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Re: Site-Design / improving Site-Logic by colors ?

John James Jacoby


It’s my experience that people recognize images and color faster than they recognize words. That doesn’t mean they will naturally gravitate towards those colors however.

For an audience of 50 and above, it’s probably best to keep the content on the page and the options for them to click on to a minimum, and limit the site to only having 1 sidebar with limited options. Avoid menus that use hovers or suckerfish as they have a tendency to click the top level item to show the menu which basically reloads the page on them. Avoid complex search boxes with drop downs to select what kind of search they want.

So basically, ditch the buddybar, ditch the search area. Use gentle colors with clear and obvious icons to assist the user.

If you’re going to use color, use it to break apart areas of the screen instead of areas within the site. By doing this, they can remember to themselves “oh yeah it’s in the orange area, and the search is always blue in the corner” kind of logic.

How many times have you said to someone ‘Click “Home”‘ and they have no idea where it is on the screen? It’s because at any point the screen has 100 words on it, and recognizing which-one means what-where is hard to do at a glance. Being able to say “go up to the blue area and click the word logout with the icon of the stop sign” gives people natural visual cues to learn how to navigate the website in whatever way they will retain it. That way when you’re not around to help them, they will either remember the color, the icon, the word, or the placement, since everyone learns and remembers differently.

Hope that helps? :)

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