Mike and I finished the website for author Jink Willis early this summer. I worked with Jink on a bunch of things she wanted, including getting her blog up and running. One of the things I do is talk carefully with clients about their goals and vision for their web presence. Those decisions typically influence the design.
This project was funny because Jink already had some graphics from another designer, and she wanted to use those, but build off the theme. So it turns out the other design had some stock images, but we turned the whole site into a play on sending messages. The home page is a very different from the rest of the site–something we are doing a lot of on websites, to emulate that kind of “splash” home screen. The rules for doing that are simple:
- Make sure the home page ties into the rest of the pages with complementary design elements
- Don’t change the navigation too much–if you started with a navigation bar up top, then keep it there–don’t move it to the bottom. There are exceptions to this rule where if the navigation is part of the home page design, as mine is or Jink’s is, then the transition isn’t so harsh. The idea here is to make sure users don’t have to hunt for the menu.