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  1. #1
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    I just got a client that wants me to style their website, which is going to be a database/research/statistics type of website. Getting the contract was really easy because the owner did not have any requirements at all - just "make it look good" (most clients of mine are specific and some don't want any input from me at all!). The site currently is sterile - no colors, no pictures, no anything ; it's basically blank. Doesn't look bad at all, but as the client says, the website needs to have visual appeal. They already have guys taking care of the data interface, so I'm strictly working on aesthetics.

    I have some design ideas floating around in my head, but I have not done a site in this sector, so I can't be certain what would be proper. What best practices, colors, fonts, layouts, or tools do you think are suitable for a research-type website? Input would be appreciated. Thanks.

    -R

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I can't show you a site (yet), but I can show you a page as far as laying things out. I still have a long way to go from the stats side, though, and apparently the ad network that agreed to run ads on the site closed today when I put the ads up (BASTARDS!), but it should give you an idea.

    http://www.postalcodeinfo.ca/on/whit...ta-statistics/

    I autogenerated the charts using ASP.net and some of the built-in stuff that way, but I want to improve the pie charts in particular (would want better definition on the edges) and I'm going to bring out more data that way. The only good part about is that no one's even done this much with Canadian census data (mostly because it's 12,579 CSV/XML/KML/other files of a bloody awful mess).
    RDesignista likes this.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

  4. #3
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. Here's what I see so far:

    - Stylized tables (I love styling tables).
    - ~2em padding.
    - Color Branded API results.
    - Attractive front page (full-size bg), yet tame other pages.

    Fortunately for me, they have their own guys doing all the data and graph setups (cause as you know, I'm weak with APIs), so I'm going to just be having fun with CSS for the most part.

    ***
    Side comment: that's a very ambitious project. It reminds me of some stuff I heard a startup presentation event. There, a guy was using city data/API and using it to make a user friendly site to locate charging stations for electric cars. And it also reminds me of how Google Maps uses our local bus API to suggest bus routes.

    And yes, those pie charts are choppy. It's amazing that you can auto-generate them though. I'm guessing it involves a bunch of math equations and then using your ASP.net to draw the circle? Again, really amazing. I can't remember the last time I've seen graphs on websites (outside of those manually drawn in infographics). Might try to insert them if there is any static data for me to play with.

    -R

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, that's how I chose to do it. I didn't look for any inspiration. I just structured the information I had. It's my project. i did everything other than take that photograph by myself. That doesn't mean it's right or that it's wrong. I just knew you weren't going to get a better example of anything than what I had come up with.

    I kept the pages "tame" because I want people to focus on the information inside...in particular, as I bring out the deal maps and if/when YP gets their head out of their *** and gets their API to work the way it's supposed to for the Local Businesses section. It's pretty much the only reason I haven't launched it besides the ad network flaking out.

    Basically, I built it so that 1) I could show people I built a mashup (there are several APIs at play right now, and more to come) and 2) to make money in a way that didn't involve Google Adsense (diversify income sources).

    The math on the pie charts is actually fairly simple...I retrieved the data that went into them and took each number, divided it by the total, and multiplied by 360 to get the size of the pie in degrees. ASP.net has some native stuff from there to draw the chart.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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