Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Picking battles in name of moving forward

Mock-ups are definitely a different animal.

I've known that, but even though I was reminded with a comment when the wireframes were first proposed, I'm little surprised of the things I missed. Makes me wonder if there are other low hanging fruits that were glossed over. Hmm.

But the long-short of it is that we like the look of mock-up 1 (left image) over the second option. However, my concern is the amount of real estate that the lead image takes up. On small screens it's more than half the page, creating a huge below-the-fold effect.

Though the image will be active (i.e. clickable), it's still there for show. And I'm beginning to think that's okay. Honestly, I wasn't too fond of an image stealing the attention - because we're planning on some great internal pages - but I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from folks with the huge image at the top of the page.

I know-I know, I have to remove my own hang-ups for moving forward. Believe it or not, this is not about what I like...shocking isn't it. I usually get pretty close to these types of projects, but every now and then I have to remind myself to back off, keep my opinions to myself, and stick to what we've tested, others have attempted, and what the experts say. This will go a long way.

I had a bit of a snap yesterday afternoon and got a little defensive over some small detail and that's when it hit me, take a breather. It was a good reality check for me. And a good way to keep my sanity. As with any website design, you're never going to make everyone happy. So, choose your battles wisely.


Anonymous said...

Quick question: what was the reasoning for having the email sign-up at the bottom of the page? Seems like a given that you would want it above the fold.

Chas Offutt said...

This has been a tough one as it goes against everything I've always learned.

On the bottom is less than ideal - honestly the search at the top too seems to be equally as poor - but here's the thought:

* we liked the Subscribe at the top nav for a return visitor page greetings (conditionalized content), 'Welcome back, Chas'.

* good nav real estate on all interior pages (it will also be 1 of the 5 things one can do).

* the Subscribe landing page will host all of our email publications and RSS feeds (shooting for 6+). We're investing in greater RSS for targeted communication with our audience(s).

* I did a quick search on search boxes and the majority of the sites I looked at had the search box prominently displayed.

The alternative I've toyed with is change the Subscribe on the top nav with RSS and replace the Search with a quick signup. We loose the conditionalized content, but with a list of our small size this may be an alternative worth playing out.

Thoughts anonymous?