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The makings of the perfect website

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Well blow me down - a website designed by an architect which gets just about 10 out of 10. It needs to be said that the architect, Marc Thomas at the Oxford office of Architects Design Partnership, has sensibly abandoned his profession for the role of web master and computer manager. The practice website at www.adp-architects.co.uk is a model of fast downloading, simplicity and clarity.

On one side of the screen (you have to disable favourites) he deploys that nice roll-over button feature where you move the cursor over a key word or button and something happens elsewhere on the screen without you having to click. That is for moody messages about architects, design and partnership. On the other side you click on news, contact, projects, people, philosophy and information, and with a flicker of the screen are at a page covering the topic in the simplest language I have seen outside these very pages. Indeed, some of the topics are from AJ's news pages.

OK, there are a few solecisms in the shape of quote marks around the name Kalzip, which make it look as though this perfectly innocent roofing is masquerading as something else, and I am not sure the philosophy section should not have been renamed 'marketing mission statement'. But that is merely to cavil, for the site fills you with confidence that these blokes can move fast, do not mess around, do not bother with market babble, do some nice buildings and are lean and clean.

And all this because that is what the website is like.

I did not get to speak to Thomas but I think this is also a low maintenance site.

The only sections which need regular attention are news and projects.

Successful though ADP doubtless is, it is unlikely that it would need to update the site more than once a month. In the meantime, the tightness of the design gives the impression that it was refreshed this morning.

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