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003: Car Dealership (2010)

Design and development

Here’s design number 3 of 104, a fictional car dealership named “Miami Toyota.” With this design, I wanted to use some JavaScript techniques; I used the jQuery “Cycle” plugin to create a photo slideshow, with CSS3′s rgba color support to create a transparent banner under each photo. I also used the “Son of Suckerfish” dropdown menu technique to create a horizontal navigation bar at the top of the site (the original proof-of-concept of the technique at A List Apart used a demo site about lampreys). Visually, the design emphasizes the cars themselves, with additional emphasis on dealership specials (on the left, in a dark grey box) and a simple contact form to let the dealership’s sales professionals follow up with interested customers. The central area provides a convenient place for the dealership to announce news items and sales on the site’s front page. The site makes great use of manufacturer stock photography. It is common practice for auto manufacturers to provide large portions of their associated dealerships’ websites, but my intent here was to fully integrate those portions into the site as a whole. Too many dealership websites look like a mish-mash of professional and amateur work, with little attention paid to information architecture or overall design.

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