DonkeyMagic

Category

All my posts about Design

The myth of the fold

For as long as I can remember people have been arguing about scrolling on websites.

Is it a bad thing? Do users scroll? Do we have to cram everything into the top of the page?

And then there is the ‘myth of the fold’…

Back in the late 90’s scrolling was often considered a bad thing. If your site wouldn’t fit on one screen you were doing something wrong. AOL didn’t allow scrolling at all. Anything that wasn’t immediately visible when a web page loaded might never be seen. The problem with this was that screens were a lot smaller back then fitting your design into 640x480 pixels was a challenge to say the least (remembering to include space for scroll bars). Tiny pixel fonts and complicated navigation ruled. Spreading content over lots of pages was common place too. Go to page 2.

Just kidding. And as the web grew up screens got bigger. We had 800px pixels and then 1024px and everything was good in the world. But the arguments about scrolling never really went away.

So what is the ‘myth of the fold’.

There is a magic line about 300px400px500px from the top of your page that all your important content must appear above. Or puppies die.

Pretty obvious really. But then you can’t fold a screen in half. And even when people read newspapers - from where the myth originates - people still have the intelligence to turn the page over and read the insides too.

So the big question is do users scroll?

Yes. No. It depends. If they can be bothered. But mostly yes.

CX Partners have been asking the same question for 6 years.

So if users know there is some interesting stuff further down the page most people are OK with scrolling to find it. And if we make the scrolling process itself engaging and fun then we get sites like these.

Categories: Design, HTML

Manor Farm Cottage website

Manor Farm Cottage

I’ve just finished work on a little site for my Mother’s first holiday cottage in Goodmanham. The site features some wonderful photos from Leeds based freelance photographer Rick Harrison, some great copy writing from former colleague Ste Sawyer and a sweet little booking system module from PHP developer Graham Smith. It's built on the ExpressionEngine content management system in HTML5. I nearly always use jQuery for my javascript these days so there's a fair bit of that in use. I've also taken a conscious decision not to support IE6 for now. I think I'll fix that in a while though. I'm also going to be doing a stripped back version for mobiles.

So if you are looking for a great place to stay in the heart of the East Yorkshire Wolds then Manor Farm Cottages are ready to take your bookings now.

Categories: CSS, Design, ExpressionEngine, HTML, JavaScript

Enhancing your designs with CSS3

When I designed the current version of this site I always had it in my mind that one day in the dim and distant future I would enhance the design with some CSS3. I wasn’t thinking about anything too radical - rounded corners, and some shadows on my fonts and boxes would do. Well after reading an excellent article on Smashing Magazine by Inayaili de Leon appropriately enough titled Take Your Design To The Next Level With CSS3 I decided to do just that. Bear in mind that many browsers, especially ones beginning with IE, still do not support these enhancements.

CSS3 enhancement in PC Safari example - nav
CSS3 enhancement in PC Safari example - tab
CSS3 enhancement in PC Safari example - panel

Read more…

Categories: CSS, Design

A long overdue redesign for donkeymagic

It's been a long time coming but here it is at last. The old design had been around for a couple of years and was starting to look a bit tired and dated.

Screenshot of old donkeymagic homepage
DonkeyMagic 2007

I'd been trying to come up with something that I'd be happy to publish for a while but eventually I've gone with a new version of an old idea. I've also totally redeveloped the backend of the site with ExpressionEngine replacing my own custom built PHP Content Management System that I developed way back in 2002!

Read more…

Categories: Design, ExpressionEngine