From David Meerman Scott, website design tips for authors who want to attract speaking opportunities

Posted February 26th @ 12:51 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Thursday’s profit tip for authors

David Meerman Scott’s new website design, shown below, offers an excellent example of an author’s home page that uses layout, color, photographs, and text to purposefully organize information and facilitate scroll-free access to the site’s most important resources. A study of the one-screen home page reveals numerous design ideas and tips for authors to apply to their own websites. david-meerman-scott-home-re

Design tips for authors to consider on their own sites, based on David Meerman Scott’s home page, include:

  1. Form follows function, space follows profit. Home page space allocations were based on priority. The majority of space is devoted to promoting David’s speaking services to event planners. This is appropriate, because David’s books are promoted on their own sites.
  2. Photography provides proof. Photographs of David on-stage communicate that he is an engaging and enthusiastic presenter. Notice the way an “engaged audience” photo is sandwiched between a photo of David in his shirtsleeves on the left and a more formal photo on the right.
  3. Color provides atmosphere, direction, and unity. The black background behind the photographs adds dramatic impact. The restrained use of red attracts the visitor’s eyes to the relatively small, but still very noticeable, banner links on the right side of the page. Note the way the blue in “LIVE” matches the blue in the book cover to the right.
  4. Concise text. There are not too many words on the page, but those that are there have been carefully chosen. I am especially impressed by the vertical column of “What audiences are saying” text along the left edge. This is precisely the information that event planners are looking for. David’s quote below his brief bio ends with a very believable and earnest sentence: “I’ll show you how.”
  5. Typography. Note the strong contrast between the typeface used for his name in the banner at the top of the page, and the “exciting” distressed typeface design used for “David Meerman Scott LIVE!” headline.
  6. Consistency. The redesign maintains consistency with the past by retaining the same banner and navigation bar that has been used for several years on his site. Returning visitors will feel comforted by this link from the past.

Clearly, nothing has been left to chance. All of the details of color, photographs, layout, and text work together in an intentional way. The “obviousness” of the layout and design details camouflage the thought that went into producing the page.


What do you think? Are you as enthusiastic about this author home page as I am? What would you change? Which of the tips described above would work on your home page? Share your opinions as comments, below.


2 Comments

  1. David Meerman Scott
    February 26, 2009

    Thanks Roger. My designer, Doug Eymer, deserves all the credit.
    http://www.eymer.com/

  2. Brad Mahoff
    March 7, 2009

    Keep up the great work, I love your posts

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