Sunday, December 9, 2007
This course has also given be a discerning eye for what works and what doesn't work in webpage design and I believe I have learned to become more critical. I find myself looking at webpages from an academic point-of-view rather than a casual standpoint. Things that I might have ignored or paid little attention to in the past now move into the foreground of my attention and in all honesty have made some of my searches quite intolerable. Perhaps the designer needs a quick refresher course?
Overall, I was inspired by what both myself and my classmates were able to construct using only Photoshop, some of us having never tinkered with the program until September of this year. I hope next semester's classes are just as fulfilling.
And, just a quick reminder that Saturday was far superior to anything produced/discussed/debated in on Friday's. That's not speculation. It's well researched fact!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Good luck to you all.
Friday, December 7, 2007
As I stated in class, the coolest part of my presentation was explaining the weird mistakes I made that resulted in something awesome, like my glow effect contact us page. I didn't intend when I first saw the picture to make it into that; the picture made itself more than I made the picture.
I think one of the coolest aspects of the presentation is the "How did you do this?" question. When asked that question, I always want to explain how easy it was to do whatever I did because most of the stuff everyone has done was on the same realm of ability, mostly because of the inherent limitations of Photoshop to make a website.
How did I do it? I just messed around with Photoshop enough to make something cool and unique. :)
It's a funny thing when one starts to think about what usability actually is. Nielsen bases his standards on experience and usability testing, but it's clear that even that doesn't satisfy some people. For example, Nielsen talks about scrolling as if it's the devil, but sometimes one just has to scroll, or wants to scroll, or does not think about minding that one is scrolling.
I thought about what Nielsen would have thought if he saw a lot of our website presentations. He may have thought that some were good, even if they broke his standards.
Perhaps the the issue is what the word "standard" actually implies. If by standard one means something that one adheres to always, then the standards are broken everyday. I think Nielsen and all of us need to think of standards even moreso as guidelines than we already do.
The good thing about guidelines is they are so vague that it will mold to basically any situation. If that's the case, then why even bother writing a book on what should be done on a webpage?
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
I thought I would pass along the following:
In the final folder create a set of new folders (as many as the number of slides you want to have) and name them 1, 2,3 ,4, etc. Make a first web gallery, and select the folder 1 as a destination folder. Repeat for the second, third, and so on, so each of the galleries is in their own directory.
Slice the page. When you are writing URLs, write 1/index.html, 2/index.html, etc. and save it in the final directory.
Should work. Just make sure that it also work after you copy the whole site on the CD.
Back to online shopping. According to an article written by Jayne O’Donnell and Jon Swartz that appeared in USA Today on November 27, titled, “Online shoppers click up a storm on Cyber Monday,” http://dailyrecord.gns.gannettonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071127/TECH04/703080805/1001/TECH the term was first used in 2005 as, “the ceremonial kickoff to the online shopping season.” The article further states that the busiest day for online shopping was Dec. 13th last year. The busiest day in 2005 was Dec. 12th. This year there is a 37% increase in online traffic on Cyber Monday from 2006. The National Retail Foundation even set up a website for Cyber Monday shoppers, conveniently located at, where else, http://www.cybermonday.com/. Does anyone do their Christmas shopping online, and if so, what percentage of it would you say you complete online? Do you think this is a trend we will see continue to grow in the future?
Video (You can also find the video on the site too):
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
For whom who asked the question; "What is next for design?". This will be the new platform so lets start to think about the design part.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I had a field day scrolling through dozens of web layouts at http://www.openwebdesign.org/browse.php?page=3. Many of them are designs for blogs, but others are simple web designs that different people have shared. I found this a good tool for generating ideas. Even when we see a layout we don't like, it prompts us to think about what we don't like about it, which is revealing in itself.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Luckily, this wasn't a huge issue for me since we just got paid. It would have been helpful if on the intranet site's main page a note was posted informing us of the change.
