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Usability Review:

Nicholas’ Portfolio ( delighted and confused the UXPanel. Overall, the design is solid and the work speaks for itself, but Nicholas is no where to be found.

Initial Impressions

Nicholas Patten uses a simple video player for his site 
Andrew says:

My initial impression is very good. I’m looking at a site that obviously emphasizes design. The colors on the page work really well together. Whats more, the content area is a stark black and white, and that draws my eye right to it.

Unfortunately, when I go to the site, I’m forced to turn the volume down on my speakers. A video starts playing. Interesting. I’m looking at a list of videos on the right and listening to the video play on the left. While trying to make sense of what I’m looking at, I notice below the content area, an email address…

Redd says:

This site is very simple and fairly bright, but the purpose and intent of the site is a little unclear. After looking at it for a few minutes it looks to be an online video repository for a video editor. However, it gives us very little other information or incentive to stay on the site.

Key Questions

Matt says:

The site does not answer many questions on first view. What is this site? What is its purpose? I see a few words at the bottom, “editor – director of photography – web designer”. I guess this is who Nicholas is. I would REALLY appreciate the modern trend of a one to two sentence mission statement at the top of the website. Even if it was only “I’m Nicholas, an editor, director of photography, and web designer. Welcome to my portfolio”. This would answer a lot of my questions and help me understand why all these videos are here.

Andrew says:

Alright, awesome. So I’ve gotten a pretty good impression of Nick. I’d like to see a resume and shoot Nick an email. Now things have gotten tricky. Looking around his site, I’m not seeing anywhere to do these things. I try clicking on “editor” or “director of photography” — no luck. Next I try clicking on After all, it is white, and it looks like a web URL. No luck. I’m a bit frustrated. What’s gone wrong here?

David says:

As a user, I’d like to know more about who’s running the show? Who is Nicholas Patten aside from an editor? What makes him unique and why should I contact him (which again, should be made easier)? Is he for hire?


Andrew says:

I know that I’m looking at videos that somehow represent Nicholas Patten. The navigation is intuitive because it follows the layout of a video-site like youtube.

Nicholas Patten uses a player most people will be familiar with, a la YouTube 
David says:

The interface is simple. You’re presented with videos worked on by Patten, and you’re given a very easy to use navigation bar to see/watch other videos he’s helped with. I have nothing against the simplicity in it all — Patten has done a great job directing his viewers exactly how I would expect to travel on a portfolio site such as his.


Redd says:

My recommendation would be to make those links clickable and add some more depth and detail to the site. Show me a deeper range on your portfolio and turn off the auto-play on your videos.

Andrew says:

The problem with this site is that it brings me 98% of the way to hiring or contacting nick, but then doesn’t do much more for me. Without a business card to call Nick, or a resume in my hand, I’m left with simply a collection of videos and a name. Again, not that it’s not a beautifully presented collection of well-edited videos. Because I’m definitely impressed. I just wish he had made it easier to contact him or ask for references. Making it easier to learn more about (and contact) Nick would make this site a solid portfolio.

David says:

My biggest gripe is the fact it’s totally flash based. For me, flash should be used to enhance the user experience without detracting from usability. If the site were rebuilt with CSS and XHTML, I could see it being more accessible, faster loading, and have a better presence on the web in regards to findability.

About the Author

UX Booth

UX Booth's editors are constantly pushing the digital envelope. UX Booth shares stories by and for those practicing user-centered design.


  • ryandc Reply

    Really informative review and good read. The depth and multi opinioned nature of the review gave it a very unique feel. I agree with many of the comments expressed, especially David’s suggestion comments regarding the proper use of flash.

    Interms of UXBooth, really great first review. Love the tabed design approach to sectioning off everyone’s comments. The differernt coloured text which accompanies it look’s a tad odd at first, but not a major gripe. Look forward to the next review! Why not review UXBooth?

  • Brian Reply

    I was amazed at the length of the review just from the snippets given by each person, then at the bottom it asks me to read the full review of each judge – which in turn is more information than I could have imagined. It only makes me hope that I can get this sort of attention to my own site in a UX review :)

  • David Leggett Reply

    @ryandc: Thanks ryandc.

    We already have several more reviews in the editing process, but reviewing UX Booth in the future is surely not out of the question. After all, Usability and UX is a progressive process — and we’ll surely be doing what we can to improve ourselves as time goes on.

  • Nicholas Patten Reply

    Hey everyone!
    Awesome review, love it.
    I agree with most of it. I am in the middle of redesigning my site. I’m going to cut down the amount of flash so more users can view it and so it will load at faster speeds. I agree that the autostart on the video needs to be turned off, and the text need to be links. Sorry for the confusion, As you can tell I like simplicity in getting right to what is being shown, but also complexity in the design and (the inability to find more information is being fixed). I will post on twitter when my new site is up and running. I really appreciate the honest reviews, seriously, so helpful.

    Andrew – Yes, I am a freelance video editor. The next version of will definitely allow users to contact me through many different avenues. For now you can contact me by email, :)

    You can also find me on twitter @nicholaspatten

    Thanks UXBooth and thanks to all the honest reviews! :)

  • Ben Reply

    Review was quite interesting. I always find it interesting seeing what others think about how websites are put together.

    In reference to this website, and this review in particular. I find it interesting that there are actually no links to the site in question within the review. The only mention of the url on the page is in the title – not very usable ;)

  • David Leggett Reply

    @Ben: Added to the introduction Ben ;) It must have slipped by us during the launch. Appreciate the heads up!

  • Hetzers Reply

    I loved the site Nick! Keep up the great work! Your new site is fire!

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