PS. I made the image purely with brushes in Photoshop, I was trying to make it grainy in the first place. Thanks for the suggestion anyways!
I don't like the menu system... Not visible enough and the buttons are too small, not to mention you don't know what they are until you hover over them... apart from that, fine job.
I was thinking about that myself (the menu). I was mainly doing it to experiment with the "Show Image" behaviour, so I hadn't planned on making it into a final idea, although I might use something similar in a later layout. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
On another note, I'll probably be changing the layout sometime soon (note: probably), as I'm kind of leaning towards a non-frame layout (and almost full philosophy.) Also, a lot of people avoid frames (i-frame or not) like the plague, anyway, so it might be my best bet.
I like clean interfaces. Too many people clutter their websites with irrelevant stuff. I took my a few seconds to find the navigation, but I cant decide if that is good or bad. The hover/display technique looks good, but maybe not user friendly. I saw that somebody else addressed this as well.
I think you should look into the font color. It kind of fades into the background making it hard to read.
when you gonna use the same menu system again make sure the buttons are much bigger and that its for everyone clear that that is your menu(i had to search for it) and you need a larger contentbox(i suppose that the little thing on the right is your contentbox?)
further it looks OK
...I just had a look at your site, and read some of the content (that is, the update news) to try and get the "feel" (if you like that word) of navigating through it. I think I have a few suggestions.
...The first thing that stroke me as problematic is probably the less technical and more pet peeve kind of thing. That is: I don't really like the color combination in the image. I think that is it, since I spent a good time looking at it, and wondering why it was bothering me so much. As I said, it might be a pet peeve but I thought that if it stopped me in my tracks from wandering through your site then it should be noted. I think my problem is with the soft green and deep blue mixed with the grainy brown. Of course we're not in an art class (not that I would be an art teacher if we were), but you are giving screen dominance to brown there. And that isn't only punching the rest of the image, what is worse it's killing the title, because of the extra "umph" it has compared to the soft grass of the title letters, and because of the freeform brush/grainy/strokes thing it has going on there. This kind of picture, in my opinion, does not relate to the tidyness of the rest of the site.
...The second problem, related to the first one, was the title. I like that you want to try a monocromatic scheme for the letters but they are in dire need of protection. They are sharing space with something bigger and with a bigger presence than them, and not only that, but the device you used to guide the reader (the line that ends up underlining the title, which carries you from image to title) is, I think, making this worse because it's making the transition so easy that you might skip the title altogether because of the recent shock from the image.
...Third is content space. For the news, the gallery and things with little time investment (that is, with things that don't require you long time to read), I think that the content space is great. But with things like a blog and whatever else you might want to upload, I really recommend something wider, not too wide mind you, that could help the reader stay in line and focused about what is he reading. I've found that both extremes are bad, too short and the reader won't be able to grasp the unity of the sentence he's reading. Too long and the eyes will tire more, and the comfort of a paragraph is visually lost.
...On the same topic, I have been having problems with the scrolling device you used for the content. I have always liked to scroll with bars or with my mouse wheel, but if you must use that scrolling mechanism you should allocate a copy of the code at the head of your content (if you're going with only one set of scrolling arrows) or both at the head and bottom (optimal). Remember most people read scrolling to the bare minimum, that is, they scroll until the paragraph they want to read is the first thing on the content box, which means you won't be visiting the bottom of the content box (sorry for repeating the term) a lot, unless forced to. Of course, if you plan to leave the navigation there (or just for plain usability) you may leave the arrows at the bottom as well.
...Last is navigation. To be simple and direct, I didn't find your menu until some guy here mentioned that it was hard to find, I though it was a counter. Remember when you're building a site you are trying to solve problems, in this case the viewer's. Strive for clarity even in complex designs (it can be complex art wise, but simple functionality wise) to ease the pain and discomfort of the viewer, at least that is what I would do.
...I hope this little lines helped you out and that you have great luck with your site.
That was a really thorough response! I really appreciate it. Just to address your points:
Now that you mention it, the brown/red is kind of overbearing. The picture was supposed to be the world overrun by a gaseous disease of sorts (the brown). So, maybe I went a little overboard with it.
Interesting about that, another thing I hadn't noticed! I never really took in the artistic values of it, it really makes me think!
And I had to read that twice to get what you meant, but it's true. Someone using the scrolling system (aside from the wheel) wouldn't think to just go to the left of right a tad to change directions. I suppose separate, broader arrows at either end would have suited a bit more.
For personal reference, I was wondering what everyone thinks would be a better colour for the page text? I had a little self-debate about that a while back, and ended up not choosing a different colour (it was originally grey, before I experimented) because I couldn't choose.