I’ve been quiet for a few weeks. That only happens for one of two reasons, and this time it’s been because we’ve been working on a lot of projects.
We’re always working on a lot of projects, but, this time, I decided that it was better for us to focus on handling the cascading sliding project effect rather than continuing to half-get things done. The cascading sliding project effect is simply when one project gets delayed, which delays another project, until you reach a point in which you’re constantly just adjusting plans and ship dates.
Yes, you know that effect all too well. 🙂
One of the major projects that’s now finished is the ground-up redesign for this website. I’m picky about design, and I’m quite proud of it.
When I talked to Lisa about the changes I wanted, I expressed a few key objectives:
I wanted to use the Thesis theme, but I didn’t want it to look like Thesis.
Thesis is a brilliant theme, and I love Chris’s SEO focus. As it’s advanced and gotten more popular, it’s reached a point to where I can tell within the first half-second that it’s a Thesis website. I wanted a new look, but I didn’t want a spiffy new website whose backend I had to learn all over again. Lisa did a great job of showing what you can do with Thesis if you have the right skills.
It had to be easy to reconfigure.
This was another reason I wanted to use Thesis. I know my way around the engine enough to change some CSS code to get a different effect.
I change pages and design elements pretty frequently, so we had a lot of talks about a platform that I could swap things out in pretty quickly.
It was time for a dedicated Welcome page.
I’ve been blessed to get a lot of traffic go straight to the home page, and the scope of this website reached a point to where it was increasingly harder for new visitors to find their way around. Additionally, I anticipate more new visitors due to some of the other projects I’m working on, so it was important that we provide an adequate welcome mat for them.
I won’t bore you with the details of what we did and why we did it that way, but the short story is that we didn’t want to create a welcome page that didn’t welcome people. I’m sure you’ve seen those welcome pages that you hit and you still have no idea what’s going on or what to do.
I wanted to enhance the current branding rather than completely change the way things felt.
One of the first bits of feedback that we got from Pamela Wilson on Facebook was “Lisa managed make all those improvements, yet she retained the feel and vibe from your previous site, so return visitors won’t get confused and think they’ve landed in the wrong place.” I loved her comment because that was precisely what we wanted to do.
One of the dynamics of the Productive Flourishing brand is an intentional simplicity. When Lisa showed me the original design – especially the welcome page – I was so happy that she nailed.
Though the actual development of this new design has taken a couple of months, there are a few years of incubation on how I wanted things to be presented. That said, almost all of the aesthetic appeal is Lisa’s doing. I was reminded throughout this process that I cognize colors last – I’m all about the structures, pathways, and canvases. I think that made for a great collaboration.
So, what do you think? Do you like it?