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GeodSoft Graphics Choices

Choosing the original site's navigation button style and logo size and color depth.

Since the GeodSoft site is fairly simple and the only graphics planned were a logo and navigation buttons, I thought it would be worth experimenting with some of the effects that today's web oriented graphics programs generate so easily. I didn't want the effects to be overpowering but I liked the three dimensionality and weight that a small outer bevel and drop shadow gave to the navigation buttons.

Obviously the preceding description does not apply to the current site. View the home page as it was when the above was written. See Graphics Changes for an explanation of why the navigation buttons were changed.

With the logo size that I was planing (100 pixels high) and the buttons I thought I needed, by manually forcing color reduction until image degradation just started show, I was able to keep the total size of all the graphics on the home page at just about 10K or about 3 seconds on a 28K modem. As I expect my audience to be almost entirely technical and/or business oriented, nearly everyone with any interest in this site will be connecting at 56K or faster. The added visual impact seemed well worth the very small performance penalty. On a complex, visually busy sight, I'd be very careful about using effects like these for both esthetic and performance reasons.

A number of sites alter their navigation aids in such a manner that they always indicate where in the site you are. I think this is a big benefit to users in helping them develop a sense for the organization of a site and preventing them from feeling lost, especially on a new site. I decided to lighten the face of button that leads to the main page of each part of the site. By itself this was just too subtle. Next I switched the lettering color on these buttons to black but that seemed harsh and out of place. I experimented with several blues and picked the same blue that is the standard text color throughout the site. This is the next to the darkest, pure blue from the web safe pallet.

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