2013 Seven Cycles Website

May 16, 2012

in Future, Graphic Design

The 2013 Seven Cycles website is going to be a big departure from our 2012 site.  It’s requiring a complete redesign from the ground up.  Skunk and I have been talking for a while about the new site and it’s actually pretty close to completion.  And September 1 – Seven Cycle’s demarkaction of the 2013 season – is fast approaching.

The single biggest change that people will notice is that the site will be more divergent from our brochure than ever before.  2012 was a bit of a test on this divergency; 2013 will take this to an extreme.

Some design highlights include:

  • New navigation system
  • Entirely new graphic layout and format
  • A number of changes to our Retailer site
  • New paint ordering system – this will actually be up before September 1.
  • New order system; this will be an interesting departure from the past.  Something we beta tested a few years ago.
  • Using html5
  • Improving our mobile version of the site – particularly for touch screen devices.

Here’s the project timeline – in reverse order:

August 7  |  Two page designs have gone “live” this week.  So far the feedback has been good.  We’ve got a couple more page systems going live over the next few days.  The mobile versions of the site are now working, too.  That’s a pain but important.  The site seems to work across all the platforms we could test.

August 3  |  progress with Skunk again today.  It’ll be interesting to see how the website and brochure diverge and converge.  Definitely more different than ever before.  Technology acceleration.

July 31  |  We’re beta testing now.  I’m liking it.  Clean, simple, more informative, more content, more images.  Stripping apart the old site.  New user interface is coming along, too.  Getting some push back on this idea.

July 5  |  I’ve been working with Skunk a on the feel of the site.  The 2013 brochure is informing the style, yet again.  I’ve got to review this with the office team soon so that we’re all on the same page.  Everything has migrated so much in the past few months that I think we’re overdue for a review.

June 19:  Took some time to map out some new aspects of the site.  User navigation in a nontraditional sense.  While we’ll have a relatively traditional nav bar we’re also incorporating some user interface aspects that we’ve not done before.  All low-tech solutions – because I’m involved.  Also working with Skunk on the mobile version of the site.  We’re having some issues with touch screen compatibly.  Skunk think’s he’s got it solved but it changes our basic site a bit.  We’re definitely working in html5 even though it’s clearly still “under development.”

June 11:  Had a difficult meeting about the relative importance of the website in comparison to the Seven Cycles brochure.  Some days some people think the brochure is our most important piece.  Some days some people think the website is where we want to focus all our efforts.  I believe that both are important – for very different reasons.  We’re doing both.

May 30:  Our product line is so complicated – because everything is customizable – that it makes the site very easy to become byzintine.  It’s a lot of fun to solve this problem, particularly with our new site design.  How do we communicate complex decision trees in simple online views.

May 16, 2012:  First official 2013 website meeting.  We’re actually working on the website before we get very far on the brochure this year.  This is all part of the divergent theme.

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