From the Blog

A new look: spring cleaning the website

Recycled Words has had a makeover. I have spruced up the site and given it a colourful new look. “But why?” you may ask. Read on to find out.

What you want, where you want it

My main aim from this redesign has been to declutter the site and refocus it on the things that are important.

But what is important? It turns out that this question is not such an easy one to answer. I have wracked my brain, tried to place myself in your shoes (very comfortable, by the way), and I have whittled it down to a simple abc that highlights the core elements of my site.

recycled words website homepage redesign

You can quickly get to my art galleries, you can browse for prints and cards to buy, and you can find out how to hire me for individual commissions and illustration work.

I think that gives a little something for everyone: nice artwork for you to enjoy, easy access to the shop, and an outside chance that someone might want to give me some money for my art.

It will be all white on the night

You should be noticing that there is now a fair amount of white space on each page. This is intentional, as it creates a cleaner and easier-to-read site for you.

There are lots of articles out there telling you why using white space in web design is a good idea, but making it easier for your visitors has to be the biggest bonus. Stripping away extraneous stuff allows you to see the remaining content more easily and, hopefully, makes visiting Recycled Words a more enjoyable experience.

Big little letters

The other highly-noticeable change to the site is the introduction of big, bold lettering throughout the site. If I’m stripping things out and using all of that white space, then it allows me an opportunity to go big and bright with the content I am using.

Pay attention to the numbers

I used to work in financial services. I have a degree in maths. I love numbers, of course I do. But even I can be guilty of ignoring them from time-to-time.

If you have a website and you are asking yourself, “should I use Google Analytics?”, my answer would definitely be a yes. Google supply free analytics for your site and this can give you a wealth of information.

The important bit is to then think about what the Google Analytics are telling you.

For example, one of my pages was regularly seeing people arrive, hang around for about 30 seconds, and then leave again without going any further into the site. Which was a bit strange, because there wasn’t much for them to look at on that particular page, it was more of a directory of other stuff they might want to look at. The only thing they should really have been doing on that page was to be clicking on the links and heading to other pages. But they weren’t.

Weird.

I explored this a bit and – oh no! – the links don’t work on a mobile device. On a computer they were fine. But on my mobile, none of the links would work.

So I was sending people to a page where, if they were on a mobile and despite their best efforts, they were unable to get any further. Understandably, they were then giving up and heading off to more accessible sites.

And it was all there in the numbers.

Of course, this has now been addressed as part of this redesign and those pesky links have been removed, reprimanded, and sent off to do menial work in the admin-only section of the site. They ask for your forgiveness.

Not only that, the numbers are telling me that the situation has improved: over 80% of people landing on that page now head further into the site, which is great. So pay attention to the numbers!

It’s all about you

Of course, you are in the best position to tell me what you want to see on this site and what you think is important.

Have I got it right? Do you like the redesign? What would you change?

I would love to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment below, drop me a line, or get in touch on social media.

Have your say