Burnley & Trowbridge Homepage Redesign
Burnley & Trowbridge Co. provides 18th century fabrics, notions, patterns, shoes, and accessories for historical seamstresses and reenactors. In my free time I love to sew historical clothing using period materials and techniques, so Burnley & Trowbridge is an excellent resource (my wallet knows this all too well!). Because I am trying to become more familiar with web design, I decided that it would be a fun exercise to redo the homepage of their website
Although I love what they do as a company, I have to admit that their website leaves a lot to be desired. Although it is simple and relatively intuitive, the visual design is terrible. I believe that it detracts from their brand because it makes them seem amateurish and untrustworthy. I actually hesitated to enter my credit card information when I made my first purchase. They need a more sophisticated and polished brand and website so their shoppers/clients know they are buying quality materials from a reputable company.
My first step was to simplify the information on the homepage. Rather than displaying a palette of fabric swatches on the landing page, I simplified and uncluttered it, replacing the product palette with a photograph of spindles and a prompt to “Explore” under a new brand tag line of “We bring history to life.” In addition to providing the site with a more elegant feel, this approach will engage the site visitor, excite them before they see the products, and encourage them to explore the entire site. All of the specific items they sell (fabric, notions, etc.) will be located on a new “Products” page in the main navigation and on links further down on the homepage.
The original website presents the company’s contact information at the top of the page. I intuitively look for a separate contact page on a website so this threw me off when I was searching for their email address. My design incorporates a separate “Contact” page that can be accessed in the navigation bar. This page will house the company’s contact information as well as the social media links that were originally located on the right side of the homepage. This contact information will also be located in the footer of the site, another place where people commonly look. Moving these items to separate pages helps to unclutter the homepage.
I firmly believe that a website’s landing page should do three things: 1) let visitors know they have arrived in the right place; 2) immediately create a memorable and engaging brand experience; and 3) provide simple and intuitive guides to navigate the rest of the site.