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30 Minute Redesign: Ink Productions

Week 58: Ink Productions

This week I will be redesigning: Ink Productions.

In the space of 5 minutes I can identify some of the key strengths and weaknesses of this design, and sketch out a mockup.

STRENGTHS:

  • The logo creates some great branding, and is large/memorable.
  • The simplicity of the site means that the contact details and thumbnails of work examples are the main calls to action.
  • The site uses fairly consistent typography and colors (with the colors of the thumbnail drawings the eye when surrounded by a grayscale design).
  • The taglines helps quickly explain what the site does and the services provided.

WEAKNESSES:

  • The site is too simple really. The main issue is that the user must put in effort to view the work examples. There should be at least one full sized work example displayed on the homepage to draw in potential customers.
  • The same goes for the contact details. This is 2011, it’s not enough to have your email as part of a header image anymore (in truth it never was!). This requires people to remember the email, leave your site, go to their email client, type it in, and finally contact you. Instead you should have a simple contact page with form.
  • The purpose of the site isn’t really clear. Are the firm taking work? Do they want you to contact them?
  • In the comments for his suggestion the webmaster stated the option of a blog/social networking. These aren’t covered in the current design.

My Redesign

As always, I was limited by the 30 minute time-frame, but I tried to improve upon several of Ink Production’s features, adding a few design flourishes and a clearer layout that promoted content over wasted space:

MY AIMS FOR THE REDESIGN:

  • I made the most prominent thing the company’s work, using a system of one featured image and a thumbnail navigation area.
  • I added a menu to the header, providing blog page/contact options.
  • I added the social networking/blog post areas that the webmaster desired.
  • I integrated a subtle cog background pattern to help break up the white space.

Before/After:

Here is a quick comparison between the original design and my 30 minute redesign. Sure, my design could be more polished, but I believe that a lot of the basic elements have been improved upon, creating a more pleasant browsing experience.

How and Why To Enter 30 Minute Redesigns

You can have the chance to have your website redesigned in next weeks post. All you need to do is leave a comment to this post with your website address and why you think it needs a redesign.

The Benefits of Getting Your Site Redesigned Include:

  • Most obviously – a FREE redesign job!
  • Your website gets exposure to PSDFAN’s thousands of readers
  • You understand how to improve your website. This isn’t just a redesign, it’s a lesson in design principles.
  • You will get emailed the .psd of your redesign and can do whatever you want with it!

NOTE: I can only accept sites with English content, as foreign language websites are simply too hard for me to work with.

So please, leave a comment today for a chance to have your website redesigned next week!


About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

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8 Comments:

  1. Cédric says:

    Totally awesome.
    I can’t say that I always agree with your redesign.
    But i’m impressed by this one : in 30 minutes you did some great job.

    Two questions though :

    1 – Don’t you think that the tagline is somewhat too elusive to get a potential client interest ? I mean, i know what they’re specialized in, but I don’t know what they can do for me.

    2 – Do you think that a blog activity (for should be that much

  2. Cédric says:

    misclic, see the end of my comment below :

    2 – Do you think that a blog activity (for a freelancer, not a company) should be put as a part of his portfolio ? I believe that the portfolio and the blog don’t have the same targets : the first for the fellow graphic designers, which is a way to get more recognition/credibility in the community and get (in a second time) new clients, and the second really focusing on presenting one’s work to the potential client/partner.

    So shouldn’t those two be put in different websites ?

    • Tom says:

      Hey Cedric. First of all, thanks for the kind words. You’ve raised some interesting points.

      Regarding the tagline, it’s not really up to me to alter this, as that’s more of a copy issue than a design feature. However, if I was to advise on this I do think it does a good job of explaining what the company does (which is what any good tagline should achieve). For the ‘what can they do for me’ I think perhaps this should be added as a third column at the bottom of the design, perhaps listing potential projects they can work on.

      As for the blog/portfolio issue, it can go either way. I know plenty of great designers who include their blog within their portfolio. To be honest it’s a great way to convert blog traffic into new clients. However, I do know what you’re saying about different targets. If you look for example at Chris Spooner, he has a successful portfolio site and blog site that he runs separate from one another, and this works great.

  3. Trisha Cupra says:

    Big improvement.

    Where’s the subtle cog design? I’m not seeing it.

    • Tom says:

      Heh, maybe I made it too subtle for some computer monitors! It’s a watercolor background image behind the social networking/latest blog posts areas.

  4. Would you mind if i enter redesign vote next week?? thanks :)

  5. Stephanie says:

    I think a good redesign, although there are coming things that I would do differently. I really like the way that you have shown of the portfolio of work because as you mentioned that will be a big draw to those needing there services. The only part that lets this site down is possibly the bottom of the site. The spacing is off and I think the social networking elements are too much of a focus. Possibly move the blog posts to line up with the thumbnails on the right and then a bit of blub underneath the main image about the company. Just a thought but I feel it starts off really well and is lacking towards the bottom. I understand you have 30 mins though so its much improved!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Stephanie, it’s always great to get such constructive feedback. I agree with you about the bottom of the site, that’s certainly something I’d look at more given more time.

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