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Scuba Diving Store Website Development

scuba-diving-store-website-design

Scuba Diving Store is an online retailer located in Paignton, Devon specialising in a wide range of Scuba Diving equipment. Store Manager Anthony designed and built the site himself 2 years ago and after some promising sales decided it was time for a visual change.

We felt that the current site was cluttered and busy containing elements which weren’t used or needed. There was also no real brand focus within the design. Our brief was to simplify the site as well as give it a new visual direction by developing a brand identity that could be applied elsewhere if required (ie literature and stationary).

scuba diving store old website design

We began the design of the site by visiting competitor sites and researching the industry. The first job was to strip out all elements which were not required. This included the language changer and currency converter. Revising the layout was our next task so it was easier to navigate and there was a flow to the site.

When we moved onto designing the look of the site we knew we wanted to portray Scuba Diving without using ‘obvious’ imagery like fish and water. We liked the idea of using various coloured gradients to simulate torches and light sources deep under the surface of the water, almost as if the website contained hidden treasure and it was being discovered at the bottom of the sea! We started to immediately experiment with various gradients and colours for the site.

scuba-diving-store-website-design-gradients

Once we had created a base graphic we liked the feel of we moved on to the finer details. Originally we wanted to use horizontal bands to separate the header, content and footer. However, we felt the large white background was a little stark and did not display the colourful backdrop to the best effect. We decided to contain the product content in the 1000px wide white backdrop allowing the backdrop to show behind the site.

scuba-diving-store-stretched-website-design

scuba-diving-store-website design-not-stretched

After sending off our initial design concepts we received feedback from Scuba Diving Store regarding the background of the site which they felt was very dark. They asked us to experiment with lighter blues in the backdrop. We sent over some experimentation with blue backgrounds and they decided on a slightly lighter background shown below.

scuba-diving-store-website-design-background

At the beginning of the project Scuba Diving Store were happy to utilise their existing logo in the new design. However, when placed in to the new website design the logo looked a little out of place and after a few discussions it was decided a new logo would be required for the store.

scuba-diving-store-old-logo-design

Again Scuba Diving Store wanted an easy to read logo using a simple graphic which would quickly communicate the content of the site to the user. Our criticism of the existing logo was that too much emphasis was given to the word ‘store’ and not ‘Scuba Diving’. If users were required to quickly identify the content of the site then the ‘Scuba Diving’ wording would have to take precedents over the ‘store’.

We designed two logos for Scuba Diving Store to look at both incorporating modern, clean typography. The first logo design concept used a contemporary font and circles to represent air bubbles underwater. We didn’t want these bubbles to look ‘cheesey and cliparty’ so decided to fill the circles with solid colour.

scuba-diving-store-logo-design

The second logo explored the idea of above and below water, almost as though the logo is floating right on the water line. To show this the logo is split in two sections.

scuba-diving-store-logo-design

We placed each of the logos on the website visual and Scuba Diving Store chose logo 1 as they liked the idea of using the graphic in other marketing materials.

After some final minor amendments the visual was sent to the programmer to build the site.

Two weeks later and the site was built and live. Scuba Diving Store were overwhelmed with the new website design of their online store. Manager Anthony commented “Thank you both for your efforts, we cannot believe how good our new site looks!”.

So what do you think of the new Scuba Diving Store website? Do you prefer the darker background visual? Do you think they chose the right logo design?

Posted by Lu

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Posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Posted In Devon, Logo Design, News, Portfolio, Web Design | Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Scuba Diving Store Website Development”

  • blogiskewl says:

    Hi, I recently started a bloghosting platform (based on wordpress MU) and when I stumbled your blog I paid attention to your theme (looking good) so I was wondering can you tell me is it custom made theme or one of those free ones? thanks in advance! regards, blogiskewl

  • Steve says:

    Hi Blogiskewl,

    Thanks for your comment. The Eightyone Design WordPress Theme is custom made by ourselves based on the default Kubrick WordPress theme. We tend to start with the great Starkers Theme by Elliot Jay Stocks which is a stripped out theme which you can easily apply your CSS to. Very good when building custom themes.

    Let me know how you get on with WordPress MU. I was having a look at it the other day for a client site but decided against it so it would be good to know what it is like.

    Thanks

    Steve

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