NEW SITE DESIGN – TOO MANY DISPARATE IMAGES ON LANDING PAGE
Having had a chance to now absorb and think about redbubble’s new approach to its home page have come to a few extra conclusions. And it pertains to its design, appearance and impact on viewers (not its functionality or usability issues).
First, given the old page could only ever feature a handful of works and artists at a time, it is great that they have attempted to expose far more people.
However I think in this regard they have unfortunately gone overboard and in the process undermined the basic principles necessary for good and memorable design outcomes.
There are now way too many images appearing under the Found by RB and New Things from People you Follow sections. So many in fact that they are very counter productively competing for your eye’s attention, Making it hard to fix on any of them.
Their similar scale makes this problem worse. As does their sometimes weird mix of different types of works – drawings, photos, vectors etc. The end effect is one of disunity when looked at together not harmony.
Solutions exist – for one thing, cut back on the far too high number of images being included (RB has gone from one extreme to the other – find the middle ground).
For another vary their design layout so that some larger scale images are included as well. These could even be used to divide one block of images from another and provide visual relief in the process.
Another potential approach would be to group likes with likes – group drawings together, group photos together, group vectors together, group paintings together, group cartoons together, etc
Sadly the Shop section to the RB site also now suffers from this same cluttered and disparate feeling of ‘too much stuff’ stuffed on to the page in a lacklustre design format! It needs fixing too.
One more concern over the home page design is that the scale of the new RB logo now also seems out of wack with the rest of the page’s content. Reduce it to something more appropriate.
Finally there is the issue of the ailing impact of the larger content window now featuring at the top of the page (and the most prominent thing now showing above the page fold line). This is ridiculously dull looking in relation to its content at present … and failing to instantly impart and sell the idea that this is a high quality art and photography site. At the very least it should be a (slowly rotating) slide show of images … with succinct messages or captions of relevance, if desired)
Failing to fix the visual impact of the landing page/home page is an issue of failing the whole site by failing to achieve the immediate and enticing impact all competing home pages must aim to achieve for success.
And this is even more true of a site whose brand is fundamentally trying to say great design and great art found here!