Screen Guidelines for Editors

See design for details on page layout

Where do items fit, and what can become a unique screen in the system, is a common question, so we try here to answer it, as best we can.

If you look at the original idea behind Start-Page you find that we wanted to make information available in the easiest and most convenient form. Therefore in theory if you would expect to find a screen in a place, you are most likely absolutely right and it should be there. Sometimes however all that is needed is an index entry at that location pointing to an existing entry. For example where there are two words with similar meaning or several places it could be for example fishing and angling, or  motor sports- F1 and F1 motor racing. There are many extra entries in the indexes and these are shown by an asterisk* after the extra index entries. In the general topic list we cannot put every conceivable variation, or the list would take to long to load, so less likely variants are added to just the master index instead.

We don't have some types of material at all in the system. As it is designed as a family friendly site, so we don't have sites that directly link to pornography sites, bomb making or similar. So let us explain "directly link". Most search engines will get to this material, and we have links to them, and we do not ask editors to check out links from the sites they link to, just make sure the site itself is not in this classification. Lets face it if anyone wants to find this material they will, and if you are in a free country, outside the UK, fine, but within the UK, you don't want to even take a peek at the porn sites, or some madman high on porn in a police car may come and take your computer away and call you all sorts of names in the press, while he enjoys looking at what you have found. We don't believe in censorship but we have to try to both make sure that the site is completely family friendly.

Types of pages

Topics

A topic is a specific area of interest, for example a sport, hobby, financial area, or other area of interest, and is the section used by the largest number of users. Pages can form a hieratical structure, so there are general topic screens, ie sport, and specific screens to a specific sport. In addition you can create sub screens that do not form part of the index but are directly connected from your topic screen, if this is helpful or you just have far too many buttons to provide in a single screen. On the right hand side of the screen you will also see a 'see also' list that allows you to point out other topic screens that may be of interest, and this is generally a better approach where it can be used, and more entries can be included in the index.

Large collections of screens on a topic becomes a section, and have its own special menu entry rather than having all its entries in the main topic index. You can tell which items are section entries as they have a yellow flash across them.

Places

A place is a country, county, city, town or village, it could also be an area such as the Cotswold's. These pages show sites relevant to people who live in the area and tourists or business visitors. It is not a composite of all the web sites of every business that is based there, although if an editor wished these could form a list that came off the top row of buttons. So the councils, tourist information, local newspaper and TV companies sites, together with theatres, tourist attractions, local colleges, churches and schools ....... and anything else with a local flavour. The general area of the places section shows mapping, directories etc that apply to all areas.

Optionally there is the second type of page that can also be created as a local place home page. This is simple to create and is a composite of the place page, the initial start up general resources screen and the places resources screen. The objective being to come up with a page that is the ideal starting point for the resident of the town or city. You could of course have several of these, one aimed at young people, one for retired etc. These optional pages should link off the main place page, and not be a replacement for it.

Professions (and specialist interests)

Profession screens bring together the resources that are most useful to the person in this profession. This home page for the profession will often  be a composite of general screens, and a topic, but with specialist sites like professional organizations, or specific reference sites. Our definition of a profession is very wide, and we include trades, industries, jobs etc. generally it does not have a local aspect to it, and where it does this is in the form of listings available on buttons for example a journalist may find it useful to have access directly to a full list of all UK newspaper sites by place, or all councils. We do not see many cases where geography will cause the need for a separate professional entry. There will be cases where some professions may need sections button list for Europe, UK, England, Scotland and Wales. We will consider of course any recommendation you put forward. What we are most trying to avoid is leaving out groups, by making a topic selective.

There are of course many overlapping screens in this section and we do not see a problem with this, so if you see a need, and are willing to sort it out then tell us.

Special interests such as people involved in 'self build' and investing in property we treat as a professions. So the term should be considered to include jobs, trades, and special interests.

Reference

The reference sections are really a part of the topic list, and are topics containing useful general reference material.

Channels and organizations

This is not so much about indexing what is out there as including it within Start-Page. This is possible using the friendly system approach we have developed. It means that clubs and others who develop data, on line libraries and otter data can be made available from within start page directly. Some of these have direct buttons shown in green on the system, including the Worldwide Library, a picture library and a Value Plus.


Any questions, email us at editors@start-page.co.uk

Remember we need you so please contact us if you have problems.