7 Replies - 3010 Views - Last Post: 07 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

#1 laytonsdad  Icon User is offline

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Site re-design Ideas

Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:58 PM

So about two years ago I created a site for my sister in-law who had moved to New York to pursue her passion for theater arts and went to NYU Stienhard for theater acting. As she gets more work and I get more knowlege on Development I have been thinking of redesigning here site.

http://meghdixon.com

I only know one thing about her taste for the design, She wants the purple jewel tones. I made it originaly how she wanted it but I feel it needs to be more of a portfolio now and the site as it is has become a jumbled mess and takes forever to load on slow connections.

If you have any design ideas please let me know and discuss with me why you would choose that route. I am not a designer and would like to get some input from you all.

Thank you for your time.

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Replies To: Site re-design Ideas

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Site re-design Ideas

Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:53 PM

We've all been there.

First - figure out what the site wants to be. A promotion for theater and background, or just a jumbled personal site, or what?

Next - if she wants the purplish color then, by all means, go hunt down some purple colored sites to see the variety!

http://webdesignledg...-to-inspire-you
http://spyrestudios....ebsite-designs/


Functionality - get rid of that menu bar animation.. it is not doing any favors.

I think the updated page of where she currently is playing is major important. Keep that.

Maybe have a lightbox cycling photos as well.

Have some sort of 'contact here!' on the front page.. don't hide that.

The 'links' on the side I nearly missed.. Perhaps not having them there would be best.

The white background really stinks. If it were me.. being fancy.. I would grab a bunch of her playbills (or any playbills).. scatter/arrange them on a table. Take a picture of this.. Maybe convert it to b/w and then fade-overlay on top of some purplish background. Subtle enough to be a texture but just readable. That could be really sweet. Like a collage background of sorts.

http://www.wikihow.c...sign-a-Playbill
http://www.onextrapi...tyle-web-pages/


A retro look/font/color scheme may work as well.

I would highly recommend grabbing a decent pallet of color and sticking with it. colourlovers and adobe's kuler are good places to lock yourself into a scheme.

rawr! Red heads.
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#3 alapee  Icon User is offline

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Re: Site re-design Ideas

Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:50 PM

Might also thinking about keeping the site in single window; The viewer shouldn't have to scroll down if they have a standard monitor to see all the information on a site. This can be done simply on the first page just to give the box effect with the monitor, keeping the viewer's attention on the site.
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#4 ge∅  Icon User is online

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Re: Site re-design Ideas

Posted 03 April 2014 - 03:49 PM

A graphic design is made of three things : the content, the content and the content. The design exists only to draw people's attention to the content, to emphasis the key parts of the content, to print the content in people's memory. It's not just a matter of colours and masses, it's not art, it's information. If you know what you want to say, if you really mind it, you will succeed. It's the first and the most important step.

When I arrive on the site's main page I read "Welcome To MeghDixon.com" - Are we talking about some e-commerce site I should remember the URL or something ? Nope. That's the first mistake. Straight from the beginning, I must know I'm on an actress portfolio. I should read it, there should be graphical elements leading to it, making it stand out and implying it everywhere on the page. Who is Megh Dixon ? What does she do ? What does she look like ?


When I create something for a product/service I haven't been briefed on, I try to sum it up in 3 words : 3 ideas that will have to appear in my creation. It's manageable and it's the most a normal person can remember efficiently anyway. Ask yourself what are the 3 main points one should know about your sister. And if you want to do it well, talk to her : ask her about her main assets, about how she wants to run her career, about who she is mainly targeting, etc. Pick the most important points and start to reorganise and complete the content with her (don't think of the pages distribution at this point, just tell a story). Then you will make it look amazing.


Concerning the user experience : the gallery is a pain to use (why do I need to click on so many buttons and to wait so much time to be able to see a picture ?), I shouldn't have to scroll down to be able to read the Resume (speaking about that, it would be good to make it indexable by search engines) and the menu's animation delays the moment I am ready to read, so it's bad. Everything that gets in the way of usability is an annoyance for the user - especially when he/she spends a lot of time browsing actors' websites.


