So you want to spruce up yer site?
Like a lot of good things in life- these things take time- but thanks to a couple of redesigns since I began this corner of the ‘net in 2010, I feel like I’ve gathered a few notes and tips on how to make the process as streamlined, successful and, well, sprucey as possible.
After relaunching the blog a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to know that so many of you would potentially be interested a post about the process behind the redesign and some small insights into how it all came together. So in celebration of a successful project, I thought I’d write a series of steps (or tips) I’ve picked up to a website redesign- be it blog or business… Let’s go!
* Read and get Inspired! At the beginning of the year I picked up a book called How To Style Your Brand– a branding and design book to help me work out and gather some ideas about where I wanted the next chapter of the blog to take me. I filmed a little video about it here, but picking this up and reading some expert tips gave me a real sense of clarity when it came to the things I knew I did and didn’t want- be it colour or an overall brand identity.
* Pin! Pin! Pin! No matter what I’m working on, in the background I’ve nearly aways got a design board on the go that I constantly am adding to. This is exceptionally helpful when it comes to seeing where your personal tastes are at, and it’s so useful to use as a point of reference to spot reoccurring themes and the things you find yourself naturally drawn to- as that’s the most important thing!
* Find Your Style Soul Sister (or Mister): To me, this is possibly the most important thing about the whole design process. Once you’ve found someone whose style, or design aesthetic resonates you- run with it. I’d followed Sally and Ross at Behold Studio for years (well, pretty much since I began blogging) and after meeting up with them a couple of times, knew they’d be the right people to work with. Not only do we have very similar taste, but wit Sally’s background being in marketing and Ross’s in graphics- I felt safe in trusting them in everything from design advice to SEO tips- and I couldn’t have been happier!
* But First, Do Your Research! Following on from my previous point- research is so key when finding someone. Where are they based? Is there a big time difference (and how will that work with your schedule)? Who have they worked with previously? How much will it cost? How long will it take? What packages do they have? These are some of the things I factored in and learnt were important to me based on past experiences and things I’d heard. I wanted someone I could ideally sit down face to face with and who could act as a point of contact during any glitches or times I needed pointers. Being able to trust your designer with everything from a password to the website is integral, and having them on hand meant I could rest assured things were happening behind the scenes without me getting aggy (lol).
* Look outside of your bubble: I think being a blogger, it’s so easy to keep an eye on what everyone else is doing and forget what you truly like. Whether that’s down to the latest cool handbag or a blog layout- sometimes it’s easiest to go with the done thing instead of taking any risks incase they don’t pay off. For example, I knew I’d always loved the look of collages and how they’ve been used with brands like Rookie and magazines- so asking Laura to help make it happen was such a fun addition to the project. Just because you’ve not seen something done lots of times before doesn’t make it a fun idea! Trust your gut and let the rest happen!
I hope this acts as a loose guide for any of you looking to embark on a bit of a design project! Let me know if there’s anything else like this you’d like to see!