Sci Fi Blog - after
www.scifiblog.net

Sci Fi Blog - after

Recommendations:

  1. As a starting point I added in a science fiction related image to sit at the top of the page behind the logo and above the navigation to give a visual clue to the subject matter of the site – this creates a far more stylized looking site, makes it look more professional and enticing
  2. A darker colour palette of black and gold was used to give a grittyness to the site rather than a cold, passive feel and combining this with a mixture of sci fi images gives the site much more personality
  3. The 3 main areas of the site have been highlighted in a block with text and images – sci fi movies, sc fi awards and sci fi women
  4. The post information on the site has been condensed, the first post has been shortened so it gives the visitor a snapshot of information rather than too much in one go and then the following blog posts are shown in a considered way underneath rather than just flowing down the page
  5. Personal and contact details have been put in a the bottom and the rss and twitter info is at the top

Wall Glamour - before
www.wallglamour.co.uk

Wall Glamour - before

Initial thoughts:

  1. There is no initial focus to the page - very bitty, busy, your eye roams all over the place and there is nothing for it to focus on
  2. The site is predominantly white with an accent colour of grey – not really sure that this is the best accent colour for a home improvement website
  3. The site is a bit too fussy, there is no impact, it doesn't sell, it goes straight into products rather than giving the visitor ideas or ways to entice people or inspire them
  4. The USPs aren't highlighted very well - eg free UK postage, the products being featured on tv, the fact that they are easy to apply, you have to look at the about us pg for information
  5. All of the products are shown quite small – they are too small to see properly on the home page
  6. Viewing products isn't easy – there is no clear category split - all the products are shown as a huge list on further pages so if you are looking for something specific it hinders you

Wall Glamour - after
www.wallglamour.co.uk

Wall Glamour - after

Recommendations:

  1. To give your eye some focus a rich background colour has been used along with images of wall stickers as a background pattern – this makes the site much more dramatic and helps focus the eye inwards
  2. The green background colour was built in to a warm colour palette that is more akin to interior design and home improvement rather than using the cold, clinical white and grey as before
  3. Across the top header I have highlighted the USPs to help reassure the visitor and communicate the companies selling points
  4. Then there are a number of changing images that show examples of room sets – helping to give the visitor ideas of the sorts of things they could do in their own homes
  5. Products have been categorised underneath that according to their subject matter to help the visitor make a selection at this stage
  6. Showing a number of products, decorating ideas, a video link and a customer testimonial helps to build up a feeling of trust and entices the visitor to delve deeper in to the site

Sci Fi Blog - before
www.scifiblog.net

Sci Fi Blog - before

Initial thoughts:

  1. This is a Sci Fi Blog but there are no visual clues or styling to indicate that it is science fiction related – it could be ANY subject matter
  2. The site needs to be easy to update and maintain – hence using WordPress but it is a very cold, passive site and there is absolutely no personality here, not even a logo!
  3. There is no premise of what the blog is about – and why someone should subscribe for the RSS feed – it just goes straight into the posts with no explanation of the benefits of subscribing or why you would want to return – you need a reason to come back to the site
  4. There is too much of the 1st post shown – it would be far better as an edited shorter version to entice people to read it if they are interested rather than to give them ALL the information in one go
  5. All the pages look identical – there is no differentiation between the sections of ‘sci fi awards’, ‘sci fi movies’ and ‘sci fi women’ so there is no way to highlight different types of information
  6. Also there is no personal details shown at all or contact information – if you are asking people to subscribe to the rss feed this is important for them to have access to contact details

Think Visibility

Putting some thought into your web design at Think Visibility

I spoke at the Think Visibility conference in Leeds this weekend as part of a site clinic. People submit their sites to the clinic looking for some advice - the clinic takes into account the design, CRO, SEO and link building side of things and I was persuaded to speak about the design.

