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  1. #51
    SitePoint Enthusiast chairman's Avatar
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    search engines seem to like less graphically heavy sites... People come to the site looking for content, not a pretty design. I know Sitepoint seems to be more of a designer forum but being successful in web publishing and affiliate programs does not require a pretty site NOR does that aid you in your quest!

    By saying this I am in no way saying a site like Nintendos is a good idea. No, I dont suggest anyone does that, but put one graphic at the top and maybe a different color navigation bar. Thats it. Then your webpages will only be like 5k and your server will thank you for it!
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  2. #52
    Non-Member c1vineoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chairman
    search engines seem to like less graphically heavy sites... People come to the site looking for content, not a pretty design. I know Sitepoint seems to be more of a designer forum but being successful in web publishing and affiliate programs does not require a pretty site NOR does that aid you in your quest!

    By saying this I am in no way saying a site like Nintendos is a good idea. No, I dont suggest anyone does that, but put one graphic at the top and maybe a different color navigation bar. Thats it. Then your webpages will only be like 5k and your server will thank you for it!
    I have to disagree with you on that. An ugly site will turn away lots of people. Like I said, both types of site have their time and place. I think, also, it will be harder to become successful if one output ugly sites. Though, ugly doesn't mean "no graphics". You could have an extremely ugly site with tons of graphics, and all the same, a beautiful website with no graphics (and vice versa). About graphics making your webpage a large file to download: you can optimize your images to load quickly.

  3. #53
    SitePoint Member o3studios's Avatar
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    I'm a htminimalism convert myself, having used to be "all about the graphics". There is elegance and simplicity in good use of negative space and well-formatted text. I think you should use images to compliment the function and purpose of the site, not the other way around.

    This wasn't always the case however... ugh
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  4. #54
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    Depends on who you are targeting. Consider your demographic.

  5. #55
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    Graphical vs Minimalistic Site Design

    In my view, the best way to plan and build a successful website is to weigh up a number of factors and try to get an appropriate level on each:-

    • The user experience - a user is not going to reward you with time spent on the site if you don't consider their experience. Are essential elements easy to find? Is the user having to complete unnecessary steps to navigate the site functionality? The flow of a page should be in a logical place (for UK users, this is generally left-to-right, top-to-bottom).
    • Accessibility - The website must give enough consideration to all audiences so that the maximum possible user-base is established (this need not impact massively on functionality if planned properly).
    • Economical use of graphics - Quick page-load time is essential to improving the user's online experience. At present, only 1-in-6 UK internet users have a broadband connection, so we must still consider lower bandwidths. This again comes back to user-experience: Would you stay on a site for 5-minutes while you wait for a 900Kb Flash-movie to load (without suitable loading screens)?
    • Return on investment - A site should always consider what the ultimate goal is for the client. In return for providing the user with an interesting experience (games, competitions etc), they should want something in return. This may be the purchase of a product or the collection of customer information for later CRM activity. The designer/programmers goal is to promote a satisfactory return for the client.
    • A successful marketing plan - Different clients have different ways to drive traffic at their site. Some may go to the extent of distribution of "permission based emails" (PBEs) to a purchased list, or some simply by relying on links from external sites or good-ranking positions on Google. In either case, it is important to consider a search-engines view of the site as this will provide a good-level of traffic if planned properly.


    With the correct efficient use of graphical elements, it is possible to create a good-looking graphical site that has close to the load-time of a minimalistic site, but there are more things to consider during a build that ultimately will lead to the success/failure of your website.

  6. #56
    SitePoint Member ambernz's Avatar
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    a bit of both is good. I dont like sites that are too heavy, busy, colourful, image intensive etc. Simple and elegant is good. But boring and ugly scare me away very very quickly. I think the trick is to find the right balance.

  7. #57
    SitePoint Member o3studios's Avatar
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    The minimalist site I'm most proud of is http://www.mediakinetix.com , I really think it came up well.

