Please Help Redesign The Search Influence Web Site
November 29th, 2008 by
UPDATE: We have incorporated all of the weekend’s input and put together a new version ).
Please go have a look! And of course, feel free to look at the below and comment in either place.
My good friend and colleague Aimee Ellingsen, a fabulous designer who’s portfolio is a little overweight in plastic surgeon web sites, is helping me out with a redesign of the Search Influence web site.
Like many sites, the Search Influence site has grown organically and is now a bit of a jumbled mess.
So, Aimee being a diligent designer and a little obsessive has put together 3 gorgeous site layouts. They are by no means press ready but they sketch some broad strokes of concepts, colors and sensibility.
I’m not going to say which is my favorite (mostly because I have more than one) but I have elements of each that I love. These represent a great variety from which to choose. The biggest challenge is one of self-definition: who are we? what do we do? with whom do we want most to work? — all that kinda stuff.
Good questions. I know the answers to some and hopefully in this design process we’ll find answers to the rest.
You may click the image below to see the full size mock-up image.
Thanks in advance for your feedback! I’m excited to get this finalized and implemented (hopefully by the new year).
Update: It occurs to me, since I’m asking for your opinions, if you have sites which you think are good examples of what we’re after here please feel free to link to them in your comments.
Item 1 and 2 are way to bright for me. I like the contrast and ease on the eyes of #3 personally.
Just a little tiny bit of clarification. Some of the elements in the design concepts above don’t really have a clear purpose yet and are just for blocking.
Thanks again to anyone who comments!
I like option #1’s color scheme and general layout, though I think the header looks a bit busy (and tall vertically). Find another place for the testimonial, eliminate the stamps & I think it would look awesome.
Lay out # 3
With the caveat that I am NOT a designer, I would of the three given, pick number 3.
That being said I agree with David that #1 might be interesting without the stamps at the top.
@Craig Sutton, @ Mike Blumenthal — interesting that the old guys are going for the more stately design.
@moonfish, thanks for dropping in. So far you’re tracking with the 40 & over set.
@David Mihm, you know I’m going to do whatever it takes to get on your “Randy” awards http://www.davidmihm.com/blog/category/design/website-design-awards/
Is that Rand-y (like Fishkin) or Randy (like a horny brit)?
I’m all for #1, personally. If you insist on going with the muted colors of #3, fine, but use them with #1’s design. Nothing wrong the stamps either. I like ’em. But second choice is #3, only if you really want to present yourself as staid and uber-businessy. Just definitely don’t like #2. #2 feels template-ish – and fake somehow. #1 for creative and awesome, #3 for professional and businessy, and #2 not at all.
@DazzlinDonna, thanks for stopping by!
I love it:
I think I’ll go with “creative and awesome” any day.
I like the layout of #2 the best, but the color scheme of #3 the best. but not sure it would work well with Layout #2.
BTW doesn’t look like you are planning on having a link to this blog on the top nav bar to any of the layouts?
Out of these choices I’d definitely have to go with #3 but it needs an optin box where the testimonial is.
The stamps theme really isn’t working for me and I think it would confuse prospects.
The pastel theme is too weak. I want my seo guy to be “aggressive” with my campaign so the blue and black works well for that.
We need to be sure to have people who are not nerds or techies comment. No offense, but of course nerds will pick #3. It’s what you are used to. I hope we’ll hear from the people who actually are, or may be, Will’s customers. As with all my sites, in design I attempt to favor the audience over the client. No small challenge with plastic surgeons, but they’ve learned to listen to me and the bottom line. 🙂
@Teddy Garcia – thanks for your comment. In that one we were thinking the signup form would be where it currently says “This is the tool”.
@Mack Collier – I’m with you. Notwithstanding Donna’s thought that it looked the most template-y there’s something about that one I like. I like the strong, slightly hokey call to action.
And the stamps are actually a reference to Junk Mail: where we all got our roots whether we admit it or not.
@Mack Collier – I forgot to mention that the “Latest Wisdom” is a scrolling RSS inclusion of the blog feed.
Now that I am done insulting any nerds in the audience, I decided I should voice my preference. I like the newsy immediacy of #2.
If for some reason #1 was favored, we should make it a little less classy. 🙂
I think #3 is not at all memorable. Search Influence isn’t like other companies, so why look like one of the crowd?
#3 seem s very professional to me as well stunning. I vote for #3 plus your photograph.
I was careful not to read the comments before weighing in. Now, I’ve just learned that I must be a nerd. Hrrhhmph!
