I recently had a somewhat crazy idea to solve a common problem. It's currently half-baked, and it's related to a project I might be working on, so your comments and thoughts are appreciated.
Here's the problem: big organizations have a ton of content that needs to go *somewhere* on their website, and often, the really important stuff gets obscured. It's uncomfortable to visit a site like http://hawaii.edu/ and try and find something, and we're all being classically conditioned to avoid them.
Here's the remedy I'm mulling over: preface the full site with a smaller site, which works for 80% of visitors and has 20% of the content. The mini site would just look like a tiny website with very little content, but for one small element just above or below the navbar that communicates something to the effect of "This is our mini-site. If it doesn't have what you're looking for, try the full site." This element would be visually composed of a color that contrasts with the rest of the mini-site, which would form a dominant color of the full site. Other links that lead from the mini site to the full site will also make use of that color. Maybe an icon of some sort as well.
Please chime in with any random thoughts, but I also have two specific questions for you, dear reader: Have you ever seen a site like this? Can you come up with compelling and interesting names for the concepts "full site" and "mini site"?