Client site redesign

Thoughts? Opinions? Critiques?

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7 Replies - 751 Views - Last Post: 23 November 2008 - 05:07 PM

#1 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Client site redesign

Posted 08 November 2008 - 02:05 PM

I've been working on a massive redesign project for a client who is more than just mildly anal retentive.

The existing site was built by another company in 2001 using .NET and StoreFront6.
The new site is being built by me using osCommerce with a custom layout.

This is the existing site. - - - - - - - - - - - This is the redesigned site.

I think the new site is an improvement over the old site, but I'm looking for other opinions. I am considerably more worried about this site than my others simply because it is a rush job with no client layout approval. Ultimately, if it were your business, which site would you want? Why would you want that site? And what would you want improved or changed?

[PLEASE remember the new site is NOT complete.... just looking for some feedback before I jump in to finish.]

This post has been edited by BenignDesign: 08 November 2008 - 02:08 PM


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Replies To: Client site redesign

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client site redesign

Posted 08 November 2008 - 02:52 PM

Well I like the redesign and it is a bit less cluttered but god, the graphics on both sites are horrible quality. Especially on the redesign, I can see the artifacts all up in the graphics businesssssss.

I am not too fond of the headings on the left either. They look like buttons and make me want to press them. If you square them off a little it might be better.

The other thing I don't really like is the menu at the top. The way you have them it looks like two different menu items are part of the same item. Like "Home" and "About Us" look like they are together. I guess the main problem is that there are too many menu choices up top. Some of those should probably be moved down into their own separate menu item on the left.

But its an improvement over the original except for maybe the menu at the top and the original used colors a little more effectively in adding depth and layering.

:)
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#3 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client site redesign

Posted 11 November 2008 - 08:25 AM

I agree that the new skin is better but I also agree that the graphics need some serious work (in the banner most of all). You have it set up with an image which is nice® quality and then you have 2 poor quality images overlayed on top of it. This gets quite distracting when looking at the banner as there are pixelated edges to the other 2 images and (in my opinion) lowers the professional quality the site it going for. I would suggest modifying the pixelated images (or starting over) to improve their quality.

Another thing that I would change is have the images in the navbar change background when moused over. I agree with Martyr here, and think they look like buttons, roll over them and am a little dissappointed with the slight color change that they undergo. Depending on the audience (adults and older people for instance) like to have things clear and know easily that they are in fact moused over what they thing they are (Though don't get me wrong, it is still an improvement over the previous skin that didn't show any change when you rolled over a link).

Looks pretty good overall, but I am not sure it is quite ready to go live.
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#4 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client site redesign

Posted 11 November 2008 - 08:33 AM

I would adjust the font size of the links & headers they are huge! Also get rid of the "This page was requested n times" at the bottom and the product numbers (18) on the sides.

Keep plugging away it is getting better from the last time I looked at it.
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#5 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client site redesign

Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:14 AM

Just quick impressions, without reading anyone else's...

Hate the double selection bar up top. Horizontal bars are quirky because the space is functionally limited. Adding more is messy. Also, you seem to have rounded edges for the bars, which I like; but the purple squaring makes them pointless. Regardless of how you go, I'd like to see those options repeated on the side.

Bold text in the intro. If it's bold, and colored, I what to click on it and follow the link. If there's no link, I'm confused.

That's a big damn splash graphic up top. It's fine for the first page, repeating it on all pages is distracting. The overly repeated menu changes colors on different pages?

Animated graphics for products, bad. If you've got more that one picture you're proud of, show it do me on the detail page. Don't show me a "Click to enlarge" option if it doesn't enlarge.

Don't show me reviews if there are none. Offer to let me be the first the review this product. Damn, that black on purple is annoying on the sub page menus.

Put the search at the top. You can even shift the product categories down to a product page and give me a proper menu at the side.

"Featured Product" is iffy. As a customer, why should I care? Is it the most popular? Has it changed? It there some kind of promotion? Tell me, the guy looking for junk food, why this one is particularly good.

I hate to say it, but the original currently has a more polished look. While it suffers from a few issues and could be opened up or centered, it feels easy to move around in and open. In contrast, the new site feel cramped. Really, the giant graphic of doom as to go.

Sorry if this was over harsh. Um, you asked for it. :P
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#6 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client site redesign

Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:13 PM

haha.... no worries, I did indeed ask for cold, hard critique.

A lot of what you mentioned are simply things I haven't gotten at yet.... like the color change on submenus.... haven't made it as far as cleaning them up.

The header image, I agree is odd. I like the cheesecake pic.... partially because it's nice and clear and partially because it's cheesecake... and cheesecake is always good. The logo is the best the company could find to send me .... so I'm working with what I've got..... same with the product images.

I was told to use "whatever's on the other site".... which means an animated rice crispies gif and 800 other little tiny pics that make everything look relatively unappetizing. The "click to enlarge" is there because I'm hoping to pry some better images out of the client and actually have an enlarged size. And the "review" buttons will be leaving... just haven't made it there yet.....

Ultimately, I have a really nice picture in my head and I'm trying to make it magically appear on the screen. I really want to make this client stop and go "Wow. We should have done this 6 months ago like you wanted us to...." .... so.... your feedback - no matter how cold and harsh - is what I need.

Thanks, guys!
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#7 dophineh  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client site redesign

Posted 22 November 2008 - 10:56 AM

the original only has two navigations (still 1 too many), the redesign has links everywhere! personally if i were working on this project, i'd tone down the pink a little bit, make it look more sophisticated and also I would try to make ONE navigation (instead of 3!)
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#8 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Client site redesign

Posted 23 November 2008 - 05:07 PM

I agree with you completely, however, once upon a time, the redesign was a sleek black metallic on white.... the client insisted on the change to pink. And I tried to remove some of the links with no luck.... again, the client insisted they ALL be included. I did what I could to keep the top navigation to a minimum and put most of the links in the sidebar. It's an ugly jumbled mess, but it is what the client wanted. Gotta pay the bills one way or another.... sometimes that means compromising what I think looks good. Oh well....
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