22 Dec 13 10:16 am
I think any very specific advice I give you is going to be kind of piecemeal, but for starters... PRODUCT PAGE:
1) I don't really like the justified text. It's very blocky. There are no subheadlines or anything to break up the text, so it's pretty intimidating.
2) The content is inside a box, and the headline of the item is outside the box. This means I do not see the headline, and I don't know what it is. I just see a big block of justified text. If you can, the headline and the text really need to be closer together and not separated by a box outline.
3) The drop shadow on your product image is very early 2000s. You could try making it a lot lighter, or removing altogether and going with a light grey border... or nothing at all. HOMEPAGE
1) All your images are different sizes. This makes the page awkward. I understand it's hard when you're grabbing images from around the internet, but try to make them all the same size ... it would help with the layout.
2) I don't like the headlines under the images so much for some reason... they're reasonably large, so they wrap onto two lines pretty easily/awkwardly. There's also a large gap between headline and description text which makes them seem disconnected. See if you can tweak the font size of the headline and reduce this gap.
3) You might find the layout easier to work with if you got rid of the right sidebar. You already have navigation at the top of the page, so the stuff on the right is a bit redundant. That's debatable though.
I tell you what: If I were you, here's what I'd do. Bigger picture advice.
I would outsource this as a design job. I'd pay probably up to a hundred bucks (but hopefully less) to get someone to work with the general layout, but give it a design facelift: Homepage and product page. I might even get a couple of different people to do options for me if I had the money to throw around.
If they gave me something I liked, but I wasn't able to do the theme tweaking/css myself, I'd then I'd take it to a WordPress designer and ask them to tweak the existing theme to be a close approximation of that design. Probably won't be exact, but true enough to the "vision".
Before doing this I'd sit down and really make sure I'd figured out what my own "vision" for this site is. What sort of sites do I want it to be like? What designs to I appreciate? What style of writing do I think works well?
Basically, who are my heroes from a design / content / tone / functionality perspective? I'd make myself a little digital scrapbook of all the bits and pieces I like.
All this will be handy for a designer coming up with a sweet layout for you.
This would be, in my opinion, the most straightforward way to getting a rocking design for your site. The bones are already there, you just need that little bit of "spice". Sometimes it's a lot easier to get someone else to come up with that -- even when you're skilled on the graphics front. Sometimes you're just a bit close and you need a fresh perspective.
Otherwise what I'd do is keep looking around at sites you like the look of, and you want to emulate. See what they're doing. See if you can do something similar on your site. I'd be looking at online store layouts like http://www.shopify.com/examples
For other inspiration you can look on design sites like http://cssline.com/
, and any number of WordPress theme sites.