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2 Q's on Design - Website & Shrink Wrapped App.

The website first.

Is it still valid to have a text only-static-brochure as a company's website? Or *must* I add images just for that extra highlight and/or cool hyperlink effect? FWIW, I personally prefer the former.

The app.

Are there any end-user Software that _do_not_ have a "File", "Edit", etc. toolbar? I am looking for some ideas on how to design the UI for the next version of one of our products. Its a "Personality Evaluation" questionnaire with no need for printing or saving or anything. Just multiple choice questions with "Next", "Previous" navigation, at the end of which a Rich Text file is generated for editing/viewing/printing. Only "Quit" is a _menu_ option.

Ideas?

Regards

KayJay

Indian Developer in India
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

If the images don't tell the user anything about the product, why use them?  We don't need to go back to the hey-day of those Large-head-small-body-people graphics that littered the web in 1998.

But I would make sure that your copy is clean and conveys a good message.  Make use of blockquotes to utilize whitespace (whitespace is your friend), and use pleasing colors for a background and body text. 

A website doesn't need to be overly complex or use hyperlinks to make it worthwhile - but it should present a clean and clear image of the company and/or product.

Lou
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Don't Make Me Think - by Steve Krug

Read it!

(as listed here: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/navLinks/fog0000000262.html )

m
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Images can't be spidered by Google.  if there's important information in them that a potential customer might be Googling for, then move the content into HTML.

Straight HTML web sites are a lot faster then anything else.  But there's a point where maintenance becomes a problem, then you need to move to some automated way to generate the pages.  There are lots of choices there.

Bathmophobic skier
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Well, it's our site. And we are an "odd" company, in that we have two very different skill sets under one banner, Education/Corporate-Training and IT Services (Software Development, Intranet Development, etc.).

Someone pointed me to alistapart.com. I was really impressed. I was thinking of sheer duplication of that layout.

The point is, there are no updates or new information that needs to be displayed. Only "About Us" and "Our Services", so to speak.  Most corporate websites I've seen have some kind of snazzy flash animation with birds flying left and right and then they drop their droppings. Can't stand that!

Also none of our products are on the "market shelf". Each customer _will_ need customization. So no "Software Box" images.

Images/relief can be added to add colour and clarity. Bullleted list with images, H3 tags with a shadow, Page Headers with backgrounds, etc. Just that of late I've not seen that many text only websites, current company excluded. Hence my Q.

Regards

KayJay

Indian Developer in India
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"we are an "odd" company, in that we have two very different skill sets under one banner, Education/Corporate-Training and IT Services (Software Development, Intranet Development, etc.). "

That isn't odd. I've worked for two such companies.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The last site I designed didn't have any product images to use, the site still looks relatively nice (currently remastering it in a pure XHTML + CSS + Javascript site + product images (maybe)). 

It's not about looking trendy or corporate, it's about being appropriate for the given market.  If people are checking out your website to see what you're up to and are turned off by not finding it, maybe that's something you need to add.  If people are only looking to make sure that "yes, that's the name of the company - oh, and that's the contact email address", then you can be a lot simpler.

Lou
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

You should have "Exit" as the menu option, with the "x" as the access key. "Quit" is non-standard Windows' terminology.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Sorry, I made the assumption that it's a Windows application.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

A. Y. Mous, nice to know we are not alone, though humbling to know we are not unique!

Lou, am working on the same lines. Thanks for your comments. Much appreciate it.

John Topley, you assumed right. It is a Windows Appication. But is it ok to have only a "File" menu with only "Exit" in it?

Regards

KayJay

Indian Developer in India
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"But is it ok to have only a "File" menu with only "Exit" in it?"

I've seen it done, but only for demo applications that are introducing Windows programming! ;-) It would look a little sparse. It sounds like you don't need a menu.

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Have a look at About Face 2.0, it's an excellent book  on UI design.  Working through it will help you think about how your users will actually *use* your application, and the best UI choices should flow from that thinking.


http://www.cooper.com/content/insights/cooper_books.asp

Koz
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Thanks again one and all. I'll look up the recommended books, (if available here in local currency). Very much appreciated.

Regards

KayJay

Indian Developer in India
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

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