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Author: TMFBogey Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 89148  
Subject: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/7/2006 6:59 PM
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Fools,

Forgive the board hijacking, but this seemed the most appropriate place to put this post and solicit feedback. The Fool is always evolving and we are always at various stages of development with different parts of our site. We often talk about our favorite websites and, in a meeting today, we talked about some of the most visually appealing websites.

I thought it would be an interesting idea to toss the question out to the Fool Community and ask everyone here what they think is the most visually appealing website out there.

If you'd like to participate in this game, please click "reply" to this thread and submit your pick for the most visually appealing website design. Also, please explain in as great a detail as you like why you like the visual design of the site so much.

Participants who take the time to submit a site and offer a thoughtful review of the visual design might be entered into a random drawing that results in something nice for the randomly chosen person. Might not, but might. I tend to make good on my promises, but this is not a contest or anything like that.

One Rule - TOP IT

Criticism of someone else's idea is not welcome here. If you feel compelled to flame someone for their suggestion, resist the urge and instead do your own review of a site you think is great.

Oh, by the way, by "visually appealing" I don't mean the people/things portrayed ON the site. So, Raggmopp, resist the urge to point me towards Popular Mechanics. ;)

Bogey
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Author: ZzF00L Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70931 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/7/2006 9:26 PM
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Bogey,

First and foremost is content, design is secondary. I gave a look over to sites I frequent and honestly I'm none too crazy about the design of most of them.

I have a preference for simplicity. Here as in other places, Google is king. It attracted a lot of traffic early on simply because it lacked the annoying clutter that other sites use to (yahoo) crowd up pages. Even the post-search paid advertising on Google is not 'in your face'. Ultimately, if the search engine was inferior, this would not be enough to keep customers on the site.

I've read some Paco Underhill, the guru of store layout and customer attraction. If he had anything to say about web design, I would pay attention. A Google search of the two (Paco Underhill and web design) did provide this article with a few interesting comments (and a few links to design books):

http://www.cehwiedel.com/blogs/traces/?p=610

A particularly good point is that customers rarely get to a website via the 'homepage'. I don't ever enter the site via http://www.fool.com/ which I find overly cluttered (do you really need three separate links to each newsletter on the homepage). I generally go through MyFool or enter via the articles which are linked in places like yahoo finance.

Yahoo is the site I most frequent, but here again it is the my.yahoo that forms my default page. I was able to design the content on this page myself (to a degree). If I could do the same with my.fool it could well become my default page.

Finally again Paco on the subject from an somewhat dated interview (1999):

"What lessons from your store research can you translate to commerce on the Internet?

I've been asked that question innumerable times, mostly from e-commerce companies. The Net is desperately looking for answers. In one sense, we can't translate much from the physical retail world to the Web. But in another sense, there's a framework in stores that could be powerful in e-commerce. Stores have a certain predictability: I enter using a doorway, after which I follow a prescribed pathway. Merchandise is presented in a certain way that is more or less consistent from store to store. I get assistance in a certain manner. Finally, goods are exchanged for units of value using an established procedure. Everyone understands those rules; it's a basic system that we've all grown up with, and it works at Calvin Klein as well as at the local Piggly Wiggly.

The Net, on the other hand, has no prescribed doorways. People can drop in as well as drop out. There is no established system for telling me, "This is the product." And most important, where the rubber meets the road in e-commerce is that there's no universally understood way of getting to the transaction. I was talking to the research director for one of the most progressive retailers in the world. He was tearing out his hair with a Web designer trying to figure out what their online shopping cart was going to look like.

Then there are some very basic issues: There are visual acuity problems and basic communication issues. Lots of stuff is designed on a 21-inch screen but is seen on a 15-inch screen. Above all, there is a basic kindness shown toward people in most stores that hasn't as yet been translated to the Web.


ZzF

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70933 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 9:25 AM
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http://www.msn.com/ is organized pretty decently and intuitively, IMO.

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70934 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 9:47 AM
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Though it's limited to entertainment, http://www.vibe.com/ is pretty "visually appealing".

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70936 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 10:52 AM
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Oh and for Dog's sake, please don't put up any of those annoying flash intros eithers.

Thanks.


