A newly revised website….almost done

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich, RLC Design, Tech Tips 2 Comments

For a while now I’ve been wanting to make a “better” gallery site.  Yesterday inbetween print clients and folks wandering into the gallery I worked on a major change for my photo gallery site.

It’s not done…….

Even though it isn’t done I’ve decided to pass it along and let readers take a look. The main page, about page, and contact page need work.  The galleries have come a long way, and it’s all thanks to the Kelby Training site.  Gotta give the nod where it should go.  RC Concepion’s instructional video on Lightroom2 and Dreamweaver for web galleries was watched a few weeks ago.  It gave me some fun ideas and I went out and tried them.  I’m fairly happy with the results.

Thanks RC, and thanks to KelbyTraining.  Thanks for providing a valuable service to all of us out here trying to improve our skillsets with the Adobe products!

Comments 2

  1. Where to begin? Perhaps with a lesson I learned from the famous (infamous to some) David Siegel who built a state-of-the-art web site for my firm in an earlier life. I came to the project with a conception that followed the organizational structure of the firm. David encouraged me and my colleagues to do a “brain dump,” to tell him all that we knew about our company, its clients both existing and potential, our competitors, and even other firms that we considered exceptional in the delivery of info over the internet. After about 7 hours over 2 days, he thanked us and said to come back in a week or so.

    We we returned, David and his team totally transformed our vision. He turned away from saying what we wanted to say to asking what the visitors to the site expected. We found that there were only 4 or 5 categories of visitors, each having a different objective and expectation. Thus, the first task was making the navigation work. We found that it was better to go deep rather than wide and the way to make that happen was to direct the visitor to the appropriate silo immediately on the first page.

    If someone is an existing customer, link to customer-centric pages. If someone is a potential customer, link to services pages. If someone wants to carry on a conversation or to learn more, link to pages where that can happen. It’s more than okay to treat existing customers differently than potential customers. I can think of fun ways for existing customers to interact with one another thru your site that would give you the holy grail of web site attributes: stickiness. I’m sure that you can dream up stickiness ideas too. Siegel’s quirky book “Futurize Your Enterprise” is helpful and prescient on this subject.

    We found that it was vital to perfect the navigation. There is nothing worse than drilling down and not having a way to get back simply and easily. That’s where “bread crumb” navigation works best.

    Another important consideration was homogeneity of style. Different sections of a multi-client web site can have different color schemes, but all should hang together seamlessly using the same design elements of font, format, spacing, link cues, etc.

    In your particular case, for example, there are at least 3 different motifs for the galleries, the blog, and other linked pages. It seems to me that these have to be “normalized” into a single thematic design, look, and feel. Hard to do when using off-the-shelf application support tools like your blog pages, but the effort should pay off in the end.

    Also, a single point of entry with immediate links to depth appropriate to the user could help the organization. On that page you could also offer links to common features like email and other contact info. That would free you from having to repeat common stuff in each section with the overhead of having to maintain the common pieces. This would also allow you to minimize the number of page reloads, which just add to the confusion of “where am I and how do I get back?”.

    After a while it becomes difficult to maintain all the “promises” made on a site with considerable content. You may have fallen into the trap already. For example, on the first page of photo.richcharpentier.com you say “Looking for images from my time on the road? If so, drop me a note at my blog site and I’ll see what I can do.” However, if I go to the blog site, I haven’t got a clue how to send Rich Charpentier a note. There are no email links to him nor is there any obvious place in which to post a note or comment. After a bit of head scratching, I guess that the only way might be to comment on one of his blogs and hope that that elicits a response.

    Damn, I miss building web sites!!! Almost as much as I like critiquing them. 😉

  2. Post

    Wow Mike! That’s a comment!

    Yeah, I’ll be getting some more consistency between the gallery and main site when I have time. The gallery site is the starting point. But I’ve been a tad busy, so one step at a time.

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