Website as Garden - I


This row of old Florida homes was the garden of my friend's childhood. The street is lined with stately Live Oaks, festooned with acres of Spanish Moss. Here is shade in the bright sun, homesteading for countless critters, and a welcome mat in bark, leaf, and limb to the stroller. "Come over to our front porch." "Come and sit for awhile!"

Her first principle of garden design is to look from the Outside...In. What draws you to the house, down the drive, to the front door, and from there into the garden? How is your eye drawn? How gently/convincingly is one drawn in to it all?

So it is with websites. Start with first impressions—the turn/click into the site and the first view your audience has.

These Royal Palms are magnificent. Do they make you want to drive in the driveway or drive by? My eye was caught by the crisp stainless steel tone of the metal roof, just as crisp and fine a texture as the trunk of the palm. The tall palms and the one story home intrigued me. The only thing I missed seeing was color—reds, yellows and oranges. I will hope that the backyard is richly supplied with these.

A well crafted "Outside...In" website will sport a striking front page image. You will want to stop your browsing and take a second look. You will wonder what is beyond the driveway and behind the front door. What you do not know is whether it will have the depth to satisfy as you venture beyond your first glance?

But here...well down below a bona fide invitation to enter: color, movement, and even a lovely swinging chair waiting for you. There is action at every level of vision. The textures vary from stone to grass, flowers, shrubs and soft wicker. I bet if you sit down someone might show up with a glass of sweet tea.

Peter Pierson