  8. #58
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    Load times for graphics intensive pages are becoming irrelevant in my opinion - US, Australian, UK audiences are increasingly on broadband which means we can stuff a few more nice images in and not worry about load times as much as we used to.

    Browsers aren't as upsetting as a few years ago (Netscape 4.02 errrggh)

    However we 'usually' have to design with SEO as a major factor. Meaning less images and more text, using <h1> and text menus on pages all helping us get a better search result.

    For this reason I usually keep it barebones

  9. #59
    Also available in Large Si's Avatar
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    I really does depend on the website. I personally like a mixture on my own sites. At the moment I'm all for graphic intensive but I might go the other way and keep nice and minimal. But when it comes to professional websites, it normally pays off to keep the design simple while adding a fair few graphics to "glam" the webpage up.
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  10. #60
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    Hello,

    is hard to convince customers that sites must be done thinking on users. They used to navigate trough graphic intensive sites and think that their own sites have to follow the same trend. They realize that their sites are terribly slow when have to use a dialup connection and then the problems come, for us.

    Any way in the last year we are receiving requests to make more usable sites and watching major sites in Spain looks like IT managers already noticed that user is looking for other ways. Also the IE trend, "this site only works with Internet Explorer" seems that is ending.

  11. #61
    Chief Procrastinator arano's Avatar
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    I think that its the opposite that is happening I think with standards being brought to the forefront of designers minds that more and more sites are starting to become CSS based textual sites.

    There was a period in web dev that all sites where graphics sliced up in an image editing program and downloaded through or measly little modems, but things have changed and web standards uptake has taken this to a minimum.

    What is true however is that video and multimedia are still a big area of the web and that bandwidth is being taken up in these areas. Flash is still a key area of graphical websites where designers indulge their creative talents, but in the whole I think until CSS is fully standardised and its uptake is common then designers will again add their artistic input.

    Its an ever revolving circle

  12. #62
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Good points arano. I feel that with the advent of lightweight CSS/XHTML coding, you'll see bandwidth spent more on stuff that matters. I'd rather spend my time waiting for a cool video on a new product to load rather than some splash screen.

  13. #63
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    Just read through the whole thread and it seems like people doesn distinguish betwen the site itself and the homepage. The homepage should load quick, which means that code and graphics should be small in size...it doesnt mean that there should be little graphic ( or colored ) content on the homepage.. It may be done clever with small gfx files...and good work on compression etc...

    In my opinion the homepage shouldnt have much content, only the content needed to tell the visitor that he have arrived at the right place and motivate him to go deeper into the site...

    ..once the visitor is deeper into the site the content may be heavier...

    If a minimalistic vs graphical site is best depends on the customer, the audience and how well your design philosophy/style is done...and how the message comes through on the homepage...

    Lots of stylish gfx content that takes the focus away from a text that might motivate in going deeper doesnt do any good, but it might win a graphic design award...

    ..but a stylish small gfx that draws the attention towards the headlines and small texts that motivates the visitor to click and go deeper thats good

    The way message are percieved are also infuenced by the "feel" that the layout/graphical design gives and the most important is that the gfx/message is "right" for the audience.

    You might use the same amount of graphics and the same layout architecture for a lawyers site as for a punk-band site, but the way you do/design gfx will certainly influence on how many clicks the "about us" button...

    punk gfx for lawyers site probably wont work ( depends on clients ) and lawyers style for the punkband certainly wont work...

    ..so its not about which style is the better its about what style will benefit your client...

