Our New Website - The Ideas Behind It All
As a new business, we have tracked every milestone. From every new share and comment, to every new doodler enthusiast that joins our team. Little by little we can see our progression. Of course there are road bumps a long the way, but we strive to improve every chance we get. We try to learn from our mistakes and take critical suggestions. Our website is our store, so we feel it is very important to keep up to date and be as efficient as possible.
As the new Graphic Designer, I began brainstorming ways to improve efficiency, aesthetics, and usability. So I started with the home page. I first noticed that the home page had a lack of direction. The first thing I did was change the navigation. The order went “Home, About, Doodle Squad, LAUNCH PARTY!, Our Friends, Contact Us, and FAQs”. One of the first things consumers read on websites are the navigation, since it is at the top. If someone were to want to know about the company, the information should be readily available. People read the navigation from left to right, naturally… so it makes sense to organize the pages from most important to least important.
In the eyes of the consumer, I did not know where to look or go first. When I scrolled down I saw the items to purchase, but there was no way to see that there were in fact, more products. So I decided the most important page besides “Home” was the “Shop” page. Secondly, I did not know what this company was about. I did not know about the Doodle Squad, and what the company does to promote Doodlers. This way, I know the next item has to be “About”, and “Doodle Squad”. The “Blog” and the “FAQS” came afterwards. I found it necessary to leave the contact page out. Not many people would be trying to contact us, as we are an online store. If someone did, I find it would be easier to put our contact information in the footer (bottom) of the website. Then I put the subcategories under “Shop”, “About”, and “Doodle Squad” as a quick way to get specific and most asked information out of those broad pages.
So after the navigation was finished, I decided to do make everything more uniform. Many of the images and product descriptions were not consistent. To solve this, I made a template to use. The consumers will know where to find this information at every product page. Each description had a link to the biography of the Doodler, size chart, and small blurb about the product. This is a good way to credit and promote the Doodler’s work. Note the image in the image above (left), the navigation has already changed.
I then found a theme that would best reflect and handle our upcoming products. As we grow, we will be getting new categories to go along with the new products. We needed a theme that would make it easy for consumers to search and find what they wanted when our lines get bigger, so we better get organized now. As you can see in this new theme, you can filter and categorize our products to view what you want much better than the original theme. It also gave us an option to place certain collections in the home page, so consumers are spoiled with selection. The new theme is easy to navigate and clean. I wanted the Doodles to be the center of your attention, as that is what we want to promote. The theme had simple lines, shapes and solid colours. So I also changed the logo to suit that need. The company colours have not changed but it is now used much more simply. We now have hierarchy, and depending on how important the element was it would be a certain colour. I also put the slideshow large and at the top. It grabs your attention and is another strategy for promotion. The footer was made green as the Baby Nimbus was in the sky, so it only made sense to put grass.
With any design, everything has a purpose. It is not just about being pleasing aesthetically, otherwise what’s the point in using the site at all if it’s hard to use? When you design something, you have to have a goal. If it does not solve the problem(s) and achieve the goal, then it is bad design. With that being said, I hope our website sucks less now. LOL.