RJ



Bow Wow. ;-)

Actually, when I went to visit my brother in the hospital in Atlanta a few months ago and asked for restaurants, a poster on the Building & Maintaining a Home board recommended this restaurant to me and their site still sticks in my mind. (Shockwave Flash is required - dunno that would be appropriate for TMF, as you commented.)

http://www.sundialrestaurant.com/

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Author: Cogitarius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Home Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70937 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 11:21 AM
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http://www.bookofcool.com/index_flash_content.htm

- Highly interactive
- great visual effects
- entices one to check out what's on offer
- no irritating/distracting banner ads
- great color schemes

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70939 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 1:09 PM
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The WebMD site is rather good.

http://www.webmd.com/

It doesn't have as cluttery a feel as several other sites, the topics are organized across the top, specific items are referenced elsewhere. It does have one of those things where the picture changes, but there are tabs underneath to help you get to whichever headline you were looking at before it changed.

It also limits the amount of bright colors. A single bright color can capture attention, but there are several sites that use a lot, which makes it very distracting.

It's also a fairly short front page. You do have to scroll, but you don't have to go on and on forever to get to the bottom.

It's not a perfect site, but it's clear enough that I often use this one simply because I can find things. And the Search box is large and noticeable, thus allowing me to use it as soon as I get to the site.

Nancy

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70943 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 4:19 PM
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A blank black screen with the word "loading" flashing for 20 seconds before you get bored and quit is not a good design.


You must be on dialup - It takes less than 2 seconds to load here, or did you even bother to take a look? It's actually faster than TMF's page loading often is. Aside from the flash, which is used throughout the site, the site is well laidout with little clutter and more information (detailed menus, etc.) displayed upon clicking on hyperlink table of contents within each section.

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70944 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 4:44 PM
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A blank black screen with the word "loading" flashing for 20 seconds before you get bored and quit is not a good design.


You must be on dialup - It takes less than 2 seconds to load here, or did you even bother to take a look? It's actually faster than TMF's page loading often is. Aside from the flash, which is used throughout the site, the site is well laidout with little clutter and more information (detailed menus, etc.) displayed upon clicking on hyperlink table of contents within each section.



Besides, how many times have you been to a site, gone through some pages and then click on your browser's Back button and had to page back through every page you chose to get back to where you originally were? This site takes you right back here with 1 click.


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Author: Wash Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70945 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 4:50 PM
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the arts and letters web page is visually appealing and highly informative.


http://aldaily.com/

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Author: KennyO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70946 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 5:13 PM
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Despite being an engineer in automation and control systems (which entails designing/programming PC-based operator terminals) I am a bit of a Luddite WRT website design. TMF now has a good level of "stuff," well-presented on the discussion board pages although the TMF home page is (to me) cluttered. A too-busy homepage can be offputting to an investing novice visiting the site for the first time. The home page needs to invite newbies in rather than scaring them off.

KennyO

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70947 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 5:29 PM
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By the way, Bogey, did you think of asking the Webmaster's Corner:

http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=115200

They're accustomed to working with sites and layouts, and they might know some interesting sites.

Nancy

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Author: scaryblondechick Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70948 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 5:45 PM
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www.virtualdali.com

An online collection of works by Salvador Dali, including paintings and photos, a bio, and links to other sites and posters available for purchase at art.com.

The paintings display is especially well done. Each page of thumbnails is grouped by period. The thumbnails glow brighter with your cursor as you scroll over individual works, while the titles flash in caption beneath. Clicking on any thumbnail brings the painting up in a new full screen window.

Very snazzy.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70949 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 6:06 PM
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The Harvard Square website has a clean look about it. The information you're looking for pops up in each box as you pass the cursor over it, but doesn't distract the eye otherwise.

http://www.harvardsquare.com/

and the Old Bailey site is always fascinating:

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/

Nancy

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Author: Raggmopp Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70950 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 6:28 PM
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http://www.historychannel.com/

Optically pleasing, intuitive to use, everything falls to hand, packed but not cluttered.

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Author: CCReal One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70951 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 7:13 PM
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http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en

When using a website, I prefer simplicity and Google Personalized Home fits the bill.

Too much clutter puts me off rather quickly. I also tend to be attracted to websites that have large fonts and use a subdued color scheme; too much use of the color orange offends my eyes.

Also, the lack of pop-ups or anything flashing onscreen keeps me focused on the content.

Cheers,
Chris

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Author: Kez2006 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70952 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 8:36 PM
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My opinion for what it's worth, websites these days need a little 'bling' to become visually appealing and it's the bling that can reduce clutter.

Java Drop down menus can hold so much information and highly configurable.

Flash intro's are a bit too much 'Bling' however, flash can also limit clutter. Flash can be very impressive and eye catching if designed right with ease of navigation for the end user.

