Partners In Design


Makeover Magic



So I work for a large not-for-profit that administers educational grants. That being said, the design of sites here has to tread a fine line between really boring or really bad. But I am able to take some liberties and create some interesting sites sometimes.

One of the challenges is also that we work with the US State Department and they take the Americans with Disabilities Act very seriously. We have to make sure that our sites are as compliant as they can be and that we take web standards into account. We also have an audience that is outside of the United States. In this case, the program Scholar Rescue Fund, is targeting people that may have limited internet access and have slow connection speeds. But the audience in the US has an expectation of what the web presence should look like. To solve the problem, I took the old web site that was laden with nested tables that can really take time to load and replaced them with div tags, a single top banner and drop downs that are semantic and ADA compliant.

I also had to use the imagery and the same color palette as the original site as much as I could. The program was pleased with the results. Especially since they gave me less than a week to design, revise and implement the new website. I was so glad that it was straight HTML and no interactive pages.

Link to the before site: SRF Old
New Site:SRF New


Laz said...

I definetly feel as though you really utilized what you had and built a stronger design from what was there previous. It's interesting to see how very small changes can make something feel stronger and more appealing. I'm also glad you got rid of the maroon color usage, as it wasn't working very well with the color scheme you had going.

Cool stuff! It's nice seeing new work!

Christine said...

thanks. i had to use the maroon to please one of the board members. remember not-for-profit equals lots of internal politics. it is a mine field! thank god i have freelance projects and other labors of love to get experimental!

Alexandra said...

Your redesign is great. The layout is much easier to look at, not as cluttered I would say. The maroon stripe doesn't bother me as much.

I also want to say that I really hate when people give you such short deadlines to work miracles out of a project. They should all shove a potato up their noses.

Paul said...

The design is what it is- as you said, lots of restrictions. But I can really appreciate all the work you had to do under the hood- in terms of eliminating tables, and make the site universally available to those with disabilities...that's not an easy task by any measure.

web standards said...

That's a fantastic web make over. You certainly have a very little amount of wiggle room, but you did a great job.

web standards said...

I've used Firefox for a while now. It is nice. However, there are some formatting and detail attributes that it doesn't read in CSS, which means that you aren't seeing pages to their full intention.