30 Minute Redesign

Today Iím going to be redesigning Skill 7′s website. Skill 7 is a wonderful organization that hosts sports courses, training and events for young people.
Itís also awesome that this is the 100th 30 minute redesign! I canít believe this series has been so successful and had such longevity. Thanks to all PSDFAN readers for the support. I have a bit of a confessionÖ as this was the 100th redesign, and I was running out of time as there was SO much to fix I actually took 40 minutes on the redesign in total. Donít judge me!
The Original Design:

You can see the original site design below:

You can check out the original website here: Skill 7
First Impressions: Strengths

Every site has some merits, and the good impressions I made here are these:
Relevant Background Design

The background image on the current design may be fairly garish, but itís at least relevant to the theme of the site (soccer training).
The bright grassy background is one of the few keys as to what this site is all about. Whilst itís not a great design feature it does at least help people understand the organization a little better in the siteís current iteration.

Unique Logo

One of the better points of this site was their logo. The hand-drawn illustration of the lion stood out as a nice design feature in a site that otherwise falls down in a lot of ways.
The logo is unique, relevant and not badly designed. Currently it helps act as a central point for the design, framing the surrounding content.

Explanatory Sentence Attempting to Describe the Site

Whilst the purpose of the organization is far from clear enough, itís encouraging to see at least an attempt at explaining what the website is all about.
The intro sentence: ĎSkill 7 have been providing PPA cover sessions and after school clubs at the following schools since 1999.í is nothing if not helpful, and is definitely heading in the right direction.

First Impressions: Weaknesses

Of course no website is perfect, and our siteís often make negative first impressions upon readers without us even realizing! Here are the negative first impressions I received from this site:
Disorganized Layout

For me the biggest problem with this site is how disorganized the content is. Itís absolutely overwhelming, in a very bad way.
Not only is there a lot of content (Iíll get to this in my next point) but itís not adhering to any sort of grid or structure. It seems almost randomly strewn over the page. You look one place and there are logos and badges, another place there seems to be multiple versions of the same menu, another place there is illustrations, graphs and photos.
Each piece of content is out of alignment with every other piece of content, and the result is very jarring and likely to push your visitors away from your site.
Not only this, but the content is not consistent. There is a huge variation in colors, fonts and general design throughout the layout, and this inconsistency only makes the site feel more shambolic and disorganized.

Too Much Content

Another huge problem with this site is the sheer amount of content.
Youíll notice in a lot of my redesigns Iíll talk about reducing your content to the minimum of whatís needed. Anything extra detracts from this and will confuse and put off your visitors.
This site is one of the worst offenders Iíve ever seen for trying to put absolutely everything on their front page.
There are logos, sponsor badges, news, events, countless menus (why!?), prominent social media buttons that all clash, logos of schools and more. Not to mention all of this content clashes with a hideous grass texture background.
Remember Ė subpages exist for a reason! Put some of your key content on your subpages.
When designing your homepage think about what people want from your site? Your main purpose should be to explain what youíre about and to establish credibility. Then you can draw them into looking at your subpages for more relevant info.

The Purpose of the Site Is Not Clear

Apart from the background image and that hidden away explanatory sentence there isnít a lot clarifying what you do as an organization.
I shouldnít have to search for this information, it should be immediately obvious.
Part of the problem is the huge amount of obsolete content on your homepage, but you also need a clear, informative headline area to explain your organization in a sentence or two for new visitors.

My Redesign Proposal

You can see my redesign proposal below:

Letís look at some of my aims for the redesign:
Cleaned Up Content, Made More Organized

My first job was to remove the huge mass of obsolete content from the homepage. This should either be scrapped or if essential moved to a relevant subpage.
Now I could focus on clarifying the key homepage content.
Not only this but no more disorganized page structure! I used a grid based system to ensure all content was well lined up and easier on the eye, rather than placed sporadically around the page. I also opted for consistent fonts, colors and styling.
The result is a more professional overall page that doesnít push your viewerís away.

I Clarified What the Organization Does

In the original site itís pretty hard to work out exactly what Skill 7 do.
I made a point of introducing a large welcome banner that explains the organization in a couple of clear, informative sentences for new visitors.
I realize this intro text may not be totally accurate, but Iíll leave it up to you guys to best explain your organization (you know best!).
I also added a nice personal touch by including photos of all the coaches and staff in the background for the banner, making them truly a part of the website.

I Established Credibility and Trust

Your website needs to be trustworthy, particularly for new visitors looking to learn more about your organization.
Youíre entrusted with young people and physical training and need to appear as credible on your website as you are in the offline world.
In my redesign I achieved this through several methods:

  • Firstly youíd be how great a professional website can be for your credibility, no matter what the content.
  • I included plenty of pictures of your staff and coaches throughout the design
  • I included an area to meet your top coach and displayed his impressive qualifications.
  • I included an optional testimonials area with great feedback from a happy parent.