|Philosophy & Practice|
It is my philosophy to build original, efficient cross-platform websites. A website should be appealing, but not so fancy as to become convoluted and difficult to navigate. Content is the key to a good website. A really cool FLASH intro. is interesting the first time someone clicks through to a website, but is nothing but annoying when the viewer returns. Get to the point. People surfing the web are nothing if not impatient.
If originality is not important to the client, I am not the man for the job. Although I may use a similar framework for websites I design, the finish is always original. This is not to say that I do not listen to the needs of the client. I do. But I see no reason to simply duplicate the look of a competitor's website to hopefully garner hits by mistake. A person should see something fresh and original in the client's website so it will stand out from the crowd... not get lost in it. Still, functionality and substance (relevant content) are the most important aspects of website design; far more important than visual design.
Websites should fit to the client's needs and fit the computer monitor. There is nothing more annoying than a website that comes up partially off screen, especially horizontally. Sometimes the content of a page will require a viewer to scroll down, but it should not require the viewer to scroll, and scroll, and scroll, and scroll to find that for which he/she is searching. There are limitations to presentation on a computer. The palette has grown past the 256 colors of years past, but the canvas is still a landscape rectangle with an aspect ratio that may be standard or widescreen at a resolution of 1024 X 768, 1440 X 900, 1280 X 1024, etc. All of these variables are within the confines of that horizontal rectangle. I like to think outside the box and therefore have no particular style to my work, no trademark process, but I am confined to a rectangular canvas nevertheless. Even within these confines, my end designs are original and eclectic. There are plenty of cookie-cutter template driven website development processes available. It does not hurt my feelings for people to use them. For many, this may serve their purpose just fine.
Textual content is the most important aspect of almost every website. Pretty pictures may be effective once they are viewed, but search engines ignore them. Graphics have no substance other than the file name. People like to look at pictures, but if the client's textual content is not relevant to their website purpose, no one will ever make it to the website to see the pictures. The internet is derived from connectivity. The internet is a network of information. People search the internet for information. It may be a search borne of curiosity, or a desire for a particular product or service.
NOTE: You are reading this out of a need for information about the internet, or because you need my consultation and/or services. You found this page through a search either directly from a search engine result, an unsolicited link, or from the link on my Design Index. I purposely limited the access points to this page to prove my point.
I understand the internet. I can help the client understand the internet, and I can help the client develop their internet presence to effectively sell their product or services. I can advise. I can edit. I know art, graphic design, photography, server administration, website design from the bottom up, and communication. However, the client must develop the textual content for the website. To effectively represent a product or service, the client must provide me with the information. I have had many clients over the years who pay me for hosting, pay for my services and then expect me to magically generate a website with no input from them other than their money. This is very frustrating for me and for the client. Developing an internet presence is a partnership.
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