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A linked index page that stays open throughout an entire visit allows for great art direction.
Especially in an extremely large site with hundreds of pages. In such situations, scores of links on every page could be necessary for easy navigation. With so many distractions, the art direction of a design that focuses well on content is difficult to accomplish.
Imagine an ever present page designed explicitly to fulfill navigational requirements. Fully comprehensive, this type of index page is linked to every location in the entire site. Extremely convenient, this page automatically positions itself behind the current page. Its exact position is offset slightly to make toggling from one to the other quite easy. Eliminated is the uneasiness of losing your present location in exchange for returning to the Home page's limited link selection.
Further, the benefit to an art director is immense. With the navigational requirements solved and out of the way, suddenly there is far more chance to slow surfers down in order to really capture their attention. Much like in print publications, key visuals and writing can finally dominate the space. Even some white space can be allowed to help invite the reader's eye. In the final analysis such well art directed pages are far more likely to be totally read and absorbed.
What to do with the look of a related subsidiary site appearing within the main site.
The client's input indicated that there would be three to four subsidiary sections that would require some unique content and navigation. Also, that the primary identity should remain that of the Cancer Research Foundation of America (CRFA) with a bit of visual distinction given to each of the subsidiaries.
The creative solution, as shown on this and the next page, was to exchange increments of the sub Home page without changing the format itself. The result, is that when folks enter the Colorectal Cancer Awareness month subsidiary, there won't be any concern that they have left the main CRFA site.