MouseOver effects and DHTML is a wonderful tool.

It is important to keep a MAIN index page together without any long scrolling.

Stepping into the Forums Page could contain a little more 'FUN', so to speak.
Perhaps some custom buttons representing and giving this section an inviting image of 'This is a fun place to be and meet friends'.

Just my thoughts.

KEZ






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Author: Kez2006 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70953 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/8/2006 11:35 PM
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ZzF,

May I comment on your post for a second and without getting into any trouble?

I'm no expert, not by a long shot, so just call me the 'Average Browser'.

You say: First and foremost is content, design is secondary.

Being the average browser, I can agree with this however, I feel BOTH are equally important.

First impressions an' all that jazz.

Content is obviously THE most important but, getting to where you want to go, without feeling you are lost in a maze of information, is even more important.

Design has to be outstanding when offering a lot of 'stuff'. Design and simplicity (as you said), has to catch the eye in this competetive cyber world.

A theme is more than a Jester Hat and being called a Fool.

Professional websites, including visual attraction, without it looking 'tacky', has to balance and this is why web designers get paid big $$$$.

Today, TMF does look professional but, boring and cluttered to the eye. The visual side of things, of which Bogey is extenuating (I think?)

The browser (You or Me) has gone to Google and typed in 'Investment Help' and pulls up The Motley Fool....What do they see first? - The design.

Eye candy with easy navigation, these days anyway, are important to catch someones attention.
The rest flows.

Thanks

KEZ











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Author: sportscliche One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70958 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/9/2006 9:48 AM
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http://www.bookofcool.com/index_flash_content.htm

- Highly interactive
- great visual effects
- entices one to check out what's on offer
- no irritating/distracting banner ads
- great color schemes


Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more. I think this is an example of exactly how NOT to do a website design. The page relys entirely on Flash to render. Like many users, I have scripts disabled in Firefox for added security. That means I saw nothing when I clicked this link except a Firefox warning. I enabled the script and sat there for almost 2 minutes while the intro script loaded. Yes, I'm on a dial-up but there is a non-trivial number of us out here who still are. After watching the first 30 seconds of the animation and having absolutely no idea what the site is about, I waited another 5 minutes for yet more Flash to load, at which point my patience ran out and I gave up.

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Author: ivangrowth Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70959 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/9/2006 3:15 PM
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>>>...relys on Flash to render. Like many users, ....I'm on a dialup but there is a non-trivial numbers of us out here who still are...>>>

28%. Any company that relies exclusively on Flash can kiss 28% of their traffic goodbye.

I know of no bricks and mortar that could afford to chase away 28% of its market, yet that is precisely what Flash does.

http://www.forbes.com/digitalentertainment/2006/07/06/aol-internet-ads_cx_lh_0706aol.html

Ivan, who has cable and detests Flash...

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Author: LorenCobb Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70965 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/10/2006 12:27 AM
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I have long appreciated the simple yet sophisticated layout of the New York Observer. Check out especially their artwork, and their liberal use of whitespace. It's easy to read, attractive to look at, and very clean and elegant. Too bad their content lacks!

http://newyorkobserver.com/homepage.asp

--------------------------------------

At the risk of tooting my own horn a little, I would like to bring to your attention a feature that I have begun to use on my own website: Java-powered interactive illustrations. I cannot claim to have mastered the art of the interactive illustration, but on these two pages you can see some promising attempts. I use sliders and buttons to give the user full control over simulations of topics of interest to me. The same technique would be very powerful for the financial and investment articles that the Fool publishes in profusion.

http://www.aetheling.com/NL/sim/population/fertility.html
http://www.aetheling.com/NL/sim/population/population1.html

Loren

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70966 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/10/2006 12:40 AM
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I don't see any kind of a chart or graph, just a big grey square. I thought I had Java enabled, but maybe not.

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Author: DarthFerret Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70968 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/10/2006 1:51 AM
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- Highly interactive
- great visual effects
- entices one to check out what's on offer
- no irritating/distracting banner ads
- great color schemes


BZZZT!!!

To the first 2 points, at least. Less-is-more when it comes to websites. I want to quickly get to the information that I want, sift through it quickly, quickly gather the parts that are relevant to me, and then quickly move on. Flashy animations are not welcome.

-Darth

P.S. Did I mention that I want to do all this quickly?


