device is something I had not been aware of - good point. Same goes for not having the email address on each page. I have been waiting to mention to the client that the language switcher labelling is 'back-to-front'. The different labelling of the two appearances of "Why choose us" is down to the web builder, not me. I have had no hand in the website's appearance other than to make various (I hope helpful) suggestions.

 

I'd like to have a couple more reviews before submitting these comments to the client, so that he cannot dismiss them as unrepresentative.

Thanks again.

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So here is my opinion on the site;

 

My first opinion is that the message is VERY confusing.  What are they?

 

Are they a recruitment company?  If so, then personally I don't care how much they understand the technology.  I just want them to understand what I want and need from people.  

Are they a consultancy company?  If so, then why do they talk about sourcing people for me.  They should provide people.

 

It becomes clearer later, but the initial message is unclear.  And a website that is not clear quickly, is closed very quickly!

 

 

The last sentence in the first section confuses me:

"So do you really understand what’s going on around you?

 

Rolke Search Ltd does, we source the people who will take you boldly into the digital future.
"

 

I will split this down

 

"Rolke Search Ltd does,..."    This sounds like "We understand this..."  and my initial reaction was 'and?', how does that help me!  I want to know first what you can do for me, not how clever you are.  

 

"...we source the people who will take you boldly into the digital future."

source is a bit cold for me.  Recruit would be better.

 

 

 

 

Why choose us

 

This section is totally pointless.  I read a lot of text, which effectively tells me nothing.  And at the end of it, I still have no clue or idea why I would want to choose this company over any other.

 

The map really offers no purpose.  It is unclear why some countries are shaded, and what relevance this has.

 

1)   No “off limits” companies

I have no clue what this section is talking about.

 

2. Shared Risk

My first thought was "oh great, even more paperwork.  It takes longer.  Is more complex".  Plus, (although I don't know the area very well) my understanding is that if a person leaves a company in their probation period that a discount will be provided by the recruiting company.  So I don't actually see any difference here.

 

3. Principal delivers the search – not a junior associate

Sprechen Sie Englisch?

 

 

There are four stages to the process

 

This section is not laid out in a clear concise way and looks messy.

 

 

Positions

 

After looking at this my thought was "But these are just normal technical positions or manager positions.  What does this have to do with the digital revolution?"

Plus, for a manager position, the most important question is how they manage people.  The best manager I have ever worked for did not understand the technology in detail, he had good people under him to do that.  But he understood how to get the best out of his people, how to strategize, and how to motivate.

 

They also seemed too precise.  Focusing on the technical skills and not the concepts.

 

 

Other points;

  • The main title "Rolke Search Ltd" does not stand out enough.  
  • Secondary headers are too small.  Size is the same as normal text.  e.g.  "Do you know how to respond"
  • Font size for main text is too small.
  • The site is about digital transformation, but the first picture is a man using pen and paper!
  • "Why choose us" should not be a button, if it is just a link.  
  • "Why choose us button" is not needed, as the text is directly underneath!  
  • There are quotes and messages from "clients" in several places.  Some of which seem out of context.
  • The "fancy" scroll bar looks shitty, is smaller than normal and more difficult to use.  There is nothing wrong with the default scrollbar of the browser.
  • Some of the menu options are very unclear.  Why does "Vertical markets" take you a section called "Our practice area is digital" with no mention of "vertical" or "markets"?
  • The Blog section takes you to a new page of "contacts"
  • Why is there no normal email address?  (I know you have to be careful of scrapers), I would not use a website form (especially not an unencrypted/secured one) to send data about recruitment processes which might be confidential.
  • There should only be one phone number.  This should automatically forward the call to a mobile if required.  I as a client don't want to store multiple numbers for one company.
  • The website sometimes talks about "we" and sometimes about "I".  It needs to make up its mind if it is a company, or a person offering the service.
  • When using the menu, there needs to be an option to "return to the top"

 

I would summarise by saying;

 

  • The message of the website is not clear.
  • The way the message is presented is often not clear.
  • There is too much presented.  "Less is more"
  • What is being offered is not clear enough, quick enough.
  • The USP of the services, don't seem so unique to me.

 

 

 

 

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Hi Robert

 

1) I would have the name of the company and contact details fixed at the top of the screen so they are always visible when scrolling down on a mobile device.

 

2) I would have a copyright notice displayed so that your content is protected from being reused on another website.

 

3) I would have a legal disclaimer displayed to protect me if the website was down etc and this impacted my client.

 

4) Have a photo of a woman also on the page.

 

5) Typo - 'Adress' at bottom of page.

 

6) The 2 headings are not in a consistent format in 'Positions' section.

 

7) Full stop missing at end of 'Looking back...' paragraph.

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I would learn the English spelling of the German word, "Adresse". A compound word comprising of "boy" and "school" comes to mind...

