Phil Wright : Component Factory

Saturday, August 13, 2005

microISV, Web Design #2

Removing the arty bits

Feedback from readers indicating that the first design had a couple of arty farty style elements that could be removed to improve the look. I requested this from the designer along with a need to improve the header area. Here are the two designs that resulted.

Variation 1
Variation 2

Although an improvement I think both designs are not quite right and so I asked for the header to be worked on again in order to make the logo feel more integrated with the header area.

The Finale

The end result of the cycle is the following final design that I want to run with.

Variation 2

I think this creates a professional feel with a little design flair mixed in. Remember that our controls are going to be at the premium end of the market and so a good professional site is essential. But not just a standard plain site because the components biggest selling point is how great they make your applications look. So we need to show some flair and creativity in the website itself.

Next Step

At this point the design is just a high resolution picture. The next step is to turn the picture into an actual HTML template that can be used to generate pages as needed.

If you're a web programmer and feel up to the task then let me know, I am willing to pay a sensible amount for a professional to do that work.

3 Comments:

  • Hey Phil,

    I was very busy when you posted part# 1 for web design and hence, couldn't comment earlier.

    Anyway, here are my thoughts on your design:

    1. I don't like the way header is done. By placing the corporate identity on top of a background image (keyboard in your case), you are diluting the identity. IMHO, identity should be on nice and clear background, free of distraction. You want to make your identity standout so as to leave lasting impression on visitors mind.

    2. The type treatment for slogan 'We build components, you build solutions' is very poor, IMHO.

    3. What are the menu items on the left? I don’t think you really need them; they are simply eating valuable screen estate.

    4. Why do you have your logo at the bottom? Also, why it is different from the top one (it has ‘component’ and ‘factory’ words on the same line as opposed to on different lines on the top.)

    I have different idea as to how the design could look like. For you, I did a mock up of design, check it at

    Modified Design

    Reasons why I think it is better:
    1. Header is uncluttered. [As I didn’t have original logo image, I just created dummy one.]
    2. Your tag line is highlighted better with improved type treatment.
    3. The front page highlights a component with a screenshot and it also gives visitor very prominent choices to either see a demo, downloading trial or purchasing the component.

    I like it this way because your target audience is geeks. They already know what a ‘component’ is. They would have a very good idea of what they are looking for. When they arrive on your site, they quickly want to see what components you have and what features they offer. So either they want to see a demo or download the trial. By removing all the blah blah from page and providing big Demo/Trial/Buy buttons, you increase number of potential visitors who would see a demo or download the trial. Provided that you have quality components, your conversion rate (from visitor to buyer) will improve.

    4. It lists other components at bottom. You can set up a simple server script to display a different component in the main area randomly. This keeps page relatively fresh. (Btw, currently it doesn’t display footer but you will obviously include one.)

    I hope I have given you some new ideas. If you want, I can work with you on this design and create XHTML/CSS layout for you. Mail me at dkjariwala AT gmail.

    Thanks,
    JD

    By Blogger dkjariwala, at 5:20 am  

  • Hi Phil,

    Your final variation looks good! I do agree with JD about the logos (1 & 4).

    At some point you should just put the site up. You could tweak it forever, but sometimes it's more important to launch than to tweak.

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Michael Sica, at 2:44 pm  

  • Hi Phil,

    I'm really enjoying this thread of articles and watching your website evolve. Thanks for sharing the process with everyone.

    I must agree with dkjariwala as well. I actually like his design is better altogether. His is much simpler and draws the eye directly to the component screen shot as well as the demo and buy buttons. I believe I would be more likely to try and purchase from his layout. I also agree with the logo sitting on a plain background as well.

    Given that, I also think that his mockup needs a bit of work. It is a bit generic and doesn't give me a feel for your individual company "personality". But I do think it has potential.

    By Anonymous Jon Trainer, at 3:28 pm  

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