We are revamping our homepage and need your expertise.

28 Apr 2010 - 6:33pm
4 years ago
5 replies
930 reads
Nathan at Bestica
2010

Please take a look at our homepage www.bestica.com, and share your thoughts on how we might be able to change the layout and make it more visually appealing. We would like to add a forum tab, links to our video, a press page as well as social networking badges to our home page.

We would appreciate and welcome your suggestions and comments to shilpi@bestica.com or on the forum...Bstc.png

Comments

28 Apr 2010 - 9:02pm
kimbieler
2007

 

Okay, here's my first impression: cramped. It looks like a design where someone insisted everything had to be "above the fold." There's no room to breathe. 

Second, there isn't a strong visual hierarchy (partly because there's no room). The logo is lost. The intro type is an afterthought.

Recommendations: 

  • More space below the logo.
  • More space above the navigation. If you're going to add more nav elements, I would run this across the whole page (under or over the logo).
  • Make the intro type larger and run it across several columns.  
  • Don't use other people's logos (NYT, Biz Journal) so near your logo -- they muddy the waters.
  • Honestly, the images for each career area are not different or compelling enough to be worthwhile. This area is letting your home page down. There's no reason for this to be a Flash animation, as it is currently designed.
  • If you think most users are coming here to search for jobs, make a nice, big, shiny box that says "Find your perfect job," (or something like that) rather than two sad little search boxes at the top right and bottom left.
  • Color issue: Using black to light grey banners for the career areas AND the columns underneath implies a connection between them -- i.e., that "Information Architect" and "Hot Jobs" are somehow related. 
  • The "Hot jobs" banner could benefit from a highlight color (orange, maybe?), but the other three banners should be the same color as each other (blue?).
  • Multilevel fly-out menus are the devil. If you must show level 3 subpages in the navigation, try to incorporate them in the initial dropdown with an indent or something.
  • Social networking badges can be added to the footer area. 
  • Delete the designer credit. After all, you paid them, didn't you? What are they still doing hanging around your home page?


Of course, it's easy to criticize. Here's what I like about your home page:

  • Subject matter: Staffing and recruiting in this field ought to be a winner. You have a great product.
  • Color scheme: Grey, orange, blue. With more white space and better use of these colors, you can make this site very sharp.
  • Grid: This is a solid skeleton. You just need to refine the skin.

 

 

29 Apr 2010 - 8:29pm
Alan James Salmoni
2008

Hi Nathan,

 

Isn't this the kind of work that we're supposed to charge for? ;-)

 

I'm between contracts right now and have some spare minutes and (from what I remember), you are a regular here.

 

Primarily, I find it hard to relate my goals (of finding nice contracts) to how the site seems on first encounter.

 

It's visually busy and confusing, has uneven columns (5 top half, 4 below, left hand cols don't match up), doesn't direct my visual attention to anywhere other than a morass of information, the column leader text top left looks like a hyperlink, two types of search fields without differentiation (if not different make them the same, if they are then say what they do), "Welcome visitor"? (implies I can register / log in but there's no place to do that). My first question is, "I'm an interaction designer looking for temporary contract work preferably telecommute - where do I go?"

 

The categories under "user experience" don't seem to make sense - there's an awful lot of cross-over between them. Will clicking on HCI (for example) exclude all IxD positions?

 

 

It looks like you also need to do some IA work to understand how the site should be laid out rather than just thinking about adding forums, videos etc. They should all have their place rather than being stuck in somewhere which appears to be what's happening (apologies if not but that's how it comes across).

 

 

Testing with real users would provide a lot more value for you so I would recommend the investment to increase conversions. 

29 Apr 2010 - 10:08pm
bjminihan
2010

Hi Nathan,

Agreed with the above comments, and also (before criticizing) agree that you have a good start, and a thorny (if not somewhat common) problem of "we have a lot of information, and want to follow lots of usability principles".  Just seems like you could lighten up on a few of those, and you'll probably be okay.

My first reaction was that the site seems uncannily similar to those "search sites" you land on when you visit a domain whose original owner has disappeared.  Perhaps it's the uniform color with bold, blue links at the bottom which, at a glance, appear to be very common terms you might see on such a page.

As Alan mentioned, the column alignment could be improved, perhaps with a tall left column (stretch out your value statement, shrink the other logos and elaborate on your press mentions) and squeeze the 4 columns at bottom (jobs, staffing, resources) into 3-4 columns directly beneath the hero panel.  Think "Can I easily scan this page and grasp the content without bumping into corners or jerking my eyes left or right"...

Regarding the flash panel, the images are a little too incongruent in that 2 are bright blue vector graphics, while 2 are photos of people.  The blue graphics jump out first, tho there seems to be no reason those sections should be more important than the others.  If you really need animated panels, you might replace each pic with a brief statement, altho I would forego the animation entirely in favor of SEO-friendly landing pages describing each discipline (the animation takes 7 seconds to complete, and will likely be lost on the type of folks you're trying to attract).

The prime nav seems to have at least four non-vital options, which could be removed or moved to the footer:  Home (click the logo, instead), About Us, Blog and Contact Us.  If you keep Blog up there, you might rename it to "Our Opinions", "Bestica Talks" or something more descriptive than something which merely "fits in the nav".  Since you clearly link to the submenu items lower on the welcome page, you might remove the DHTML menus in favor of clear guidance from each nav item's destination page.  Might take a few more clicks (but not many), improve your SEO, and give you more room to breath and capture your visitor's attention.

Agree also with removing the designer's credit, or if it's contractual, reducing its "weight" in the page.  Your designer's other portfolio items show some pretty good creativity and sense of cleanliness and style, so perhaps you're not too far from where you need to be.

Side note for ConceptsRock:  maybe it's just me, but the three flesh-toned towers on their home page are perhaps not exactly what they were trying to communicate to their clients, if you get my drift =]

30 Apr 2010 - 8:48pm
yg15
2008

I hope you don't mind constructive criticism because I visited your site and I truly think you need to hire a professional designer.  There are just too many design violations that cannot be written in a comment critique.

Your problem is not just your home page but every page needs a face lift if you truly want to look professional.

Good Luck

30 Apr 2010 - 11:16pm
Toby Biddle
2009

Hi Nathan,

If you want to run a professional usability evalutation on your website tyo gather this type of feedback from a broader audience sign up to Loop11 (www.Loop11.com) and I'll add a free credit to your account so you can run a project.

Regards

Toby

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