Doing the Opposite of What I am Told

We are told NOT to make our web site banners big. This is ‘expensive real estate.’

Anything over 200-250 px is a waste of time and space. Or so they say. I say it depends on the kind of site you are building. Are you building a reputation from building beautiful web sites with simple, logical navigation and useful information? Then you don\’t need to pay attention to what ‘the experts’ say.

If your customer is a musician, or painter, or someone who designs and builds specialty furniture with rare and unusual woods, then featuring a rotating banner that is 400px or more deep may be the way to go. We have 800 px in which to tell people where they are, and convince them to stay. But, if you do use up 450 px on your banner, you must give some careful thought to your first few lines of text, and ‘Welcome to my site, please feel free to look around,’ does not cut it.

What you do have to give some serious thought to is the navigation and structure. The bigger your site, the more critical it is. No one wants to go for a walk in the woods and get lost. If a visitor is three or four pages deep into your site, cannot see where they have been, or forgets how they got there, has to manually scroll forever to get to the top of the page and then does not see a home button, chances are they are gone in a heartbeat.

Big, Bold H1 and H2 tags? A thing of the past. Why YELL AT YOUR CUSTOMERS? Let them know that this is a heading by changing the color and bolding the text somewhat, but hot red 24px headings at a weight of 900 are boring and unnecessary.

Conventions are there for a reason. They exist because people are used to things working a certain way. Links. Hover colors. Site maps. Do not sneer at the conventions, but at the same time, do not be afraid to improve upon them.