Site Redesign: Putting my best foot forward

If you’ve been following me for a bit, you’ll know that my website wasn’t looking nearly as hot recently as it does now. The redesign went live yesterday. Let me give you the tour.

Showing off

I believe a good website should make it clear from the get go what’s on offer. It should put the best of its products or services at the forefront. This was the biggest motivator for me in undertaking this new design. When you land on my new home page, you’re greeted by a huge visual that puts my name and offering at the front and centre, and a dynamic navbar tops the page.

This all makes it immediately apparent who I am and what I do.

The previous design led with a sidebar approach on desktop that was great for serving a blog but left me with a big problem. Where does my portfolio go? As a web designer and developer, I decided that my portfolio should be one of the first things you see. You know my name, you know what I do, now let me show you!

The top-to-bottom approach of the new design lets me quickly show you a reel of my favourite works without it dominating the space. The reel punctuates my website, but is vibrant enough that it won’t be missed. I didn’t want users looking for my blog posts to have to linger too long on this reel, so it’s punchy. You get an introduction to my works that’s hard to miss but that doesn’t detract from a more informative experience down the page.

Where’d the blog go?

And the same sort of rules apply to my blog. Content drives my traffic, that’s true of most websites, so it’s important that it’s on show. But if you’re coming to my homepage, you’ve either been linked directly to it or you’ve already read one of my articles and are looking for more information.

The blog section on my landing page therefore is pared down to just two posts so as not to delay the search for information. With this being the case, it had to be clear where you could still find the rest of my blog. Breadcrumbs have been added to every page so that you can always easily navigate through sections of my site, and the blog reel on my front page is terminated with a link to view more of my posts.

At your service

All of this reduction serves to get to the meat of my offering much more quickly. Not everybody visiting my site will be looking for my services, hence I don’t lead with it here as I might on other sites. But many visitors will be pointed here just for that. Others will see my site and think, damn, I want a site just like it. Well, hey, there’s good news. Information about my services is readily available and quick to get to for any visitor.

Those not wanting my services will likely have been filtered out by my portfolio of work, to entertain their curiosity, or by my blog, that may be the reason they visited. But for everybody else, information about what I offer is quickly accessible.

That should be the point of any landing page for a multifaceted offering. To quickly and effectively filter traffic to where visitors want to be. This design achieves just that.

Foot in the door

To close the site, you reach the footer where information is presented cleanly and succinctly about the site itself and the means to contact me.

The previous design had this in the sidebar on desktop, and in the top menu on mobile. You’ll still find the most important parts duplicated in the top menu now, but the less interesting stuff finds its way to the footer. Let’s be honest: few visitors are searching specifically for a site’s privacy policy. And most visitors prefer email for first introductions than other means, but my contact details are all there for those who want them.

Yours sincerely

And finally, back up at the top of my website, front and centre when the page first loads, you’ll see my signature. I like my signature. Specifically, I like that version of it which is like… iteration number twenty, scanned in from a sheet of paper, and adjusted and optimised in Photoshop.

I’ve been wanting to use my signature in my site design for a long time. It characterises a couple of the things I want to offer, those being personal service and sincerity in my work. It is important that a brand says something about its own personality, and this is what I want to say about mine. It’s what I want to offer: a personal web development and consultancy service that’s with you as you grow, and one that helps you to achieve that same sincerity with branding that’s on point.

So that’s my site. Have a click around and let me know what you think. There’s plenty more still to come, so stay tuned.

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