Web design: One oh one
Design | 7 September 2011

Web design: One oh one

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Dear Future Clients,

Stop worrying about not knowing the web design “lingo” – I am here to help. I present to you Web Design: one OH one! Below I’ve included screenshots (and links!) from a handful of Beth Blinebury Design projects to give you all of the specifics on the what’s and the why’s. If you’re not sure what a “splash page” is or how “tabbed content” looks, well take a gander at the rest of this post.

The Splash Page (also known less dramatically as the home page)

The home page of your website is important, right? You want to make a splash! Sorry, just couldn’t help myself with that bad joke. The home page of a website is often called the “splash page.” The home page is where you can (and should) do things a little differently from the rest of your website’s layout. The home page for a recent website project for BigFatHomeRebate.com features three colorful photos that function as entry points for various sections of the website. The four boxes together form a rounded box that is a featured graphic element throughout the rest of the site.

The home page often features a blurb about the business (or artist/musician, etc.) along with some additional featured content – like an excerpt from a recent blog post or two. The home page for Massage & Lymphatic Therapies does just this.

Adding more punch

The home page for Tempesta di Mare, Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra includes a featured content slider which adds a major amount of visual impact. I love this slider and the whimsical background images that are included on each individual slide. See it in action right now.

Details Schmetails? No way!

As I begin any new design project – whether it be a logo & branding project or a website re-design – I always spend a lot of time conceptualizing the design details. The website design created for NYC-based archival digital printer Fiber Ink Studio is simple and sleek with bursts of bright CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) colors. My favorite aspect of this design (apart from the right-side menu that pops off the main site box) is the pixel background image. This is a custom background image created just for this website. Do you remember why you NEED a custom design? It’s all about the details!

Making it work

The menu or navigation of your website is crucial. It needs to be properly integrated into the design and perhaps even more importantly, it needs to function perfectly! For websites with a whole ‘lotta content, I will incorporate a drop-down menu to organize the content into sections. The new BigFatHomeRebate.com website incorporates a drop-down menu for this very purpose. The navigation of a website is generally going to appear at the top of a website or in a sidebar of some sorts – generally on the left side.

And once a user has made their way to your content, how do they experience it? Take a look at the “Flat Fee 101” page on the brand new website for Simple Choice Realty (the “parent” website of BigFatHomeRebate.com). On their website, tabs were implemented on pages with a lot of content so that users could easily click through different sections. The first section also features custom, impossible-to-miss graphics created for the client which communicate vital information to site visitors.

Showing it off

Once your website is designed beautifully and you’ve got the navigation sending users to your amazing content, it’s time to show off the rest of your content. As I discussed in a previous blog post, Beth Blinebury Design has created a ton of portfolio websites for artists, photographers and illustrators. A clean, easy-to-use gallery (also know as slideshow) is definitely in order. But there are lots of questions to ask – do you need thumbnail images (those small ones) and do you want your slideshow to auto-play? Should the images slide or fade? The image galleries on the website of New York photographer Lesly Deschler Canossi feature a slideshow viewer with customized navigation and big thumbnails.

 

The brand-spankin’ new blog developed for Ardmore-based Janice Martin Couture features loads of media including images and video. Incorporating video content into a website or blog is always a fun task – but the first step in the process is determining where the content is located. Are your videos posted publicly on a site like YouTube or Vimeo or loading directly from your website? Either way, finding a way to integrate them seamlessly is top priority.

Blogging in style

Newbie bloggers – there’s no need to beware! Blogging is a great way to draw traffic into your website and it can be a great way to communicate to prospective clients your business philosophy. It’s also a great way to show off the amazing work you’re doing like the article above from Janice Martin Couture‘s Blog. Blog articles often contain some additional fun features like social media “sharing” links, blog tags and a commenting area. All of the features promote site visitors to share your content and to continue browsing through your website. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Another blog-style area for Baltimore-based MCB Real Estate, LLC has been stripped down to just article content. MCB uses this “news” area to share industry trends with their clients. Their blog has been customized with multiple “categories” allowing them to also post their recent transactions on their website – check it out! A blog can be customized in any way you can imagine. What could a blog do for you and your business?

Web Design 101

So… do you know more than you knew three minutes ago? I hope so! And remember, a designer should always be your guide through a project.

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