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Author: BeenFooled Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70980 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/10/2006 2:10 PM
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Much as I enjoy visual appeal, may I butt into this thread to suggest that "visual appeal" is the bait, but once you are hooked, you need "efficient use". When this is applied to the Fool, may I suggest all the required visual appeal should be at www.fool.com, front and center. But once you drill down, it would behoove us to keep the rest of the site efficient. I care less about logos and banners than I do about efficient loading of pages, and having useful content on the first screenful of the page - so I don't have to scroll down to see a post, for example, past all the stuff that I don't care about (and anyway I see on every single post I read).

IMO.
BF


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Author: mjdonadio Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70981 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/10/2006 2:24 PM
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Bogey,

I think that you may be confusing "visually appealing" and "easy to use". Often times sites that are visually appealing can be functionally usless. The content may influence the design but if you do not have items (functions, navigation etc.) where they expect to find them (usually in a relevant context and logical location on the page), users will get frustrated with the site and not return. What makes the iPod so popular is not the way it looks but how easy it is to use. Granted, the ease of use influences the design, it is not the reason why it is appealing. In the industry, this is referred to usability or user-centered design.

In order to improve this site by comparing to other sites, you may want to be specific as to what types of site you would compare best. A comparison with a popular site like Google only will go as far as the element of the site that helps make the site so popular. In the case of Google, they try to make everything simple to use so someone can figure out things on their own without the use of some help.

For me, Gmail and Yahoo Groups have some interesting ways to make discussion threads easy to read and store. When it comes to organizing various types of content (even from various sources) on a page MyNetscape, personal Google and MyYahoo.

Hope this helps! If you have additional quesitons, feel free to ask.

Mark
Usability Professional

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Author: TMFBogey Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70986 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/10/2006 3:29 PM
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I think that you may be confusing "visually appealing" and "easy to use"

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the note and I appreciate the concern. I am, however, going after "visually appealing" with the tacit understanding that the site needs to be functional.

I consider eBay to be an ugly site that's wildly useful and functional. Amazon is also wildly functional, but much more visually appealing, IMO. The sole intent of this request was to identify sites that people considered to be visually appealing. One site I really like (of many) for the display of the written word is New York magazine:

http://www.newyorkmagazine.com/news/features/17573/

I am just looking for examples of other sites that people find as visually appealing as I find that site.

Thanks!

Bogey





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Author: sportscliche One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70988 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/10/2006 6:58 PM
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I think it can be highly instructive to study examples of commercial website designs that, for lack of a better word, suck. If such an exercise appeals to you, there is a website that has collected many of them in one convenient location:

http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

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Author: MrsPoppy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70991 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 12:07 AM
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I actually very much like the layout of yahoo.com. Even though I prefer google's engine, I rarely read their news because yahoo's is more intuitively displayed.

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Author: DBAVelvet74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70992 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 12:15 AM
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Yes, I'm on a dial-up but there is a non-trivial number of us out here who still are. After watching the first 30 seconds of the animation and having absolutely no idea what the site is about, I waited another 5 minutes for yet more Flash to load, at which point my patience ran out and I gave up.


I had to repeat that. Nothing is as much of a turn off as when a website makes it clear that you are not the intended audience.

If it takes too long to download all the crap, I'll never stick it out to see the actual content I came to see.

I'll get what I want at some other site. So that may mean a lost sale if it was an online store.

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Author: DarthFerret Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70995 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 3:15 AM
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Bogey,

I nominate Google, because I consider the height of visual appeal to be perfect ease-of-use. There's room for improvement even there, though, and much of that improvement carries over well into The Fool. Here's one suggestion to start:

1) Make as much as possible fit onto the first screen. The ideal is not having to scroll down to get to what I want. That first screen is prime real estate, so any empty space at the top of the page should be used, content maximized, and graphic fillers minimized. The tabs at the top of this page, for example: why do the tabs have to be twice the height of the words "Home", "Stock Research", etc.? Why does the blue bar have to be twice as tall as the text? The MF logo could squish in against the blue bar, or the blue bar could only span half the screen with the MF logo stretching the rest of the width. The Search and Quotes bar could butt right up against the advertising banner (hey, some of us might click on it by accident then!;).

Well, that's my biggest suggestion. I'll try to get the others boiled down into coherent form.

-Darth


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Author: begoodalways One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70998 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 8:01 AM
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http://www.cornell.edu

BTW, the Fool website is really quite poor.

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Author: monicadepp One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70999 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 8:44 AM
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What a fun question!

Visually appealing needs to cross with usability (as Mark above said) to really make a site great.

