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Redesign of Sunhome.biz web site home page

Screenshots

Key issues

The 2 key issues we focused on with this home page were:

  • Focal point
  • Accessibility

1. Focal point

The page lacks a clear focus, for several reasons:

1a. The big white gap in the middle of the page

Because of its central, high-priority position, this draws the eye and makes it harder to focus on the content.

The eye loops round this layout, looking for something that seems to say "start reading here".

Actually, the page has a good, concise introductory line:

Sun Home Communities owns and manages 10 mobile home and RV Resort communities throughout the beautiful state of Arizona. We have an assortment of living options for active adults and families.

But this is too far down the page to stand out as a "start here".

Solution Every page should have a clear focal point. Often, this will be either the page’s main heading or a meaningful content image.

Note how the 2 photographs (which are also the highest-contrast elements) are placed centrally.

1b. The top navigation looks like a toolbar

Look at the top-left of the web page.

Snippet of top-lef corner of screen

The logo "sun home communities" and primary navigation are set in a blue bar, as is the secondary navigation that links to the individual parks.

Because of the solid colour, and the fact that they fill the top of the window, butting right up to the top and side edges, these appear to be part of the browser window, rather than the web page within it.

Solution

Unless you want navigation to appear built-in, make sure it sits clearly within the web page and has space around it.

In the redesign, we moved all the navigation onto a clearly-defined main central panel, offset by a sky-coloured background.

The important links to browse the parks has moved onto a "callout" panel inside the main panel.

2. Accessibility

The main target audience for this site is older adults. But the site does not make it easy for everyone to use.

2a.Font size

Not everyone can read small text. It’s particularly important if you want to reach an older market to make sure the most important information on the screen is easy to read.

This means using sufficiently large font size, and ensuring all text is high-contrast. If you find this pushes your content down the page, perhaps consider editing the content to reduce word-count.

On the original Sunhome site, the text for the main navigation is too small, and white text on the blue background only produces a contrast of 39%.

Close-up showing contrast in text
Solution

In the redesign, we’ve used large, high-contrast text for all navigation and body content.

The whole window will also scale when text size is increased: what we call "zoomable-layout" (like this site).

2b.Link target size

Along with vision impairments, another common accessibility challenge is motor difficulty.

Some older people (but not always older people) may find it difficult to maintain a steady hand when using a computer mouse. This makes it hard to locate the mouse pointer over a small link to click it, which can be frustrating.

Solution

In the redesign, we made sure that every link created a large target that’s easier to click.

We’ll also ensure that every clickable link changes positively to indicate when it is selected and clickable.

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