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2018 AND BEYOND
Making sure that the Jones can never catch up, ever!
04
Jul 2018
The Hawthorn Gallery: 2018 Visual Update
John Ince
Checking out the Competition
We're always having a look around at what other art galleries are doing visually. Mostly for entertainment and comedy but also to rank where we believe we stand, at #1 pole position. Some stuff we like, some we don't but mostly don't like. We actually believe what we have already is in a different league to the rest of the pack, visually, and on a different planet functionally. On our tours we notice a few little features that we consider quite nice and could easily implement. The aim here is to push the visuals beyond reach, for a year or so, then we move again. Imagine a world where your website never falls behind into legacy. As our framework grows, changes and improves we update our UX styling. Since we're always changing then your online world evolves constantly with new features and visuals. Take a look at the old from 2016 and the new visual update and feel free to leave us a comment or two.
Supercharging Page Loading
As part of our visual update we've felt the need for speed. So as part of our visual update sprint we optimised the way our images are loaded. We wrote a blog about it https://projectpeach.co.uk/ProjectPeach/Default/Static/def/blog_52.html. This faster page loading refactor built on top of our work in a previous sprint which turbocharged website loading times, to read this blog https://projectpeach.co.uk/ProjectPeach/Default/Static/def/blog_46.html. We've a lot more work to do here and there's backlogged stories that will bubble up to the top. We think that we've now got a really usable navigation speed now. The fight will continue with optimisation.
The Home Page
We've a comparison between old and new. Take a look between the two, which do you prefer. Have we got it right? This is a fairly visual blog so we'll let the pictures paint the story with just a few comments on visual design decisions. Love it or hate it, we think it's a big jump forward into 2018 visually.
Home Page 2016 Vs 2018
The Hawthorn Gallery: 2018 Visual Update
We hope we don't need to tell you but the 2016 visuals are on the left and the new 2018 on the right. We'll preserve this format for the rest of this blogs side by side comparison images. What's to say, it's all visual, however as they say form follows function and this had much to do with the 2016 boxy styling. Our live CMS is driven by custom content and the 2016 version allowed extensible tiles for featured artists and featured art. You could add as many as you want with the sacrifice being the boxy conformist styling applied. It's great to put the customer in full control of content however it might be nice to make the custom content a little more restrictive for simply a better, more visually attractive layout. Hence the 2018 style uses a more constrained magazine style layout with less client influence and more graphic design. Our clients simply change the stylised tiles content rather than adding unlimited boxes of content. A slight compromise of visual design over extensible function. What do you think?
Artist Page 2016 Vs 2018
The Hawthorn Gallery: 2018 Visual Update
We've added a smart new header. It's a bit more than gloss, it's functional too. We've had users who are confused between which page they are on. They are trying to search ALL art in a particular artist page. It's much more obvious now and better looking. We've also ditched the boxy feel. We increased the visual size of the thumbnails whilst reducing their physical download size. We've also freed the image representation to be true to real life, we don't crop or fill to make the rows consistent in width. What do you think?
Art Page 2016 Vs 2018
The Hawthorn Gallery: 2018 Visual Update
Very subtle changes here. There's watermark header that illuminates the main art at the top of the page and really subtle colour changes on the buttons. Of course the new page footer is there and changes to the visual structure of the 'You might also like" section. What do you think?
Art Collections 2016 Vs 2018
The Hawthorn Gallery: 2018 Visual Update
Our Art Collections page has continued the theme of page headers and bigger, but smaller size, thumbnail images. On theme and consistent with our other enhanced pages. What do you think?
Did we Hit the Visual Mark?
We hope you like the new Hawthorn Gallery visuals. We work hard to make full demarcation between our function and visuals. It makes it relatively easy to switch skins without affecting function. Hence every now and again as our framework evolves we show off our new features visually. Why not take a trip over to 'The Hawthorn Gallery' website on desktop and mobile? Just click here https://thehawthorngallery.co.uk.
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