Last year I was tasked with creating a site redesign for Glenn Howells Architects. Unfortunately due to budget constraints and redundancy, this work was never completed by myself, however this page will give you an insight into my proposals for the new site, including graphic design, navigation, and layout. The site had not be upgraded for almost three years, and the fixed frame approach was looking tired and was starting to pose too many constraints, especially in the projects section (see below).
It had been proposed that the project section needed ‘fleshing out’. The project information needed more detail and would be rewritten and broken down into four sub sections: Overview, Concept, Design, Construction. It was also a requirement to allow more images per project. I suggested that images could also fit and follow the four proposed sub sections. I also proposed that a video interview should be added in order to better convey the architect’s passion and thoughts on a project. The client also wanted the option for the user to be able to download a print version PDF of each project page. I also thought it was important for the user to be able to keyword search a project page. Through further discussion it was felt that a scroll site, rather than the current fixed frame approach would be the best approach and would also be flexible enough to allow changes or additions to the site over time. I also felt the present navigation needed more thought and visual feedback to allow a better user experience. I started with this section first, and came out with the following concept designs. Click the thumbnails to see at the proposed size. I also created a simple prototype to show the client how the video would play. Video Demo>
Concept C allowed for a large image, and since photography was very important this was the best layout. Then I decided to test this with another project that had more portrait photography.
Then I considered the Home page. I proposed a more newspaper type of approach, that would allow for users to quickly see recent news headlines, key projects and recently updated projects. All of these pieces of information could be then changed weekly and enable both new and regular visitors to quickly find updated information via links to all the relevant pages, without the need to hunt for it for themselves as the current site does. I also wanted to include some movement into a rather text heavy page and therefore suggested an embedded flash project showcase animation. I also created a simple prototype to show the client how the home page might look with flash animation.
Building on the from the previous concepts the Practice section was the next consideration. using this new layout allowed for a lot more flexibility on the amount of text, and also allowed for external and internal links to other relevant information.
Finally the Career and Contact Pages were laid out in a similar style.