Design feedback on 2.0 style website design

Easy points for people, and will be split between all answers. Just need some feedback on a design I have done. Its for a car sales place in UK, I have made it quite 2.0 style and as its not normally the direction I design in I thought id get some feedback.

Obviously its static etc so cant click links, and the main area slideshow doesnt function but you should get the idea!

Points id like thinking about are:

- Initial thoughts/impact?
- Usability?
- Colours?
- Is it too designy/bright/girly for a car sales website?
- Any ideas to improve?

Particulally interested in seeing what the male 30-40 age range think of this site, so please post your age/sex/location for this feedback.

The address is here (just take off the new to see the exsisting site it would replace!)

Thanks, I will close this when I have feedback from 10 people so the points will be evenly split between all of you :)

Who is Participating?
Serena HsiConnect With a Mentor Marketing ConsultantCommented:
Initial preview makes me ask why am I here on your site. It's not very consumer-oriented. Anyone can take a template and call it a website. It's unclear what kind of a site you are.. if you're a dealership or a used car search portal (of which there are several in the UK). The site somewhat looks like one belonging to a car dealership.

For starters, a consumer shops for a used car using one of many methods:
- they see a commercial on tv from a local used car dealership
- they see a print ad in a newspaper
- they browse a website that offers a huge selection of choices
- they hear an ad on the radio
- they physically pass by a dealership or other venue that promotes used cars

The template itself will probably be very easy to use once it goes live. But, you could make it easier for the consumer to find what they're looking for by categorizing the tabs by actionable steps or the paths you want the consumer to take on your website to initiate or complete a transaction. Allow people to navigate by tabs on the top level of your site for vehicle type: compacts, minivans, trucks, SUVs, etc.  

Whatever "style" you choose to go with, be sure that the framework is the same across all your pages.. including font styles and sizes. If you take these into consideration, you need to make your prime real estate (the website) stand out. Your color scheme and image use is fine.

Here are some questions that came to mind:
- Why is there a gray border only on 3 of the 4 edges? Top border is missing.
- Why does the template image hug the top of the browser window?
- Why is there so much whitespace? One or two-inch margins shoudl be more than enough.
- What's the reputation of the dealership, or whomever the consumer is going to transact with?

Also, there's no indication of a privacy policy on the site. I'd imagine that consumer privacy is more strict in the UK than it is in the US. You probably need to put in a search-engine friendly site map as well. The "" doesn't make any sense. Even with your company name above it, people won't make the connection to string it all together with hyphens. This makes it harder for word-of-mouth referrals. It's too bad that there is a cybersquatter on the "" address.

It's not about which age group you can make your website attractive to, but making one that overcomes the obstacles highlighted in the survey as to why a certain demographic buys a used car from wherever.  There's an article on a survey that was published earlier this year about used car sales comparing purchases by men vs women in the UK.
katkoeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Carl,

Try making the header just a bit smaller and the car pics larger. Aligning the edge of the logo with the H in Home will help balance the top of your design.

When I design, I use a 900 - 950 pixel wide space. This will give some more room to work with. Also maybe change the vehicles at the bottom to more realist sporty cars. I really like the green bar they are on vs. the road way below.

If your market is for the male population may want to use more graphite, deeper greens and blues for a slicker look. Easing the roundness of the boxes and adding drop shadows along with some of your background images overlapping foreground images will help pull the design together.

Hope this helps

Loganathan NatarajanConnect With a Mentor LAMP DeveloperCommented:
I see the below things to be sorted out for better design standards for web 2.0

>> Initial thoughts/impact?

Looks good, but Texts could be put some where in the middle bottom ..instead 3 box

- Usability?
>>  Some more links could be given, in boxes ...

- Colours?
>> Looks good

- Is it too designy/bright/girly for a car sales website?
>> I think it is normal to have it in the site

- Any ideas to improve?
footer could be splitted and improved
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