I talk a little about the problem of making expanded polystyrene (EPS) visually interesting on the White Magic page. When I was asked to pitch a redesign for this site dealing specifically with EPS fish boxes I leapt at the chance: something interesting to look at would be in the EPS boxes.
The previous site was showing its age. It was from the days when web designers tried to cram in as much material ‘above the fold’ as possible because scrolling up and down was fiddly before phones, tablets and mice with scroll-wheels, etc. Further, it was not responsive: it did not change layout to suit the size of the viewing device. Responsivity was available earlier but it was in 2007, when the iPhone was launched, that it started to become an essential feature of any web site.
The old site featured large areas of solid green to emphasise the fact that EPS is recyclable. I felt this was old-hat and over-used and so decided to do away with this feature. I wanted the site to feel more open and airy, partly because I wanted it would be a more comfortable site to visit, with more easily readable text, and also because EPS comprises 98% air and I wanted to reflect that.
The colour palette was redesigned to feature more solid blues, toned down somewhat from the bright green used previously. I picked a blue with a hint of green because it had a touch of the sea about it. The light, bright orange colour used for emphasis and for hover effects was chosen because it stood out well from the blue-green colour without clashing horribly with it.
The home page featured quite a lot of information without feeling too cluttered. At the top, after the header, there is a carousel of different images. After that the introductory text was balanced by strongly visual buttons on the right that link to a film and a linked site. An interactive map gives more information on, and access to, similar European trade federations. After that the ‘usual’ straightforward contact form is split into four, sliding in and out of view when selected, so visitors can get in touch regarding different aspects of fish boxes and the message can be sent to a different recipient depending on that choice.
Some quick facts about EPS run down on the right hand side, maximised for visual impact, where before it had just been a bulleted list.