Update site update
I just put a new iteration of the Update conference web site live, inspired by and in collaboration with designer Clare Sutcliffe. About a week or so ago, Clare – quite out of the blue – sent me an iteration on the Update site design that I absolutely adored. In organizing Update I'm wearing lots of hats at once and I couldn't do it all without the frankly humbling support and help I've been receiving from my friends.
For the past few days, I've been incorporating much of Clare's input into the site. Any implementation issues you may encounter, of course, are entirely my doing.
Here are the main points that Clare helped me evolve with the design:
- Panel overlays. Collecting all interface elements in the panels into a horizontal panel at the left. This has helped to create a much stronger grid and makes it easier to skim the site. It also leaves more space for copy and creates contrast for the section titles.
- Cleaned up the header. The old header used an image that I love and use in my presentations – the look of wonder in the little boy's face reflects the sort of magical experiences I know we – as designers and developers – can create. However, as Clare pointed out, it said nothing about the conference. The new image says mobile – which is what the conference is about. Adding the white overlay under the title helps contrast it against the photo. To this I also added a blur to the photo itself under the overlay to increase the legibility of the title and draw attention to it.
- Tidied up the ticket bar. I don't know what I was thinking when I created the ticket bar but, in hindsight, it definitely wasn't aesthetics. Clare's design cleaned that up and added another little mobile touch.
- Workshop panel backgrounds.Clare mentioned that the background on the Workshop panels just wasn't working. So I recreated them. They're much more vibrant and representative now.
- Half-size panels for the Brighton Digital Festival and Twitter visually distinguish them from the horizontally-scrollable full-size panels.
- Whitespace. The panels now have room to breathe and the whole design benefits from that.
When working on the first iteration of the Update web site I was concentrating mostly on getting the interactions working well (and across desktop, iPhone-tier, and iPad-tier devices). The second iteration brings with it a much needed visual overhaul. The third iteration will bring additional content and hopefully a few more usability enhancements. I only wish I had more time to work on the site in addition to actually organizing the conference itself.
I hope I'll get some time to go into detail on the changes between the first two iterations in a future post.
And, here's a huge thank-you to Clare – without her initiative, this update would not have been possible. I'm hugely enjoying collaborating with her on the site.