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Posts Tagged ‘webdesign’

April 1st, 2009

10 Great Contact & Comment Form Designs

Comment forms are one of the few ways readers and visitors to a site or blog can interact with those ‘in charge’, so its a little surprising that so many bloggers/designers throw together these forms and leave it at that. Once a user is at the point of commenting/contacting they probably won’t stick around much longer – that form is one of the last things they’ll see on your site. Why not leave them something to remember you by…just don’t get too carried away. Most often you’ll want to strike a balance between creativity and simplicity, forms that are confusing can lead to a drop in your conversion rates.

It’s always nice to see designers who put some thought into their comment or contact forms. Here are 10 of the AgencyTool staff’s favorites:

The comment form on NatalieJost.com is in a different layout than most, and the graphic down the side gives it a nice look.

From Natalie Jost

Sometimes it is best to keep it simple – it may not be the most exciting design element on the page, but it serves a purpose, and this well-designed comment form won’t deter any users from interacted with the site.

From Ordered List

The call to action of this comment form from RobGoodlatte.com changes; “Enlighten Me”, “Shout It Into The Forest”, “Sound Off!” and “Out With It!” are examples we took the time to find. It’s ok to have a little fun with your forms…

From Rob Goodlatte

We love how this one looks. An interesting font choice or experiment with texture can pay off big time…

From Toucouleur

The post-it look. It can be hard to be creative while still keeping a form super simple, this option pulls it off nicely.

From Point of Entry

This one isn’t live on his site anymore, but Edward Pistachio’s contact form is one of the most creative we’ve seen (thanks to swiss-miss.com for keeping it up!) While this obviously wouldn’t work for a corporate-type site, it fits in great with his site’s tone.

Edward Pistachio

Simple, to the point and just enough texture in the background to keep it interesting…well done.

From Jonnotie.nl

The comment form from Tentangrifai.com is bright, colorful and fits in with the rest of their site. It’s becoming more common for designers to throw in little extras commonly seen on forums, like the little smileys…its a trend we like.

From Tentangrifai

This one is from BlogDesignBlog, a pretty standard layout but we like the step-by-step instructions…and it’s always nice to let your visitors know you follow!

From Blogdesignblog

Last but not least, JankoAtWarpSpeed has a great tutorial for creating a comment form from images of old postcards…

From Janko At Warp Speed

October 15th, 2008

McCain vs. Obama – Website Wars

With the last debate scheduled for tonight, and with the nation counting down the days till Nov. 4th – AgencyTool has decided to review each candidates’ website, putting all political biases and issues aside, and declare a winner!  We’ll be evaluating the candidates’ respective websites on 4 major features…

Feature #1 – Landing Pages

Both campaigns feature their slogan of choice and cliche graphic of the ticket name prominently.  Obama’s landing page has a simple design with a single family portrait style image.  There’s an option to sign-up with your email address, but it’s pretty easy to get straight to the main homepage via the skip button.  McCain’s landing page has much more content, featuring several videos set to play on repeat and four different options on how to get involved with the campaign.  And the winner is…

Obama                               McCain

We’re going with McCain on this one.  Each landing page is equally easy to navigate through, but McCain’s offers more in the way of information and opportunity to get involved.

Feature #2 – Home Pages

Both sites have focused on recruiting for volunteer efforts in the area above the fold, have news and events sections below the fold, and have similar top navigation.  They also both feature video feeds prominently, although the content differs.  McCain has one video per day, while Obama has several different videos available.

Obama’s site has a cleaner look and still manages to display more total content.  It feels more Web 2.0-ish (we realize this is not a technical term) with interactive maps, blog feed, and social media options directly on the homepage.  McCain had a feature we got excited about – a choose your position bar (choices were supporter, undecided, or unregistered voter).  However, after testing it out by having several different people pick different options we were disappointed to find out that the site doesn’t change at all in response to your selected viewpoint.  Round 2 goes to…

Obama                             McCain

While the pages were more similar than not, Obama’s more up-to-date look and extra content gives him the advantage.  Not to mention that McCain gets downgraded for having a potentially great tool that doesn’t work, or is just there to record IP addresses.  On a sidenote: Google awards a PR8 to both candidate’s sites, and according to this post from ZB Blog Obama’s site pulls in much more traffic.