I'd like to share with you my thoughts on the sites submitted – we reviewed 3 websites submitted and I have also done a fourth one too – so you get a bonus one by reading this article.

Click on the laptops or arrows below to take you to the 'before' and 'after' design review.

Wall Glamour

Sci Fi Blog

Eighteen Sixty Five

Zath

Eighteen Sixty Five - before
www.eighteensixtyfive.co.uk

Eighteen Sixty Five - before

Initial thoughts:

  1. 1865 is fan based website for Nottingham Forest Football Club - it's not very obvious at a glance that the site is Nottingham Forest related – you have to go to the 'about' page to get the premise of the site
  2. The site is passive, cold, with no personality
  3. 1865 is the year the club started – but for new visitors this isn't evident so I would recommend explaining the name of the blog
  4. The way the information is displayed on the page isn't very clear – there are fixtures on here across the top but I initially thought they were adverts
  5. There is no differentiation between the information, nothing is highlighted or pulled out so it all seems to be of the same importance and therefore isn't going to be noticed, even the post dates are tiny
  6. The fixtures across the top link to hotel and rail websites but this information is so small and insignificant that it is completely missed
  7. There are a number of random Amazon ads on here that aren't related in any way to the subject matter – e.g. car computer game, highway code book, Twilight DVD, speaker dock, earphones, a juicer - this puts me off as it isn't related to the subject matter
  8. At the moment there is no reason to come back to this site – no USPs are given or a reason to return

Zath - after
www.zath.co.uk

Zath - after

Recommendations:

  1. I focused on the navigation to start with – making it much more modern looking, much slicker and more 'shiny'
  2. A background colour of a soft blue was added to accent the information on the page
  3. The focus of the navigation felt wrong – highlighting some of the secondary pages before the primary ones so this has been swapped over
  4. Adding in a 'Latest Goodies' box helps to focus the visitors eye and to get them enticed and excited about new products featured on this site – it engages the visitor and helps demonstrate the subject matter – this box could also be a good vehicle to utilize to promote news, reviews and how-to guides
  5. This new styling developed was then applied across the page – along with much softer curved corners, drop shadows and a muted modern colour palette helping to get across the 'technology' aspect of the site

Zath - before
www.zath.co.uk

Zath - before

Initial thoughts:

  1. You have no idea it's a technology / gadgets / gaming based website by looking at the design
  2. The site is cold, passive, staid, boring
  3. It's not very enticing – where is the techie side of it, the gadgets, the 'new, must have' feel about it?
  4. The news, reviews and how-to guides are the premise of site but they are not clearly defined
  5. The subscription sign up doesn’t explain why theyd WANT to sign up, what the benefits are, what they get – the visitor needs a reason to subscribe
  6. The top navigation holds the secondary info, the next navigation under this holds more primary information but is placed secondary

Eighteen Sixty Five - after
www.eighteensixtyfive.co.uk

Eighteen Sixty Five - after

Recommendations:

  1. This site needed to look Nottingham Forest related so I started off by using a strong red colour that is the teams colours, combining this with black and a rich grey helps give the site a much more solid, striking feel
  2. The blog name is a little confusing so I added in a strapline to explain it for those who weren't already aware of what it was about
  3. I then highlighted the 4 main areas of the site – the next fixtures, match reports, fan's forum and a merchandise section
  4. The fan's forum isn't something that the site has at the moment but this would be a great thing to add so that fans are being given a reason to return – to share their views
  5. Also the merchandise section is clearly separating the items you can buy associated with the team and also match and travel tickets too – on the existing website the travel and hotel details aren't obvious
  6. Then the posts are displayed on the page – still utilizing the colour scheme but also using larger images of the team and utilizing the star graphic from the logo as a way to highlight specific elements
  7. Also highlighted is a price comparison section which would be a good thing to build in to the site so that the items offered here directly relate to the sites subject matter rather than being random items for sale through the existing Amazon adverts
blog comments powered by Disqus