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A slice of humble pie please for this in-house cynic

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Sometimes you think that architectural websites in general might be a lost cause and then along comes Loates Taylor Shannon and its site at www. lts-architects. co. uk.

I have to eat humble pie about recommending that architects should not construct their own websites, because this one was designed by in-house Part-2er Matthew Jones.

Humble pie too because one of the worst architecture-related sites I have seen (not just my view) was apparently designed by a pro. I won't mention who because it is now a tad improved.

What is immediately stunning, apart from the cool design, about the Loates Taylor Shannon site is its speed. The home page image slams into place on its grey background and when you hit 'Projects', up zaps an abstract-ish elevation with a list of the practice's work on the left-hand side.

Click on, say, 'Free Trade Wharf' and up slides a general image of the project with seven tiny monochrome thumbnails across the bottom. Click on any of them and up flash readable 10cm-deep colour images.

And the site loads fast: in less than a second. The thumbnails are too small and too monochrome, but because everything is so instant, you can simply click at random and get a good idea of the project from the big images as you flash them on and off. And it is you doing it, not the site running a leisurely automatic carousel. On the right-hand side of the main image area is a brief description of the project, with the client's name. Should you want to know who the contractor and consultants were you click on 'Credits' at the bottom. More detail? Click on the little text icon and up comes a project sheet with a white background so it can be printed.

This is exactly how websites should be used: offering a summary of the facts with the detail text or images just a click away. The slab san-serif type is nonadjustable, but there are nice little jokes on the 'About Us' page.sutherlandlyall@btinternet. com

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