Redesigning Lowter's Homepage

As some of you have probably noticed, Lowter's homepage (external link) has been redesigned! The design was much needed and gave Lowter a nice facelift without redoing the entire design. An issue I personally have is not being able to do subtle design changes. Rather, every update to the design of Lowter is always radically different and retains very little from the previous design. However, Lowter's current layout works very well across browsers and in different screen resolutions, so there was no need for a major layout change.

The goals for the new homepage were:

  • Feature the latest content
  • Make the blogs more prominent
  • Move the forum box into a more viewable position
  • Remove excess content
  • Maximise the area before the fold

All of this was accomplished to create a homepage that trims off unused content (such as the links and news that were never actually updated) and that makes useful content more easily accessible. The only issue with browser compatibility was getting the multi-column category list to work in IE7. In the end, I ended up hiding the list in its entirety out of frustration for it not working. It is not the best solution, but it is not super important as in the future we plan to replace the category list on the homepage with a tag cloud.

I think one mistake that was made with Lowter's old homepage was trying to do too much. We wanted to have links and the latest Internet news available right on our homepage, but this became too tedious to update and ended up never being updated. The only things updated were the blogs, the articles, and the forum discussions. For our redesigned homepage, this is all that we kept, making our homepage much simpler.

With a few simple changes you can give your website a nice, easy facelift, without the trouble of designing an entirely new layout. This relates to the blog entry I wrote a few months back about radical and subtle redesign. Lowter actually took the subtle redesign path and now our homepage looks much better, and only with a few hours work too!