Concerning performance : there are too many PNG-24 images in this site. If your pictures have a plain colour background, you don't need transparency (-> PNG-8 with a 255 colour pallet or less -> up to 70% file size reduction). If it's a photograph, you need to compress it (-> JPEG -> up to 90% file size reduction)

Otherwise the site is not that heavy. You could dump jQuery and gather your UI-buttons in one spritesheet, but it wouldn't make much a difference really.

My two cents!


-
off-topic

I find the name "sister-in-law" so... dull. In French we say "belle-sur" (literally "beautiful-sister", but "beloved-sister" is more the spirit). it's so much warmer when you want to welcome her in the family ("hey, sister-in-law ! How are you doing sister-in-law ? Catch the ball sister-in-law !" ;) )
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#5 laytonsdad  Icon User is offline

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Re: Site re-design Ideas

Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:06 PM

Thank you all for your great ideas and insight. I have never had the artistic vision so this is all helpful.

So far I am still trying to weed through all this and make an educated choice for the layout and flow.

The links that modi123_1 posted are where I have started looking for ideas, mostly the colors and how they would match her personality. I would love to make it more about her than about my skills as a developer, which is why the site that I made 2 years ago is so ridiculous.

I am sure I will be asking more questions as the process goes on. Again thank you all for your great help.
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#6 Blindman67  Icon User is offline

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Re: Site re-design Ideas

Posted 07 April 2014 - 08:55 AM

We all have advice. But as you so succinctly pointed out this is not about your web design talents and much more about her personality and what she wants from the site.

I will assume the site is mostly about work and getting gigs.
Email, facebook, twitter and resume request links must be accessible on every page. Not hidden behind menus or as small footnotes. Personally I would actively entice people to follow her on twitter and add a Facebook likes and share button or two. Maybe tweets and Facebook side bars as well.

Remove the resume and encourage people to request it via email. Her Bio should do the work of attracting interest not the cold lists of a resume. Someones email address is worth more to her then just someone's 5min browse of her page.

Include her agents business contacts, phone, email, mailing address.

Fix the image galls by adding pop up image sliders that do not require page navigation. Add personalised descriptions to all the images via alt property and other means. Photos are much more interesting if there is a story behind the images.

Her complexion suits the richer unsaturated greens and browns that can lead to the lighter browns (do not go towards yellow in the lighter browns tend towards red). Darker black and whites for text, boarders, accents. Stay away from the yellow, blues and saturated purples.

NO FANCY FONTS. Her name is the most important item on the page. It must be large, clear, high contrast, and with a clean font. I can not stress enough how important her name is.

The pages reads in the third person. This is a big no no as well. Personalize it, she must look like she is actively contributing. Reviews, quotes etc should take second place to her own words.

As this is her site, always ask for approval, and get her to send you some links to the types of sites she likes and she feels suits her personality.

Oh one last thing (ask her first) use photoshop to change the colour of that blue top in her photos. Aim for 70,90,70 r,g,b decimal and the shirt 150,60,40 and add about 10-20% saturation to the reds to bring out her hair colour.

I took the liberty to do a quick touch up thumbnail to show you what I mean. PM me if you wish to have a copy.
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#7 ge∅  Icon User is online

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Re: Site re-design Ideas

Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:50 AM

Quote

Remove the resume and encourage people to request it via email. Her Bio should do the work of attracting interest not the cold lists of a resume.


I highly disagree with that.

It's not a deal breaker but looking for actors is a task you want to accomplish in a finite time. When you send a mail, you never know when the guy is going to reply. It's frustrating to know at the end of the day that the job is not done and that it's not up to you.

Moreover, remember that you are always in competition with other actors, and if the guy who reads your file has to wait 3 days because you don't check your mails every day or something, your chance will fly over your head just like that.

I've often searched for actors (and other jobs related to film and photo shooting), I can assure you you really want to get as much of informations as possible in one page. And the more they are structured and readable the better : I hate coma-separated lists, it's a pain to read. If you want to list something, don't write a novel, use bullet points ;)

I would write something more emotional in the Bio.
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#8 laytonsdad  Icon User is offline

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Re: Site re-design Ideas

Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

Thank you both for your Ideas I will take them into consideration.
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