All in all, I do not hate photoshop as a program because of this, as I know this is not what it was made for, but it is just frustrating spending so much time slicing and saving tediously over and over. Ill take photoshop to start the designs, but give me Dreamweaver or Flash for the rest.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
To get the latest stories from the philly paper on my teams ill also check out the main page as well just to see what else is going on near my home. I wonder how effective people find newspapers on the web? I rarely read a hard paper anymore but a couple times recently around work I picked up a USA Today and realised I actually missed it.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
At work, we're finally hammering out a redesign for our current music program, and having the tech out-sourced so we can build the site faster. We have a new design guy who is working fast to help us get a totally new look and feel to our site. The current design (which was never officially launched) can be seen here. The reason why it looks TERRIBLE and has such shoddy design is because the original creators of the site made a really sketchy back-end. Meaning...the html and entire behind the scenes simply would not allow for a better redesign. We had to stick to strict guidelines and we couldn't even move any of the charts or features.
Finally, we've been allowed to break those constraints, and open ourselves up a little more. The picture attached to this post is the first draft of our *new* ListenerStation homepage.
It's not perfect, but its DEFINITELY better than what we had. A little more cutting edge, better coloration, different sized features and areas to promote our different artists. It's extremely frustrating to articulate ideas to a 3rd party designer though. I find that at times, I wish I could just do it myself (hence, my enrollment in this program). I hope to be the designer for our company someday. I find I'm told to "document my thoughts" about every single day. Then, designers come and go, and I re-document the same ideas over and over again. It's like I've been walking in circles for the past 2 years. The communication and energy consumed between thought generation and articulation to someone else is definitely starting to wane on me. I wish I could create pages that are this dynamic, but since it's only my first semester in the program, I'll have to wait and learn as I go!
Monday, November 19, 2007
In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A glance at our two competitors' home pages reveals a number of unfortunate attributes: both have considerable text and visuals below the fold, use color in ways that is somewhat limited and use photos that are less inspiring than they might be.
Team in Training is immensely successful with raising funds for leukemia/lymphoma research. The color purple is an important part of their brand. Against the white background, it is appealing, but this morning, when I opened the site, it looked completely different. It was a dense purple throughout with reverse type. Not so easy to read.
The photos at the top take too long to load. Some of the photos in the header video are not as inspiring as the first one in the line-up. The challenge is finding images that work well in the small horizontal space at the top. A better solution might be to place a vertical photo at the top and one side -- especially if it allows the use of a more inspiring photo. A series of photos that change could work well here, if they didn't take quite so long to get started. The initial animation takes too long and doesn't really say anything.
The Team Fox home page contains a huge amount of verbal information that could be better shortened. Buttons with fly-outs could replace some of the text and less text could go below the fold. I like the white background of the site, but the blue is a lackluster shade. The header visual does not change and the photo that has been chosen has a fuzzy look to it and is not very appealing. A larger photo with a sharp image that shows runners having a good time would be a better choice.
Clearly, the sites of our competitors have some things to teach us as we forge ahead with our own redesign.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The design of the site is a little overwhelming at first, as there seems to be a lot to click on and many choices. However, spending a few minutes with the site, you can see that the information is strictly on a "want to know" basis, and that you can easily skip ahead and search for a movie coming out, read reviews, check out trailers, and more!
I recently used RT to check out the reviews for Southland Tales, which have definitely been mixed (it's the second film from the Donnie Darko director, Richard Kelly). The link I provided is a good example because you can see the layout of the reviews and how its handled (an excerpt of the review up front, with links to the full reviews provided). Full tomatoes = good. Splattered tomatoes = bad.
Check it out. I love the site.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Here's hoping I can recreate those pages again.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Anyway the coolest part was when they talked about the Vanishing Point filter, and showed an example of how you can turn a 2D picture of a building into a 3D animation. They also talked about how Martin Scorsese was so impressed with it that he used the vanishing point filter in "The departed" to trace the inside of a set and add movement to an otherwise static camera shot, pretty cool stuff.
