Monday, April 03, 2006

Warping the Web

So - on the critique of Karen and Neil (primarily) I'm attempting to change the web design on the Wareham Forge site. At this point about 10 plus hours, mainly to re-work the first index page. This may tell you something about how complex a task this is.

The overall problem is two fold:
How to catch the attention of potential customers
The multi facetted nature of what the Wareham Forge actually does.

Right off the top, the web site is HUGE! It supports sales of standard production items, recruiting for courses, information leading to custom orders, representation of past museum work, an extensive gallery of past work - and the 'unofficial' documentation for the 'Norse Encampment' series of Living History Programs (which makes up roughly a third of the content. Right now the total site contains some ** 32 MEG ** of information. There are about 800 individual pieces, hundreds of images and dozens of individual sheets of information.

So my PROBLEM is:
How to list all the available information and guide the right people to the right area.

Anyway - I couldn't sleep last night, so was up at 2:30 working on this. I made up two prototypes of the first 'index' page. This changed the backgrounds and simplified and re-organized the type. The first version was with a light grey background with black type, standard link colours. That one I'm not happy with. At this point I will have posted the second version - which uses a dark grey background with white type.

I took some of the advice given on Sunday. I have reduced some of the font sizes and reduced the number used. I cleaned up the look of the type, and worked to group 'like topics' inside coloured boxes.

The question is - will this layout attract ALL the various customer types. My gut reaction is - no. The different types of customer are most likely to respond to differing layouts. This primarily suggests in fact designing entirely differing internal groupings to the site: High end Custom / Museum Work / Training / Everything else.

Anyway - I'm just burning time till I can log on and up load this entry and the new code and image fragments.

If you have time - go over to and then post me back a comment at


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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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