Feature #3 – Use of Blogging/Social Media

Again, more similarities here than differences.  Each site has a blog with RSS feed, and does a great job of getting different types of content included – both make use of video, news articles, and candidate activity update type posts.  Interestingly, both blogs steer away from commentary on the issues.  On a positive (somewhat surprising) note, the comments section of both blogs doesn’t seem to be too heavily moderated.  There are negative comments on each candidates blog – props go to both camps for not censoring the public.

As far as social media goes, McCain has the basics – links to MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube.  Obama on the other hand, covers a wider range with a total of 16 social media options, those on McCain’s site plus twitter, flickr, linkedin and more.  Obama’s site includes these links on the sidebar of every single page on the site, while McCain’s are on one page only.  McCain has another interesting feature here – awarding points to users based on recruiting friends, posting pro-McCain comments on blogs, attending events, etc.

Obama                             McCain

Though its close, we give the edge to Obama.  We’re excited that both camps have recognized the importance of social media and are actively engaging with it, but Obama’s site makes it easier to use and has a fresher looking blog with a greater variety of content.

Feature #4 – Issues Page/Store/Targets

This last section is a sort of catch-all for the rest of the aspects of the two websites.  Each candidate’s site does a great job with their respective ‘Issues’ pages.  Both are organized into clear categories (i.e. Education, Economy, Homeland Security) and the information given is – for the most part – a clear and concise summary of the candidates position and plan of action.  Indeed the official websites are one of the few places you’ll get a straight answer from either campaign.  It was also nice to see that both sites had links on how to register to vote, and an “En Espanol” button that made the websites visible in Spanish.

In true E-Commerce spirit, both sites also had online campaign stores.  They had similar products available at similar prices, and the only real difference was that McCain’s store was operated independently.  Proceeds from the McCain store “do not benefit McCain-Palin 2008 and should not be considered campaign contributions” where as Obama’s campaign gets 100% of their store’s proceeds.

A final component of the candidate’s we’re taking a look at is the targeted information areas (for lack of a better term).  McCain calls his “Coalitions” and they include Americans of Faith, Arab Americans for McCain, Bikers for McCain, etc.  Obama calls this section “People” and the topics include People of Faith, Students, Small Business, etc.  We took this a different approach to the same thing and each did a good job of pulling group-appropriate content together.

Obama                           McCain

Yeah, this one’s an even draw.  Without getting into specific political issues and looking at these features from a strictly design/content perspective each of the candidates’ sites is exemplary…Job well done!

Final Score:

Obama’s Site: 3

McCain’s Site: 2

While it wasn’t a landslide, Obama’s site is the clear winner based on our criteria.  Think we missed an important feature of either candidate’s site?  Don’t agree with the results?  Leave a comment and let us know.

August 19th, 2008

Can Pink Be Professional? 15 Pink Websites You Have to See

It’s a question the designers have asked for a while now.  Can pink be used in a professional design?  I think the answer is a resounding YES!  Nixing the color pink all together can stifle the creative process. You decide…here are 15 websites utilizing the wonderful color pink


Some uber professional sites: A financial/trading company, an advertising agency, and a large well-respected mobile phone service provider…all using pink!


Even a few professional web design firms…

And even if the pink seems overwhelming, keep in mind the type of company and intended audience.  Character design or a stuffed animal designer for example…

Then again, you don’t want to get too carried away…

August 15th, 2008

Dashboard Updates From This Week

We’re glad to see the emails haven’t slowed down at all.  We really do try to add them all and our Dashboard is bigger than ever.

This week we added some interesting tools to the Site Maintenance tab.  SM2 is an analytic tool that allows you to monitor and measure social media.  You can find out how often people are talking about you and what they are saying.  SensorPro was also suggested to us, its a tool used to create online surveys.

Also, there are several new SEO resources.  The KGen firefox extension allows you to see what keywords are strong on a visited web page. Then you can retrieve them for social sharing (tag filling) or webmastering/SEO.  While the SEO Workers Analysis tool can analyze and measure the ranking potential of your site.

One more exciting addition is the Designer’s How To Guide, a resource for designers on how to market, manage and sell themselves.

Just a sampling of what we added this week…make sure to check the Dashboard for all our new links and please keep sending them!

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ABOUT AGENCYTOOL At its core, AgencyTool exists to serve as a resource for creative agencies, whether they be into web design, print, advertising or anything else. Here on the AgencyTool Blog you'll find a mish-mosh of resources and thoughts that we think are worth sharing.

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