changing images and color schemes on refresh

25 Sep 2008 - 1:18pm
5 years ago
7 replies
1190 reads
Scott Cobban
2007

I'm designing a top-level product landing page for an e-commerce site. The
design consists of a main banner image with marketing messaging spanning the
full width of the page, with 4 content boxes aligned horizontally under the
main banner image with equal spacing in between each so that they cover the
same width as the main banner image (similar to Apple's landing page).

The 4 boxes' header fonts and background colors - different color for each
box - belong to those in the color scheme of the banner image (background
images are lighter, washed out versions).

The banner image and information in 2 of the 4 boxes is set to change on
each page refresh. When the banner image changes, it also changes the
background and header text colors on the boxes.

If a visitor arrives on one of the landing pages, leaves that landing page,
but then returns to that same landing page (via "Back" button or site
navigation), they'll see a page with a different banner image and color
scheme for the 4 boxes. I'm concerned that this can cause the visitor some
confusion. The main marketing message in the banner image won't change, but
the colors of the page and the sub-boxes' content will.

How do you feel about changing the visual elements on a page and potentially
presenting the visitor with new color schemes upon their return to a page?

Thanks,
Scott

Comments

26 Sep 2008 - 9:55am
Pawson, Mark
2007

Hi Scott,

Here are a couple of design patterns that may help. Personally based
on the visual anchor pattern I do not like the idea of changing the
color schemes upon returning to a page.
http://designinginterfaces.com/Visual_Framework
http://designinginterfaces.com/Color-Coded_Sections

Cheers

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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26 Sep 2008 - 10:07am
Santiago Bustelo
2010

Color-coded sections are more of an anti-pattern.

--

Santiago Bustelo // icograma
Buenos Aires, Argentina

26 Sep 2008 - 10:11am
Scott McDaniel
2007

It sincerely sounds like a thin line to be treading - users can generally handle
significant changes in content - intermediate+ users usually find
value in updated
content, deals and suggested items on their Amazon landing site for
example, but
framework changes such as color would seem to be confusing.
Banner images are often expected to be inserts, ads or only related to
structure as
to the space they occupy, so the change of the image seems less
significant or even expected.

Does the color change serve another aspect of the user experience?
Does it highlight a direction for the user, a purpose for their being
there or what they
want to do?

Scott

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Scott Cobban <scobban at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> If a visitor arrives on one of the landing pages, leaves that landing page,
> but then returns to that same landing page (via "Back" button or site
> navigation), they'll see a page with a different banner image and color
> scheme for the 4 boxes. I'm concerned that this can cause the visitor some
> confusion. The main marketing message in the banner image won't change, but
> the colors of the page and the sub-boxes' content will.
>
> How do you feel about changing the visual elements on a page and potentially
> presenting the visitor with new color schemes upon their return to a page?
>
> Thanks,
> Scott

--
* It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match. And
it's very important to get out of it as quickly as possible. - Randy
Pausch

25 Sep 2008 - 5:32pm
Justin Davis
2008

For me, it does sound somewhat troublesome, although I think there's a
sliding scale here. I think that you could probably do this, but by
selecting one palette, and having the changes happen across that central
palette.

For example, you may have two banner images, but each would share the same
blues, grays, whites, dark blues, and blacks. As your images change, they'd
stay within this same palette, and the box backgrounds would as well. I
don't think individual box colors are as important here as a unified overall
feel. You'd get the best of both worlds - the ability to change the colors
on a micro scale (box to box), while keeping everything inside a macro
family.

The tricky part will be allowing the user to come back to that page,
immediately know that it still belongs to the site, but also be alerted that
some of the items have changed. I think by just rearranging colors *inside*
the overall palette, you may be able to find that spot.

Good luck!