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    Last edited by Jojn M; Dec 7, 2004 at 08:10. Reason: added a line

  14. #64
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jojn M
    Just read through the whole thread and it seems like people doesn distinguish betwen the site itself and the homepage. The homepage should load quick, which means that code and graphics should be small in size...it doesnt mean that there should be little graphic ( or colored ) content on the homepage.. It may be done clever with small gfx files...and good work on compression etc...
    The problem with the "homepage" concept is that it is based on the assumption that a website is like a house or a store where everybody enters through the same door (e.g. page). In reality a website is more like an open air bazaar as people can and do enter a site via any page. For instance, how many here actually enter this site using http://sitepoint.com? The odds are few. If a site relies upon search engines for traffic (and most of us do) then most of our traffic will be coming in via every page but the doorway page. If first impressions matter, then we must pay attention to the load time and presentation of all of our pages as any and all will provide the first impression to someone.
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  15. #65
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    maybe your right, but when people enter 2 or 3 levels down in content, after finding it on a searchengine, its usually specialised content there and they will be more motivated to wait... ( I believe )

  16. #66
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    I disagree. I think people looking for content through a search engine won't wait. I normally open up four or so results and wait for whatever one loads first. I just don't think people would bother waiting for too long, before going to the next result.

  17. #67
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    I just don't think people would bother waiting for too long, before going to the next result.
    Agreed. Unless it is really specialized and unique information, if a page is taking too long to load, I back out and try a different site.
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  18. #68
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cas123's Avatar
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    I would have thought whether graphicly intensive or not the main content of your page would load in quick while the graphics loaded in around it, especialy as with search engines it would have been the content that they had picked up on in the first place

  19. #69
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cas123
    I would have thought whether graphicly intensive or not the main content of your page would load in quick while the graphics loaded in around it, especialy as with search engines it would have been the content that they had picked up on in the first place

    Depending upon how modern CSS is implemented, this is not always the case anymore. With some sites, text content keeps moving about as images load and stylesheets format and arrange a page.
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  20. #70
    SitePoint Enthusiast scattermachine's Avatar
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    I think the site owner's requirements and audience should dictate the graphic/text ratio. Some clients may insist on doing things thier way, but they are paying for a service and are able to call the tune.

    I prefer minimalistic myself, with a clean, crisp layout that reflects a bit of elegance on it's designer and owner. With most people's surfing habits, there is a limited opportunity to grab their attention and make an impression. It would be unfortunate if someone came to my site looking for something they need or feel strongly about only to be turned away by extraneous or bad graphics.

    Add visual interest with CSS. Even text can be made to sing, in the right hands. That's what the second 'S' in CSS stands for. They call it STYLE. Maybe you've heard of it.
    Last edited by scattermachine; Dec 7, 2004 at 22:16.

  21. #71
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    I like to start designing with a minimalistic approach and I only add graphics to enhace site's visual appeal and themeability.

  22. #72
    SitePoint Enthusiast Cas123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    Depending upon how modern CSS is implemented, this is not always the case anymore. With some sites, text content keeps moving about as images load and stylesheets format and arrange a page.
    these being badly designed sites??

  23. #73
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cas123
    these being badly designed sites??
    Not necessarily. Sometimes, a good visual design for a normal graphical browser that is also a usable site from an accessibility or PDA standpoint requires a great deal of object moving as they are loaded by the browser. For instance on my site, my banner ads run down the left side of my page and a sidebar menu runs down the right hand side of the page for graphical browsers. From an accessibility standpoint, I want these to be at the bottom of my source code so that users of a dynamic Braille display or PDA don't have to weed through the ads and menu to get to the content. As such, these have to be moved into the correct positions using CSS once they have loaded, which is near the end of the page loading process.
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  24. #74
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    depends on the application

  25. #75
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattermachine
    Add visual interest with CSS. Even text can be made to sing, in the right hands. That's what the second 'S' in CSS stands for. They call it STYLE. Maybe you've heard of it.
    Yeah, there's a lot of simple things that people leave behind, even on those template look-alike graphic-intensive types of sites. I see a nice layout ometimes with the content looking like it was just pasted on and forgotten about.

    Things like 'line-height' can always be better adjusted than the default. paragraph spacing. 'letter-spacing' is also a nice effect for headings.


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