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Website

Website Guidelines

Objectives

The objectives of the newest generation of the website are:

  • Display high visual appeal.
    • Use of rotating spotlight photos on the home page.
    • Use of colorful, thematic photos on every internal page.
  • Make finding things easy.
    • Have a consistent navigation menu throughout the site.
    • Avoid deeply nested pages.
  • Operate on devices with smaller screens.
    • Smartphones
    • Tablets
  • Expand the number of visitors by attracting new people.

Navigation Menu

  • The top navigation menu appears on every page within the website except for landing pages, i.e., sub-sites.
  • The menu is limited to six items plus the search icon.
  • Choosing the best six items is a challenge because of the wide array of things going on at Houston Audubon and the range of things we are involved with.
  • We have made the best attempt at this with the help of Firespring consultants.
  • Here is a demonstration of the key words that characterize Houston Audubon and how we have prioritized them.
    • About
    • Birding
    • Conservation
    • Programs
    • Sanctuaries
    • You Can Help
    • Activities
    • Learn
    • Edith Moore
    • Sims
    • Camps
    • Advocacy

The top navigation menu consists of primary and secondary dropdowns. The secondary dropdowns are fly-outs from the primary dropdown.

Best practice: The length of each dropdown should be limited to 8 items or less.

Some laptops with smaller screens may run out of vertical room to show the entire dropdown. These vertical dropdowns cannot scroll. Therefore we need to be careful when adding items to test that laptop screens can see the entire navigation menu. 

Writing

  • Aim for simple sentences.
  • Use active tense; avoid passive tense.
  • Do not use acronyms.
    • Use words that everyone understands. Acronyms scare off new visitors.
    • NARBA is an exception because it is a trademark.
    • HAS -> Houston Audubon
    • SBUNC -> Sims
    • ELMNS -> Edith Moore

Forms

  • Keep forms as short as possible.
    • Short forms have higher completion rates than long forms.
  • Use few words in the field descriptions. Keep the questions simple.
  • Do not include more text than is necessary.
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