August 2004 Newsletter

Glossy Brochure or 3-Ring Binder?

**** The 4specs Perspective

It seems that web designs are getting more complex and less usable instead of simpler and more useable for architects and engineers. Using printed materials as a metaphor, I see that there are two directions that a web designer can go.

  1. 64 page glossy brochure - using all the bells and whistles.
  2. 3-ring binder with a 4 page color brochure and 250 pages of photocopied materials.

Most architectural binders in 1995 typically consisted of a 4-16 page color brochure (frequently the one used in Sweets) and 50-250 pages of quick printed or photocopied materials.

Today most websites look more like a 64 page color brochure having fancy embellishments found in a resort time-share brochure.

The goal of a website is to sell materials through specifications. You want your website to be friendly to designers, including those on dial-up connections. You also want it to be friendly to search engines - so that more designers will find you.

Thinks To Do:

Things Not to Use or Do:

You might want to use these points to help you evaluate web designers. If they are not willing to do a website without these "bells and whistles", then you should interview another designer. One designer complained that I was not permitting a "modern" website and restricting web design to 1998 standards . I agreed with him, and suggested that the 1998 standards work fine for a 3-ring binder website.


Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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