Any way here's a link to their blogs, which they update often and has some pretty cool stuff on it. http://blogs.adobe.com/ See ya in class,
Artwork is a perfect place to start this argument. Michaelangelo's David is considered to be beautiful by many people. There are people who think the David isn't beautiful; they think it is just a statue of a man. Where does one draw the line on what is aesthetically pleasing?
This class talks about websites and how things are usable and not usable. It has been established that it is the designers fault when the user doesn't understand what the designer designed. What if the user is having a bad day and decides during a usability test that the site is garbage because really he is mad since his sandwich from Subway was soggy today? The response has nothing to do with the website, but instead with the fact the tester is having a bad day. Where does one draw the line between actual fact and subjectivity?
One can say with enough objective proof that good aesthetics is something symmetrical. No one likes something disjointed. That is something most can agree on. Wait.. most.. that means not everyone agrees on what is aesthetically pleasing, even with something as simple as symmetry! I know plenty of individuals who think artists who paint with their buttcheeks randomly on the canvas are artists. That has no specific point other than "artistic expression", which is really someone painting their buttcheeks on a paint canvas. I don't think it's art, I think its buttcheeks on a canvas, but that is my subjective opinion based on the facts of what I think art is, which is different than what someone else obviously thinks art is.
As this class progresses, I am starting to believe this idea of "give the user what he/she wants" is really dulling down the very idea of aesthetics itself. As it stands, aesthetic judgment is completely subjective, which makes it immeasurable. Thus, the designer no longer has the license to create something better, since risk isn't rewarded. Risk holds little inherent value when one is banking on the subjective appeal one can create. The artist or designer is banking on creating something that appeals to something immeasurable, which is completely determined at the moment of apprehension by the user who may for whatever reason decide something stinks for no reason other than they "feel" like it.
No wonder artists are mostly starving. Notice how I said most..
His website, which you can find here: CHEESYSITE engaged hundreds of New Yorkers in his search for "love at first sight". He posted his number and email address (which is now blanked in the lower left of the site) and had hundreds of responses in minutes about this particular girl. He has since, found is love.
As you will see, the website is very simplistic. For a man who is a Web Designer it seems like he missed a few Visual Aesthetics classes! Even though he does not utilize Nielson's (absurd) techniques to create his site, he is able to get the information across and did so in a manner which appears to have worked. As I have said before, I believe it is the unique-ness of the site that works rather than the hum-drum, textbook "technique".
In conclusion, next time you find yourself on a NYC subway, pay close attention because you never know when you may find your true love (probably sitting next to a drunk bum and a loud person on a cell phone) or help someone else find their true love. And that is the power of the Internet...thanks Al Gore!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The homepage links are simple (just eight of them and no repeats) and feature fly-outs that are clear and easy to read. The color scheme is a rich red, yellow and gold, colors in keeping with the Victorian flair of the museum collection's founder. The only drawback I could find is that the user does not necessarily know how to get back to the homepage from interior pages. The way back is to click on the museum name/logo, but nothing points you in the direction; you have to figure it out.
The entire site is appealing, requires very little scrolling, and is extremely easy to navigate. The site design is a good example of the saying that "less is more," and gave me some ideas for my final project.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
directly from his/her individual hoooka. Then users can do as their tagline says..."Take a hit...pass it on".
The neat part of Hoooka is that you can customize your Hoooka to look exactly how you want it using your own photos, videos, music, color schemes, etc, to truly personalize the experience your users and listeners will have. Check out the Hoooka for HelloGoodbye here.
At work, we're trying to come up with ideas for customization for our own artists and Hoooka is something we reference daily. The site does a great job at presenting artists and music, and makes it really easy for anyone to embed their hoooka onto any other site, blog, MySpace, whatever. We really feel that customization is key for us to fully engage our users with our website. We don't want to force them upon any sort of design or layout. We want to pull elements we like from other sites and combine them to give our users a unique experience. Maybe hoooka's customization elements mixed with Facebook's ability to click and drag features around? Could make for some cool Artist Page creations! We havn't made any solid decisions yet, but hoooka's direction will most definitely influence our own website as we'll be allowing for the maximum amount of customization possible.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Check out Icanhazcheeseburger.com it is the #1 blog on Wordpress.
