Smart Goat Redesign

Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Q. How can you tell when business is slow for a web designer?
A. His web site gets a new design.

Introducing Smart Goat 3.0: Retro. This is radically different from anything we’ve ever done before, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

The inspiration came while working on Clothes for Cars. I had been wanting to do a redesign for a while, and in the back of my mind was working on something kind of techy looking. While flipping through some clip art, though, I realized a classic retro look better fit with our company image: Fun, simple, friendly.

I looked at some magazine ads from the 30’s and 40’s, and that’s where the idea for the comic strip came from. It’s kind of fun and campy, and it has to be a better attention grabber than plain text. Hopefully, people will at least stick around long enough to read the comic.

The site validates as XHTML 1.0 transitional. The CSS validates as well. Even Bobby is happy. I’m not real crazy about what I had to do to put default text on the RFP form. If you don’t have JavaScript turned on, the form fields are not cleared automatically when you click on them. I tried inserting the text with JavaScript, but that won’t pass the accessibility requirement. Oh well… WCAG 2.0 will come out eventually, and that rule will probably go away. In the mean time, if you are surfing with JavaScript completely turned off, our little form is the least of your worries.

I still have more work to do. There are a few design tweaks I want to make. I’d like the comic and the header color to change on each page. The navigation should also change on hover to that page’s matching color. And, I want to get the whole thing into a CMS so that adding news and portfolio entries is easier.

The other good thing about this is, maybe now I’ll get to work on News Goat a bit.