a new website, and some thoughts on web design

June 6, 2015 |  Category:   art + design the biz

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It’s a full year later than when we originally intended to launch a new site, but it’s now live. Since Google announced about a month ago that it’ll rank mobile-friendly sites higher in search results, it was critical to do so (I need to get this blog on the mobile-friendly program soon too). Our old site was already suffering from poor SEO due to some of the typographic design decisions I implemented when we launched that site years ago that have since made it outdated as far as SEO goes, so now that we’re back on the search results grid, I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting our site to rank higher for certain keywords. I think this new site might be the 4th or 5th version since we started our business 8 years ago and every version is a reflection of where we are currently in web design trends.

 

Increased bandwidth over the years have resulted in web designs that feature bigger, higher resolution photos, but design has gotten more templated and in a way, maybe even “less creative” due to the fact that sites need to be responsive in nature so that they’re optimized across all devices. When I look back at the very early days of web design and coding, we used to design the craziest stuff because there were no rules back then and it was all experimentation. Usability wasn’t a thing yet; it was just novel to get anything up on the web and graphic assets, particularly photos, were limited to bandwidth. When I started designing websites for clients back in the late 90s/early 2000s, I experimented a lot with navigation, especially when Flash websites were a thing, and it makes me laugh now because they seem so user-unfriendly by today’s standards. Now, 15 years later, we have best practices, CMS, templates, and usability requirements that have almost homogenized web design. Is WordPress killing web design? That’s up for debate. These are big generalizations, of course, and there are lots of beautiful, unique and creative websites out there in the world, but I admit this has played a part in my desire to move on from this part of my career.
 
All of this isn’t a bad thing, obviously. Good usability IS good design and that’s a beautiful thing. So while our new website might not be the most creative website I’ve designed, I’m thrilled with how it works across all devices and even happier still with how easy it is to update and maintain on the backend. Hopefully, it will be a better user experience across the board for you too.
 
P.S. Our Father’s Day Gift Box is available. Order deadline is June 14th. Head over to our new site for details.
 
P.P.S. Sign up for our mailing list on the website. We don’t send out too many newsletters (promise!), but we do send out emails with exclusive sales for our newsletter subscribers.
 
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  • Nancy June 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    thanks for the inspiration! My husband is away on business for six months and won’t be here for Father’s Day which will be tough for him. I think the cookies will cheer him up! 🙂

    • Jenna June 7, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      thanks for the order Nancy. Looking forward to sending it your way.

  • Chai Ling June 7, 2015 at 1:02 am

    *drooling from Singapore =)

  • Celina Fang June 7, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    The new site looks terrific! My husband and I just stopped by Smorgasburg today and got a delicious fudgsicle. Next time we’ll try the smores bar!

    • Jenna June 7, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      Thank you Celina, and especially for stopping by Smorg today!

  • mudslide cookie June 8, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Ugh, I feel your pain:/ Two years ago I finally came to grips that print design was gradually on its way out and I needed to focus on web design and just when I was patting myself on the back for finally understanding HTML and CSS the rules of the game change yet again! It really is a hamster wheel…maybe should have been an accountant 🙂

  • mudslide cookie June 8, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Oh if I can ask? What will you move on to?

    • Jenna June 10, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Hi! Still figuring it out, but for the past year have been working part time at a startup. Related post coming soon, actually.

  • JPB June 11, 2015 at 5:12 am

    So interesting to hear your thoughts. Though I’ve only ever been doing websites dilettantly on the side for projects im working at (no one really seems to care about design when it comes to academic journals), I’ve recently been getting really frustrated with having to use user friendly wordpress which I never feel is original enough. Even with so much versions to chose from it still feels like everyone is just making do with what is out there, but it usually doesn’t even satisfy the functional needs.

    Sorry for rambling, you just really hit a nerve there and I’m glad you are (hopefully) not getting yourself too frustrated about it and decided to move on.

    (sorry, for bad grammar, not a native)

  • Holly June 17, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I so agree. Websites look so similar now, and coming from an animation background I long for the early days of Flash sites when the parameters were still lax enough to allow for both so much creativity and enough boundaries to make you play and play within them.

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