Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

28 Jan

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Gabriel Thy

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Thursday, January 28, 1999

Mr. Phillip Brown
Global Securities Information, Inc
419 Seventh St., NW Suite 202
Washington, D.C. 20091

Greetings Phillip!

Enjoyed our brief chat the other day. Thank you for giving Graphic Solutions Ink Systems this opportunity to compete for the contract to organize and redesign your website from the ground up. I have studied the site and offer these recommendations:

There are four areas of immediate concern that require attention if this makeover is to dramatically improve both the aesthetic experience and navigational ease of the GSI client as well as to encourage future development and maintenance of the site in a more intuitive manner:

1) Poor global navigational scheme.

Solution: Clear and Inviting Sectional Demarcations

With the introduction of a unifying and informative fast-loading graphics package, each major section as outlined on the homepage can be delicately color-and-friendly-icon-coded to remedy the confusion of navigating a complex site. Much like the color codes of a large parking lot, a tasteful splash of recurring uniqueness within each section should help the visitor keep to the intended path, or find the way back to another section using this color association method. Frequent users of the site will most benefit by this subtle navigational hinting.

As a new visitor crosses subsections of the site where these distinctions are not an inviting functional part of every page, often the result is frustration sometimes forcing the user to seek other more expensive or time-consuming methods of finding that information, thus defeating the purpose of the website.

2) Vague organizational paths.

Solution: Reorganization, Beautification, and Optimization

The present GSI site makes an effort to offer the visitor a smooth ride in the search for information with its site map. But the map is unwieldy and uninviting. Here you see the hints of a color scheme, but nowhere else is this technique implemented. And many of the header topics could be consolidated under a more general heading (Year 2000, Training & Events, Partnerships. . . ). Deployment of the small scale icon scheme should improve the lure of the map as an prime navigational tool. Just as importantly, a boolean search engine for the free sections of the site and a pulldown menu denoting key sections and pages which with just one click which a can transport the visitor to another section of the site.

Many of the GSI pages hosting links to offsite peers should be configured to create a new window for the third-party site, thus keeping the visitor safely on the same GSI page in case there is more information your site can provide without the need to navigate back to that page with multiple click points, and perhaps getting lost on the way. The HTML tag can be used to great effectiveness, if used appropriately. For instance, once an improved Site Map is deployed, an effective use of the tag can keep the Site Map available to visitors at all times making navigation a snap!

Redundancy is sometimes a very important feature on an HTML page. Image maps usually should be accompanied by a set of text links to accommodate those visitors using older browsers or those visitors who prefer to turn off the image-display function in their browsers. Another good use of redundancy is the also encoding both a search engine interface and a pull-down menu on appropraite pages. Visitors will tend to gravitate toward the tool they prefer, or if one fails a specific task, perhaps another tool will work better. Effective use of space to avoid clutter on the one hand and too much dead space on the hand can imprive the effectiveness of your site dramatically.

3) Sloppy table implementation, excessively long pages, over-sized graphics.

Solution: Reorganization, Beautification, and Optimization

Many of the pages are simply poorly coded which distort alignment in most cases. Some of these pages can be cleaned up to achieve the desired effect. Others may require a more drastic approach in order to prsent the information in the best possible context. Like the tag as described in the above scenario, the occasional effective use of both the < tag and HTML frames can present a body of information to the user in a clear and easily managed package. Excessively long pages are sometimes best broken into multiple pages. Oversized graphics should be reworked to smaller yet still readable sizes, proportional to the general flow of the site engaging the normal browser window. Often when mutliple graphics hug the same page, splitting them into two or more pages when effectively accompanied by user-friendly navigational guides, can be much easier to comprehend than those of overwhelming size often found on the GSI pages.

4) Lack of prominant webmaster contact info, including a suggestion box or information form where the visitor can report bad links, ask questions, or offer feedback on their favorable or not so favorable GSI website experience

Solution: Add the webmaster link, create the feedback form, and have someone manage the generated mail. This feature may be used very rarely by visitors, or it may actually encourage a positive exchange concerning the general appeal of the website, a function benefitting both client and GSI.

Gentlemen, the whole idea is to beautify and simplify, tightening up this site where needed. No call for overkill, but in adding noticeable value to an existing project. I would LOVE to make that happen for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to write or call. Two rather impressive sites you may want to scan again as you try to visualize what I have described above are links off the GSI site:

http://www.americanfunds.com/
http://www.vanguard.com/

I am positive that we at GSIS are in a position to work with you and Global Securities Information Inc. in developing a comprehensive site at a most competitive price point that meets both your immediate needs and your short range aspirations (given the blazing evolutionary speed of the Internet). However, the compelling scope of the site is such that I think you should have ample opportunity to discuss the details and fully understand and comment on these recommendations before we attempt to arrive at a bottom line bid.

Thanks again for contacting us,

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

© 1999 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.

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