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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 08:46 AM   #31
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Why do web sites need a "software control panel"? What happened to a "menu"? Form needs follow function, not dictate it.

"That's pretty impressive."

Why? I couldn't do anything with it. Half the page is taken up by an irrelevant picture that animates for a few seconds, then sits there. That's good design?
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 08:51 AM   #32
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I used to like Flash pages, because that was some really cool $#it. Some of the work people did was almost a cinematic experience- The Smithsonian Museum has some perfect examples on their site- http://www.mnh.si.edu/vikings/

Then Flash sort of became overused and underthought on numerous sites. But that is just my view... I still like some of the stuff I see, but sometimes I just need to get the info and go. DVInfo is perfect for that, and very clean.
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 10:52 AM   #33
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Robert,

Regarding 2Advanced... I can't say you are wrong... it is funny that I mentioned that site in the same post that I said Flash should support the content and not distract from it... but I believe they are a special case... and since we are talking about what inspires it is worth a closer look...

They do cutting edge flash design - that is their trademark - and so their site is more akin to a demo reel than to a movie... you can look at a reel and say "well that's pretty, but I don't get the plot..." but that is not what it is about... it is about showing the capability and inspiration.

Even in movies, there are some that are about plot and some that are about feel. The 2Advanced site is all about feel... they create a mood that is palpable... and if you get off on the mood that's great, and if you don't you don't. It's a bit like MTV.

That said, there is no argument that it is a little over the top... that is why in the post I suggested that you look at the portfolio pages... that is the best part.... the work that they do for customers shows where they shift focus to using Flash to support the message - and the message is no longer "we can do Flash well". In my mind, as inspiring the main site is to me as a developer/designer, their client sites are actually far superior in terms of communication.

The thing I like most about their sites is their ability to make the site breathe... it somehow becomes a living being, not a flat piece of paper... they do it by using subtle movement and reactivity in the site components... and I personally feel that in most of their client sites they do it in a way that fully supports the message rather than distract from it... while also creating a nice feel.

Some of my favorites of 2Adcanced are:
www.locksoflove.org - - - - {the newest on their list... I love the top nav}
www.soccer.org - - - - {much of this is HTML - seamless integration
www.skyworksinc.com - - - - { I love the banner}
www.ultimatte.com
www.taigkhris.com - - - - {Speaking of MTV}

In web or video, I think that selecting the proper ratio of style to content is one of the most difficult things... both are important, and there is never a "correct" answer. So much depends on the customer base, the client, the market, etc.... most TV commercials - beer, cars, even medicine - are all about the feel, even when it would seem that the content should be more important.... Web, though, is traditionally more about content. I think that is shifting, and I for one am looking forward to more feel in web delivery, while maintaining a balance with the content ... hehe, even as I move in to video...

All of that was to say that you're right about half the page being taken up by irrelevant design components, but I am just guessing that you are not their target audience, and that content is not what they are selling.

Anyway... just my thoughts on what inspires me and why...

Barry
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 11:05 AM   #34
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John,

Thanks for your kind words as well... I'm glad you like the focus thing... our inspiration came from this site:

http://www.bornmagazine.org/projects...tlantic_tango/

Which, imho, does it better than we did. It is beautiful, but I always wanted to find a way to use that and make it useful as well. That's where our nav came from. My hope though, was to design a site that worked great if no one noticed what the banner did, but that had the bonus there for people who were interested.

I like your site also... the blue fog thingy is amazing... looks like the content is forthcoming (links don't work from here at least)... I'm looking forward to seeing it done.

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Old April 3rd, 2004, 03:08 PM   #35
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Take a look at http://lanier.sam.usace.army.mil/

This is a government web site that myself and another park ranger set up for the lake that we work at. It was a very complex project due to the amount of information to convey. We tried to keep it as clear and concise as possible. It probably still needs some tweaking.

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Old April 3rd, 2004, 03:32 PM   #36
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Mark- It looked nice, and was very clean. I would have liked to see some menus on each page to navigate with, but that is minor.
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 04:56 PM   #37
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Thanks Keith,

This is still a work in progress with many changes to come . I appreciate your suggestion .

Regards,

Mark
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 05:22 PM   #38
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I know how it goes, Mark... My favorite time to do web design is the wee hours of the night. I often find stuff days later, that I should have done. It always helps to have someone outside of the box proof your work.

