Web Design

The central element of SilverWing's visual communications services

In keeping with modern business communication trends, web design is the centerpiece of SilverWing's graphic design services. Competing in today's small business climate, especially in a rural marketplace like Colorado's Western Slope, is fraught with many hazards. Business owners must take full advantage of each and every avenue available to them to get out the word about their company and its products and/or services. And there's no better way to do that than with a well-designed web site.

Anyone who has spent time "surfing" the web can easily recognize a poorly designed web site. But, what elements are characteristic of a well-designed and executed site? This can be answered by the following exercise:

Question: What makes a great corporate web site?

Answer: One that presents not only the products and services of a company in a well-thought out and organized manner, but one that also projects the company's culture, values and emphasis on quality in a visually appealing and easy to use way.

Question: How are these goals accomplished?

Answer: By putting the job of creating your company's web site in the hands of someone with the know-how and experience to ensure that the site:

  • Is well-layed out graphically. The user's eye should be guided to the important aspects of the web pages and they should be able to easily and freely navigate the pages without having to "hunt" for the link they desire. The web site should be designed so that the available links afford a consistent and logical path from one page to the next.
  • Is well-layed out logically. The web site should be designed so that the available links between pages afford the user a consistent, logical, and easy-to-use path through the site from one page to the next.
  • Features custom graphics that are both visually appealing and meaningful in the context of the company and its web site. Clip-art, crude cut-and-paste or scanned graphics degrade a site's appearance and value in the eye of the user.
  • Effectively get's the company's message across. Many web sites are cluttered with too much material or distracting dynamic graphical effects, both of which derail the site's ability to deliver a company's message clearly and cleanly. At SilverWing, we understand that often times for a commercial web site, simpler is better.

Too often we are bombarded with poorly executed web sites that completely miss the boat in terms of one or more these goals. We have all seen sites that are poorly organized, difficult to navigate, have poor quality or commonplace graphics, unsightly or garish color combinations, and in general provide an unpleasant experience for the visitor. In our opinion, it may be better for a company, especially a small one, to have no web site at all than one that fails to deliver on the above criteria. No business owner would ever choose to represent his/her company in less than its best light!

Still not convinced that you need a web site? Read this article.

 

Practical example: harryharpoon.com

The first thing we did for Harry was design a new and distinctive logo that could be used both on his web site and on his business card as well as other printed communications.

Harry wanted a simple web site that would be easily accessible by his legion of friends and fans, many of whom use computers that are limited in display and multimedia capabilities. We carefully crafted a site that is visually appealing and simple, even fun to navigate. All of the content is presented in a format that is easy to view even with older computer monitors. Please take a look at Harry Harpoon's web site:

 

 

Practical example: billwilsonpottery.com

Question: How do you craft a web site that would satisfy the discriminating tastes of an artist client?

Answer:

By enlisting their discriminating eye and artistic flair to best advantage for the site.

It was a win-win proposition! After all, at SilverWing we specialize in creating web sites that speak to a small company's culture and tone. By working "elbow-to-elbow" with Bill, we were able to come up with a color scheme, graphical layout, and visual presentation that both reflect the artist's personal tastes and deliver his message. The result is pleasing to the eye, but even more importantly each page of the site guides the user's eyes directly to the "payload"—the artist's work. Please take a close look at Bill Wilson's web site to see what we mean:

 

 

Practical example: fractaliamusic.com

Question: How do you craft a web site that appeals to the members and audience of a hot young Rock'nRoll band?

Answer:

By catching and running with their enthusiasm and unleashing their creativity in creating a visually appealing and fun web site.

The namesake of the band issued a special challenge—the need to incorporate the graphically rich and evocative nature of the mathematical field of fractal geometry. Fortunately SilverWing's roots in applied mathematics and extensive experience in computer graphics came in handy once again. After designing a unique front page that incorporates a beautiful, specially created fractal image as part of the page's navigation scheme (as seen below), we turned the band members' and entourage's creativity loose, challenging them to create unique fractal images to incorporate into each page of the site. These band member-created fractals appear as visual identifiers in both the navigation menu (on each page after the opening home page) and the top of each page, adding to the visual nature of the site and helping to guide navigation. The band members each designed their own personal page where they wrote their own text and carefully chose each picture to help tell their individual stories. We also incorporated a custom, easy to use forum to allow Fractalia fans stay in contact with the band and each other (see the "Fractal Freaks" page on the site).

We think the site goes well beyond the norm in musician and band sites in telling the Fractalia story and making them accessible to their fan base. This is, after all, SilverWing's goal for each and every site that we create. Please have a look for yourself by visiting Fractalia's web site and see of you don't agree.

 

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