When designing the page last week I was focused on form and color but perhaps got my audience wrong. I wrote that my audience is Christmas seeking travelers to the North Pole. I am trying to reach Christmas travelers, distant and local, but I do not emphasize that the event is kid oriented. It is not clear what the event is about without clicking on additional links. I like the colors I used last week but upon second thought would really change it to a lighter theme now.
Starting at the top the Scroll typeface has an old world feel, but it doesn’t match at all with the rest of the design. The information about the location is hard to read and really would not be useful as direction, so it is better not to put it there at all. The next section with text about the history of the event is better placed on another “about us’ page.
Layout: I was focused on the sidebar buttons and the logo in the top left corner being the anchor, but the more I review other websites, I may go back to the links across the top. I reread the article on the “F’ pattern and realized this layout does not give the normal signals to the viewers.
Typography: While there are only 3 fonts used, the fact that they are Nueva Std is used in 3 different colors makes it hard for the eye to see the consistency.
Consistency: I have the website laid out in three horizontal sections that would be consistently followed on the linked pages. The left side would remain the same, the middle section would have the “meat’ of the information and the side bar on the right would have additional links for the downloads of forms or other detailed information.
Function: In addition to trying to attract new visitors to the park, the website acts as a portal for the artists to sign-up for the competition and for the volunteers to link to a sign-up section. I realize now I geared the layout more to function than attracting new visitors. A definite balance would have to be reached.
In general, this is a pretty picture, and may even function well enough for a visitor who is familiar with the event and just seeking this year’s calendar of event, or sign-up forms, but it really would not elicit enough excitement for a random internet browser to poke around and desire to find out what it is all about. So I had to do a redesign…..
Layout: This mock-up includes a banner across the top that is consistent on each page, with the links for the general public to find additional information. There are many sub folders, downloadable forms. Videos, and links to websites on the additional pages.
Color: The color scheme is the grey-blue of the winter sky to the white of the snow with rich red and scotch green Christmas colors. I made a banner with a photo of the park that is faded out. I like the muted background because it makes the colors pop.
Function: I think the banner with the picture of the kids playing in the park, and our logo with the slide gets a subtle message across that we are not just a static display. The home page clearly states what we are with no more than five bullet points. I felt the hat logo with our name, and the dates of the event in red stand out as the top horizontal elements of the “F’ pattern and the bullet points down the left side will draw the reader into a quick description of the event. The swirl of the snowflake background is meant to draw the reader’s attention back in and down to the disclaimer and the major sponsors’ logos.
Typography: I kept the fonts intentionally simple, only varying color, size and augmenting with bold and italics. The words in the bullet point list that are red are also links to pages that highlight information, some of which is repeated on the Event Info link.
Consistency: Since the button links at the top are consistent with a web layout that most everyone expects, navigation around the rest of the site will be straight forward. The repetitious, simple font styles also help the reader concentrate on the important information. Alternation red and green text within a paragraph will be recognizable as a sign that the alternate color text is a link, or very important.
The last paragraph on the page: “Please Note’ may seem odd, but as we advertise to a wider audience, especially those that travel from Anchorage or the lower 48, we have a responsibly to explain that the opening day does not mean that all the pretty ice sculptures are ready. We learned this the hard way with a couple very unhappy families that came on the opening day last year. There may be a more creative way to say this — but since we mean it as a disclaimer, we might as well be blunt.
I noticed the slide picture does not align with the other two photos in the row mid-way down the page, but I had made them a group in Fireworks and so the images are flattened. I will redo as I continue to build this site.