Evaluation

In this project were to redesign a poorly executed website called High Noon Holsters, a website dedicated to selling all types of holster  to the american public. After a little research we found the company didn’t exist anymore but that didn’t stop us from researching the area of gun holsters through its old competitors.

During the research stage, there were many important elements that contributed to the overall look and feel of our design. Researching the product was the first major step before we even started designing the wireframes. It allowed us to understand the product the site would be selling and gave us an understanding for what the feel of the website should be like. It meant that we could simplify the products into four different categories, these were concealment, duty, tactical and sport. At this stage we were already many steps ahead of the original high noon holster website because we were very careful to make sure we didn’t overcomplicate the design and the layout. Something else we decided to put a lot of effort into researching was other southern american websites and the user experience they provided. Tying these into the font and the colour research meant we were able to make plans for how we were going to design the high noon holster website, for example the way tex is presented on a southern american website is unlike any other style of design. They tend to arrange many different styles of typefaces stacked on top of each other in a burger style format, usually with a graphic involved too, to annotate what is being said within the title. When researching the colour theory we learnt that contrast was important to make the content stand out from the background, therefore using the patriotic colours red, blue and white relate to americans because of the flag and the other colours used were darker, brown greys and blacks because they related to the old style american saloons. The Reds website shows how the brighter colours work well at the top as the navigation and the darker colours as the background colours of the main content.

When creating wireframes we decided to break it down into different stages, firstly by creating four wireframes, two for desktop and two for mobile, we then got together and worked out the negatives and positives of each design. That meant we were able to go away and create two new designs each, the best parts of each design were combined to create the next version. This meant we were then able to put both of our final combined designs against the other and create a new one based on the best parts of both. This meant we had technically gone through 6 different designs and allowed us both to have input on the final design. Once this stage was completed we both went our separate ways in the design process to put our own design ideas forward, so that we could decide on the best later on.

When reading Natalie Nahie’s Web of Influence I learnt that people trust others with similarities, therefore we created a personalised greeting message on the homepage for every different state of the united states based up local language and similarities that the people from that state share. The design of these greeting messages were based upon the research about the southern american websites and the ‘stacked’ look of the different typefaces to create an new unusual look for the message.

Another thing we learnt from the research stage was that usability is very important in relation to increasing user interactions. Steve Krug’s “Don’t make me think” discusses how hierarchy and positioning of elements on a webpage massively influence the experience the user has on the site. Since the user scans through the page for the relevant information, the layout has to be very simplistic and self evident. Taken from the book, these two pieces of information massively influenced how we redesigned the High Noon Holster online presence.
One of the most important elements to our teams organisation was the fact that from day one we listed everything we wanted to do and broke it down into manageable tasks that could completed alone. We then set about creating a planner and allocated these tasks to the person who could handle them the most efficiently. This meant that at any given time, we could check the planner and see if we were on schedule. Another very important element of the planner was the fact that we built into the schedule time of things to go wrong, so if we ended up delaying a piece of work it wouldn’t matter because we would still be able to hand in on time.

Being able to criticise each others work professionally and take criticism was a large importance of being able to work as a team and putting personal issues aside to achieve the best possible end product was at the forefront of importance when working as a team. Understanding your responsibility within the group was majorly important as it meant you stayed on track with the tasks you were assigned rather than doing your own thing.

Once the final designs had been completed we had to choose which design we were going to pick as the final design we would present to the group.  At the end, it was apparent that both design were hugely different in appearance, only because we both had different visions of the final products. Alistair’s design uses simplistic design cues, with subtle gradients, flat colour and influences from the fonts and colour research and the diesel online store. Aidan’s design on the other hand, was highly influenced and adapted from the original High Noon Holster website, thematic around spaghetti western posters, using torn paper like vector images for the containers of the content, and using flat colours for the navigational elements, and using high fidelity images for icons used on the store selection page.

Taking into consideration the research in relation to usability and functionality in which the entire redesign was based around, Alistair’s design was more fitting regarding the research and wide audience of the gun holster business in comparison to Aidan’s. The thematic spaghetti western design looks really good but would target a much more specific demographic given its niche design in comparison to Alistair’s.

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