29 Sep 2009
Breaking News: Sites Have Breaking News
When web sites are designed, people often insist they don’t really have any news or announcements as such. They’re not in a fast-moving or tech-savvy industry, or don’t have the time/money for updates, or want a flashy Flashy design, so the idea is that the home page shouldn’t have a news area. Which seems reasonable enough.
But if you’re a site owner in this situation then you might want to rethink the assumption, or if you’re the web designer challenge/ignore (see later) it. Because almost every time I’ve been involved in a project where this has been specified, a matter of months later the client has urgently needed to add an announcement. Eventually the company wins an award, or is nominated for one, or wants to brag about a spiffy new contract/employee/offer, or is relocating, or is in the press, and so on. Someone has to quickly bodge in an ugly banner or block of text that spoils the design.
So when you’re planning a web site, consider the best (“OMG bought out for $1bn!”) and worst (“WTF sued for $1bn?”) things that might happen and how the site will need to communicate with visitors about them.