Posted by Matt on October 21, 2009
Linens of the Week came to us looking for a clean and up-to-date design for their website. In addition, they were seeking enhanced functionality to allow customer access to invoices and orders.
We sent over two design variations, making sure to reuse their currently branded blue whenever possible. Their feedback follows…
“Can I see this with a completely different color scheme?”
Hearing this might make a designer cringe, but it’s very important to make sure the client is happy. Fortunately, the project was still in the early stages, so alterations were relatively easy to make.
After a brief consultation, we agreed to work on some new variations while keeping within the same basic palette. This would mean shifting the use of color around while adding shades and tints to create more variety. This type of consultation helps keep everyone happy by taking the middle ground. We aren’t creating designs with wildly conflicting colors, and the client doesn’t have to hear a flat out refusal on our end.
We submitted the above mockups, two of which rotated color usage in sections like the highlight column (bottom right corner), and one of which used a monochromatic scheme (third mockup from the left).
When only one color is used for a design, the overall feel can often be flat or what I’d consider “overly emotional”. A design that only uses red can make you feel too hectic or heated without a cool compliment for balance. Similarly, a design that only uses blue would make you feel too serious or cold without warm oranges or reds. When it came time to show our client the revisions, we made sure to bring this up as a possible issue.
In the end, they went with the primarily orange/gold design, giving the site a bright and light feeling while still leaving room to use the complimenting blue for their logo and headings.
Posted by PJ Doland on January 16, 2009
Did Gibson think that nobody would notice when they completely-ripped off Apple for their new website design?
For reference, here is a screencap of Apple’s site:
Which brings me to two points:
- When you have your own iconic brand, you really shouldn’t need to steal so shamelessly.
- It’s 2009, Gibson. Did you really think table-based layout was still a good idea?
Posted by Matt on November 26, 2008
Spectator.org is the newest addition to the list of sites we’ve designed and built.
Since The American Spectator has been around for 1967, keeping the established identity was an important part of the design process. We retained their look by re-using the existing color palette and by keeping the established logo simple in a basic white on red header. Further distributing the red, we threw it into the date-bars, content category headings, third column headings, and buttons. Using the black in the large featured post area serves as the focal point, drawing the eye with an over-sized image and further distributing color. We continued this with the bold black post headings and the background for the active state of the nav list in the right column.
We were also tasked with keeping a good chunk of the content available on the main page without a ton of scrolling. To accomplish this, we kept the spacing between posts on the homepage to a minimum. This expands of course when you click through to read the full article. To create visual separation of content, we used thin borders on the bottom of each post and kept the article headings big compared to the accompanying text.
Along with the re-design, this site has been built on a newly built backend framework which allows for much greater content control by the editors. Additions to the backend are super simple now as well, so any client changes/requests can be managed quickly and efficiently.
Posted by Matt on November 14, 2008
In May of 2007, Reason.com asked Dancing Mammoth for help with a new endeavor: the launch of a website to serve as home for a series of short videos hosted by Drew Carey. In The Drew Carey Project, Drew would take to the street covering important current events and help people think about government in new ways.
We began by creating several mockups in Photoshop, utilizing some existing media to develop cohesive looking examples. With these, they were able to give us great feedback, helping to push the designs forward and moving closer to a design which met their needs.
A few color tweaks, a section or two added to the right column and the design was complete. Reliably serving up high quality video to a potentially massive visitor base was crucial, so we went with the Amazon S3 grid for this. So far this has been the perfect solution as well as an inexpensive one.
Currently, we are re-working the center column a bit to allow for smoother work flow, but the same basic feel will be retained.
Some notes for the CSS geeks
Notice how the text changes color on hover for the “send us your videos” and “Drew Carey Project Archive” areas in the right column? This was accomplished by using an <a> which has this image applied to it using the background declaration. There’s a :hover state for the <a> which shifts the background image up by sixty eight pixels.
Some earlier concepts: