Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!
A couple of months ago, I happened to notice an announcement on Barry Schwartz’s company site, Rusty Brick, that they had just redesigned the website for the well-known furniture company, Jennifer Convertibles. Since I spent my last post grinding my teeth over horrific SEO company offers in San Francisco, I thought it would be a nice change of topic to applaud the extremely classy job that a trusted New York firm did on designing a website. Take a look at the Jennifer Convertibles site!
What works about this design?
1)The layout…everything makes sense. This is an extremely simple site. If this was an e-commerce entity, things would undoubtedly have needed to be a bit more complex, but the whole point of the site is to showcase a bit of nice furniture and help customers to find a local store where they can shop. The overall layout of the site makes doing everything I need soooo easy. Look at how square it is. Look at how the very basic quality makes you feel immediately comfortable. No learning curve needed to use this site!
2)The logo…it’s 45 pixels high with a bit of space above and below for breathing room. If you’re considering having a website designed for your business, pay attention to what Barry and his folks have done here. That super slim logo enables all of the important contents of the site to appear very high up on the page…they aren’t being pushed down. And, yet, the business name is perfectly legible. I know we’ve struggled over this issue with our own clients in the past, and don’t always win out when we advise keeping that masthead narrow, but it is really the best way to go.
3)The function…no broken links, the search works, no need to sign in to be allowed to use the basic utilities, no flashy junk to distract me from my purpose as a customer. Everything has been made easy-breezy for me to find and use, and it all works without a hitch.
4)The colors…oh, boy, good choice here! The truth of the matter is, the palette of the design is really the least important factor when developing a site. Usability for humans and SEO for humans and bots is so much more vital to the overall performance of the site, but apart from running my web design firm I’ve worked as the past 15 years as a fine artist, and color is very important to me. Color psychology is a favorite subject of mine, and Barry’s subtle choice here immediately conveys several awesome adjectives to me: class, taste, style, quality. Look at the lovely gradation from the coffee colored beige at the top, down to white at the footer of the pages in the background. Look at how those neutral hues are again used for the navigation. Look at how beautifully this palette blends with the big showcase photo in the main body of the homepage. This is a sweet choice for this company and instantly promotes a feeling of fine quality and high style.
People really go in weird directions when it comes to choosing colors for their websites. It’s such a good rule of thumb to err on the side of subtlety when creating a design for your company’s site. When I am completely in charge of a design, I pick a single color as my main ‘theme’ of the design and then either work within shades tones, and hues of that color, or pick 1 to 2 accent colors. Unless you are selling crayons, the Crayola method is not going to result in the professional look you no doubt wish to achieve for your business.
This design works because it delivers exactly what it needs to – no less, no more. In the hands of another designer, this company could have ended up with a big flash splash page that customers had to sit through to get to where they want to go. There could have been menus scrolling up, down and into outer space, making the site next to impossible for differently abled users. There could have been 9 different colors in the design, resulting in a hodgepodge rather than a cohesive whole.
I really congratulate the Rusty Brick folks on the peaceful, powerful, ultra-simple website they have created for this business. It’s a pleasure to look at and to use.