I don't even know where to vote, but I find myself routinely checking the updated pictures.
Why doesn't the content trump the confusing web design?
Saturday, November 3, 2007
There are a few reasons, but the main two reasons being that 1) the beginning page and intro takes far too long to load, even with a fast connection. And 2) once it is loaded and plays through the intro the actual site seems like they are designed by completely different designers. The intro is extremely well done and graphically advanced, while the site itself has a very basic set up that seems incomparable to the intro of the site. If you enter the 'services' area of the page and scroll down, you will even find graphics that are improperly stretched and modified. Looking at the differences throughout this site made me feel, as a prospective consumer, that this company could not be consistent in their product promotion and presentation..A reason why I veered away from using this company and they lost a potential client. Multimedia use should be consistent in quality and use throughout an individual site!
Friday, November 2, 2007
In all seriousness, Nielsen's complaints have been getting to me. It might be because I am (self proclaimed) good with computers and technology, but the only reason why I know so much is because I realized early on that the computer will not explode when you press the wrong button. I don't give everyone the credit of being able to teach themselves how to use new technology, but when it comes to websites, its simply about exploring the site. However; Nielsen seems to think if a websites doesn't follow a traditional method, it's useless.
If we are to believe Nielsen's findings then we all need to create the most uninteresting and simplistic web sites on the internet. Granted, I believe people need hand-holding techniques even to get through their everyday lives, but must we cater to them? Do we have to stifle our creativity because someone is using a dial-up connection? I do agree with some of what he said about flash intro and repeating music, but to say "stick with familiar conventions" and "detect user bandwidth" doesn't work for me.
As designers, we have to find a niche in the world by displaying our work in a useful and interesting way. Compare web design to architecture; there are methods to built it but our design is the way to make it stand out.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I do think that there should be options for the people with dial up and low speed connections, but I also believe that in a couple of years, everyone will have service that will be able to support streaming media. The price of high speed service will be widely affordable, and the sites will be able to pack on the content. I think that the points Neilsen makes in Chapter 11 are definitley valid, but I think that if someone has high hopes for a website, than multimedia needs to be present. The way we look at the Internet is changing and dial up users are going to get left in the dust.
Chapter 11 gives the example of Travelocity.com, which doesn't have an indicator to show how quickly the page is loading. I often used Priceline.com to book flights, and the indicator isn't really helpful, it looks as if it is constantly searching. This site is so slow I find myself minimizing it and working on something else...
Which sites are "worth the wait" and how long will you wait for a page to load before abort quest for more knowledge? (scandalous celebrity pictures)
It makes sense. Too much video/multimedia/sound/flash can be annoying. Over-doing a website, and having it muddled with flashing objects or blaring video can turn users away. I also understand him when he says that some users don't have machines that are hi-tech enough to handle running that level of multimedia. Yes, it makes sense. After the 2nd page.
I think that's the main problem I have with Neilsen. Sometimes I get it after page 5, yet continue to read through entire chapters only to re-read the same thing or have him hammer the same point over and over again. I don't feel this way about all his chapters, though. There have been some that I've found very informative and effective; however, when I do get to some of the chapters that seemingly have little to say, I just get frustrated that they are so long and provide so many examples when really the point is simple: too much multimedia = bad.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Last month, an article appeared in The New York Times about how television screens are taking on more of the look of computer screens. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/24/business/media/24clutter.html?pagewanted=all .)Networks are cramming promotions, news crawls, and other streams of information both wanted and unwanted into our tv viewing experience. The impression that many viewers are left with is that tv screens are far more "cluttered," states the author, than they were until recently, and the experience of watching television more closely resembles that of using a computer.