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The website text is WAY too heavy on corporate-blag and doesn't make it obvious what your client does - I assume he wants to be a staffing business, but is it temp, perm or both (he is legally obliged to inform candidates)? I'm assuming your client has not heard of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations? Those Regs set out a few basics for what he has to do...for example saying: "if necessary...I can provide a reference" highlights that is unfamiliar with his obligation to have actually checked the background of each individual. I was also amused that he is offering his services in a variety of countries. Just because it is possible to incorporate a UK Ltd staffing agency in a spare bedroom in London, does not mean it is lawful for that company to provide staffing services across the world (or even the EU). Just for a few very brief examples: he will need licences for Germany and Switzerland (and a physical presence in Switzerland - even for perm placements), there is a withholding of around 20% of fees for temp placements in Austria, and a local payroll requirement for the Netherlands. 

There are the other usual website formalities to add: privacy/DP policy, cookies policy...he could even go wild and add the terms of use, and again, if he wants to use the site as a platform for providing services in Germany, there are various specific requirements here too (you can find them on another thread on this site).

Oh and RSL is a weak brand - there's even another REC member company with the same name.

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Pmd - thank you for these suggestions, I like all of them. The multi-party approach to creating this website is the principal source of the problems - there's a sort of Chinese whispers effect between the client and the result you are viewing. I was initially looking for comments about the website appearance, but in the event more than just the look is being examined and if the range of suggestions is implemented, the end result ought to be a big improvement on what you see currently. Thanks again.

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dstanners - Wow, you have opened up an issue I was entirely ignorant of; the legal requirements in various countries. It has not been my brief to consider such, but clearly the client should. The 'corporate blag' was directed by the client, which reminds me of a line I came across once - company reports are usually written to please the chairman's wife. What's a humble scribe to do? Also a good point about the brand / logo.

Thanks very much.

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I am not sure if this has been all addressed because I am way too lazy to read through all the other responses so if I am repeating than just take it as a confirmation of what others have said:

 

My first impression - what is this company?  No idea.  If I scroll down, I see  Rolke Search Limited is a specialist provider of research and search consulting services to
the digital marketing industry. OK, so a consultant.  Search? For what? Search Engine Optimization?  Only much later did I realize that he is doing something with executive search.

 

This:

Do you understand the significance of the digital revolution?

and this:

So do you really understand what’s going on around you?

Comes across as really arrogant.  In general, the text comes across as someone in the 1990s talking about the tubes in the Interwebs.  Either that or someone in their 50s who just learned how to use the internet.  Not exactly cutting edge insights.  "Ordinary consumers have quicker, cheaper, more convenient access to the things they need and want"  - Oh, is that this "Amazon" thingy that my grandkids were talking about? 

 

What does this have to do with executive search?  Focus!  

 

Much too much text.  Too much scrolling.  Too much on the first page. Too much/bad use of white space. Not fond of the picture at the top.  As others have mention - guy with a paper and pen lecturing us about the digital revolution?   

 

My reaction would be: I don't have time for this.  Kind of ironic that he says "You are a busy person with people to talk to and meetings to attend – our candidate feedback tells us that something greatly appreciated in our service is that information is provided succinctly. You’ll hear a two to three-minute summary, extended only if you want further details." that is not the impression I get from the site.  It takes me longer than that to figure out what services he offers  .

 

Tell me what you do and what you can do for me and why I should choose you.  I don't want to see the CV of the principal.  I will look at that after you have convinced me to be more interested.  Putting the CV also lets me know that this guy in working by himself, yet he also seems to be trying to make it seem like he is an agency with many employees.  

 

Give me "Executive Search" as the first thing I see. Second give me a specific example of someone you found or a someone saying how great you are.   

 

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BradinBayern - Thank you so much for your review, you have definitely added to the points that others have made so far. Here's the trouble, the client is very much what you surmise him to be, but would like the world to believe he is something more grand. The words I have written are a disentanglement of what he has told me across 8 or so 1/2 hour conversations / briefings. Initially he said he wanted brevity - I complied with that by extracting his descriptions of himself and his activities as bullet points, whereupon he said that the information should be presented at considerably greater length. Ultimately I had reached the point where I was thinking - "his words, his choice, his fate", but I so disliked the appearance of the website that I felt impelled to tell him frankly what I thought. He was dazed by my comments and has, apparently, no source of reference as to what is good practice. That's why I have sought impartial commenting, which as it happens, has thrown up a good deal of content issues to be fixed. 

 

Thanks again.

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Contrast of the gray on gray is bad. The blue on blue is only minimally better.  

 

This is a really good tool for determining color to use for optimal contrast.  http://dasplankton.de/ContrastA/ 

 

The really nice this about this tool is that you can say things like "the contrast on that element is a 2.9:1 ratio for the WCAG 2.0 Luminance scale.  Clearly below the threshold for normal vision, not to mention people with color deficiencies."  Consultants love that stuff :)

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