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30 Minute Redesign: MS Association of Realtors

Week 50: MS Association of Realtors

This week I will be redesigning: MS Association of Realtors.

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:

  • Fairly coherent color scheme
  • Reasonably clean layout
  • Some relevant imagery

WEAKNESSES:

  • The layout feels very unconventional, and as a result it’s hard to use. The two vertical menus are clashing and confusing, and the multiple content areas feels really overwhelming.
  • There is too much variation in the typography, with the site using too great a variety of color/size/style.
  • The bordered content areas feel very 90s, and make the layout seem rigid, and unable to ‘breathe’.
  • There is a real lack of white space. Even though there is a lot of content, this is the main reason for the layout feeling restricted and overly busy.

My Redesign

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

MY AIMS FOR THE REDESIGN:

  • I used a far more conventional layout structure, with a single horizontal menu, and clear header/welcome area.
  • I created a more prominent welcome area, that acts as a visual pleasant design feature, and also welcomes in new visitors.
  • I added far more white space, so despite still using quite a lot of content, the site feels far less crowded.
  • To help reduce the weight of content I used helpful call to action buttons, drawing the user further into the site. You don’t need to put all of your content on your homepage!

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 Redesign Saturdays

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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9 Comments:

  1. Eric Vasquez says:

    Nice job on this one Tom! Once again, a fantastic redesign. The original MS Association of Realtors Site is just so chaotic and there is so much information you don’t know where to go first.

    I like how you have not only established a clear hierarchy, but have also used a grid and given the whole site a much needed facelift.

    My only suggestion is that it may be nice to re-introduce the original tan colors in some way. It may not look very good to have tan colored buttons, but perhaps the faded blue in the footer area or under the masthead could be a low opacity tan color?

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Eric! Yeah, my primary aim with this design was to make the whole site feel less chaotic. I totally agree about the tan colorscheme. If I’d had more time I would have trying introduce some subtle tan colored elements, as I think this could work well.

  2. Chris says:

    Wow, great job Tom! I love how you used the call to action buttons to limit the amount of information on the front page (which was keeping it so cluttered) and really draw visitors further into the site. The layout is very clean and modern, which is definately what I was hoping for, but really, it turned out far better than I expected! Thank you very much!

  3. Iain says:

    Fantastic redesign. Such a big change and so much clear.
    Would like to try again for redesign this website. Thank you!.

  4. Susan says:

    Your redesign is a 100% improvement. The original, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with because of all the clutter. The redesign makes everything easier to read and a much cleaner view. Great job.

    I would LOVE a redesign of my site. My logo is my header and I like that, I like the content – I made the items, but the whole set-up is leaving me kind of … hmph. I need a shopping cart link at the top of the page, and haven’t figured that out yet. Any help you can give me or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  5. Hello, i’m from Brazil, this post is very very good.
    Fantastic redesign, you do this for funny?!
    Congratulations..
    You’re a great profissional.

  6. Stephanie says:

    In thirty minutes this is a great redesign and a vast improvement to what was currently there. I think there is still some work that needs to be done on it. like you mentioned adding back in some tan elements so that the logo doesn’t look so on its own in a blue design. After the banner I feel the grid layout doesn’t really work though and rather than the 3 columns I would have added a forth to everything fits nicely in together as at the moment the spacing in my opinion doesn’t quite work. A vast improvement though and well on its way!

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