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30 Minute Redesign: Sony Photo Pro

Week 3: Sony Photo Pro

Sony Photo Pro is the photography portfolio of New York photographer Austin Luker. You can view his current website below:

SonyPhotoPro Website.

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:

  • Prominent logo/name of photographer
  • Lots of great photography, really impressive work!
  • Clear text describing what the site is about.

WEAKNESSES:

  • All of the awesome photography is pushed down the page, meaning that without scrolling the homepage shows no work at all!
  • Because of this, the homepage appears just to be a boring amount of text, nothing distinctive at all.
  • The page doesn’t feel very stylish or elegant. The dark image background feels messy and hinders readability.
  • The logo whilst large is not particularly readable or attractive.
  • The homepage seems to be acting as a gallery page, with links to other galleries. This confusing… The homepage should act as a catchment page, drawing users into a proper gallery page.
  • There is no clear navigation, just an info tab with drop down. This is terrible for usability, and there is plenty of room for a traditional menu.

My Redesign

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

WHAT I TRIED TO DO:

  • Replace the drab colorscheme with a clean light colorscheme. The light background really makes the work pop.
  • Created a new navigation that is much clearer and more usable, helped in part through the use of clear icons.
  • Moved the photography right up the page, making it the most prominent feature after the page loads. Rather than bombard the visitor with too many examples of work, this homepage promotes the best examples, and encourages the visitor to click deeper into the site.
  • I stripped away the large paragraphs of welcome text, as all people want to know really is WHAT YOU DO and HOW GOOD YOU ARE. I made this information clear through use of a slogan under the logo, and simple bullet points of your skills.
  • One of the biggest drawing points from your original site seems to be the high quality publications that had accepted your work. However, on your current site this is pushed right down to the bottom of your page. I made this section much more prominent as it could be a big drawing point for potential clients.

Comparing the 2 Designs:

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.
  • You will get emailed the .psd of your redesign and can do whatever you want with it!

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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16 Comments:

  1. Samer Kamel says:

    Love the monotone idea of colors .. leaves the user’s focus on the photography .. and the bulleted list of expertise is definitely MUCH better than paragraphs, Iconic menu is way better than the previous hidden-within-text links ( mind the use of minus sign instead of an en hyphen i am just too lazy ) ..

    overall the website is down to the point .. usability well maintained and will definitely keep the visitor’s focus on work and expertise which in turn will get more conversions !

    once again u did a PERFECT redesign .. and in just 30 minutes makes me feel like i am a VERY slow person !

  2. Austin Luker says:

    AMAZING REDESIGN OF MY SITE!

  3. Austin Luker says:

    I don’t think anyone could do better in 30 minutes or less and yes that is a challenge to other designers out there! I would also like to thank PSDFan and the people that voted for me! Thank you!

  4. Barney2010 says:

    Absolutely magic, releases a magic that was imprisoned before, I am impressed and motivated. I don’t build sites myself but occupy my time doing similar redesigns for freinds in business and their associates. To create such a magical door and open it for the user must be an elite experience, I doubt I’ve ever acheived myself. So Thankyou.!!

  5. Tom says:

    Samer: Thanks so much, comments like that keep me motivated :) .

    Austin: I’m really glad you like it. I’ve emailed you the .psd and would love to see when it goes live!

    Barney: Thanks also :) . It was a really fun site to redesign.

  6. Vim says:

    Great re-design tom, 30 minutes is really impressive for what you’ve achieved, Nice description and use of colours, Austin must be a very happy chappy!!

  7. mare says:

    Beautiful, beautiful! I love the grayscale contrast against the main subject matter: the photos! It’s clear and concise now! Tom, you do wonderful work! Gold star on your forehead!!!

  8. Filipe says:

    You did it again Tom… awesome! The best so far.

  9. Wow, Really nice redesign. Hard to believe you achieved such a great looking website design in just 30 minutes!!

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Rui Pinto says:

    Wow, it’s like night and day!

    The colors and overall layout made all the difference, it did catch my eye for sure.

    Hope you will reconsider my site for a future 30min redesign.

  11. DocUHT says:

    Very impressive !

  12. Bryan Fly says:

    Great redesign. It is so much easier to see what the website is really about.

    Please check out http://www.flagco.com/ and consider it for a redesign. My boss will not listen to me that the site is difficult to navigate and that it was in style (maybe) in the early 90s.

    Cheers,

  13. Nick Young says:

    Firstly well done on an excellent redesign, well thought out and a good colour scheme. Much more visually appealing than the original.

    I would like to put the Peter Allen Memorial Lectures ( http://www.paml.info ) for consideration of the next redesign. This year is our first eyar of running the event and hence we have gone the low cost approach. We are raising money for charity, this year it is the British Heart Foundation.

    I am the developer and maintainer of the site. I can code HTML, PHP, MySQL, etc., however, I am no designer. The website runs on Drupal 6 and we use a stock theme, thus cutting costs down. We do feel though the the layout of the theme is not the most attractive or user friendly and would love a redesign.

    If we were selected, we would hope to make the template available as a standard HTML and Drupal theme for others to also benifit from. Anyway, well done with the 4 redesigns done already.

    Regards,
    Nick

  14. Mike C says:

    I have to say I agree with all the changes that were made here. The usability is much better and it focuses the visitors attention on the work itself. I’m a recent Digital Media graduate and I have found this a problem with my design skills sometimes. I use too many aesthetics and it takes away from my work. I would appreciate a redesign on my site from any PSDfan here. Please check out whoisjigsawmedia.com (works haven’t been updated yet. I have much better stuff now). Enjoyed this post and really like Austin Lukers site.

  15. [...] 30 Minute Redesign: Austin Luker [...]

  16. Hi!

    Nice job and idea with 30 min redesign. I would like to put my website for redesign: http://www.kurnikoff.com I am photographer and web designer. However, I need a lot more training and experience to come up with good design than my own portfolio website. When I designed kurnikoff.com at first, I wanted it to be outstanding, therefore I used black and white colours. But now it feels too dark and depressing. I am trying to come up with something better, but can’t think about anything. Especially, as I set myself a task of making it WordPress compatibile design, but couldn’t come up with something usable.

    If my website is selected, then I would be more than happy to link it or give credits to PSD Fan.

    Cheers,

    Kamil

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