Thursday, June 23, 2005

My Corporate Web-Fu (BFK Site Redesign 2005)

My redesign of the BFK home page and news page has now gone live, as they say in web parlance. I made no major stylistic alterations, but directed a change of emphasis on what we are presenting to our readers.

I finally got to retire the ghostly-looking ‘BFK face’ image, which has been a prominent visual element in all of the company’s marketing communications since I joined in 1999. I replaced that static image on our home page with a randomly-served image from a selection of our recent work. My reasoning was that potential clients reading the site get more benefit from seeing some or any of our creative work on the home page, rather than having to drill down into the site to find it. Similarly, I downplayed the two statements of intent within the layout. No doubt they are important for positioning purposes, but they needed to move down the page hierarchy. So, if you have the time, and the thought of refreshing the home page thirty times is your kind of thing, then you can go and review our currently highlighted work. Knock yourself out.

My primary design improvement was to reduce the number of dynamic case study link panels to one and add two dynamic panels linking to our most recent news articles. This was done for a few practical reasons. Carving out the time to write longer case studies has proved problematic within the normal pressures of a busy design studio. So linking to our case study archive meant that our home page was remaining static for too long (we were only writing one or two of those a year). However, we were generating a healthy amount of concise news stories; at the rate of one a week or so. Therefore linking to those now means our home page should vary a lot more often and present our readers with more timely content.

The changes in the News section were mostly housekeeping. The ever-lengthening news archive list has been trimmed and now groups all articles by year. The thumbnail images are now larger, as the previous postage-stamp-sized versions did not display packaging or literature design work all that well.

Morgan in Strata3 did all of the heavy-lifting and coding in the back-office for me. At present my corporate web-fu does not stretch much beyond hand-coding tags into Blogger posts and moblogging camera phone images directly into my Flickr site.

As I do not generally get to do much web design interface thinking, this was an interesting exercise. I suppose that the official BFK Blog will just have to wait for the next iteration.