Some websites are colorful. Some have images that rotate. Some are quietly inviting, and some practically scream for your attention.
But some of the most informative websites are those that are simple in design. Simplicity usually equals elegance, and with that in mind I want to direct your attention to two websites where the elegance of simplicity combines with truly informative content.
First is the website for Orbitform Inc. (www.orbitform.com), a Jackson, MI-company that makes fastening, forming, riveting, and assembly systems. Go to the company's homepage and you'll find a simple layout with a blue and grey background, and the tagline, "More than just riveting." Well that applies to the attention-holding design elements as well as the company's products.
In the middle of the page, you'll find four images or symbols, one each for the different heads for the company's machines. There are no labels for the images, which in itself invites you to click on them just to see where they take you. The destination is a simple data sheet that explains the part and provides just enough technical information to get you interested.
For example, one image is for the company's roller-forming heads. Click on the image and you get descriptive text on the best applications, and a simple diagram showing a front and bottom view of a roller head. You can click on the diagram and get a larger view with callouts showing such things as where the bearings are.
And the site has a section of frequently asked questions, where you can get answers to such queries as whether cracks in semi-tubular rivet clinches can be eliminated.
All in all, simple and informative.
Another simple-yet-elegant website is www.galilmc.com for Rocklin, CA-based Galil Motion Control. The light orange background is eye-catching, and the black-and-white type is easy to read. From the homepage you can get to product information, of course, but also to educational information. For example, you can click on a video demo of a motion controller, watch a Web tutorial, or download a MotionCode toolkit, which explains step by step the solution to a specific motion control problem.
Also accessible from the homepage is the latest issue of the company's quarterly technical newsletter. You'll have to register to see the contents of it or past issues, but registration takes barely a minute and is worth it. The July issue includes an article (by Dr. Jacob Tal, company's chairman) on how Galil modified the gearing function to enable gradual engagement. The April 2004 issue has one on microstepping and the performance issues of resolution, accuracy, and repeatability by Galil applications engineer Glen Garretson. These are just two of the many articles.
Again, simple and informative.
And speaking of simple yet informative, don't forget to register for the free Design News online technical conference E2E on Motion Control and Automation. The series of webcasts takes place October 19, and you can view them from your desktop, then ask questions of the engineers who are part of the panel discussions. Topics covered include network communications, drive technologies, motor selection, digital motor control, and new ideas in motion control and automation. You can register at www.designnews.com/E2E. Besides a lot of deep technical information, registrants and attendees can qualify to win prizes. See the registration site for details.
Reach Teague at firstname.lastname@example.org.