Redesigning the front page step 1

We are constantly trying to make small tweaks to make motigo a better place for you to spend your time. We strive for a usable yet aesthetic website. The fine balance of aesthetics and usability can however be tough to find. It is a often a result of a long iterative process of trial and error rather than a magic splash of geniality from our designers. For each little change you see in our products, such long process of trial and error lies behind. Creating the perfect website for you to use requires much effort and energy.

As an example, I will take you through the process of redesigning the front banner on motigo.com. It is a part of a total redesign of the front page – just a part of yet another iterative process.

When we first launched motigo in beta, we had a flash banner showcasing motigo and our main products. Although this banner was pretty, flashy, and had some “wow” effect to it, it did more wrong that it did good. It left visitors saying “nice site, but what is motigo?” Of course, our egos could not live with this, why the process of designing a new and more friendly welcome page (and banner) began.

The starting point in the beginning of April 2007 was this:

motigo.com - April 2007

We had several goals for the redesign, although becoming aware of these we just as much an iterative process as designing the graphics itself.

The goals for the redesign were:

  • The less reading required, the better
  • The clearer the statement, the even better
  • Simplicity over featuritis
  • What motigo can help you with needs to be clearly stated
  • We wanted to clearly state what services we provide and what they are
  • To start take advantage of our free services, you need to sign up
  • A very important selling point of motigo needs to be stated: it’s free

The frontpage banner looked as this:

motigo.com -front banner v0

It didn’t really fulfill any of our goals.

It had a lot of text that was too small and too long to read (and too boring as well). The flashy effects of the banner gave the page a severe featuritis. When you moved your mouse pointer to click a service, the banner moved into something different. When you finally clicked anything, you were just taken to the sign up page instead of being presented with a proper page that could elaborate on the service clicked. It obviously didn’t work.

motigo.com -front banner v1

The first redesign captured a lot of our goals. The reading had been drastically reduced. The message was getting across much better. We now state what we can do for you, and with what tools we can help you kick ass. The featuritis was gone.

The banner was however one big piece of graphics, all linking to one page. We also needed to state that you need to sign up to get access to our services. It was however much better than the prior banner, why we put it up on the page immidiately. After a few days, we had ideas of making it much better.

motigo.com -front banner v2

The next redesign first and foremost included a sign up button. The background color of the banner was made brighter, and to illustrate that a signup would give access to all of our services, we made a gradient background becoming brighter towards the sign up button.
We also had an overuse of the motigo font (Yup, we have our own specialized font. Pretty cool, huh?), why the Tahoma font of the rest of the site replaced the subtitles of each service and of the main message (to the left).

motigo.com -front banner v3

Next, we realized that we left out the most important selling point of our services: it’s free!
This is why we added a banner showing that motigo is free. Realizing how important this actually is for how we help you kick butt, we made the “FREE FREE FREE” banner even bigger and darkened the font:

motigo.com -front banner v4

Tadaa! And that concludes the trivial task of designing a new welcome banner. On an after thought, we are aware that we shouldn’t bloat the banner too much with extra small banners and small gizmos. Then we’ll just end up creating a “parody”:http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=36099539665548298 of the starting point.

Much work goes into the smallest task. In this way, we are slowly moving towards a better motigo that will help you make your website kick some serious butt.

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9 Responses to “Redesigning the front page step 1”

  1. Glenn says:

    I find it very interesting to read the developer blog! Thanks for letting us know some things about the way you work on design and stuff.
    I really like the design of the motigo-website, but I think the design of the webstats could be better. Hope that some improvements will be made in the near future.

  2. Frank Bessem says:

    It would be a good idea to see how Motigo forums look like, or a possibilty to preview existing forums from the Motigo Forum frontpage. Now you have to setup first and then you’ll see what you might get… This might be a barrier for potential users…

  3. Frank Bessem: That is a very valid point. In fact we’re working on it as I write this. :-)

  4. [...] earlier described the long iterative process it was to redesign just a banner on the front page of motigo.com. We [...]

  5. faiz bayoumi says:

    It.s very nice
    but please help me to reactive my website
    thank you

  6. Hay new look is very nice and new features as well.
    May you flight higher and higher.
    Thanks

  7. Very well then! The results are great, remembering the design a year ago. Good work guys!

  8. [...] an example, in our process of redesigning the front page, we started out making the changes visible only when you had chosen English as a [...]

  9. Uriel Butt says:

    thanks !! very helpful post! Btta5200

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