The Evolution: The little things on the website

As I have stated and proved by now…a website is never “finished”.  With I do a major over haul annually to keep up with technology and I find myself tweaking the site constantly.  I have however, changed to the new logo and made a few recent cosmetic changes to go with the new “look”, so its feeling pretty complete right now and I am loving how it has all come together!  I thought I would share the screen shots with you so you can see the evolution and how it played out yourself.

We’ll start with what the site looked like at the end of 2009.  I had done a redesign and HUGE over haul in August to implement a powerful shopping cart with all the bells and whistles, but started to feel that the website (and look of the brand in general) was no longer matching my design aesthetic.

Manic Trout Web Page 2009

Once I realized that I needed to re-brand, I began The Evolution. I did the initial redesign with the brainstorming and professional help of the PR & Marketing geniuses Bang + Collins.  I at this time started to interview graphic designers for a new logo design, so I used a text version during the interim.

Manic Trout Web Site Summer 2010

After a few months of no logo (which was kind of hard to deal with as the hardest past of the identity crisis was not really having an identity for awhile), and many discussions between the ladies of B+C, the graphic designer and myself, I received the new logo.  I was so thrilled with what Sean Thompson of THOMPSON created that I popped it into the site immediately.  Yay!!! Well, almost…I knew I was getting there, but something was off.

Manic Trout Screen Shot Sept 2010I had most of the navigation and technical aspects done at this point.  I had edited the item description and majorly changed how the item pages looked and worked.  The site had been trimmed, and the pros as well as customers have given their input.  I however still needed one more test to be done, and that was the 5 1/2 second memory test.  I had read about Clue from Meredith over at Smaller Box so I decided to give it a try.  Basically people look at a screen shot of your site for 5 1/2 seconds and then type the first five things they remember from what they saw.

I basically discovered that the logo and info about Manic Trout were memorable and stood out which is fantastic, BUT instead of jewelry being high on that list, the color pink was the big winner.  The press link magazine cover, Pregnancy & Newborn, instead of that Manic Trout having press was also too memorable for my liking.

So the other night I set to work and ripped apart the last of what I had been holding on to (mainly, the color pink) and tightened up the details.  The site however had a few graphic icks, which I was going to get to at some point soon, I swear!  While I was procrastinating from doing that task, I was showing the bf the ick and he pointed out a few tiny tweaks that were pretty a-ha!/duh moments for me.  The biggest a-ha! moment was that by making the jewelry images a tiny bit bigger, but not so big to change the screen width, they stood out more and made them more of the focus of the site.  Which brings us to the cherry on the cake of awesomeness which was when Sean Thompson, graphic designer extraordinaire came to my rescue and offered to cure the ick (yeah it was so icky that he noticed it and emailed me…oops!).  Overnight he waved his magic wand and did the miraculous job of clearing up the ick and all of a sudden, felt like home again…

Manic Trout RevampedClean, mature…and what do you notice?  The name Manic Trout, the jewelry and a stack of press.  Ahhh….happiness.

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