It’s always nice to get a new website design released onto the world wide web, especially one where the customer has been very specific about their requirements.
This one is for a General Builder in Languedoc Roussillon who I have to say had a very clear image of what he wanted his site to look like and which was a very nice specification to work to. The home page was designed to represent all that is beautiful about the Languedoc Roussillon region and depicts what is probably one of the most iconic building projects of the area, the Canal Du Midi. There is some famous architecture in the region but I personally think this was a very good choice.
Beyond the home page there was a requirement to demonstrate his building projects in the before and after state. To have the graphics available for this purpose was in itself a demonstration of good planning and thinking ahead. A much needed trait I would suggest for project management.
Technically and from the design perspective, in the end this was achieved relatively easily by utilising the insert ‘rollover image’ function of Dreamweaver. I did initially toy with the idea of using the hide/show layers feature to avoid the use of Flash, but this started to become rather complex due to the number of photographs involved. Having spent a reasonable time creating the code to produce the required effect for hide/show, common sense prevailed and I reverted to the much simpler option of inserting a ‘rollover image’.
For those not familiar with the function you simply place the cursor where you would like the image in your design page then from the menu at the top of the page click Insert-Image Objects-Rollover Image. You are then presented with a dialogue box that allows you to name the picture, select the before and after graphics, which you will have ideally sized before hand, add an ‘alt tag’ and a URL address if you want a link. You can also elect to preload the rollover image using a check box if required. It is as simple as that just rinse and repeat for each graphic required to have the rollover image affect.
So why, if it is so simple, even consider an alternative method? The answer is straight forward, if somewhat outdated, it is that not everyone will necessarily have Flash on their PC. Or at least that was a consideration 5 or 6 years ago. In the cold light of day, in February 2011, the chances of that are pretty remote. Hence the application of common sense driven by the need to stick to the budget.
End result a very nice effect on a very well specified design that will probably work on approaching 99.9% of modern day PCs.