Mark Susters blog is one I’ve been reading for years and one of the very few I check daily.  Being a designer by trade, I readily offer up my design critiques for free.  I’ve already given Brad Feld my two cents and wanted to do the same for Mark.  However Mark’s blog was less in need of critique and more in need of a complete overhaul.  I bugged Mark about it (in July) and he agreed to give it a go.  Having worked with Mark before on creative projects I knew this was going to take a very long time.  That’s just the way it isRead More →

I wasn’t planning on posting this, but since Brad made it public, I might as well.  FeldThoughts is a site I visit a few times a week.  One of few, so when the site design was radically altered (not for the better) I was a bit disappointed.  After I was able to filter out my irrational objections to change, I sent some annotated feedback to Brad. click for largeness   In short, the overall aesthetics are good.  The designer, J Cole Morrison has demonstrated some talent here for sure.  And while the enthusiasm in design is present, the focus is not.  I see this a lot.Read More →

This design audit was for Brian Vogel of Flyte Park.  He makes and sells audio variometers for pilots.  Yeah.. I had no idea what those were either so I thought this would be a fun challenge.  I actually redesigned the site for this audit which is something I don’t usually do. Here is the original Flyte Park site.  As you can see it’s a very long page, especially for a single product. (click for larger) So let’s break it down. Logo and header At first I was confused as to what the squiggle was and though it evoked a plane spiraling down, not a good image.  ButRead More →

This audit was for Greg for Municibid.  I wanted to take this on because marketplaces are interesting cases and Greg does a lot of things right here.  It doesn’t need a major overhaul, just some improvement. Here is the full site, capped.  As you can see it’s pretty bland.  Just because you are appealing to municipal workers doesn’t mean you have to style down to their subdued sensibilities.  So lets get started. 1. Logo This is just a lost and confused logo and type treatment.  There are concentric arcs on the “m” which don’t make sense.  When you use concentric arcs your company better have somethingRead More →

This is another request from the Twist list, this time of JD.  I wanted to take on this one because it’s a mobile app which should have very different sales and design patterns, at least as far as their websites are concerned. The full site is at WhosFreeApp.com and also capped below. 1. The thing about app sites Sites for webapps should function very differently than sites for webapps for a few specific reasons.  With webapps, the site is your product and the hurdle can be significant.  You are often asking for someones email or credit card number.  This means you need to provide enough sales inertia to getRead More →

So I put out a call to do some design audits to the members of the TWIST list.  Alex put in a call for his startup, FitPack.  So here goes. The current website is here, but I have composited a sceenshot below.   1. Logo It’s actually a pretty decent logo.  It reminds me of a men’s magazine like Maxim and feels dynamic enough.  The only real issue is that it is a bit soft at the edges.  This might be caused by some compression that wordpress uses on its image uploader.  It’s subtle for sure but can make a big difference on a subconscious level. 2.Read More →

Caveat here:  This audit was not solicited by Oblong.  They are simply a fascinating company which a less-than fascinating web presence.  It’s fairly common to have really smart people who don’t pay much attention to design, though this may not be the case with Oblong.  Also, these audits focus not just on design, but on branding, identity, and occasionally product.  Given that all I know about Oblong I have derived from their site, some of my assumptions may be wrong, but these wrong assumptions may also be shared by other site visitors, who certainly know no-more about Oblong than I do. This is their currentRead More →

Paige is a pal, and BetterWorks is an interesting company.  When I went to the BetterWorks site a month ago I couldn’t help but notice that it’s a mess and not reflecting the potential of the company.  So I offered a design audit, gratis.  Below is some of the nuts and bolts. The numbers on the page refer to the comments below.  While this is primarily a design audit, I do touch on marketing, branding and product.  It’s all the same thing.   (click to see larger)   “Contact Sales”?  No one wants to talk to a sales person.  Try “Questions” because people do wantRead More →