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New Web Site for Morrill & Associates PC

TBH Creative would like to announce the launch of a newly redesigned web site for Morrill & Associates PC -- a law firm based in Chicago and Springfield Illinois. TBH Creative was hired to assist the law firm to create a more effective and up-to-date web presence. The revised web site launched last night and you can visit the new web site at http://www.smorrill.com.


About the Law Firm The attorneys and professionals at Morrill & Associates, P.C. have substantive expertise in such fields as utility regulation, insurance law, health care, land use and zoning, property taxation, pension system administration, transportation, municipal law, professional regulation, government procurement, state agency rulemaking and administrative law. They have offices in both Chicago and Springfield, Illinois. See the Old Site Design
  TBH Creative works will many different industries to create effective web sites. If your company or organization needs web design assistance, call TBH Creative today to discuss the project further.

New Web Site for The Indiana University Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine

TBH Creative is happy to announce the launch a newly redesigned web site for The Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine (at IUPUI). TBH Creative helped the center update their web design to match University branding strategies, rework the home page messages, set up some social networking, and routine maintenance of content. The revised web site launched today and you can visit it at http://www.regen.iupui.edu/.
About the Center The Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine (CRBM) was established in 2001 on the Indianapolis campus of Indiana University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), through a grant from the State of Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. The administrative home of the CRBM is the Department of Biology (http://www.biology.iupui.edu/) in the School of Science (http://www.science.iupui.edu/).
The CRBM has three missions:
  • Multidisciplinary research aimed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of regeneration.
  • Translation of basic research findings into regenerative medicine therapies through technology transfer.
  • Graduate education leading to Biology MS and PhD degrees in regenerative biology and medicine.
Did you know? Amputated fingertips of humans can regenerate if the amputation surface is not sutured shut. Check out the new site to learn more about the Center and more interesting facts >
Visit the Center's Blog > Become a Fan on Facebook! >
Need an updated web design to match new branding or just keep up with new online design trends? Contact TBH Creative to discuss your web project today!

3 questions a good navigation system should answer

Web site navigation is unmistakeably one of the most important elements on your web site and will likely influence the success of your site and your user's experience. According to Web usability expert, Jakob Nielsen, a good navigation system should answer three questions:
  1. Where am I?
  2. Where have I been?
  3. Where can I go?
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Use these basic elements to develop an effective navigation system (or correct one that is not effective):
  1. Keep the navigation style and placement consistent on each page. Users will get confused and frustrated if links appear and disappear unpredictably.
  2. Use appropriate text inside links. Don't make your visitors guess where a link is going to take them. Visitors should be able to anticipate a link's destination by reading the text in the link or on the navigation button. This isn't the time to be cute or obscure - visitors don't have the time or patience for it.
  3. Use CSS to emphasize text links. Some designers dislike underlined text links inside page content because it makes bodies of text more difficult to read. The problem is that visitors expect links to underlined so there needs to be an obvious cue to users that these are links if they are not underlined. The "hover" state can help do the trick and a good designer will use CSS to create a different and consistent visual technique as an indicator (e.g. background color, different font, or text color).
  4. Add a text-based site map. Large or complex sites should always have a text-based site map in addition to text links. Every page should contain a text link to the site map. Lost visitors will use it to find their way, while search engines spiders will have reliable access to all your pages.
  5. Include a button for "home page" inside your primary navigation system. This will help if visitors enter your site from a search engine and do not enter at the starting page. This will allow them to click back to your home page if desired.
  6. Site logo links to home page. Most sites include their logo somewhere at the top of every page - generally in the top, left-hand corner. Make this link back to home because that is what your user will expect.
Check out TBH Creative's portfolio for samples of effective navigation. The primary navigation should be obvious, consistent and easy for the user. Contact us today for more web site services information.

How to compress your image files like a graphic artist

Nothing is more annoying to readers than waiting for a 200k graphic to load when it should be only 20k instead. Graphic software can compress files so they take up less room on your disk, and therefore take less time to load into your visitors' browsers.

What is Image Compression? Image compression is minimizing the size in bytes of a graphics file without degrading the quality of the image to an unacceptable level. The reduction in file size allows more images to be stored in a given amount of disk or memory space. It also reduces the time required for images to be sent over the Internet or downloaded from Web pages. (Source)

Compression Methods There are basically two types of compression methods: lossy and lossless. Lossy compression creates smaller files by discarding some information about the original image. It removes details and color changes it deems too small for the human eye to differentiate. Lossless compression, on the other hand, never discards any information about the original file.

Graphic File Formats The graphic file formats most browsers support are GIF, JPEG and, more recently, Progressive JPEG (p-jpeg). New formats are appearing as possible challengers, including PNG, FIF, and those based on wavelet compression (see below). PNG, being an open standard, promises to replace GIF. JPEG has no current non-proprietary competition, though there has been a lot of hype, claims and discussion about the various proprietary formats. The potential of improved compression ratios using one of the wavelet flavors is showing scientific promise but will depend on the open standards issue for widespread acceptance. (Source)

When and how to use the different web graphic formats. (Source)

JPEG:
  • Good:

    • Photographs
    • Movie stills
    • Desktop backgrounds
  • Bad:

    • Line art and text
    • Anywhere where fine lines or sharp color contrast is needed
PNG:
  • Good:

    • Text, line art, general web graphics
    • Windows application screenshots
    • When accurate reproduction (lossless) is required (24 bit PNG)
    • When alpha channel support is required
    • As a general replacement for anything that is a non-animated GIF
  • Bad:

    • Photos
    • Disappointing browser support for 32 bit PNGs from Microsoft and others
GIF:
  • Good:

    • Where animations are required
    • Widespread browser support
  • Bad:

    • Large file sizes compared to PNG for the same quality
    • Often limited to 256 colors (8 bit)
Many web designers do not understand the differences between graphic formats, which is why you see grainy, blurry, slow-to-load, distorted, or pixelated graphics on web sites. It is important to save and compress properly for quick load and best appearance. Contact TBH Creative today to hire a company who knows how to work with web graphics.

A great tip that many web sites fail to do...

Put your contact info (or a link to it) on the top or bottom of every web page.

Don't waste your readers' time by making them hunt around your site for how to contact you. Make your contact info easy to get to. This seems like an obvious suggestion, but many web sites fail to do this. A large percentage of users are looking for contact information to call or find out more, so it is important to give it to them easily. Even a link to the contact page will suffice if it is clear and on all pages. This works especially well when the company has multiple locations and it would be cluttered to appear on each page.

Present complete contact information including your business phone number and postal address. A street address is preferred, but you may want to use a PO box if yours is a home-based business. Visitors will probably prefer to contact you using email or a form, but they feel more comfortable with a site that allows other contact methods.

TBH Creative is available to help with your full web site project and offer more Web site tips and advice throughout the process. Contact TBH Creative today!

2 tips to minimize web site clicking

Put as few clicks between your visitor and your information as possible. The more you force your visitors to click around your web site the more likely they'll leave and go to another site. A couple tips to help reduce the number of clicks.
  1. Do not use splash pages. There are very few circumstances in which splash pages are profitable, warranted or useful. Ultimately, they mean 1 more click for the user to find what he or she needs. If you or your client is considering a splash page, ask: why add that extra click?
  2. Include a Site Map and/or Search. These tools give the control to the user and allow them to see the complete hierarchy of pages. A site map is useful if your site is 10 pages or several hundred pages.
Contact TBH Creative for more helpful tips on web site usability. TBH Creative is a full service web design company in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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