Category Archives: Francis James Jewellers

Digital work undertaken for my employer (as of time of writing this) Francis James Jewellers.

Francis James Jewellers website re-design: Update #2

Revision

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.

sketch

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.

mock4

 

Summary

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.

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Francis James Jewellers website re-design: Update #1

As part of my employment at Francis James Jewellers in Minehead (Francis James Jewellers – Ebay, 2014), I created some mock website designs as a contribution towards an eventual website re-design for the company.

Unlike tasks I have been carrying out at university and for personal projects, Francis James has a strong visual language already established – since the company was started before the web even really existed. Therefore I had a visual code to abide by in terms of colour scheme and general aesthetic.

Bearing in mind the traditional theme of the brand overall and the amount of heritage associated with it I did not want to design the site in such a way as to erase this – I wanted to retain the heritage associated with the company and the surrounding area of Minehead both for the sake of the company as well as the customers, who are typically loyal to this one shop and were generally repeat customers due to the location; touting a challenge in the context of digital design of not only working to an established visual style, but keeping the general aesthetic of the site relevant to a particular portion of a local market.

Image

I sketched out some initial ideas for the website and made a basic framework consisting of a banner/header section, a navigation bar and then a content wrapper. I spent time adjusting colours, fonts, and type parameters in order to achieve an appropriate outcome. I chose a wood background as not only did it compliment the colour palette of the company already, but it offered a traditional aesthetic alongside a modern website – which I feel serves nicely the criteria for this design in particular.

However, criticism for this design in particular would be the lack of adherence to the colour scheme – while it does offer the overall feel it uses the wood texture in place of a solid colour background which results in the brand palette not being fully utilised. I set about fixing in this in the next design.

Sources:

Francis James Jewellers – Ebay. 2014. Francis James Jewellers eBay Shop. [online] Available at: http://members.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=t6car [Accessed: 25 Mar 2014].