It is has been a very busy couple of weeks, which is why I wasn’t able to post to this blog last week. I’ve been spending every free minute on my new website design, which went live yesterday, and I’m very excited about it!
The Delicious Cake Design website hasn’t been in existence all that long, just for a few months, so some might say it’s a bit soon to be doing a re-design. Especially since I spent so many weeks getting it “just right” in the first place. But I’ve been doing a lot of research into website usability and I realised there was definitely room for improvement. It’s all very well to create something that looks nice, but what good is it if it doesn’t help the user find what they want easily, or encourage them to continue their journey?
With that in mind, I made some changes, particularly to the photo galleries for the cakes. I decided to try and fit more of the cakes “above the fold” of the gallery pages, i.e. put more of the content near the top so the user doesn’t have to scroll down to see the majority of the pictures. The old design had only 2 images above the fold, so if the user didn’t like either of those 2 images they were unlikely to scroll down further to see more of the cakes. As I do such a wide range of cakes, it is entirely possible that there is a cake on the page that they would’ve liked. But they wouldn’t find this out if they didn’t scroll down. So I started by making the pages wider, but still a fixed width suitable for 1024×768 screen resolution. I decreased the height of the logo at the top of the page, then changed the galleries to have 2 rows of 5 thumbnails (small images of the cakes) above the fold. Clicking a thumbnail opens a lightbox showing a larger image of the cake as well as more information about the cake and it’s price. By putting the cake information in a lightbox, I was able to use more of the space above the fold to fit in more cake pictures. Sounds easy, but it took weeks!
I haven’t included individual cake prices up till now, but I felt it was important to put them in. Cake prices vary so much as they are dependent on the different design elements for each cake. It’s hard to even put an “average” price on my cakes, as there is no such thing as an “average” cake, all of my cakes are so different. So by putting the individual cake prices on the site, it will give visitors a really good idea of how much they could realistically expect to pay depending on the extravagance of the design.
I’m considering allowing users to click some sort of next and previous links to navigate to the next and previous cakes while in the lightbox so they don’t have to keep re-opening and closing lightboxes if they want to see all of the cakes. What do you think?
Why not take a look at the new, improved design, I’m keen to hear your feedback! http://www.deliciouscakedesign.com