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New ‘super-clean’ layout…feedback appreciated!

  • # May 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Curious what you guys think about this design.

    http://granitebasinroofing.com/

    Went for a more practical design but tried to keep it interesting. The client really didn’t have anything to give me except the logo and a few grainy pictures, so this is what we created for them. They love it, but I would love to have any constructive praise/criticism that you guys might offer. :D

    # May 6, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Hey,

    Honestly, I think it is too plain… The only way I can really explain it is it looks like it was designed in 30 seconds. Not that plain or simple is bad; I’m just not a fan.

    I do like the nav (JQuery?) and the background fade.

    Sorry that it’s not very constructive…

    Rob
    # May 6, 2009 at 5:21 am

    I think it COULD be good… but at the moment it feels like a bit of a mess.

    What I would suggest is start lining things up – when you are trying to do a minimalist design, which is probably one of the hardest to get right, you really have to make things sit in line with each other, so there is some sort of shape to the page. If there is nothing to hold things together, then you need to make the content hold itself together – do you see what I mean?

    This is why people use grid bases ideas, equal distances, justified text – it builds the content into solid blocks that build into and make the white space a feature.

    Here is an example of a grid tool box, its my fave. http://960.gs/ Now I never use the CSS for this, I always code my own, but there is some great PS templates that will give you the 960 layout, along with other tools…

    have a look.

    # May 6, 2009 at 11:06 am

    The best way to add some more flare to a "stagnant" design without being drastic and overly-flashy, in my opinion, is to switch up some fonts. What I noticed right away with your design is it is too uniform with its fonts. They’re all serifs. For body text try using a Verdana or Arial, whatever your sans preference is. It will make it a lot easier to read and browse the page, because as it stands it’s difficult to pick anything out right away, because it looks the same.

    I do like the feel you are going for, though!

    Also, maybe try lightening the gray gradients outside of the main content area. It feels a little too dark. Lightening it up a bit may allow the content area to "breath" more.

    # May 6, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Good feedback guys. I agree for the most part.

    I tried to actually stay away from the grid-based systems and try something from the ground up. It does the job and I feel if I went too professional, they wouldn’t have liked it (they are a relatively small company and are trying to keep it low-key). But now that I see it all together, I feel a grid would have suited them just fine, as well. But at least they like it and it gets the job done…you should have seen the old site! :shock:

    I just signed another deal along the same lines for a local realtor…except he has even less to start with. I think I will do a grid with the next and really try and nail the minimalist design.

    And I will definitely try the new fonts.

    # May 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    A grid system certainly doesn’t have to feel like a grid, in fact, it really shouldn’t at all. It simply means it will be more appealing to the eye. Our brains prefer to have things lined up, it’s just the way we work. There are, however, amazingly abstract sites based on grid systems.

    # May 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I remember reading an article a week+ ago (but I can’t remember where!) that talked about the mind’s orientation and preference when it comes to reading and browsing through a webpage. It was pretty much common-sense, but something that often gets overlooked I think. The article said that the reader starts–typically–in the top-left corner and is easily drawn to the bottom-right corner. That is to say, it is apparently more beneficial to place important information you want your viewer/user to see first in the top-left and transition your priorities in a diagonal slant to the bottom-right. Have any of you seen or can recall this article? If I can find it again I’ll post it here.

    All that to say! That’s one of the benefits I can see with working inside a grid framework. I haven’t worked in any grids myself, because I like to either start from a relative blank canvas or use my own templates.

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