Justin Davis

On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 1:18 PM, Scott Cobban <scobban at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm designing a top-level product landing page for an e-commerce site. The
> design consists of a main banner image with marketing messaging spanning
> the
> full width of the page, with 4 content boxes aligned horizontally under the
> main banner image with equal spacing in between each so that they cover the
> same width as the main banner image (similar to Apple's landing page).
>
> The 4 boxes' header fonts and background colors - different color for each
> box - belong to those in the color scheme of the banner image (background
> images are lighter, washed out versions).
>
> The banner image and information in 2 of the 4 boxes is set to change on
> each page refresh. When the banner image changes, it also changes the
> background and header text colors on the boxes.
>
> If a visitor arrives on one of the landing pages, leaves that landing page,
> but then returns to that same landing page (via "Back" button or site
> navigation), they'll see a page with a different banner image and color
> scheme for the 4 boxes. I'm concerned that this can cause the visitor some
> confusion. The main marketing message in the banner image won't change,
> but
> the colors of the page and the sub-boxes' content will.
>
> How do you feel about changing the visual elements on a page and
> potentially
> presenting the visitor with new color schemes upon their return to a page?
>
> Thanks,
> Scott
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25 Sep 2008 - 10:34pm
Krystal Higgins
2008

Hi Scott,

I can't tell how intrinsically tied-together the banner image and
the 4 content boxes will be, but if they are as segregated as those
on the Apple home page, I would believe that changing the page's
theme upon refresh will be disconcerting.

Perhaps keeping the text/color in those 4 boxes static will allow
more of the user's focus to be on the dynamic refresh of the main
banner image.

Cheers,
Krystal

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=33529

26 Sep 2008 - 10:24am
Scott Cobban
2007

Thank you all for the feedback. The color change does NOT serve any other
purpose. It changes color to match the banner. That's it.

I really like the idea of sticking to specific color themes for a page and
had made that suggestion to my team initially. However, it was turned down
for a number of reasons (two of which involved the combination of a lack
of/unclear communication between the project leads and having to "get it
done" according to a strict timeline). Phase 1 of the project - creating
these new landing pages which hadn't existed before - will be finished soon,
but I'll have a chance to revisit these design ideas during Phase 2 when we
plan to redesign our homepage.

I appreciate the links that were sent and would love any other information
in this area.

- Scott

On Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 11:11 AM, Scott McDaniel <scott at scottopic.com>wrote:

> It sincerely sounds like a thin line to be treading - users can generally
> handle
> significant changes in content - intermediate+ users usually find
> value in updated
> content, deals and suggested items on their Amazon landing site for
> example, but
> framework changes such as color would seem to be confusing.
> Banner images are often expected to be inserts, ads or only related to
> structure as
> to the space they occupy, so the change of the image seems less
> significant or even expected.
>
> Does the color change serve another aspect of the user experience?
> Does it highlight a direction for the user, a purpose for their being
> there or what they
> want to do?
>
> Scott
>
> On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Scott Cobban <scobban at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > If a visitor arrives on one of the landing pages, leaves that landing
> page,
> > but then returns to that same landing page (via "Back" button or site
> > navigation), they'll see a page with a different banner image and color
> > scheme for the 4 boxes. I'm concerned that this can cause the visitor
> some
> > confusion. The main marketing message in the banner image won't change,
> but
> > the colors of the page and the sub-boxes' content will.
> >
> > How do you feel about changing the visual elements on a page and
> potentially
> > presenting the visitor with new color schemes upon their return to a
> page?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Scott
>
>
> --
> * It's very important to know when you're in a pissing match. And
> it's very important to get out of it as quickly as possible. - Randy
> Pausch
>

26 Sep 2008 - 4:28pm
Viktor Reiter
2008

I like your idea but it's confusing if you think of this case:

If you're on the landing page and see 4 banners, you decide which
one to click on. You go back via the browser's back button because
the content behind banner 1 wasn't that you were searching for and
think "mhm.. banner 2 sounds more interesting to me". You go back
but the banner's content changed. Now, you'll start to think%u2026
Where is the interesting headline? Do I have to wait for the content
change? Where's the search bar, but can I remember content of the
banner?

I think this is very confusing to the user. I had this problem with
changing content on the Apple landing page and I had to wait a long
time before the desired content returned.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=33529

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