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Site Design:
Site Elements
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Building Your Site:
Putting it all together

What make a site successful?

Site Design

Content Design

Page Design

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Reference Library
What EVERY web designer should have on his desk


Site Elements

Home pages/splash pages

There is a heated splash page debate in the Internet world. In most sites, they are unnecessary and people don't look at them. Usually, (nowadays) they are Flash and most people don't want to wait.

I have started creating modified splash pages. Just like no one waits for splash pages, no one also reads the home page. It is usually a "Welcome" (get rid of it) letter from the President of the company offering warm fuzzies as you navigate through the site.

Modified splash pages are more graphical than interior pages but have navigation that leads users directly to the part of the site they are interested in. The tone or look of the site has been established without taking up the viewer's time. Modified splash pages may save the user time if the artwork on the splash page is reused in interior pages. While the user is deciding where he wants to go on the site, the reused images are being cached to he hard drive. As a result, the interior pages will load much more quickly.

Graphics or text?

If you established who your audience is, and why they are at your site, this should be an easy answer. A photographers site should have graphics, so should a new media designer's site. A search engine site—no. A reference site—no. A news site—yes; but not too many.

Menus and submenus

Unless you have a really small site, you probably will have multiple forms of navigation. You want to try to keep all of your content no more than two clicks away. Submenus are the way to achieve this. On this site, I have main navigation across the top of the site and submenus that are specific to each subsection. I also have a jump menu that can take someone straight to a section.

What's new section/page

This is a tough one. A what's new page only works if (a) you have a lot of new, important, time-relevant information in a variety of pages (b) the new content appears daily (maybe every few days). Sites that only update once a month probably don't need to worry about a 'What's New' page. Companies with a job section that gets updated regularly should indicate information has changed.


© Copyright 2003 | Something Graphic | 20 November, 2003

Contact me:learn@CognitiveHorizons.com