It is interesting that the clutter is what is related to the computer screen experience. A good computer web page should theoretically not be any more cluttered than a good television screen. But that's not how the users or apparently the networks that are defining our content see it. Whether it is truly an advantage to clutter our television screens in order to make them more appealing to a computer-saavy audience is by no means clear.
In the case of someone trying to read subtitles (one example that opens the article), the added clutter can be entirely maddening. Being a pretty hopelessly linear thinker, I personally find subtitled films a little tedious between trying to follow the plot, take in the lighting and other visual film effects and reading the dialogue. But when the words are obscured by some piece of information I am not focused on at the moment, I am not pleased.
When I watch a program, I do not want to buy the character's shoes. But that is what snipes are for -- to make the most money out of each viewer in this media or the next. An icon will direct viewers of tv shows to places where they can purchase related items.
Screen clutter can be "extremely eye-catching" according to UPENN sociologist David Grazian, despite the research that suggests it impedes comprehension. But the comprehension issue does not deter network moguls who see each iota of screen clutter as money in the bank. So it appears that television screen clutter is here to stay. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go do some vacuuming.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
D. Norman author of Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things (The article we read the second week), speaks of devices that seem easier to use, because the user finds the design aestitically pleasing.
Do you think a brand name can evoke the same emotion? Does ESPN.com recieve millions of hits per day, because people trust this source, despite web design that is a bit cluttered?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
One of the things that stood out to me while I was reading was the section on why users scan. Whether I am doing research for school or work, I feel that there is not enough time in the day to find everything that I need. Scanning is the perfect option for me. It helps you decipher between what's a good article and what's something that isn't exactly what you need. "Scanning is an efficient method to hone in on useful content. It takes less cognitive effort, so users can focus attention on fruitful areas" (Nielson, Loranger pg 259).
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Each page has a center dial, of sorts, which displays the navigation of the site. Clicking "movies" will bring you to another dial-like nav displaying links to individual sites for each movie or sequel. The other pages also follow suit. The black background and orange font work (obviously), and along with silver text for the nav, its always easy to read and follow.
The only problem I have with the site is that as you browse, the huge "Halloween Movies" logo at the top does not bring you back to Home. There is a (too) small button on the bottom of each page that says "Home". I always forget its there, and even knowing that I have to find it to go home, I always click the huge logo on the top multiple times.
Overall though, I'd say the Halloween site isn't the best I've ever seen, but it's good enough to get this Halloween junkie his Michael Myers fix.
Monday, October 22, 2007
This site fits in nicely with this week’s readings because the writing is clear and concise, but clever at the same time. The front page contains snappy headlines with no more than a one sentence summary of the story. If you are interested in reading more, just follow the links, if not, at the least you have been entertained and informed. The approach on this site follows the suggestions laid out by Jakob Nielsen and Hoa Loranger in chapter 8 of “Prioritizing Web Usability” when they state, “write for the way people read on the Web. Design your content to match human behavior and tailor it for optimum scannability and comprehension.” This site definitely capitalizes on it’s scannability with its short, crisp writing.
The Supreme Story Program
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I am a big fan of Communication Arts Magazine, it can be a bit expensive but it has great articles and displays many examples of new and upcoming designers and their work. Below is a link to the magazine where you can buy the Interactive Design Annual which is also on sale at your local Borders.
Current Issue: 2007 September/October Interactive Annual 13 $16
In addition to showcasing the winners of our thirteenth Interactive Competition, the September/October issue includes feature articles on the innovative work of Boston-based agency Modernista!, Shino Arihara's narrative illustration, the powerful imagery of photographer Marcus Swanson and Robert L. Peters's in-depth look at graphic design in Australia. You'll also find insightful columns covering design, culture, creativity and marketing.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
www.MTV.com has always managed to stay interactive. There are options to watch full episodes of popular shows, chat with people about similar interests and blog about whatever is on your mind. The site may come off as busy at first glance but when you consider all the things MTV has to offer, you see that it is quite amazing that they can include all that they have into a Web site. It is always nice to know that if I miss an episode of "The Real World," I can visit the Web site and with a quick click of the mouse, watch it online.