Kind of like my pic of Florida on the front page. The site looked great on my machine, and then I saw it on another machine- I hadn't gone through the code, and didn't notice that the pic src was to my desktop, not the server. I was the only one seeing it. Doh!
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Old April 4th, 2004, 07:20 AM   #39
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I'm not a big fan of Flash sites, but what I truly dispise are sites
that open in a new window with fixed size or fullscreen (like the
site Alfred mentioned above). I want to control at what format
I'm looking at a site. I'm running at 1400x1050 (my new laptop
is boosting 1900 by 1400 or something) and I usually have
multiple windows open and whatnot. The fullscreen ones are the
worst. I might want to leave a site open for a while why doing
some other work that got in the way of visiting a site.

Whenever I see a fullscreen opening site I will immediately close
it without looking any further. Unless I absolutely need to be
there (which hasn't happened with such a site as of yet).
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Old April 4th, 2004, 10:21 AM   #40
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I'm with you Rob. How dare they not give us control :). It is an arrogant poor solution.
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Old April 4th, 2004, 11:43 AM   #41
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Barry once again I need to thank you for the newest sites you just listed above. I couldn't be any more impressed then I am. My system uses 2 monitors and new pages open in the "empty" one at 1024 x 768 and my wifi runs at 54 Mbps so that probably helps.

I think that you have to see different sites in different categories. Dvinfo is a great site but I wouldn't put it in my list of multimedia sites. There's a gigantic forum site for R1 riders that I belong to and on it you can post photos and all sorts of crap... right in your thread... but I don't even compare this one and that one 'cause they're totally different. Also I think with the advent of broadband/dsl that more and more people/companies will have sites mainly set up to be ambassadors to the world... or at the very least a (hopefully) effective advertisement...

Barry, from what I'm seeing I think FP is a waste if I want anything cool, no? Yes? I can't believe Microsoft is just watching Macromedia trounce them in this department.

Barry your site is much better then the site you said inspired it. Your dissolves are smoother and your site just looks and responds more professionally. I wonder what 2advanced gets for doing a site like the Mtv site? How much do you think a package like that runs? (No, I'm not giving up on doing my own work... I'm just curious)

RKS... I'm just "some guy"... I'm 33 and I'm brand-new to the idea of making a website. Also on my own site I can tell you that it won't have a ton of content... it's mainly going to be a site to host sound/video clips and eventually offer DVDs for sale... So it will be a simple navigation for most people and it won't matter if the feel consumes space because there won't be anything to scroll down to! (lol)

Rob/Barry... please forgive my ignorance, but I don't understand what you mean about the site Alfred mentioned. When I go there only a couple of the links work, but the main site, and the links that work still allow me to scale the window up or down... are you saying that some sites won't let you do that? Do they not use the "restore down" and "full screen" button in the upper right... or is it something that's built-in that won't let you grab a corner and scale it? I want to be sure I don't make that mistake.
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Old April 4th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #42
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Matt- Go to my site, and click on the Digital Artistry link. It will open up pages like Rob and Barry mentioned. The default page will have all of the controls. You have to code a page to open without controls to resize, go back, etc.
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Old April 4th, 2004, 01:18 PM   #43
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Thanks Keith! Now I get it. Obviously I must be having problems opening the other pages they were talking about 'cause I didn't see any like that.

Hey to everybody that's replied so far I REALLY want to thank you guys! There was a thread a while back that said something about everybody showing their websites and I went through most of that, but I was hoping to mainly focus on pages like we've been seeing here.

This has been a big help to me... I'm also glad that we've had debate about what a site should and shouldn't be. Even though we may have differing opinions it's extremely helpful to know what everybody thinks about the internet experience.

I'm hoping my site will be a conglomeration of the ideas that are being thrown about in this thread.
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Old April 5th, 2004, 10:09 PM   #44
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Rob

I hate the FULL SCREEN sites. I've even had some open with no option to close unless you open the task manager. Drives me insane and I am running 1024 by 768.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 08:26 AM   #45
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take a look at my site: www.scrambledvisual.com

i kept the design very simple, also have a nice little password protected page. what do you think? should i make it more flashy or keep it simple?
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