5 template block tips for alpha site managers

McGill Statue: Bad News by Doug Zwick

1. Keep page load times to a minimum

Don’t make your visitors wait for a heavy page to load! When adding template blocks to your webpages, remember that too many images can result in slower load times for your site visitors. Try to find a good balance between creating a page that is visually engaging, while presenting a minimal number of images.

2. Choose the best images for your blocks

When choosing an image for a block, consider the final layout of the block carefully.

With full and half-width statement blocks, the overlaid text box will appear in the bottom left-hand corner of the image. Choose images that do not include important content in this area.

With third-width statement blocks, the overlaid text box will appear over the bottom of the image. Vertically composed images with important content focused at the top of the image, usually work well.

3. Add text that will inspire your visitors to take action

Calls to action should be action-oriented (e.g. “Register”, “Learn more”, “Sign up”) and no more than 5 words in length. Keep your block descriptions brief and to the point.

4. Watch your alignment

Keep your page layout neat by ensuring blocks align well. Each of the elements in a block (e.g. image, title, description, links) can effect the way your blocks align. With text, make sure your titles and block descriptions are balanced. Crop your images using a similar ratio to ensure they line up well when displayed side-by-side.

5. Make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for

Choose the number of blocks you place on a page carefully. Your site visitors could miss your key messages if you present them with too many blocks. Check out the Education webpage on the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design website for a example of an effective layout with a minimal number of blocks.

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