As I said in Update #1 of this project, I needed to fix the lack of adherence to the colour scheme already followed by the brand – as well as being recognisable by the local community, and used in various places from the current website to the Facebook page. I decided that, being a shop, the site also needed a better way to showcase new products or promotions, as well as a style that encouraged browsing by the user.
Form and Function
The traditional layout I had chosen previously had issues in that it was more suited to an informational type of website – with facts to show or passages to read and potentially sink time into doing so. For this website, it could be argued it would make better sense to allow users a way to quickly browse and find what they wanted, or even further so due to the nature of a Jewellery business, perhaps let something catch their eye above the other products – perhaps as a personal taste or for a gift.
I sketched out plans for a new layout allowing an image slider or promotional banner at the top of the site, as well as larger buttons underneath the header for recent promotions, and finally a section for information on the business and its history/context. I also planned to move away from the traditional structure for the reasons mentioned, and use a fullscreen layout, albeit not a one-page design due to the amount of content that would be hosted, making any system without categories difficult for the user.
I feel the concept I produced meets the needs of the site suitably. I adjusted the font weight on the bottom of the title in order to differentiate between the two main parts of it, and images for the slider would have to be processed beforehand in order to achieve the gradient fading into the header. Main links would be on the header as well as social media/contact icons, while incidental/contextual links would be in the larger buttons underneath, intended for promotional use at varying times of year or dependent on the stock cycle of the business. A minor improvement would be to change the font in the body text as it does not match very well with the two fonts already used – and more than two fonts on a page can begin to make the composition uncomfortable and inconsistent. A subtitle on the body would also create a cleaner and more informed layout.