The world of non-commercial film and A-V
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Why is a website like a blind date?
|When a new visitor clicks on a website for the first time it is just like meeting someone for the first time. And the research shows most people take only seconds (based on what they see) to decide what they think of that person and this will colour their feelings and decisions about everything else that subsequently happens. And so it is with a website you are seeing for the first time - the visual impression is crucial. You may have compelling content and superb navigation but if the site looks crudely designed with an amateurish layout, garish colours and clashing or unsuitable fonts your new visitor will judge the site badly. At the very least, they will not start with a good impression of your club and at the worst will just click away.||I am talking about style and layout and the good news is
that you have a blank sheet to start with and almost complete flexibility
in your choices.
These are the main layout choices we are covering:
Websites can be set to have a specific width measured in pixels. Over the years as monitor's displays have expanded from 640 to 800 to 1024 so the width specification for a website has gradually also become greater.
Obviously the wider you set the design the more you can get on each page. However if you specify your site to have a fixed width of 1024 or more all those people with monitors set to 800 will have to scroll sideways to and fro to see the whole page. This is unacceptable so my advice is to set the width to 800.
A more contentious issue is to whether to fix the width absolutely or to let it expand as people make their browser wider - this mean the words reassemble themselves to fit a wider or narrower space. This can lead to a distortion of the layout and, if you as the designer do not want that, I suggest you lock the width preferably at 800 pixels.
How many columns?
This is an area where so many clubs sites often look so amateurish - they have no columns.
The text stretches all the way across the page in a single row and to make it worse it may have been set up so that it expands flexibly and thus fills the page width-ways, however wide the page. This means you could end up with a sentence with 35 words or more in an unbroken row.
Now look at any professionally produced information website. I can almost guarantee that they have two or even three columns plus possibly a separate column for the main menu. It looks just like a newspaper and the reasons are:
How far down the page should your page go?
Compared to paper a website is a wonderful thing. You can make the pages as long as you like just keep adding more material .
I did actually come across a club site designed just like that - everything on one long page - brilliant! No need for navigation it is all there... BUT put yourself in the user's shoes you keep paging down until you are completely lost. You probably can no longer see the main menus (unless you are using frames) and you want to find something. So you have to page up (or down) but can't remember how many pages to go and so you just search and search like you were looking through a supermarket till roll.
Web designers have come up with a simple design rule to avoid this problem - you are allowed just one page down ("above and below the fold "they call it - imagine a newspaper folded in two). If you want to go further either, create a new page to link to or rewrite to make it shorter. The only exception is if you have a newsletter or technical article as a pdf as they have their own search facilities.
|Using the logo on your site offers all kinds of opportunities
to be creative in the website context - for example, maybe the logo should
always be a hyperlink, which takes you back to the home page. The logo should
be an integral part of the site design so that it is always in the same place
with every page thus acting as a unifying link across all the pages.
So you should not make the page too long and you should have some columns.
Website Makeover Guides - Introduction
What Should the Content Be? |
| Anchors & Links |
Getting Pictures |
Getting & Using
A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Club Website with Weebly
Don't Panic! |
Signing up to Weebly |
Making your first (elegant) page
| Adding more pages and