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Continuing the layout update…

The idea I’m after is going to be the ancient Egyptian Style of the Heirophantic aesthetic. I want a design that appeals equally well to males and females, without being gender neutral. I’ve decided to use the sky as our master graphic, because it has a universal, non-gender, non-cultural specific appeal. I will also be using a lot of grayscales, and blues… This will tend towards the masculine, but hopefully I can fix it later, for now, I need the strong contrast in order to make my images float and pop off the page.

The Trend Watch

A look at Image Based Navigation

Websites these days fall into two navigation styles: 1st Style – The LongForm sites. 2nd Style – The Image based Nav sites…

Personally, I prefer image based navigation, like ebay –youtube-and amazon. I like to be able to scan a bunch of images, read a short blurb about the ones that interest me, and then click. After I click, I don’t like long scrolling pages. In the industry we call these folds, (like a newspaper has a fold in it, that’s where the term came from). If a page has no vertical scrolling, it’s called a “no fold” or a “half-fold”.

Personally, I don’t mind long pages for categories (like ebay), but once I click I want what I want to be right there in the middle of the screen immediately. I don’t like reading long pages on a computer screen. Like many websurfers, I’d rather click to the next thing then scroll down a long page reading a lot of text on a computer screen. A friend of mine recently said, “It’s called websurfing, not web crawling”… The tremendously popular site Youtube follows this approach to a tee, Full folds for categories, ¾ folds for content.

The Cornerstone

The cornerstone of a Image Based Navigation is of course the images, so I extracted the images from all the leaders to look for commonalities, and see if a standard would emerge. Monalle needs to stand from the pack, but not so much as to feel “unfamiliar”.

The key to all these designs is the aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is the number you get when you divide the height by the width. As you look at the images to left, you’ll notice some of them are wide and narrow, while others are bit boxy. The wider and narrower the image, the lower the aspect ratio. Sites in our sample of leaders ranged from .57 up to .75. The Golden Ratio used by the Greeks and Romans calls for an aspect ratio of about .61, however, studies show the modern eye shows favoritism for around .68…

Youtube is the far and away leader in the market, and is using a .75 aspect ratio, while Break, is in 2nd place and uses a .67 (.01 off the tested optimum). Ebay, also a leader in the image based site design also uses a .75 ar.

This is a really big decision to make, because Monalle has thousands of pages, and every page has a key image. Once I start making these images, it will be tough to make any changes down the road.

I’ve decided on 155X115 with and aspect ratio of .74 for Monalle’s key images. Looking at the pack you immediately notice that we are very slightly the largest image, and instead of fitting right in, we stand out a little bit. So, Why?

Well, I think our content is showcase content, I mean did you see the video of Morgan Freeman the other day? Don’t you think Morgan Freeman deserves 5 extra pixels? I do… Also, I have a bunch of the 155×115’s already made, so I can begin testing quicker. ;-)

Now, to put it all together…

See you tomorrow with more…

Daniel