Finding a Santa

A few weeks before, Thanksgiving we started to get into the holiday spirit by bringing our Christmas tree up from the basement. We didn’t decorate it right away though. With RIley now crawling, we wanted her to grow accustom to it so that she didn’t crawl over to it every moment we set her down on the floor. A week before it was turkey time, we decide to go ahead and decorate the tree, hang the wreath that Meghan made, and get our stockings up. During that time we talked about trying to find a Santa Clause for RIley to meet and take pictures with. A quick Internet search showed that wasn’t going to be cheap!

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The Website Redesign Process: Part 5 – Rounding out the pages

In Part 1 of this Website Redesign Series, we took a look back at the old web design for the College of Natural Science at MSU , and where I was able to bring the design to during a redesign that began in 2016. In Part 2, we looked at some data points that analytics were showing us, and talked about how those would affect the redesign of the college homepage, and then sketched out what a proposed homepage redesign would look like. In Part 3, we took a look at the technology I’d be using to build the new design. In Part 4, we took a look at the work in progress for the homepage design, along with some issues that were encountered and how those were remedied. Here in Part 5 we will be taking a look at the remaining page designs, and the thought behind them.

As noted in Part 4, in addition to the homepage design, I needed to come up with designs for:

  • Section Front page – a page devoted to the primary areas/categories/buckets of the website. Generally speaking, these are the pages that appear in the primary (top) navigation bar.
  • Secondary page – a page devoted to providing information. Generally speaking, the majority of pages on the website will be of this page type.
  • News Article page – a page devoted entirely to news articles

Each of these pages will have a hero image/banner at the top, and the content area will be split into two columns for desktop view (left column for content, and right column for secondary navigation or any related content), and a single column for mobile view (content first, followed by secondary navigation/related content below it).

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The Website Redesign Process: Part 4 – A work in-progress

In Part 1 of this Website Redesign Series, we took a look back at the old web design for the College of Natural Science at MSU , and where I was able to bring the design to during a redesign that began in 2016. In Part 2, we looked at some data points that analytics were showing us, and talked about how those would affect the redesign of the college homepage, and then sketched out what a proposed homepage redesign would look like. In Part 3, we took a look at the technology I’d be using to build the new design. Now here in Part 4, we will be taking a look at the work in-progress, issues I’ve encountered, and what some resolutions have been to those issues.

Just to recap from Part 3, I decided to go with CSS Grid over a front-end framework. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “But Jesse, IE doesn’t fully support grid!”. And you’d be right, but based on our analytics, less that 3% of our website visitors are using IE. In fact, over 90% are using Chrome or Safari.

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The Website Redesign Process: Part 3 – The Technology

In Part 1 of this Website Redesign Series, we took a look back at the old web design for the College of Natural Science at MSU , and where I was able to bring the design to during a redesign that began in 2016. In Part 2, we looked at some data points that analytics were showing us, and talked about how those would affect the redesign of the college homepage, and then sketched out what a proposed homepage redesign would look like. In Part 3 here, we will take a look at the technology we will be using to build the redesign.

Before we talk about technology though, let me explain a bit about my design process (something that is different for everyone). I like to start with a mockup, which is what you saw in Part 2, and from there, I like to start designing right in my browser. WOAH, WOAH, WOAH! WHAT? DESIGNING RIGHT IN THE BROWSER? BLASPHEMY! Or is it?

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Halloweekend

It’s been a little bit since I posted a blog entry, so it felt like a good time to do so. This past weekend, Meghan, Riley, my mom and I went to Sandusky, Ohio for a trip to Cedar Point. This wasn’t just any Cedar Point trip though, it was the first weekend of their “Halloweekend” event. If you haven’t been to one of these, Cedar Point goes all out with their Halloween decorations, from erecting graveyards of rides they no longer have, to renaming rides (such as Ocean Motion to Ocean Potion), everything seems to have a Halloween vibe.

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The Website Redesign Process: Part 2 – Data driven design

In Part 1 of this article series, we took a look back at the old web design for the College of Natural Science at MSU , and where I was able to bring the design to during a redesign that began in 2016, with an implementation that occurred in 2017. Part 1 concluded by indicating that our analytics were helping to drive the next iteration of the design that I’ve now embarked on…but how is it doing that?

Just to recap from Part 1:

  • The college homepage has more visits than any other page on the site.
  • Nearly 3/4 of the traffic seen every month is reported as a “New User”, as opposed to a “Returning User”.
  • The largest demographic is in the age range of 18-24, followed closely by 25-34.
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The Website Redesign Process: Part 1 – A look back

It’s that time again…time to redesign a website!

In my current role as the Digital Media Manager for the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University, which also encompasses front-end design/development for the college, the responsibility of a website redesign falls into my lap.

When I first took this role back at the end of 2016, my first official project was to develop a new design for the college website. The website at that time looked like this:

Old NatSci website design
Old NatSci website design
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The first illness…

I haven’t posted in a while, been too busy living life. Finished a deck this summer with my dad, trying to squeeze in some small vacation time here and there, visits with both sides of the family…and well, trying to help Riley fight off her first illness.

It all started on June 23rd, a lazy Sunday where I was just trying to feed Riley…

Riley kicking back
Riley kicking back.
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