SALISBURY, Md.- The president of Salisbury University faces questions after posting photographs on a social networking Web site.
SU President Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach posted several pictures on her Facebook profile.
Among those was a picture of Dudley-Eshbach pointing a stick toward her daughter and a Hispanic man.
The caption underneath the picture reads that Eshbach had to,"beat off the Mexicans because they were constantly flirting with my daughter."
Another picture shows an animal, a tapir, and has a caption referring to the large size of the animal's genitalia.
WBOC recently found out about the photos, and after asking the president about her profile and the pictures, she took down her Facebook.com profile.
After making calls about the story on Monday at 3:45 p.m., Dudley-Eshbach removed the two controversial pictures by 5 p.m.
By the end of the day, she had removed the entire profile, but only after leaving them up and open to the public for more than eight months.
Facebook.com makes an automatic time stamp when a user posts a picture. Dudley-Eshbach put her albums up on Feb. 3, 2007.
They were available for anyone in "The Salisbury Maryland Network" to look at, including people who have nothing to do with the university.
Many students say even though the president deleted the profile, they are still upset.
Freshman Jovan Turner said, "Personally I'm offended and I'm not even that nationality. It's not something I would expect the university president to say."
Melissa Holt, also a student, said, "I don't think it's very professional of her. She's representing Salisbury and by going out and having a Facebook, she's known as the Salisbury [University] president. She needs to be respectful as of everybody's opinions and backgrounds."
What all those students want to know now is why she posted the pictures in the first place.
The president refused to talk to WBOC on camera but issued a statement through the SU media relations department.
In part, it reads, "Many of us are learning about the positives and negatives of public networking sites such as Facebook. I regret that some of these family vacation photos, with captions that were only intended to be humorous, were included on Facebook."
You can read the president's full statement on our Web site.
Dudley-Eschbach is accountable to the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents.
WBOC requested to speak with the board's chancellor.
Anne Moultrie, the associate vice chancellor for communications, sent an e-mail late Monday afternoon that read "Still no availability at this time," but WBOC will continue to seek comment from both the chancellor and from Dudley-Eshbach.
Dudley-Eshbach has been the university's president since 2000. The school had 7,581 registered students in the fall of 2006.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Another example that was given was http://www.mtv.com. I have noticed that their font is small but I guess I have grown accustomed to their site and no longer flinch when I look at the page layout.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I thought Chapter 8 was of much more importance and interest to me, especially since I come from a background in Journalism. Nielsen recommended writing for the web using the inverted pyramid style, a method journalists use to get the Five W's right up front in the lead of a story. It makes sense that writing for the web should be the same way. Many of the examples provided showed flaws that are definitely worth mentioning to ensure we avoid doing the same.
I was shocked to read that 43% of Americans aged 16 and older are only at the literacy level similar to an eight grader (Nielsen, Page 265). Even more sad, on Page 268, Nielsen uses an example of the HealthLink site, but writes "It is written at about a grade 12 reading level, which sadly, is beyond the capabilities of many high school graduates in the U.S." That makes me feel really, really bad for our country, though, puts a damp perspective on writing for the web. If that is the type of audience we have to cater our designs and writing toward, its good knowledge to know.
Journalism is extremely similar to writing for the web. You learn how to write concisely. You learn how to organize information and write so that everyone in your audience will be able to read and understand the material, all qualities that Nielsen suggests are key for web writing. Hopefully my studies in Journalism will aid me as I progress in the world of online content production.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
The site has changed over the past few years, but I still find it fairly simple to use and search for information, and sometimes sampling. I most love the histories that have been written and the influences and genres of music that are tied to the musician. It's an appealing and user friendly site.
I would like to see what Nielsen and Co. think is the perfect website, or if they even have one. I think that the major point that is being missed by these two chapters is the target audience. If people are coming to these sites, they at least have a little background information and can adjust to the different design styles. I understand that they are trying to make it very simple, but I think that they are taking some creativity away with these strict rules and standards.
