🇬🇧British Expat 🇨🇦Vancouver ❤ Gardening 💰Founder of gitSQL

Category: Internet

Website Design Trends 2010 / 2011?

Website trends have stabilised over the years thanks to companies such google, wikipedia, amazon and facebook to name a few.

Web developers, designers and users are generally more aware of user interface design – what works and what doesn’t?

Here are a few examples of websites which I have found that seem to follow a ‘trend’.



BBC Website



ebuyer Website



Xfactor Website

Sunday Times

The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times Website

Royal Mail


Royal Mail Website

Tesco Direct


Tesco Direct Website

BBC iPlayer


BBC iPlayer Website

What do they have in common?

1) Oversized animated header

2) Large typography for website headings

3) Column grid design for the entire website (as used by newspaper editors such as The Sunday Times)

4) Oversized footer section which contains a sitemap

5) Search bar located at the top right

It seems to me that a lot of websites are adopting the oversized footer section of the website as their navigation area. BBC and ITV both have oversized footer sections which contain links through to internal pages. The links are displayed in columns which can be read quickly by the reader (Pacing). Is it easier for the visitor to see links on the footer?

Wikipedia recently completed a usability study which showed that the search bar located at the top right was the most intuitive place that a user would look for when searching a website. (See their explanation here). We can see that the BBC and Sunday Times websites have search bars at the top right of their websites. Does this mean that we should be putting search bars at the top right?

Oversized animated headers seem popular too – as the content of the header changes with a transiation. In a way – this shows the visitor more content during their visit without them having to click anywhere. This has got to be a plus? no? Especially if a visitor only stays for a few seconds. Are oversized, animated headers better than static headings?

Typography on websites have become extremely popular over recent years- especially with designers. I imagine this is because website developers now have the tools available to place designer typography onto websites. Text replacement seems common on some websites as a means of adopting dynamic typography driven by CMS. Is this better practice than using web fonts?


… do I need to say any more?

Most of my google analytics statistics show that the average website visitor will leave a website on the homepage – without ever clicking through onto other pages.

Hmm – maybe I need to make better websites? *gulp*

Saying that – I imagine this is a general issue with all websites with respects to converting visitors. There’s an old analogy I like to use.

We normally have to head out to the grocery store to get bread and milk. Supermarkets place their milk and bread at the back of the store so we have to go past everything else first. If we’re not on our guard we reach the checkout with several items along with the milk.

A good website will “Give them Milk”… – a reason to come back.

Perhaps we need to be giving users familiar design (like the supermarkets do)

What do you think?

PRE tags, the quick way to keep formatting

I get asked quite often if there is a way to show CODE on a website, with it’s formatting in place?

The short answer is <pre>

It can output free text (i.e. non server side code) in a pre-formatted way. Yep, PRE = Pre-formatted.

On top of that, Preformatted also renders the php print_r() output in a nicely nested unordered list, which is great for debug purposes;

[sourcecode language=’php’]  echo ”

";    print_r($arr);  echo "

“; [/sourcecode]

I am sure there are other uses for the <pre> tag too, I have just scratched the surface.

Give it a go – let me know if you find other uses for it.


In Sky Design – Website Launch

“I’ve opened up a web design business”

After many years of freelance web development, I decided to bite the bullet and “open up shop”.

In Sky Design is an association of designers and developers working together to create user friendly websites. We offer web design, graphic design and web application development; for start up business and established businesses who need internet solutions.

Please take a look at www.inskydesign.co.uk

We have set packages along with a price guide to show what our customers most commonly ask for.

If you can’t find it on the website, no problem, please ask.

Logmein Desktop Shortcuts (Bypass Logmein Website Login)


Step 1: Log into logmein.com

Step 2: Click on “My Computers”

Step 3: Click on “Edit Computer”

Step 4: Click on “Desktop Shortcut”

Final Step: You can now drag the [Compuer Name] onto your desktop, to create a desktop shortcut.

When you click on this shortcut, it will go directly to the login page for the COMPUTER, instead of having to login to the logmein website.

Great HUH!

You can also right click, and copy the URL, and then do what you want with it. At work we have collated a list of all our computer connections, and published it in a central place, so that everyone in the office can access any machine, directly.


Website Copyright Date

Have you noticed that some websites have a copyright date which is wrong?

For example:

www.somecompany.com (I appologise if you own this site)

then on the site, you have, Copyright SomeCompany Ltd 2002-2006

Now, if your lucky, your site is designed so that the footer can be changed once, so the entire site is updated. Well done.
For the others… shame on you. – Redesign your site.

Anyway.. heres a way to crack it on the head once and for all.
[sourcecode language=’php’]
2003 – < ?php echo date("Y"); ?>
[sourcecode language=’php’]
2003 – < %= year %>
This way, as long as your server date is correct, your website will always be up to date. In fact, consider using date more in this way, to save yourself manual intervention.

Antivirus Software

What do we look for when chosing antivirus software?

Personally, I’m looking for something that doesn’t,

i) Scan every mouse click, making the PC unusable
ii) Is affordable, and easy to use

We use Norton Antivirus 2006, and F-Prot at work. Both do what they say on the Tin. (*cough* no slander)

… I’ve been looking at home for something and came across C.O.M.O.D.O’s offering.


  1. Eliminates Viruses, Worms and Trojans from desktops and networks
  2. Detects and eliminates viruses from desktops and networks
  3. Constantly protects with real-time On Access scanning online
  4. Proactive Heuristic analysis intercepts unknown threats Daily, automatic updates of virus definitions
  5. Isolates suspicious files in quarantine preventing infection
  6. Simple to use: install and forget

Comodo AntiVirus 1.1 beta, all subsequent beta versions and the final release version will each be available free to both home and business users

Bid farewell to viruses and kiss license fees goodbye.
Download today for out-of-the-box protection at no cost.


If you want the complete package, you can install their Internet Security for firewall protection.

I don’t need to hype it up anymore, try it out.

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