This was originally a school project, however with time off due to Covid, I made a little time to revisit it
Survey the Visuals
What is the current first impression?
(Image from 2011)
It's not all doom and gloom for Blind River - here are some positives about the current site:
Overall design is very clean.
There is an established Logo.
A colour scheme is evident (gold, blue-grey, and white).
The photo is high quality (suggests other images on the site will be as well).
A testimonial is featured.
The watermark in the background has been used tastefully - good positioning and set to a perfect opacity strength.
Overall, this 'Home' page feels more like an 'About' page – here's why:
The logo is at the bottom of the page.
There are no clear Calls to Actions (CODs).
The navigation is somewhat hard to read at first glance.
The block of text makes this page too text-heavy. This is the type of layout you should find deeper in the site.
The photo is more casual and something expected to accomodate a biography section.
The testimonial in the corner feels like an afterthought instead of a point of interest.
How we can improve usability:
Move the logo to the top of the hierarchy chain and position it top-left or top-centre.
The main navigation can be reduced to main categories like 'About' and 'Media'. The word 'Our' can be removed from the navigation titles - its repetitive use is redundant.
The homepage should feature photos of the winery itself or its' products.
The testimonial can be larger in size and moved to the main area of the page - we want people to see this!
Redesigned Homepage (Mockup)
Overall, this homepage is a significant improvment than previous design – here's why:
Company logo moved to top left
Featured wine is the biggest, and therefore also the first, thing your eyes will be drawn to. This can change with new wine realeases.
For the testimonial, a simple star rating was placed beside the bottle. Sometimes a little is all you need! This small visual is unobtrusive to the rest of the design and easily gets the message across.
The navigation has been broken down into primary and secondary sections (ie; 'About' could have 'About the Vineyard' and 'Meet the Team' as secondary links).
Three main Calls to Action have been implemented to give the user directional nudges of what to explore next - Shop Wines, Browse Food Pairing Ideas, or Discover more about the history of Blind River Wines.
The river illustration along the bottom of the page is a nice grounding point for the site and a good use of their current branding assets. A footer navigation could also be added here.