The Wind-Net Report:
Creating Effective Website Solutions


Have you ever visited a website that was so plain and dry that you wanted to pass out from indifference? Or has it been so full of colour and movement that you thought it could bring about an epileptic seizure at any moment? These feelings usually come from a designer's idea that in the end wasn't really thought out well enough. Just because there's a new design buzz word or technology, it doesn't mean you have to pour it into every aspect of your new website. The single most important thing you have to consider when building a site is how can you most effectively communicate your ideas and information to your target audience. If the method you come up with has been around for a while but meets your needs, then great. If you find a new technology or style that can benefit you then go for it. Also ask yourself, should I commit myself to one style and use it for everything on my website? Or should I create a hybrid of old and new technologies to cover many different aspects of my pages?

All of these questions, along with their answers can be looked at in some of the following links:

Good Examples:

www.nikeskateboarding.com
This is a good example of new technology (in this case Flash) appealing to a younger generation's sub culture. Short attention spans, lots of glitter, oozing of cool. Also ideal for when you want to market an item and allow for product tours, demos etc.

www.pawsinthepark.com
A simple, clean, informative HTML (the glue of ALL WebPages) based site that does nothing in the way of razzle-dazzle but definitely gets the message across. All the Toronto Humane Society needed to grab their audience was clean lines, space, and an inviting colour palette.

www.bombardier.com
Bombardier is a company based around changing and adaptive technologies so it helps that their website reflects that. Using a combination of both HTML and Flash the staggering amount of knowledge on the site was broken up into easily digestible chunks. Had this task been left to either HTML or Flash separately, we would have wound up with a very convoluted, heavy scrolling, nasty explosion of information.

Bad Examples:

I'm afraid somebody has beat me to this section already. One Vincent Flanders, owner and operator of www.websitesthatsuck.com. In an attempt to show people what not to do, Vincent has compiled many poorly designed, confusing, and just plain awful websites for our viewing pleasure. The following links are fairly common mistakes people make when trying to create that ultimate web page.

The Flash Explosion
This page here is a perfect example of horrible flash composition. You show up and don't even get any information until you start clicking. Even when you do click something you have to wait ten seconds for the text to animate into view. You get annoyed, bored, and then you look elsewhere.

What am I clicking on?
Even if you have great information on your site, it won't matter if the navigation isn't intuitive enough to get you there. If your client can't go to your front page and immediately figure out where they have to go, you've already lost them!

This page is hurting my eyes!
In this example, Vincent very quickly shows you that when you combine all the neat little gadgets and tricks you see on multiple WebPages, you get something very, very, very wrong. Don't EVER do this. Period.

In Conclusion:

Think about your content.
Think about your audience.
Think about what technologies would have practical applications for you.

Cover these three things and you'll definately be on your way to a solid website.




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