I’ve been a fan of Design Taxi for a few years, they are constantly updating their site with up to date design content but the one big thing that lets them down is the design of their actual website. It’s filled with ads, slow to load, unpersonal, and feels spammy. So I had an afternoon of down time at work and I thought I would have a go at solving some of these issues. I set out to design a site that’s cleaner to look at, easier to navigate/use, tames the ads, responsive, and gives the user a more personal touch.
Firstly I updated the logo, it didn’t take long but it stands out at the top of the page and doesn’t blend into the design so much that it gets missed. I used the free Big John/Slim Joe font by Ion Lucin which has a nice mix of strong and soft lines. The colours are simple and bold, I didn’t want to take the colours too much away from the original branding as they work well.
The website is made of blocks so that it’s easily changeable between web, mobile and tablet opposed to the current site which isn't easy to use on all devices. The header menu is clear and to the point. I’ve split the categories into a few basic options with the ability for a drop down menu to appear with more sub categories for example in design, you get the option of filtering the type of design you want to see without giving the user the full list and bombarding them with choices.
The hero menu shows the top five posts from the previous/that day
(which is counted from views and interactions).
As you move down to the content pods you can see that they're split into 3/4 pods per row that are made up of 50% image and 50% copy as to not overpower people with too much on one row. Any posts you want featured are done so using pods that are made up of two pods to make them stand out more and so you can put more information in them.
Each category is labeled at the top left of each pod which you can click on if you wish to see more from that category. As you click on the pod a yellow outline will appear before taking you to the page. If you are a registered user you will see a small circle with an x inside of it, which means the user can curate what type of articles they want to see. This makes it feel more personal to the user and gives them the option of cutting through the content they don't want to see.
I understand the need for ads and whilst in an ideal world I wouldn't include them, I did however want to show how you can use them without filling your page with nothing but ads and making the site look spammy. I used an ad every other row and kept them in a single pod as to not draw too much attention away from the content around them. I also added a banner ad at the bottom that runs across as you scroll down to go to the next page. These would show up on the general site unless you're a registered user then you wouldn't see any ads and content pods would replace them.
Article pages are stripped back, one of the issues I find when you are taken to an article on Design Taxi is that you are not shown the content straight away, you have to scroll down to view any images or wade through stolen copy from other sites. My design puts the image back to the top, on the right hand side (or as the hero on mobile/tablet) you have a carousel of images to browse through or images posted throughout the article depending if you have a lot of copy to break up. This isn't so much a design comment but the site would benefit from writing more of its own content, it makes it feel more personal and isn't just retreading what visitors may have seen on other sites.
On the right you have a 'view similar' section, the amount of pods shown there depend on the amount of content on the page. For users who are not registered an ad will appear under it.
Mobile mock ups
I didn't tackle all the issues I have with the site but I did tackle some of the main cosmetic ones in this project, if I had more time then I would have liked to explore more options and more ways around certain areas. Feel free to comment and let me know what you would have done or if you if you see areas from this design you think could be improved. Feedback is always welcomed.