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Is Different Design Better !


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This may be too general a question to expect an answer from but here goes..


I am in the process of getting quotes from companies for a 4 page website which has .ne at the front and sql at the back. The site is to be used by medical staff who admit they are not computer experts !


The three designs that have come back are all nice but one of them uses ExtJS desktop which is radically different. ( see dev.sencha.com/deploy/ext-4.0.0/examples/desktop/desktop.html )


I have shown it to some friends and some say thats nice cos its different, others have said why have a website that looks like a desktop


What do people think ? I love the simplicity of say apple.com but just not sure about the desktop

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I think this is a question not for other designers, but for your actual users of the website. You should at least interview a couple of your potential users and get a feel for which of the designs they feel would be the most usable. If they aren't computer experts like you say, I think that having a fake "desktop" experience will be confusing. You're just adding unnecessary complexity to something that should be simple.

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Thanks for that comment. I think you are right. I have a new website design partially complete for this NHS client but then spent hours trawling through website templates and eventually posted a job for some help on guru and one of the companies showed the desktop design. Wow I thought thats different but then the more I looked at it I wondered it if was a good idea..


If you know of any good sites for templates or good designers that would be great

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  • 2 weeks later...

Who is the web site for?


If it is for the staff, more of an internal site, this could very well work if it is using tools that they would need like calendars, lists etc.


If it is for the outside public, well that may be to different. Then again, it is something they are used to so it could work as well.


For me it would come down to accessibility and I do not see it as very accessible. I cannot easily get behind it to check the code, does it use Headers? These are very important to vision impaired users. Can you keyboard navigate? I could not seem to tab through the different icons on the desktop.


So for me without further investigation, I would say thumbs up for coolness, but I would not use it as an accessibility advocate and web developer. But again in a closed environment like an intranet, it could work if no one is handicapped or until one of them is and then there will likely be issues.


I did like how they have different formatting to choose from, blues, dark, wood...

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I tried the site on my iPhone and it did work... kind of... it was very slow, you saw no indication that tapping the icon did anything and then once you think it did nothing, it did open, but mostly off screen so you had top scroll all over the place to see it it didn't seem to want to do anything. I would say that that web site would be a disaster for visitors using iPhones and maybe mobile phones in general.

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