Web agency Blue Flavor redesign website

Hugely popular web agency Blue Flavor, have this week released a redesign of their business website – blueflavor.com. It looks great but, it seems to be missing a couple of big things: 1: the company name in a prominent position and 2: a mini-description of what they do.

Blue Flavour redesign (2008) screenshot

I don’t want to underestimate just how good I think this design looks visually – it’s really great but, surely they’re missing a trick by omitting this basic information from their homepage.

On the blog post announcing the redesign, Keith Robinson notes that clients were consulted and I don’t doubt they were and perhaps for their particular clients these issues are irrelevant but, in my experience most potential clients – upon seeing that website, they would ask two questions:

  1. Who is this company? or what does the blue leaf stand for?
  2. What does this company do?

Hell, the great big homepage picture isn’t even a link to the project that it represents. I think any non-web person viewing this site is going to get really confused.

Could it work?

There is the distinct possibility, that the lack of information on this site’s new homepage could perversely create interest and cause a potential client to investigate further – if that is the case then bravo to the Blue Flavor designers.

There is also the possibility that the due to (some of) Blue Flavor’s staff’s industry profiles, their core clients could be very clued-up on what they do and therefore don’t need it spelled out. Even if that is the case, I’d still like to have seen the words ‘Design for mobile and web‘ or similar in big letters towards the top of the page to avoid any confusion.

9 responses to “Web agency Blue Flavor redesign website”

  1. Thanks for the write up. All of the concerns you voice are completely valid, and they’re all things we knew about going in. Removing the “about us” information, and the “blue flavor” type treatement from the logo, etc. was done very purposefully and, frankly, I don’t think it’ll hurt us much at all.

    The main reason? The homepage is nothing more than a gallery piece. Most of our potential clients (and most of our visitors in general) come into the site via blog posts or other means. The majority of our “good” homepage visits (meaning not just random Google visits, etc.) are via articles like this very one, where the reader is kind of set up (thank you) a bit on what to expect.

    Now, sure we could potentially lose some business from someone randomly stumbling upon our site, but any *good* client is going to be one who’s willing to explore a bit and find out how we can help them. In a way we’re also attempting to weed out those people who aren’t really engaged and thinking about how an agency like Blue Flavor can help them.

    We also wanted to try something vastly different. Of course, it’s a bit of a risk, but I think it’s worth it. ;)

  2. Thanks for the positive response Keith.

    I do like the design and I think it is probably right for your business but smaller web agencies and/or agencies who get their work differently to Blue Flavour ought not to be so brave in their design choices.

  3. nice article and valid thoughts.

    Fair play to Keith responding.

    I’m not sure If I like the design or not. My brain hasn’t made the choice yet! I like the mystery though.

  4. Phil, I have to agree with you on this and I have to disagree with Keith, I think it has hurt the credibility of Blue Flavour as designers. This is only my opinion of course, but I would consider myself well qualified to make it.

    I like to think of myself as a usability freak – I’ve read all the books and articles written by usability-guru’s Krug and Nielsen and performing usability testing to draw up my own conclusions on what makes websites work. So when I clicked through to the Blue Flavour website, I was saddened by the fundamental mistakes it had made. The main one is, as you point out, the lack of a company name next to the logo (although, I must admit the logo is self explanitory and therefore isn’t a major issue). The design is great (readability wise, it is spot on), but if you want to make an enquiry, where do you go? Oh yes (after several clicks and estimated guesses), the “Work With Us” link – the link I would have personally associated with recruitment.

    Also, I couldn’t find where the company is based, but from the image of the employees I would guess it was near a skate park maybe?

    I work with alot of web agencies and I would be put off by this one for not using conventional design practices.

    As for “weeding out people who aren’t really engaged” – this is just business suicide and makes you sound patronising.

    Cheers

    Dan

  5. I’m heavily inclined to side with Keith on this one.

    I think the issues (logo, services) raised by Phil are minimal and could have been better extrapolated from a more obvious example.

    Contrary to both Phil and Dan, I believe that plastering company information all over a page is cliched. I also think terms like ‘business suicide’ is not only going too far but bordering on patronising, ahem.

    It’s high time more companies focused on their own personal kudos, show-off their work in a visually pleasing, dynamic way, putting it up front to say “we did this, and we’re proud”. And it’s clear what these guys do because their copy, being well composed and clearly indicating what they do from the outset.

    As for contacting them, do we need an address? Do we need a map? If I’m going to snail mail something, or physically visit, I’d be sure to give them prior warning by email anyway (top-right). I don’t even care which city or town they’re in, if they’re good, I’m going to hire them.

    The danger of a library of usability books is that many people begin to use and visualise the internet the way someone has preached; rather than maintaining that sense of innocence, open-mindedness, that some of us haven’t quite lost (despite reading same said authors extensively).

    Anyway, Blueflavor gets a thumbs up for looking as though they ‘feel’ like they’re the best, a hard task to achieve.

    Bah humbug! Good article, good responses.

  6. ps: I do agree with you on one point Dan: ‘Work with us’ should definitely be reserved for the vacancies list.

  7. Dan – I think you’ve got a good point with the “Work With Us” label. That’s something we’ve actually changed to read a more straightforward “Contact Us” so good on that.

    As to the rest, I get where you’re coming from and respect your opinion, but I think you might be missing the point a bit.

    As far as us weeding out people who aren’t engaged equalling business suicide. You’re wrong there. Dead wrong. We’ve actually greatly increased our quality leads since the redesign and I think this has something to do with how we’ve structured the site and isn’t just dumb luck. We’re dealing in the business of high quality design and while it might be condescending (although we never say anything like this on the site) to want to weed out those who don’t value what we do or those who don’t take the time to get to know use, the fact of the matter is – we want to weed those folks out! :)

    We want to work with people who value what we do and are willing to take steps to help us form a solid relationship. This means being engaged and taking the time to understand us a bit.

    As far as our credibility? I’m not sure that was ever in question. I mean we took a risk and we may lose some folks, but at least they’ll remember us. Our credibility is backed up by the work we do for others, all of which is actually much more easily accessed on our new site.

    Thanks for the comments though, you do bring up some good points.