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KeweenawNow.com: a Soup-to-Nuts Web Site Project

"Everything is perfect. Thanks so much! Buenas noches!"

Screenshot: KeweenawNow.com home page.This offsite link.Web site publishes news, points of view, and current happenings for the Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. We designed and built it from scratch, as we teamed with the client to clarify the anticipated content and target audience.

The logo, a windblown pine on the shore of Lake Superior, evokes the area's beautiful surroundings and suggests an environmental respect that's critical to this Web site's publisher. The colors used throughout the site echo the colors of the logo.

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Screenshot: KeweenawNow.com discussion forum page.Community discussion forums are available thanks to third-party software (offsite link.ikonboard), which we integrated into the Web site. We fully customized the forums for content and to have a consistent look and feel with the rest of the site. We also serve as moderator for the forums.

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Content-rich Web sites such as KeweenawNow.com will fail unless they offer clear navigation. We worked closely with the client to analyze the planned content in order to design an information architecture that would stand the test of time. The result is an easy-to-navigate site that offers a natural archive for news articles, viewpoints, and happenings that span multiple years.

The following close-up screenshot shows how a visitor can (1) navigate to other sections of the site, (2) navigate hierarchically up through the Happenings pages, and (3) navigate through an archive of Calendar pages.

Screenshot: KeweenawNow.com navigation widgets close-up.

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Sending Web site visitors off-site through external links can be off-putting. As shown in the following screenshot, our design lets visitors know that a link will jump to another site by offering a visible clue—a unique graphic next to the text link. This puts the visitors in control, making it easy for them to choose to finish reviewing the Web site before leaving it.

Screenshot: KeweenawNow.com offsite link close-up.

Also notice the large, clear type, which we selected specifically to make the Web site easy to read for older visitors. (The area served by this site has an older than average population that is reflected in its visitors.) The site resizes to fit any computer monitor resolution (known as liquid design)—useful to vision-impaired visitors who need to magnify the text further.

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