It is hard to pick one, but here are my top 3:

1. http://www.delaguarda.com
2. http://www.sciam.com/
3. http://www.tradingresources.org

I visit all these sites frequently, and it is always a pleasure to see new stuff on them.

Graphically, delaguarda beats everyone by a mile: De La Guarda is an acrobat/circus group from Buenos Aires, Argentina, kinda like Cirque de Solail.


Monica

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71000 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 8:52 AM
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The Cavalia site is also beautiful

http://www.cavalia.net/index.aspx?lang=EN-CA

Nancy

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Author: Kelles Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71002 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 9:12 PM
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The delaguarda site wouldn't let me leave the site. I don't like sites that do that.

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Author: Kez2006 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71003 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 9:26 PM
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Ulead have what I call a functional and Visually appealing website.

http://www.ulead.com/runme.htm

KEZ

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Author: Olya One star, 50 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71004 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/11/2006 10:25 PM
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I like IOnOne's visual appeal. It is an online art journal. Though you do need Flash, their site is very easy to browse, and it contains much well organized information.

http://www.ionone.com/masters.htm

Enjoy,

Olya

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Author: monicadepp One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71005 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/12/2006 2:18 AM
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"The delaguarda site wouldn't let me leave the site. I don't like sites that do that."


I know. It is THE most amazing website IMO. You'll like it even more after youve seen the show, which is like Cirq de Soleil, but interactive with the audience, so you actually are a part of it.

Monica

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71006 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/12/2006 9:19 AM
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The most visually appealing website is my home page: GOOGLE

I mean the CLEAN, mostly WHITE, uncluttered Google page with no gadgets on it save about 3 small buttons and an input field. Otherwise, all you have there is the Google name.

The clean, white, lots-of-unused-space technique is SO appealing that it prompted me once -- long ago and far away -- to write a letter to one of my mutual fund companies explaining how very much I appreciated this in their brochures and reports.

I hate clutter.
I hate websites that make you search among all the clutter to find what you are looking for.

My vote for most visually appealing website: GOOGLE

AM

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71007 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/12/2006 9:21 AM
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Bogey,

First and foremost is content, design is secondary. I gave a look over to sites I frequent and honestly I'm none too crazy about the design of most of them.

I have a preference for simplicity. Here as in other places, Google is king. It attracted a lot of traffic early on simply because it lacked the annoying clutter that other sites use to (yahoo) crowd up pages.



Wow. I should have read ahead.
O well -- at least my response was not a "me, too".

AM

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71008 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/12/2006 9:26 AM
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A blank black screen with the word "loading" flashing for 20 seconds before you get bored and quit is not a good design.


You must be on dialup - It takes less than 2 seconds to load here, or did you even bother to take a look? It's actually faster than TMF's page loading often is. Aside from the flash, which is used throughout the site, the site is well laidout with little clutter and more information (detailed menus, etc.) displayed upon clicking on hyperlink table of contents within each section.






It's ANNOYING!
Anything flashing in my face is annoying.

AM

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Author: whafa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71009 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/12/2006 9:36 AM
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I like http://support.microsoft.com .

I have been using microsoft support for years and their site has undergone constant revision as it is hit daily by hundreds or thousands of nerds with plenty of suggestions on how it could be done better.

The interface is simple and menu-driven, there aren't a lot of filly graphics, the colors are simple and the site as a whole, for the gigabytes of data it contains, is very uncluttered.

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71012 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/12/2006 9:52 AM
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What a fun question!

Visually appealing needs to cross with usability (as Mark above said) to really make a site great.

It is hard to pick one, but here are my top 3:

1. http://www.delaguarda.com



I don't know about the other two, but this one sucks.
The "back" button is totally disabled so I was thrown completely OUT of TMF and could only get back by going the "long" way and then trying to find my place once more. VERY bad design.

And I hate moving graphics. I don't want to see jugglers, or eyes blinking, or people swinging from the trees. I want clean, white (or light colored) pages with minimum distractions. There should be links so that you can go to the information you WANT rather than being assaulted with everything at once.

AM

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71027 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/13/2006 7:29 PM
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http://www.cornell.edu

That is a good one.

Not sure why, but universities seem to have pretty good web pages at lot of the time. Maybe because they have such a massive amount of "stuff" they need to think pretty hard about how to present it. fool.com is waaaay too cluttered.

Let me follow up with http://www.umich.edu/ and http://www.aadl.org/

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71028 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/13/2006 9:59 PM
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http://www.cornell.edu

That is a good one.


I thought that a well designed front page, too... FWIW.

