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Venue and Ultimate Productions wants to make your website count!

First impressions count!

In designing a website, the most important impression you need to make is the first one. To be more specific, you must make this good impression in the top 400 or so pixels (15-30 seconds) of your page. Our goal is to make the person that came across your site want to stay and see more.

Secrets of other industries

Real Estate agents have known a little secret for a long time. The most important part of any home being shown is the front door. No matter how beautiful, or how great the price, people form an opinion at the front door. Since you typically cannot just barge into the house that is up for sale, you have to spend a little time there waiting for the owner to come to the door. There is not much else to look at...

What has been proven, is that homes with a warm, clean, welcoming front door sell the fastest. Not only that, but they tend to sell for more than the asking price.

So why should I know all of this?

There is a point to all of this: The top part of your home page is your Front Door. It is the first thing people see when they come to your site, and they have to sit and look at it while your page's contents download to their browser. This is the exact situation that you have with a home for sale.

When our designer first creates a web site we ask you the following questions about selecting the background image for your home page:

Okay, okay you get the idea. These are not the real questions we ask you, but they do get you thinking about your first impression in the internet world. Okay, now stop and think about the following REAL questions:

What other things should I be thinking about?

There is a time and place for everything. Keep in mind that a disco ball hanging over a dance floor with all its blinking lights is great at a disco. But put a disco ball in a church during a service and it would be way out of place. Used in context, background images can be a potent device. However, most of the time they are not exactly achieving the desired effect.

At times there are some effective uses for these types of images. You might have some type of splash screen with large, bold writing expressing a thought, with the image supporting the mood of your message.

Another device you might try is to use your background image as the border for your page. This requires a strong background image.

The general idea is to do something a little different to spice up your page, but not cause your visitor a migraine. You need to experiment a little and be imaginative.

You home page should let your visitors know they are in the right place.

As mentioned earlier, you are working with a critical area about 400 pixels tall. This is not much space, so you better be sure to use it to your best advantage. Try thinking of this small space as the welcome mat outside your front door.

You have only a few seconds to pique this person's interest; we do our best to make the most of it. This is not the place for fluff or filler. Instead, give the newcomer a reason to stay. The best way to accomplish this is with a clear, friendly, and attractive confirmation of their expectations.

Making your visitor want to look around

Once your viewer has made the decision to stay, you need to draw their attention to what you feel they should see first.

Venue and Ultimate Productions will help make it easy to get around your site

Our designers want to make certain that every page on your site has a clear and prominent link back to your main page. The word HOME is an easy enough way to do it. This way if somebody gets lost wandering around, they can quickly find their way to where they started without trying to retrace their steps.

In designing a web site, our web designers know some of the things to contend with:

Our team will first looks at what is the minimum you can use and still have a great looking site. Our designers put a lot of thought about what you are going to put on your pages and then we will assume everyone has their screen set to 640x480 and 256 colors when we design your site.

Our designers will use tables (now supported by almost all browsers) to create some white-space in your pages.

Our professionals will use very basic color schemes and avoid noisy background images.

Venue and Ultimate Productions always uses ALT tags (image descriptions) with your images so people with text browsers, or voice-recognition programs can use and understand your pages. Not doing this prevents a lot of people from enjoying your site.

Remember most people are using either 28.8K or 56K modems. As a rule of thumb, our designers will try not create pages that take more than 30 to 60 seconds to load at 28.8K.

Venue and Ultimate Productions will try use graphics sparingly, and use color reduction when possible.

Our designers will use Interlaced GIF images (89a standard) when possible. These provide a nice fade-in effect that allows people a sneak preview of your image as it comes into view.

If you do decide to have a lot of images on one page, Venue and Ultimate Productions suggest you use thumbnails (small versions) and link the larger images to them. If the reader wants, they can then view each picture in its full glory!

Our designers will always indicate the HEIGHT and WIDTH of your images. Many browsers cannot display any part of the page until it knows how big every object on the page is.

Our professionals will not include the http:// directive when linking to pages and images located on your server.  Using it would prevent most browsers from caching (storing data for reuse), causing the information to be reloaded as your readers navigate around your site.

Our designers will reuse navigation icons and provide a consistent look and feel to your site. There is nothing wrong with using the same buttons as everyone else. In fact, this can make people more comfortable with your site.

Once you pick a color theme, Venue and Ultimate Productions will stick to it. Changing color schemes on every page is confusing. This applies to background colors as well as colors for text, links, etc.

Our designers will ask you to try not fill your site with stuff that does not matter. To help give consistent page layout, Venue and Ultimate Productions will work with you to create a set of page templates for your site.

Do you feel you need animation on your site?

If you do use animation, our designers suggests you do so sparingly. An animation is a nice touch and a great way to draw somebody's attention to something you want to feature. There is, however, nothing as annoying and distracting as a collection of flashing images all over the screen. We suggest using an animation that displays for a certain period of time then fades to just an icon or graphic the visitor can click on to view the animation further.

The above is just start of what Venue and Ultimate Productions will do in creating a web site for you. You should be considering all of this as we begin working with you on your web site.

Jill Sybalsky
Vice President
Ultimate Productions


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