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Thread: Design Practicality?

  1. #1
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    Design Practicality?

    Hi,

    I'm a .NET, PHP database guy and I agreed to do a homepage for someone. I'm in over my head and I need to determine if the site my client wants can be done in a reasonable amount of time. I created it from a Photoshop mockup with a container stylesheet. It's a huge image with anchor images on top. I have created multiple versions to try and adjust for different resolutions. It looks OK on my monitor and terrible on the client's as they are 1920x1080. I tried to create one for them but it I can't really tell what's going on as I don't have that resolution.

    This is the version "optimized" for 1600 X 900

    http://www.mistymountainherbals.com/...e3/indexa.html

    This one is "optimized" for lower resolutions

    http://www.mistymountainherbals.com/...e3/indexb.html

    Another issue is that in IE the "tree" floats above the grass.

    So is this something that can or should be done? Is the design too image intensive? I know the SEO will be pretty bad. Should I use the HTML 5 header and footer solution? Is there a dynamic script like adaptive image that will handle moving my links along with the site? Thanks in advance.

    Chris

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    It's something that can be done. I'm not sure whether it's something that should, because that would depend on how much mobile traffic your client is getting to that site (I'm guessing not much) and how much your client cares about killing traffic by using a splash page (again, I'm guessing not much). Personally, I wouldn't touch something like this with a 10-foot pole unless it came from the client of an agency client where I knew they were going to send me more business and that if a site like this failed it wouldn't be on me.

    With that said, you've got one problem right off the bat...you're mixing up ids and classes. Classes are for groups of things that have the same properties; ids are for one specific instance. You've got this exactly backwards.

    Second, you're setting the div width/height for your tree to 100% and you have a margin (the mainbody class is using this). Set the tree div to be 500 pixels wide (the width of your tree) and 520 pixels high (the height of your tree). You could also use the tree as your background. You should also set position: relative; for your tree. When you do that, you can absolutely position the elements on the tree div itself (one of the rare uses for absolute positioning).

    Next, your footer...you'll probably want to do something similar to the tree div. Set a position: relative; but this time you can use 100% width because of the background (no margins or padding, though...you'll get a horizontal scrollbar). Do the same thing with the individual menu items that you did for the tree div.

    Again, this will get it "working"...but it won't work for your client no matter what. Like you said, the SEO for a page like this is going to be non-existent and this doesn't take into account mobile traffic and the overall lack of content. You're really in a no-win situation.
    coderNOTdesigner likes this.
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  4. #3
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    Thanks so much for replying. If you have any PHP or .NET or ColdFusion questions I owe you one.

    The site's been around for a while and the business is doing OK, but they want to do better. The thinking was that something to grab attention would be helpful. However, the client is interested in doing a mobile app as well and after reading your response it may be that the splash page isn't the right solution. The actual homepage is this https://www.mistymountainherbals.com/store/index.php . Is the reason that you recommended not having a splash is because this page is so much richer from a content perspective? Assuming that's the case, then perhaps we rework this page to make it a bit grabbier. If you can recommend a good resource to help me put together the right plan of attack I would appreciate it.

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    That's exactly it. If anything, there might be too much there. Maybe cut down the products to 4 or 5 on that page and advertise specials, news, etc.

    And yes, the splash page in this case is the wrong solution because the tree is too wide. I assume that I'm playing with 320 pixels when you're dealing with phones. Mind you, I only just started building sites for phones so I don't know all that much about that part.

    Not really sure what a good resource would be from your point of view. It would depend on what your client's priorities are. What I would suggest as a first step is to use whatever site stats you have to figure out where your users are coming from, what they're doing, where they're leaving, etc. If you don't have any, Google Analytics is free to use.

    Google Analytics Official Website - Web Analytics & Reporting ? Google Analytics

    To get you started if you haven't used it before (or if someone else hasn't), the Adsense people just released this video yesterday about how you can use Analytics to...well, analyze. It runs a bit long, but the idea's there:

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    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.

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  6. #5
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    Have you considered building a responsive site? Then your design will adapt to any sized monitor & device, and then a mobile app may not be needed. (Unless you're billing your client for that service!)
    I understand that your footer items are "wrapping" around the bottom of the tree, but if a browser window is tall, it looks disjointed since the footer sticks to the bottom of the window. I recommend lining them up in a row.
    Good luck!


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