Mopdog breaks out of the box.
Let us revolutionize your website to meet today’s fluid, responsive mobile needs.
Entirely redesigning a website can be the most exciting communications project for any company. At the same time, it is also the most daunting and time-consuming endeavor. Our diverse and talented design team worked hard to reimagine the Mopdog brand across a digital platform. As the interactive designer for our firm, I felt the heavy responsibility of implementing this project. A new website meant shifting our messaging, which made creating a successful design an even harder mark to hit. The challenge was to craft a unique website, but one that also represents the direction Mopdog is prompting our clients to move.
This change in web design is being driven by varying screen sizes, with people accessing the Internet from a range of devices. Next year, researchers predict more people will use mobile devices instead of personal computers to go online—meaning the design for company websites has to evolve and adapt to be displayed on all types of platforms. In the past, designers were painted into a corner with rigid placement of website navigation and structure. Now, pages on the Internet are spreading across the screen with more fluid movement. This means the dimensions can be resized from a widescreen personal computer monitor to long, vertical mobile tablets to tiny cellphone screens.
Our previous website was a little straight-laced for my taste, with quiet features. So, almost a year ago in November 2013, I helped kickoff the project to redesign www.mopdog.com. Soon the questions began. Should we stick to graphics or incorporate photography and even video? How should headlines be aligned, spaced and capitalized? At certain periods one designer would hit a wall, so the project would be passed over to a different designer to tackle the issue.
Now our recently launched website is big, bold and attention grabbing. I believe it meets the mark of feeling young and modern, with tons of personality. But don’t get me wrong; the flare is just to help get our message across. In fact, the best designs are ones where content and aesthetic work together. The flare is especially seen in the new way we are showcasing our Mopdog blog, which is updated a couple of times a week with relevant information crafted in our office about our industry. That important material needed a dynamic platform. I am also very proud of the case studies section, which highlights the work we have done for our clients across multiple platforms.
Tips from inside the Mopdog design studio
- Usability is first and foremost. The most dynamic webpages weave copy and design elements to function together. Imagery must reinforce the messaging and not be a distraction, so the content is readable.
- Keep is simple and clutter-free. Start with a main message and focal point; then let the messaging flow across and down the page. Use blocks of contrasting colors and white space to segment topics. Allow large headlines to guide the organization of material. Don’t force your audience. Let the user determine how they want to interact with the webpage and what in-depth material (or path) they want to discover.
- Less clicking; more scrolling. It is time to get rid of “the fold” concept in web layout. Each bundle of text does not need to be in the top pane. It is common for today’s Internet audience to use mobile devices with smaller screens that require more scrolling. Designers should install subtle cues to hint to users to scroll down, or even to the right. This gives more breathing space to spread out content in a comfortable setting.
- Don’t get caught up in extravagance. There is a reason to choose “flat design” and standard icons. Even though you want eye-catching pieces, keeping it simple will decrease the load time for the webpage. The quicker a viewer can access your information, the greater chance they will hang around. Most experts suggest a two-second goal for load time.
Even with all these best practices and tricks of the trade, Mopdog is not following a strict template of web design for our client’s unique sites. Redesigning the Mopdog website certainly had our design team thinking around corners to predict how pieces would behave in different settings. This expanded our skills and gave Mopdog a library of solutions to treat certain elements for our clients in the future. A great example of Mopdog putting these elevated skills to use was the launch of a new website for one of our clients, EngagePoint. For this website, we allowed plenty of white space, and placed large headlines and buckets of colorful content to transmit messaging…and personality.
Constantly experimenting for clients will further propel this momentum of forward-thinking design at our firm. Next, I would like to take the interactive elements of our current website development up a notch. Including animations would allow control over how text and images appear over time, conveying a deeper message than a static graphic. Luckily, as clients become more used to our out-of-the-box approach, I am becoming more comfortable pitching an over-the-top idea, which is sure to make our clients stand out…now that our clients know they don’t have to fit in.
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