Loraine Holden, author of Don’t Get Thin, Get Healthy, wanted the ability to add articles on breaking health news to her website. Her previous webmaster set up a blog for her, but it wasn’t integrated into her site.
So Loraine asked me to add the blog link to her site.
Site before redesign
At first glance her website seemed pleasing, lots of white space and an attractive color and font for the main site heading. A closer look revealed problems:
- The header, Don’t Get Thin Get Healthy, was a graphic with no alt tag, making it invisible to screen readers and search engines
- No headings at all were used (search engines use headings to help determine site content)
- Neither book title nor author name were used in text (only in graphics), making them invisible to search engines
- Using orange text on green buttons for the current page link may cause difficulty for visitors with certain types of color blindness
- The use of three greens (header, link buttons, bold text) gave an uncoordinated, scattershot effect
- The bird of paradise graphics appeared to have nothing to do with anything on the page, like they’d just been plopped in an empty space to look pretty
- Having the menu buttons separated across the page width disrupted normal eye tracking
In addition, the link buttons at the top of the page weren’t designed for expandability — the Home button and “by Loraine Holden” were one graphic. Adding a link for a blog would entail recreating the menu anyway, so I suggested that the entire site be redesigned.
Loraine agreed, and I started working up a new design. The bird of paradise graphic was important to Loraine, so I made it a key part of the design and not an afterthought. She also wanted site visitors to call her about speaking engagements, so her phone number is placed in a prominent position on most pages. She doesn’t have time to monitor blog comments for spam, so her blog doesn’t have a comments section. In fact, her blog isn’t called a blog at all — it’s an ezine.
I think her site redesign turned out well. Decide for yourself: dontgetthin-gethealthy.com.