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71029 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/13/2006 10:17 PM
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It's ANNOYING!
Anything flashing in my face is annoying.



Generally, I agree. I thought Ivan had posted some stats on flash (with which I tend to agree and wanted to post a reply, but I don't now see the post.) Red Lobster's flash front page has little loading time or "flashing" - Still, I have little doubt that a lot of people don't care for flash or have it installed to view pages rendered in it.

http://www.redlobster.com/homeflash.asp

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71030 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/14/2006 12:03 AM
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I thought that a well designed front page, too... FWIW.

The reason the cornell site is good is because it has a lot of information but still doesn't seem clutrered. I'm at a loss to explain why exactly, it has a bunch of columns just like some of the other sites that seem cluttered.

Somehow the cornell site just seems clean and your eyes aren't pulled in a bunch of directions all at once.

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Author: ivangrowth Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71035 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/14/2006 7:59 AM
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http://www.taylormaidfarms.com/home.html

Cleanest, most fully functional website I know of and use. Inviting site.

No clutter. All the images are linked. Links take you where you intuitively sense they should go.

No flash. Did I say clean? Really clean.

Ivan

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Author: beccapooka Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71039 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/14/2006 9:28 AM
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Bogey,

There are websites other than TMF and my bank's online acct info/bill pay site?

Honestly, I thought this one was more visually appealing when the top tabs were centered. If any other website were to pose the question, I'd list this one.

But for the sake of participation: http://www.newpages.com/

I like it because it's simple and to the point. There aren't unnecessary lights and sounds. It's easy/intuitive to navigate. Information is easy to locate. I'd much prefer an easy to use website with a simple layout (easy on the eyes) than something fancier that is difficult to look at or distracting.

Are you sure I can't vote for TMF?

Rebecca


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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71041 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/14/2006 10:17 AM
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http://www.taylormaidfarms.com/home.html

Cleanest, most fully functional website I know of and use. Inviting site.

No clutter. All the images are linked. Links take you where you intuitively sense they should go.

No flash. Did I say clean? Really clean.

Ivan



IIRC, you have own site that isn't bad, either, IMO - Care to post a link?

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Author: ivangrowth Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71047 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/14/2006 4:54 PM
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>>>IIRC, you have own site that isn't bad, either, IMO - Care to post a link...>>>

Bob, you are very generous <grins> with the compliments today...thanks.

Mine is an amateur, non-commercial site ... came home from Honduras and said, "I am going to learn how a website gets out there on the internet" and just started learning. Plain, straight-forward site, with few bells and whistles. I believe content and functionality reign.

http://sidewalkmystic.com

The rest is history -- 100 pages later and counting. I have been able to get excellent organic search results and that keeps me in several top keyword searches.

I keep it current through posting the best writing of those who have visited Honduras and care to prepare articles. I hope to go back in the next couple of years.

Wonderful place, wonderful people.

Ivan

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71050 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/14/2006 7:30 PM
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The reason the cornell site is good is because it has a lot of information but still doesn't seem clutrered. I'm at a loss to explain why exactly, it has a bunch of columns just like some of the other sites that seem cluttered.
maracle


Here is a book that explain it:

The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition by Robin Williams
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321193857/sr=8-1/qid=1152918402/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-9083938-9132908?ie=UTF8

Well worth the price and fun too.

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: 421097 Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71052 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/14/2006 11:00 PM
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I like Foremostinsurance.com website. It is very unique in the products they sale. More of a specialize product approach in the risk they want to insure. I pick them.

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Author: chkNYC Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71053 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/15/2006 12:05 PM
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Bogey:

I think you might repost your request and remind folks that you are looking for "visually appealing" websites. Despite your having been rather clear in your original message, many folks are commenting on the CONTENT.

I should add that while there are things about TMF that could be improved, I don't have any real problems with the VISUAL appearance of the site.

Christina

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71055 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/15/2006 4:33 PM
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I should add that while there are things about TMF that could be improved, I don't have any real problems with the VISUAL appearance of the site.

Well, a lot of people who offered site suggestions mentioned liking an "uncluttered" look. And the first page of the Fool is kind of cluttery. If you don't know your way around it can be kind of confusing at first glance.

If they're looking at the choices, then, obviously, sites that have beautiful pictures are going to be mentioned, simply because they ARE beautiful. But listing appealing sites that you like going to, that don't necessarily have beautiful pictures, will proably give them more of an idea what people are looking for.

