Here's the second pass at the site redesign, taking into account the feedback from the last time around. Changes include:
- new treatment in the top nav bar, including appropriate images for the three main HM versions;
- different color treatment for the main logo;
- icons for the "get connected" area below the search bar;
- Dateline below the headline for each entry;
- Tag line beneath each entry with links to comments and categories;
- Bottom UGO links area.
I'm feeling pretty good about this iteration, I'll incorporate whatever good suggestions come up in comments, then write it up and send it to UGO for feedback. There's still an awful lot of bright in-your-face color going on at the top thanks to the ads, but there's not really a way around that unless I go total grayscale for the top area, and I'm not willing to de-emphasize the links to the other HM versions enough for that.
I like the new design, but I also like the way it is. Either way is fine by me. As long as I can keep using HM3 I’ll be satisfied.
The Colors Are A Little Dull
That’s the point, DTC — there are so many colors from the ads and content that imbuing the surrounding site with color as well — like it is now — would be adding to the confusion. By muting the template colors, you allow the content to stand out.
But I already said that in the last post, so if you disagree with that fundamental premise, then that’s understandable. But that is, as we say, a feature, not a bug.
It seems a little odd to have the Hero Machines in the order of 2.5, 3, then classic. Either ascending or descending order would make more sense.
I think it looks rather clean. I think the top part could be bigger. Initially, I thought it was another ad. I also think it would be good to find a way to link to the forum too. Without that, people might not know there is a HM forum.
The one thing I’ve seen missing from both prototypes is the categories section. What if we want to see all the past contests or recipes. Other than that, great job.
@Jake: Good point on the order of the HM mains, I’ll swap those around. The double word balloon icon under Search is for the Forums. I could do a big row of button links like in the old one, and in the UGO new layout, but I felt like most of those links were kind of useless.
@Vampyrist: Everything currently in the right nav bar will be in the new one, I just didn’t cut and paste them all.