[thelist] site check - http://www.magisnetworks.com/new2002/index.html

Robert Goodyear rob_goodyear at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 11 12:43:20 CST 2001


Sounds like you've got it all under control! For some very broad
pointers on 'beefing it up a bit', you might consider doing a
color study based on the existing pallette by increasing the
saturation but not changing the hue of those pastels, and then
working in some harder edges on some of the holding shapes. For
example, everything could be more rectilinear and not
round-cornered, which would evoke a more aggressive stance, as
well as some one-point rules as delineators between functional
areas. Consider washing the entire background in a color other
than white... that'll 'bring it down from the clouds' a bit:
bleed the color off the browser, rather than floating colored
content within a white wrapper (border/margin.)

Disclaimer to [thelist] readers: design is extremely subjective
and extremely scientific at the same time. It's a real paradox.
Cultural influences are about the only thing that is scientific
about design, yet often is borne of practical intuition. So my
comments in this reply to Joel are just that: my
seat-of-the-pants comments. I am not making sweeping statements
about design, moreover some specific suggestions in re this site
which is marketing to a specific user.

Typographically, the nav elements look like they're currently
using an egyptian or slab-serif font, which is a bit retro/arch.
Consider a swiss sans-serif variant for that. (Univers, Helvetica
Neue, Futura, Formata, Frutiger, Gill Sans, Avenir, Meta, DIN
Neuzeit et al.)

You could slap the existing logo into these color and typographic
changes without any sort of visual disconnect at all, and perhaps
please both camps at Magis.

Keep us posted! It should be interesting to see what evolves! 


--- Joel D Canfield <joel at spinhead.com> wrote:
> Excellent points, so take this as further explanation, not a
> rebuttal.
> The existing site was designed by marketing pros under the
> watchful eye of
> our Director of Marketing. She and the VP of Marketing are
> driving and
> managing the redesign. What we end up with will be a marketing
> blessed
> product. The CTO and CEO pretty much stay out of the way and
> let Marketing
> do their job. However, we're still a small company, and these
> two guys (the
> founders, geniuses, and all-around nice guys) are important to
> all of us who
> work here, so if it's possible to create something that meets
> the
> appropriate marketing needs without offending their [admittedly
> limited]
> color/design sense, that's what we want.
> So, direct short answer: the CTO and CEO are merely expressing
> personal
> opinion which they expect to be taken as just that. The
> marketing and design
> folks are merely trying to take their comments into account as
> far as it
> WON'T affect good marketing principle.
> Thanks for helping clarify this. It's important to me to get
> meaningful
> feedback, and this really woulda muddied the waters.*
> Joel at spinhead.com
> * Muddy Waters' real name was McKinley Morganfield.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: thelist-admin at lists.evolt.org
> [mailto:thelist-admin at lists.evolt.org]On Behalf Of Robert
> Goodyear
> Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2001 9:40 PM
> To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
> Subject: Re: [thelist] site check -
> http://www.magisnetworks.com/new2002/index.html
> Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
> > 2. Look and feel - according to the CEO/CTO/BOD the existing
> > site is
> > 'sissy.' Note that the new site uses exactly the same colors
> > and open, airy
> > feel, so I don't think we've addressed that issue yet. Ideas?
> > What colors
> > are less fluffy and sensitive, but would work with the logo
> > colors (oh look;
> > the site USES the logo colors - CEO/CTO/BOD don't like the
> logo
> > either, but
> > maybe it could be hidden in a robust, manly site?)
> This item scares the h*ll out of me. I notice a conspicuous
> absence of Chief Marketing Officer or Marketing Director or
> _something_ in the CxO titles you mention whom "...think the
> site
> is sissy..."
> Why does this scare me? Let's look at it from the opposite
> perspective: if Magis were on the drawing board with a new
> broadband chip, they would _never_ have the Marketing Officer
> calling the shots, would they? Now, some input from the CMO
> would
> be welcomed from an end-user/integrator/vendor requirements
> standpoint, but these things would have already been
> incorporated
> by the Product Development team, right? The CMO wouldn't come
> in,
> look at the schematics and say "man, that signal path looks
> really inefficient... let's get something more streamlined
> going
> on there." The Engineers, Product Developers and Project
> Managers
> would probably toss him out and take away his cardkey.
> My point is that different experts do different things. Your
> executive team should work in collaboration with your marketing
> team to do some real discovery of what your target (Consumers?
> VARs? Hardware Mfg?) demographic and psychographic is really
> shaped like. Does the CTO understand the subtleties of color
> and
> shape and how they subconsciously affect the value proposition
> of
> the product and company? Usually not. Just like how a Marketing
> manager doesn't usually know about chip fab specifics. While
> each
> must be conversant in the other's discipline, they have titles
> for a reason: to denote domain expertise.
> Looking at the existing website, a designer obviously built the
> corporate identity and integrated the site design around it in
> a
> consistent manner. This can't be the first time the executive
> team has noticed their identity. Did the designer present the
> corporate id with a rational defense? There was a specific
> reason
> he/she proposed the lowercase workmark, pastel pallette, and
> consumer-friendly photography in the first place, and obviously
> it resonated well with the executive team at least *once*. So
> what's changed? Did they see a competitor's site that was in
> red
> and black with an ALL CAPS wordmark logo -- embossed in brushed
> aluminum? What's driving the 'sissy' reaction?
> These aren't rhetorical statements, either... I'd really LOVE
> to
> know what is motivating your bosses in re their comments.
> [thelist] is beneficial not only for site critique of work
> we're
> all building, but also to discover what prompts a redesign in
> its
> early stages... so we can all do a better job of hitting the
> nail
> on the head *before* shredding it in critique.
> Best,
> /rg

Do You Yahoo!?
Find a job, post your resume.

More information about the thelist mailing list