Aquaculture New Zealand is a levy-supported industry body and their website has to cater for five or more distinctive groups and we wanted to create a design and layout that appealed to the widest possible audience. As this is a rapidly evolving industry, it is very news-focused so we made the decision to “weave” current issues and news into virtually every main landing page. There is so much content (both text and images) that we had to be really careful not to make it so busy that it was difficult to read and to navigate.
The Aquaculture New Zealand website is built on a 12-column grid as well with most of the landing pages split above the “fold” into either 9:3 or 6:3:3 and the footer on all pages being split into 3:3:3:3. We are fond of the 12-column layout as it is extremely versatile in terms of how it can be split and how different splits can work so well together in a complimentary way. Our columns are 54px wide with a 30px gutter.
Each landing page is virtually the same in its structure with a feature article (and image) followed by three highlighted feature articles with associated images. Every article has an image to turn, what could have been, a rather dull and very text-heavy website into something that has visual appeal.
On standard content pages, the right column always shows the first three articles of the section with associated images followed by the remaining pages as text links. Again, this is to add visual interest and avoid having something too text-heavy.
We are especially proud of this website in terms of the design and the structure and the way it delivers the vast amount of content. We have had some really positive feedback from not only Aquaculture New Zealand themselves but from their clients which is really encouraging. We have had several emails from them passing on feedback they have received and have even been told they have had several other companies in their industry ask if they can copy the site!