Wednesday, February 21, 2007

National site nearing design completion

We've taken left and right turns over the last couple of weeks, but with every turn we've seemed to bounce back and land in the middle. I was a bit frustrated with the last design, but it was my suggestions that pointed us in that direction. It's funny, though I know the colors, design structure, and direction of the site, once you see your ideas actually in place, it's easy to think, 'what was I thinking?'.

Compared to Act for Healthy Rivers, our national redesign is a little easier (design only, content is another story). Act for Healthy Rivers didn't exist previously, so we've been spending a lot of time with the strategy. But for our national site, we're coming from somewhere and that makes a big difference.

Our latest turn is a slight tweak from an earlier look. The biggest change from the first round is that we reduced the height of the header image from 200 to I believe 150 pixels. And we moved the 'Subscribe' box from the bottom and replaced the search box on the header - a much better call (thanks to an earlier comment that provoked greater internal discussion - and a gut check for me).

In order of the design flow, 1 being the first look:

#1 (cool, but the header image consumes the page)
#2 (Yikes, an effort to bring the content up to the front and center. It didn't work)
#3 (This one and #4 were presented to us this afternoon)
#4 (horizontal featured sections - white space in the middle - seems to work the best, but we'll have to take a little time internally to talk about it.)
The first look at an interior page, second level navigation. Good stuff.

We're still planning to hand over the creative assets to our second partners by Friday, so hoping to wrap the design side of things up in the next two days. Fingers are crossed.

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