Nancy


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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71057 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/15/2006 7:21 PM
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If they're looking at the choices, then, obviously, sites that have beautiful pictures are going to be mentioned, simply because they ARE beautiful. But listing appealing sites that you like going to, that don't necessarily have beautiful pictures, will proably give them more of an idea what people are looking for.

One more comment, if the Fool is looking for First Impressions.

When I log on without a cookie, I get a glimpse of the site, then there's a kind of tan overlay asking me to log in.

If I weren't already a Fool, that would probably scare me away. If I want to access the boards, that's one thing, but to hit that log-in requirement before I've even looked at the site would be a turn-off.

And it's ugly, too.

Nancy

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Author: aptvictoria Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71069 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/17/2006 1:14 AM
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The Atlantic Monthly http://www.theatlantic.com/


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Author: ZzF00L Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71070 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/17/2006 2:23 AM
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Bogey,

I was playing about on a website put out by The Discovery Chanel called www.Cosmeo.com - directed at children's learning.

I like the layout here.

Tabbed content across the top, some legal type links at the bottom too.

Center content display (often video)

4 content boxes, 2 to the left and 2 to the right. As I dive deeper into the site (subscription), the overall page layout usually stays the same, but the content in the modular 'boxes' changes.

A basic but not overwhelming design, all of which for the most part fits on the screen (minimal scrolling).

ZzF

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Author: saraswati1 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71130 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/18/2006 1:18 PM
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www.chipotle.com is very professional, design-oriented, functional, and has a great sense of humor that makes it fun to visit. I found it around the time of the IPO. Although it does not relate to the business model or functional requirements of the Motley Fool website, it has a sense of fun in the design that TMF professes in their philosophy, but not their website design. I would suppose that you could collect a list of sites that appeal and then vet the designers, taking a good look at their portfolios, unless you already have a designer.

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Author: BAMartin Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71137 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/18/2006 4:11 PM
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I am especially fond of www.dpchallenge.com. Not just for the beautiful content, but the great way its all laid out.

Barbara

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Author: yellowcard Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71140 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/18/2006 5:24 PM
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When I log on without a cookie [to TMF], I get a glimpse of the site, then there's a kind of tan overlay asking me to log in. If I weren't already a Fool, that would probably scare me away.


I wholly agree. So much so that I posted this reply in addition to reccing the post.

yc


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Author: stockemup Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71142 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/19/2006 12:19 AM
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Ah yes.......Zombo.com.........simplicity, beauty, and rico suave'?



Stockemup

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Author: ThreadKiller Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71143 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/19/2006 1:03 AM
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The "back" button is totally disabled so I was thrown completely OUT of TMF and could only get back by going the "long" way and then trying to find my place once more.


You can't disable the back button. Believe me I have tried and tried to find a way to do it. Search the web - it's not possible. If you DO find a reliable way to do it for any and every website, I want to know.

You can get back from that site - just hit the "down" arrow next to Back and the last site you were on will show up in the dropdown list.

I just did it and got back to TMF with no problem.

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Author: kat144g Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71168 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/20/2006 11:01 AM
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My apologies if I am double posting-- I did something odd.
I would like to offer up an explanation as to why the Cornell site is so appealing.
#1 The folks who designed the site have obviously read and implemented their Edward Tufte. Three cheers. Note especially the use of the verdana font, the soothing off-white background, and lack of blinking, flashing things.
#2 These folks are also probably fans of Robin Williams and her books on Design for the Non-designer. Ms Williams champions 4 simple but important ideas (with an easy to remember acronym): 1, C- contrast-- make different stuff really different, 2, R - repetition-- pick a form and stick to it, 3, A - alignment-- note that the Cornell page has three columns with everything left aligned, no sudden switch to center alignment, 4 P- proximity-- headlines and select options are close to their referred text. I'll leave it to you all to work out the acronym...

Cheers,
Kat

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Author: HedonistiX Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71192 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/21/2006 9:01 PM
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Subject: Most Visually Appealing Websites
Author: TMFBogey | Date: 7/7/06 6:59 PM | Number: 70922
---

I used the service of E.Webscapes to design the banner of my blog, they have pretty good collection of designs (personal blogs and commercial sites) in their portfolio section:
http://ewebscapes.com/portfolio.php
http://ewebscapes.com/index.php


--H

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Author: tpault Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71193 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/22/2006 9:44 AM
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When I visit websites, I've come to expect various types of layouts depending on what the site's content is all about. For instance, if I'm visiting a news website, I expect a few headlines at the top, a couple of photos to entice my mouse cursor, and a few lists of daily stories. CNN.com is a good example. However, some "news sites" are really cloaked as news sites but are really just a tiny tentacle of a giant corporation, in which their site is just indicental to what they really do. For instance, Yahoo.com is a giant web portal that hopes to get you to pay monthly to them for internet service, and they try to entice you with customizeable pages. You decide what geographies headlines you want to greet you, you decide what movies in your zip code/theaters are playing, you decide what cities weather report comes up with your "home page."

