This site features clean and minimal navigation to bring customers directly to a series of brochure pages representing the client’s products. Such pages would likely follow a very similar layout with an image and text to the left of two columns of text, though this could switched around to add some variety. I’d definitely recommend a basic content management system to handle the content of the products and services page. A good support page would likely integrate some kind of bug tracking system like Redmine or a help-desk application such as zendesk. About and privacy links are in the footer to enforce the navigation motif.
The logic behind the navigation of the site follows KISS. A good design provides users with easy access to the information they are seeking. As such, in a live page, I’d likely add some nearly opaque dynamic menus to link directly to specific products and services.
This template is otherwise an evolution of my Week 5 layout featuring a lighter slate colored diagonal gradient to achieve a more professional appearance. I integrated a nice launch photo from NASA as a placeholder for the product carousel as it seemed to fit with the aerospace products and services theme as represented in the logo. I had to work out a rounded mask for the photo as the rectangular image just appeared too blocky and out of place among the flowing curves of the page. I also added some simulated controls and user interface as per our instructor’s recommendations. This was a simple matter of adding a few outline boxes with partial transparency to the left and right of the image and adding a few well positioned characters for the left/right buttons and a visual index at the bottom of the carousel.
Text spacing was reduced in the navigation. While I liked the spanning appearance in earlier iterations, the degree of empty space between individual characters made it seem like filler. The altered spacing is a bit tighter and retains the appearance without taking it to an extreme. On the subject of navigation, it seemed rather odd to have the about link in the site’s primary navigation. It felt odd, out-of-place, and somewhat amateurish. This page is supposed to be for an established business and, if you look around, you’ll see that a lot of sites including Apple, Google, and Microsoft use a similar approach for corporate information pages. It’s expected that you know why you are going to a given business web site, especially if for business purposes. Moving these links also helped to clarify access to information relating to the company’s range of products and services.
I also increased the size of the column and carousel areas and adjusted the layouts of some other page elements accordingly. This allowed me to get rid of some odd looking empty space above and below the content area (columns and carousel) that were found in the first few versions of this document. The addition of a corporate tagline has a similar effect in the upper-left of the page.
While there is always room for improvement, I feel the iterative design process used to produce this template has resulted in a design I’d be proud to deliver to any client albeit with whatever modifications were necessary to suit the given client’s business.