In this week's discussion on choosing website features that enhance both the aesthetics and usefulness of websites, of your website, we have talked about themes and flash pages. As you may remember, we are using the WebRevelation Portfolio, for inspiration. Today, let's talk about the header.
While a feature header is optional, many web sites use the space at the top of the site to help create a consistent look on all of the pages. It can also be used as a menu, to display the corporate logo, to feature products or services, or for a variety of other reasons. As with any other graphic-intensive feature, it is important to make sure the header does not become a distraction. Here are a few examples of headers I like:
The Central Regional Air Planning Association and The Central States Air Resource Agencies are good examples of keeping a header simple. The design is clean, and easy to navigate. The headers contain the text version of the agency logos, and the menus - nothing more. This is very effective on sites such as these, which are list / resource laden. Anything more busy might make navigating the site more difficult.
Redeemed Missionary Baptist Church has a website that I really like for a church website. The header includes a very pretty stained-glass cross graphic, along with the name of the church, and rotating photo feature that answers all of the questions that new visitors are likely to have (and that are often answered verbally on other church websites), like, what should I wear to your church (looks like dressing up and dressing down is fine here)? What kind of services do you have (we see a traditional choir, with robes)? How big is the church (we see a view of the main sanctuary from the balcony - not too big, not too small)? Instantly, people looking for a church in the area know if this is a place they would feel comfortable. Plus, the Pastor's wife is wearing a really awesome hat - I really like pretty hats.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.