Then you have fantastically designed entertainment websites, like http://www.disney.com Fun bell sounds when you cursor over something, expanding visually appealing submenus, and a kaleidescope of colors that anyone would be hard pressed to argue isn't captivating.

But again, that's an entertainment website. The other are news websites, or web/net portal websites, or in the case of Microsoft, huge corporate portals.

Other websites that are visually appealing are television websites. http://www.nbc.com and the others are straightforward, giving you today's shows, while also having enticing snippets, dangling carrots, and vibrant pixellization, all laid out not unlike an artist composes a painting. A great "anything" (website, piece of art, etc) leads the viewers eye around the entirety of the product, not unlike the second hand of a clock. By contrast, a website that seems to challenge the eye, whereby the left side of the screen competes with the middle and the right for your eye, leaves the viewer wondering if it's worth it. It feels overwhelming. Especially when it's a long-scroll to the bottom and it's no better farther down.

I like CNN.com even though their content is tragedy driven (they came into their own via the first Gulf War in which they had camera phones showing smart bombs landing on Iraqi factories). But I can count on that website to immediately give me the day's biggest news at the top. On the left will be the day's most prominent story with accompanying, generously large photo. To the right of that are lesser, yet very pertinent, convenient headline links. And to the right of that is the obligatory, yet easily ignored, main paid-ad. Below all that are subsequent stories and video links, should I be so inclined. And then below that, they've categorized things according to whatever my preference or mood for the day is, depending on how much time I have to read or what piques my interest at that moment. World, Entertainment, Politics, Science, etc.

BUT...as I said, being a news website, their layout is fantastic. And Disney's is fantastic for an entertainment website. And Yahoo's is fantastic for a homepage, a paying customer's homepage, at least. And NBC.com is perfect for a network's station.

What would be perfect for an internet investment forum website? To be sure, something different than all the above, and being Motley Fool, something different than even all other investment forums.

Right now, Motley's site is adequate. But adequate means not reaching full potential. Right now, Motley's home is cluttered with four columns all competing for the reader's eye. It becomes a task trying to determine which column to concentrate on, and an even bigger task to not concentrate on a column but rather read it all, in order to find the link most "worthy" of me to click on.

Motley should take more advantage of their original uniqueness by incorporating a simpler start page that takes its queue from a hybrid of the successful elements of the aforementioned pages. More color, since after all, jesters are all about color. More whimsical, like Disney's, but without looking childish or too unserious. More artsy, such as th eye follows a natural path, a more intuitive path. More sensible, such as it is easier to geographically identify whatever I'm in the mood to read, that day. Three columns max.

I don't know the demography or preferences of the Fool's readership, but would think that the majority of users here are on forums. So some CNN-like headlines, maybe even with a renewing photo, but instead leading to top threads that may be related to actual hot national topics. The boards here are the vortex of the Fool, sucking at least me, and others I know of, into Fooldom. But starting the homepage out with a laundry list of purchasable products, crowded next to more text links, crowded next to stock quotes, crowded next to advertisements...I become overwhelmed at the mere site of Fool's homepage. On the other hand, there's probably much more intellectually gifted people who appreciate all that heady stuff. Just that anyplace that calls itself a Fool, may benefit from having just a bit more fun on it's main page. I mean, even Sam from the movie I Am Sam, should feel unintimidated to dive right in. After all, that's where the untapped market is, in every john and jane doe living right up and down every street. We want fun, intuitive, flowing pages that make it very hard to walk away from, instead of very hard to interpret.

Paul T.

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Author: Wradical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71201 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/22/2006 9:34 PM
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Someone else mentioned My Yahoo! which is also my homepage,
both for the content and arrangeability.

I also like www.marketwatch.com for color scheme and readability,

and www.mywashingtonpost.com, likewise, and for news selections.


Bill




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Author: Partner24 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 71270 of 89148
Subject: Re: Most Visually Appealing Websites Date: 7/28/2006 3:50 PM
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Harley-Davidson website is well designed.

www.harley-davidson.com

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