When the Web Designer Gets a New Web Site: Goals First

December 31, 2012 | Recent Work, Web Design

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It’s been in the works for months, and we are nearly ready to launch our own redesigned web site, right here at VisibleLogic.com

Many people have asked what it is is like “to be our own client.”

Like the cobbler who never provides good shoes for his own children, it can be hard to work on your own web site; especially when you are in the web design and development business. There is a lot of pressure to do it just right.

Start with goals

We tried to follow our own advice that we outlined in: What to expect with the web design and development process.

That meant we had to start with our goals for the site. These included:

  1. Keep the brand, but adjust the design. We have a strong brand identity that works for us. Our VL logo, our bright colors, our framed areas of white and gray are all working well for us. We use this brand identity both on our web site and our other marketing materials (social media, printed marketing, business cards, etc.) So we wanted to continue our brand identity, but we still wanted to make some adjustments to the design.
  2. Move the entire site into WordPress. Since we are web designers, much of our old site has been built using templates, but not on a cohesive Content Management System (CMS). When I started writing this blog back in January 2009, I started using WordPress for that portion of the site. A goal for the upgrading of the web site is move the entire site within WordPress.
  3. Better showcase our work. In late 2011, we launched Mail on the Mark, our e-newsletter service. We wanted to integrate that offering into the portfolio section of the Visible Logic site. We are still maintaining that separate web site because we have a lot more information about pricing, etc. that will stay there.
  4. View an entire project on one page. With the old site, many of the portfolio samples had multiple pages to show off what a project looked like. For example, for a branding project you might see the logo on one page, then the web site, then the letterhead materials. This forced viewers to click a lot. With the new design, the entire scope of a project will be featured on one page, so viewers can quickly see the scope of the project and the continuity of design.
  5. Make social media sharing easier. As I outlined in my post about adding the right Facebook like button to your web site, we wanted readers to be able to both share content and to connect directly with Visible Logic on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
  6. Make the home page more image-focused. We are adding a graphic slider as well as a few key places to feature key projects. So, you’ll be able to see some examples of our design and branding work right up front.
  7. Better organize the information that is not in our portfolio. We have a lot of great information that is buried on our current site. These include white papers and presentation materials. Because of the structure of the navigation on the old site, it was difficult to add content here, and make it easy to find. With our new design, the navigation in this area is fluid and can be changed, added to, and rearranged on the fly.

 

Before: We showed our portfolio samples for one project across multiple pages

Before: We showed our portfolio samples for one project across multiple pages. (Click to enlarge).

After: Show all the pieces of one design and or branding project on one page.

After: Show all the pieces of one design and or branding project on one page. (click to enlarge)

Depending on when you read this blog post, you may be viewing the old or the new design. I will go into more details in other posts about the behind the scene look at building the web designer’s web site.

What do you think so far?

PS: If you’d like to request a link to the development site, drop me a line and I’ll let you take a tour.

One comment

  1. Web Designer | April 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

    It is good to have most of these articles around to maintain the regular flow of information. Help people that no one could do it later, good work!

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