Where do you start?
When redesigning a website or starting a new one from scratch, it might not always be easy to decide where to start. A great starting point is to take a look around to see what else is out there. Analyzing popular websites to see what they are doing well or where they can improve can be a terrific source of inspiration. Take that information to get those creative juices flowing. On our recent website redesign, we did just that.
What to look for
It’s a good idea to focus on general aspects of a site, not on specific functionality. For instance, the three websites we drew most of our inspiration from are Dropbox, Harvest, and MailChimp, each for very different reasons. When we began our process of redesigning the CodeGuard web application, we knew we wanted a more modern, minimalist feel to our site. After looking around at other web applications, we really liked the way that Dropbox accomplished this. Their web interface is very clean and crisp making it easy to see and understand what you’re looking at.
One of the biggest changes to our application is to the navigation. Our basic navigation hierarchy calls for both a main navigation and a secondary navigation. Harvest, a time/project tracking service that we use has the same hierarchy. They have a main top navigation for their account-wide activities and a secondary navigation for section-specific activities. Navigating Harvest’s site is straightforward and simple which is exactly what we want in navigation.
The inspiration we took from MailChimp is their amazing style guide. It is super organized and takes out all the guesswork when implementing a new component. Check it out at ux.mailchimp.com.
Find your inspiration
With all the great content that’s out there, you are sure to find inspiration to help you on your journey for developing your design. Just be sure to keep in mind your core values and the needs of your customers, and you’ll be off to designing a top-notch website in no time.