At The IW forum last week we had some people from Intervate come chat to us about their new SharePoint 2010 website (www.intervate.co.za). I was shown this website in December last year by Veronique Palmer, and it made me realise how much can be done with a brilliant designer (and I am sure Marketing Department) and SharePoint 2010. In this blog post I am going to walk you through my thoughts and opinions of the Intervate website, as well as my thoughts on how it can be done and their “teachings” can be used for your own website.
THE LANDING PAGE
I have my screen rez on 1280x 1024 and the landing page fits in with a good sense of fluidity. You can see by the spaces on the left and right side that no matter what your screen rez, you will be presented with the same look and feel every time. This is very good practice.
The next thing that hit me was the use of colour. Your base colours of Black and Green are blended together using what I now call a red rainbow blur with the overlay of vector swishes and a light “sun ray” vector. It is a subtle yet very appealing on the viewer. No matter what platform you use, your colour usage is the one thing that will make or break your site. A user is either greeted warmly and is encouraged to stay and read the content, or closes the site within 3 seconds because of the assault on their senses. Work with various people when creating your base design, and never let any one bully you into THEIR colour choice… unless they are the one signing your pay cheque, then comprise with them.
My absolute favourite thing about this site is the menu bar.
THE MENU BAR
This is the most complex looking menu I have seen on a SharePoint 2010 site. I am still trying to figure out how the designer (it is a lovely lady, and if I get permission I will interview her) did it. I have managed to mimic the style of the main top bar, and even get the drop down looking pretty good. I can not however figure out the two columns. I am still working on this and Once I have figured it out I will post out it. But this is a brilliant menu as it shows you all the links in a readable block, without taking over the page below. Very elegant. The menu bar is something that should be planned out, as it is the “thing” that users will use the most on your site, and a useless menu makes for a useless site.
THE CONTENT ON THE LANDING PAGE
As you land you get presented with the menu, the “sub content” menu ( the green blocks), their clients (I am guessing at main clients 🙂 ) and the top little pieces of Latest News, Tweets and Case Studies. If you scroll down you see the rest of these three content column. In my opinion, just enough to get you to scroll down and check the rest out.
All in All, I love the landing page. It speaks volumes and keeps the viewer interested enough to start going through the various menu options.
THE SUB PAGES
The content pages moves allot of the page around from the landing page to allow for more content to be placed. The green block has been moved up and now has various company related “shorts” in side. The swirls now has colour and is still an overlay. And of course the the lovely display of content in “left to right” block format.
This site made me rethink my way of doing SharePoint 2010 sites. I was inspired by this womans’ genius. Because of this site, I trashed 25 designed and started again on a site I have been asked to create for my mentor, and I felt that nothing I had done was even close to good enough for her.
The finished product is something both me and the “client” adore and has been nick named “Awesome.jpg” – the coding has begun and I hope to present it to you all soon.
When you are stuck, go to Top SharePoint Sites and look at how other people worked with SharePoint 2010 to design. Never accept anything but the best in your self and your work.