Just gave www.hardcoreharmonics.com a total makeover and would like to know your opinions.
This iteration of the site is a big improvement over the last one. The colors are nice, the type is easily readable, and it loads quickly. I didn't have a hard time finding anything I was looking for. I have a few critiques, however, just to help polish and fine tune the site;
1. There are too many navigation areas. The one at the top (Welcome, Products, Purchase) is fine, but there is no need for that sub-header (Welcome, Calendar, Newsletter, Support). In my opinion, the Newsletter functionality should just be somewhere else on the main page ("Sign up for our newsletter! Click here.") while support should be rolled in with Communication (which could be renamed to "Contact"). I can't figure out the purpose of the Calendar so I think it could be safely removed...
Then there are all those links at the bottom. IMO they do not serve a purpose. A "Back to Top" link is all that is needed, along with basic copyright text.
2. I would integrate some sort of news functionality to the front page so customers and potential customers can see what sort of activity is happening. Is a new product coming out? When is it coming out? Are there any sales? There's no way to tell. After a minute of searching I found the Blog subpage of Communication, but this is somewhat confusing.
3. The Downloads tab only has one item on it. I would move this content to "Products" (and make a subset of Products called "Free Stuff", or something) and get rid of the Downloads tab entirely... replace it with "FAQ" or "About Us", or perhaps even combine those two pages. If people want quick answers they should be easy to get to!
4. A minor quibble, but I would rearrange the purchase page so that the FULL version of Prizm is at the top... not the sampleset-only version.
Anyway, these aren't major complaints, and once again I think the design is quite functional and a big improvement over your previous one. A little tweaking and it will be even better.
Zircon Studios - Original music for media, electronica, sound design, and synthesis.
Thank you for your critique.
The software we use automatically created the navigation and some things are simply not easily removed without affecting the entire site - the "welcome" page is one of them. It is simply easier to leave it there than figure out a way (and it would take hours and eventually a support forum question) to remove it. I really like the software we use because it makes creating great looking websites relatively painless - but it does have its idiosyncracies.
The calendar is what we use for news and just happens not to have anything just now.
As soon as we are close to a release, the calendar gets seriously busy.
We make dynamic announcements on the main page when the time is right - and usually quick, easy links to the calendar.
The newsletter is quite active, so we keep it (and really need to send one out - it's been a while).
I agree about putting the full version on top of the sales page and will do it later today.
Like other areas of the site, the download section will have more downloads, so is good to have its own area. For example, we have every intention of having for free download some example samplesets that show off our products and will be freely downloadable from that section. "In the news" is another such area that will be populated with features as they present themselves.
Sitemaps are very necessary for two things: easy navigation on longer pages and they aid in better search engine rankings. I tend to put them on every page just to be consistent. I could make a specific section called "site map", but that would make yet another section.
I will look over your other comments and make decisions, but will wait for more opinions from others before acting.
From looking just at the welcome page, I've no idea what it is? Is it an online shop, a synth enthusiast site, a general music site? Is it commercial, hobbyist, forum, or what?
Nice, design-wise, but sorry, no idea what this site is for (without following all the links)
Thank you. I am working on a promo video for the front page and as soon as it is done, along with a little text explanation, the reason for the site will be clear.
Thank you for the excellent point.