Also I think being consistent with your navigation throughout the whole page is essential. It can not switch from one type of navigation to the next because it gets too confusing And people get lost. I was trying to think of a site that I use that does this and I couldn't think of any so either I have been to other sites that do this and have never gone back or no one really switches up navigation. If anyone has a good example for that let me know.
I think that for me simplicity in sites is important and I think that this chapter reiterates that. I like sites that are simple with a minimal amount of clutter. I think for me the apple site does this, there is minimal clutter, the navigation is simple, and you can find things easily.
The home page of the Osaka Museum of Natural History at http://www.mus-nh.city.osaka.jp.english took too long to download (nearly a minute). Most of the relevant information is below the fold. Links are confusing because it appears that the user can click on the green box in front of each link but that does not navigate anywhere. Links do not open in the same window, so it is hard to know how to get back to the home page. On the plus side, there is extensive and well-organized information on what specimens are contained in the collection so that if a curator or naturalist from another English-speaking country wanted to visit, they would know the major points of interest in the collection.
The home page of the National Museum of Nature and Science (Tokyo) at
http://www.kahaku.go.jp/english/ has a sophisticated and understated color scheme in shades of gray, beige and black with subdued accents of red and yellow. The site is organized in a way that is clear and understandable in a three column design. Only limited information appears below the fold, including links to related facilities.The design of the home page is, however, very boxy, not fluid, a approach which I personally find somewhat unappealing. Each of the major topic areas branch to a separate window, where a fly-out or pull-down menu might provide more detailed information leading the user to decide if they really wanted to navigate there.
The Beijing Museum of Natural History at www.bmnh.org.cn/web/en/ features too much content on its home page, much of it below the fold. It features a main photograph and several smaller photos that illustrate different departments. The small photos are way too small to really communicate or enhance the information provided. The large photo took an inordinate amount of time to download (more than 2 minutes). But aside from too much copy and the small, unappealing photos, the home page is not terribly cluttered. There is a gray bar at the top that seems like it should contain a visual of some sort, but doesn't. The menu across the top is clear and simple to understand. I have personally visited this museum and the web content doesn't really do it justice. It has some nice, thoughtful exhibits.
The Natural History Museum of Crete features an appealing green background in keeping with its nature theme. The home page is uncluttered, features a range of attractive visuals. The links are organized in a way that is easy to understand and navigate. The english version of the site, however, is challenging to locate. You have to click on a tiny british flag in the upper right corner, without any textual clues to identify its purpose. The links open in the same window, further assisting navigation. Both a Search button and site map are prominent and enhance useability.
The Royal Ontario Museum (Canada's largest natural history museum) at http://www.rom.on.ca/ organizes a wide range of links in an understandable way. All the links open in the same window, which makes it easy to figure out how to get back to where one has been. But the small square pictures next to the links suggest clickability when, in fact, only the text links navigate. The site could benefit from using video or some alternative way to share more visuals. All of the links to exhibitions are presented with the same visual, which is not very engaging.The use of complementary colors blue and orange, paired with maroon is understated, although I did not feel they were as appealingly sophisticated as the use of colors closer to one another on the color spectrum like that used in the Tokyo Museum web site.
I readily admit to a local bias, but the Yale Peabody Museum web site at http://www.peabody.yale.edu/ is one of my favorites. The home page is clear and simple with the signature "leaping" dinosaur fossil Deinonycus is an effective brand for the museum (hanging as it does in one of the hallways). The links are easy to understand and colorful. The clean white background makes the colorful visuals stand out. The Search button is prominent and very clickable. The interior pages are where the bulk of the content lies, keeping the home page simple and uncluttered. Both the web site and the museum are worth a visit. (Don't miss the colorful poison dart frog exhibit in the Discovery Room and keep an eye out for leaf-cutter ants. They're on their way.)