Your Stuff & Kids’ Stuff Consignment Boutique Website

A long long time ago in a galaxy far away I made a website for Your Stuff and Kids’ Stuff Consignment Boutiques. It was the first website I ever made, and it was admittedly not very good. I was very limited in terms of what I knew how to do visually, and the code was a mess. A year or so later, I did some updates to the site using my updated knowledge. Now, a number of years later, I’ve taken yet another step in improving the store’s website.

The biggest change was switching the website over to WordPress. This is a website that requires regular updates, so I wanted to provide a way for others besides myself to update that content easily and quickly.

Visually, I wanted to make the website easier on the eyes. On the first iteration of this website, the background was a bright, neon, retina-burning yellow. Yellow is the store’s signature color, so I incorporated it…to an extreme degree. The navigation was composed of 3D buttons. (The world of web design was a novelty to me at the time—new, unexplored territory. Forgive me.) On the second iteration of the website, realizing that it was torture to read anything on the site because of the bright yellow, I added a smaller white background behind the content. I redesigned the navigation, making it into a single bar with some dimension rather than individual little buttons.

Old website, second iteration, interior page

The new website still incorporates yellow, but in a way that’s much easier on the eyes. I chose a shade of yellow that has warmer, more orange undertones, and gave it a slight gradient so the brightest yellow is only at the very top of the page. Rather than splashing the whole page with yellow, I contained it in the header section. I gave the header a faint drop shadow to create a more defined separation between the header/navigation and the content and so the content would more distinctly appear as its own entity.

New website, home page

Structurally, the older versions of the site were messy, particularly on the home page. What was the purpose of the homepage? News…or anything new that I was sent to add to the site, rather. There was a little sidebar on the homepage and that sidebar contained mailing list signup, awards, coupons, social media links, and a blog link. Woah!  On the new site, my goal was to make the content much more organized. A website should be build with the end users in mind, and when the content is all jumbled, those users are just  going to get frustrated because they can’t find what they need. With the new site, I organized ahead of time everything I knew had to be on the site, and put a lot of consideration into what information is most important to the end users. News and other info that visitors to the site might be interested in is featured in an image slideshow in the header. The above-the-fold (below the navigation) content on the home page is what won the “information-the-visitor-is-likely-to-need-or-be-looking-for” award. Mailing list is of course important because that’s how shoppers stay up to date with the goings on at the store (and that’s how they get coupons). Location is probably most essential, as shoppers can’t shop if they don’t know where to go. Lastly, the Twitter feed is a great way to instantly learn about the latest news and happenings. The footer is another section that took a lot of careful thought and planning—content here is anything that may need to be accessed quickly from any page of the site . It contains a brief reminder of what Your Stuff and Kids’ Stuff is, where it’s located, and who it’s affiliated with. It has an easy means of contacting the store and a sitemap containing all pages and subpages so particular content can quickly and easily be found. It also has the expected copyright info as well as a Facebook like button and a Google+ button.

I still have some final tweaks I want to make to the site, for example, I want to make the design of the individual pages (titles in particular) more consistent across the site. I’ve really had fun with this website because I’ve played the role not only of developer, but sole designer. All graphics (slideshow images, illustrations, etc.) are my work (excepting the text portion of the logo—I did create the clothes hanger illustration several years ago). It’s also really neat seeing how my work transforms and improves over time, and I think this project has been a great illustration of that.

www.yourstuffkidsstuff.com

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