@Tim Coleman – if you needed this blog to affirm your nerdiness my friend we need to have a long talk 🙂
I had attributed it to age, you may cop to whichever you prefer.
Thanks for weighing in!
This nerd/techie can’t stand #1 and #2 — way too busy, and the color schemes are … ugh. You’d lose me as a prospect with either of those. Not sure #3 is what you want, either, but given the options, it’s the one I’d choose to keep working on.
Now that I’ve offended Aimee, I’ll see if I can get my non-techie real estate agent wife to chime in with her opinion. 🙂
I’m not at all offended. I love honest feedback (and nerds too).
@Matt McGee – I’ll love to hear Cari’s opinion.
I totally appreciate your feedback, but she’s probably closer to our typical client than you.
One thing I know about Aimee is that she’s got thick skin and a tremendous appreciation of us nerds.
Me, I’m really grateful to everyone chiming in.
Everybody, Please feel free to throw in examples in your reply of sites you think epitomize the kind of messaging we’re after.
William, Layout #1 looks very professional to me. I liked that stamp thing 🙂
I’m apparently the first customer to comment. I do not like #3. It is too staid and doesn’t reflect the “nowness” or creativity needed for effective SEO. I see #1 as staid as well because nothing is in motion (or implies motion) and effective SEO is always on the move and launching into new territory. The arrow and rocket elements in #2 convey this but others would also. I don’t know how meanings of color and I do like the colors in either #1 or #3.
From a non-industry perspective, I say #3. #’s 1 and 2 have so much going on and the blank spaces make me nervous – like you’re going to ask me for info about myself before I delve further into your site. I have no idea if that’s what’s required, because I only glanced at the pages to get a quick feel for which one I preferred, but that’s what I thought when I saw the lines I would presumably fill in.
@Marie, thanks for dropping in and rendering an opinion! In Aimee’s and my subsequent discussions we’re going to try a revision which incorporates some of the color and a little more of the staidness of #3 with some of the dynamic elements of #2.
@Cari, thank you for your opinion — you are, like Marie, the consumer of what we do. As for the form, we’re going to go with a more subdued version but it’s going to persist.
It’s more a convenience than a roadblock, I hope.
In other sites where we’ve added that simple device, a form on every page, we’ve increased contacts 5X or more.
Before looking at the options, I decided I would go with my first gut reaction at visual appeal without dissecting all of the elements presented . I guess I am aging myself by going with #3.
Layout#3 is my favorite. These are all very nice designs.
@Amy – OK now I’ll never live down the demographic comment.
I don’t like the colors in 1 or 2. I like the colors in 3. I think that the best overall design is 2. It’s more agressive and less boring or corporate than 1 or 3.
Feel free to attack me .
You’re totally in synch with Aimee and me in our last design revision which I’ll likely post later today or tomorrow after all the commentary.
Thanks for chiming in!
All 3 designs are good, but each has their pluses. The yellow design is shocking at first with the focus on the 100% & body text. The second design is different & will appeal more to designers. Not sure if the rocket is the best focal point, but this is my favorite design as a designer. The blue design is safe & traditional, but I do not see your online form. If your target is still doctors, I’d lean to #3. Designers #2 and general public #1. Good work overall!
I like #3 merely because its easy on the eyes and not overwhelming- its safe. But who likes safe. I vote #2. Love the colors and originality. It reminds me of sites that I go to that make me want to do business with them simply because I like their branding.
[…] feel free to reference the original (and of course the comments). I’m feeling pretty good about the current design. I think […]
@Perryn – thanks for taking the time. It means a lot more coming from a designer.
Good news is some of all 3 has gone into the revised version.
@Allison – thank you! Hopefully the new site will make everyone want to do business with us and you and Amy and the whole crew will get a lot busier.
I like layout #3 the best. Sorry Aimee, I must be a closet “technie” 😛 The message is clear. I like the incorporation of testimonials from clients on page 1. The colors are great.
My 2nd favorite and almost tied with layout #3 is layout #2: great colors. What held me back from picking this one as my #1 were the stamps – a bit hokey (?sp). Also, the rocket diagram – too sophmoric IMHO. Its getting a little cluttered too.
Layout #1 least favorite.
Hope this helps!
I think that both one and two are “not as professional” as I would like. To me, SEO is a big part of my marketing and (or the only part) and I want to know that my firm is professional in every way. After all, I have seen and heard how SEO professionals act and talk at certain functions.
I think that #3 is the best, most serious and most professional. I don’t like the rocket or the stamps. To “comic’y”. spell?
For some reason #3 caught my eye more than the other two, but there are elements of all that I find appealing…or at least somewhat.