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MBO re-design advice...
Posted By: TychoDate: 2/29/12 4:01 p.m.

...for those who want to listen.

I'm going to try to make this short.. I don't need to start a big thread, I'm just going to say a few things that will hopefully help.

1. Don't "design by committee"

I've seen this phrase thrown about a little and I can assure you that this won't work. One designer working with one client is often painful enough. Several designers working with dozens of clients is impossible. Hamish wants a site. He gets some designers on board. Someone has to have a vision, run it by Hamish and then have enough confidence in it to execute it. I assure that as worldly as Hamish is in the ways of the universe, not him nor anyone will really know what they want until it's done, and when it's done, they'll want something a little bit different. It's good to gather information and have one's finger on the pulse of the people here, but in the words of a dead man "Customers don't know what they want."

2. Figure out the content

the MBO page is a portal page. Remember portals? Yahoo. Hotbot. Altavista. Yeah, they're dead. You will not find two people who will agree today how to make a portal. MBO, however, still needs to be a portal. Therefore you can not think of it's content like you would a regular page. The design approach has to be based on how to best deliver direction, rather than significant content. Therefore, it is my advice that you focus your quest for "content" on how to get people where they need to go, rather than piling up a bunch of text on it. Yes, you need to show the general MBO news, but the rest is figuring out the best way to get people to places. MBO is the Grand Central Station of Marathon community, NOT the Library of Congress of Marathon. The library is all the other stuff.

3. Don't get hung up on Marathon in order to derive your style

There will be enough "Marathon" on MBO to give people a clue this is about Marathon. It's ok if the design style isn't dripping Marathon blood.

4. Readability is sacred

Black on white, white on black...it doesn't matter. You'll find people who have problems with both combinations, but you're not designing for the exceptions. HOWEVER, you could be really clever and make an "invert css" button that swaps your background and text colours if it's that much of an issue. Leave enough space around text, avoid fixed widths and don't be afraid to remind people they can increase or decrease their font size.

5. (This is for everyone) Try not to treat this re-design as if someone is going to murder your baby if it's not how you envisioned it

Gretzky got traded. The Red Sox won the world series. The Titanic sunk. Unthinkable things happen. World goes on. Anyone that's going to work on this re-design will get help, and input and sweat through it all and at the end, they'll donate their free time to make someone for everyone to enjoy. Appreciate it for what it is and at the end of the day realize that in due time, this too shall pass and it will be redesigned in Web 4.0 when poenas no longer dare and Battle Cats are still hilarious, but Tychos remain rampant.

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Replies:

MBO re-design advice...Tycho 2/29/12 4:01 p.m.
     This man has good advice. *NM*Claude Errera 3/1/12 8:27 a.m.
           ditto *NM*Johannes Gunnar 3/1/12 9:30 a.m.

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