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Old 11-29-2005, 07:53 AM   #1
ElyseC
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Default No Good Home Pages?

At Seth Godin's blog I just read an interesting entry: No good home pages?.

Home pages being like book covers is something I hadn't thought of before. Having designed a number of book covers once upon a time, I'm now trying this idea on for size.

   
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:29 AM   #2
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I agree with him. The "home" page is the best place to sell product. It should be designed to catch the eye of the viewer and pursuade them that your product or service is just right for them. This has always been the rule for a home page; too little information or far too much clutter and another potential customer is probably lost.
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElyseC
At Seth Godin's blog I just read an interesting entry: No good home pages?.

Home pages being like book covers is something I hadn't thought of before. Having designed a number of book covers once upon a time, I'm now trying this idea on for size.
Why limit it to homepages?? It seems to me better said, No Good Sites. The more sites I visit, the more I am appalled. The great majority of them can't be made by people posting in a web master forum. It's just incredible. But, it goes with the old 90/10 rule, I guess. Only 10% of anything is any good. I guess.

However, to be fair, we should say that the homepages and sites are at times hard to assess, because we really don't know the true objectives. And, there can be cultural differences. For instance, have you noticed the similarities and differences between British and American sites?? It's distinct to me. But, would the designs from one country really work in another??

I'm just reading a book on an analysis of important 18th century political pamphlets in America. The author notes as an aside that British pamphlets from the same period have so much greater literary merit in comparison, and he wonders why. It seems obvious to me. The common folk in America didn't want literary merit in a political pamphlet, just a fast review of the issues. The Brits, I think, wouldn't tolerate or respect a pamphlet without literary merit. I think there are similar parallels to web sites in the present day.

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Old 11-29-2005, 12:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvyn
I agree with him. The "home" page is the best place to sell product. It should be designed to catch the eye of the viewer and pursuade them that your product or service is just right for them. This has always been the rule for a home page; too little information or far too much clutter and another potential customer is probably lost.
My pet hates are the home pages with a single graphic and an Enter link (what a waste!) and the over-cluttered page arrived at after an exhortation to 'go to our home page and click on such-and-such a link. It then takes 10 minutes of earnest reading to find the link, which is inevitably in pale blue text, and is hidden amongst four or more columns of text and jumping graphics.

One of the worst for clutter and hidden links is Go Daddy, especially the link to verify your contact details, which took me several returns to the e-mail instructions to find. But I put up with this rubbish from Go Daddy because their prices make it all worthwhile. I've just transferred my last .com domain name from MelbourneIT to Go Daddy. As an example of cost comparisons, MelbourneIT charge AUD90 a year to make a .com domain private. Go Daddy charge, I think, USD4.95. Current conversion rate is almost exactly 74 cents US to the Australian dollar. And they charge AUD 69.80 a year for registration, compared with USD6.95 with Go Daddy.

   
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:03 PM   #5
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My pet hates are the home pages with a single graphic and an Enter link (what a waste!)
I suppose they're trying to set a tone or put forward a specific image but you should be able do that without wasting people time that way.

   
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Franca
I suppose they're trying to set a tone or put forward a specific image but you should be able do that without wasting people time that way.
Yep. And when it's a Flash movie rather than a static image, with no means of bypassing the Flash, I'm out of there without even turning Flash on.

   
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:44 PM   #7
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My pet hates are the home pages with a single graphic and an Enter link (what a waste!)
Mine, too. The chorus I sing with has such a page as a manual redirect to another domain where the actual site is set up. I don't have anything to do with the site, no powers to change a thing and no one's told me how our site came about, but I suspect the real site is the original and the main URL was snagged later, as an afterthought. I suspect the quickest way for these non-techies to get anything up there was to set up a site via someone's personal account somewhere and when the good domain was snagged later, they stuck the simple logo and "click here to enter" link there, so they'd not have to figure out how to move the entire thing to the new domain and/or pay for separate domain hosting.

I know, I know, there are easier or more efficient ways, but I'm new to this non-profit organization and am still learning the management structure and culture. It is not my place to suggest changes until I understand it all better.

   
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:47 PM   #8
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Why on earth didn't they just put in an automatic redirect? It's a single line of HTML, and there are hundreds of pages on the web to tell them how to do it.

   
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:09 PM   #9
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Because it's just as I said, they're not techies in any way shape or form. Someone with some tech savvy set up the thing for them originally, then when the good domain was snagged this was the way they could think of to redirect.

I'm no doubt the most tech savvy of the bunch, but, as I say, I'm new and there's no call to be a bull (er, mad cow? <g>) in the china shop. My skills are gradually coming onto the radar, so eventually I'll get to help, I'm sure.

   
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Old 11-29-2005, 05:36 PM   #10
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Oh, don't get me started on the state of the web. I can't even guess the small percentage of designers that have training like mine, other than (of course) my fellow CS refugees. Too many sites are "designed" by people with the software but no design training, much less training in HTML coding standards.

We had a site submitted at work a few days ago.... no offense to clerical staff anywhere, but the way to design a site for your office is NOT to give your secretary a copy of FrontPage because "she has more time". Grrrrr. This one is so bad we're sending it back.

   
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