Design in the Hole

posted 12 Apr 2005, 11PM | 3 Comments

Among the projects that are keeping me busy lately: last week I launched version 3.0 of Southers, a streamlined website revision for the family-owned golf course / cranberry farm behind the house where I grew up. I had the pleasure to work at Southers Marsh for a couple of years, both on the grounds and in the kitchen.

It's an unusual treat to get to work on a client's site four years in a row, especially one where I more or less have free reign. Every year I'm able to improve on the previous year's work, fix mistakes, and draw on my latest ill skillz and refined eye. For the past couple of years, my changes have also been forward-looking; I've previously restructured the content and code to make visual overhauls a snap. For this revision, I felt strongly that the old design had some usability issues (cumbersome nested nav, annoying need to scroll down on every page) and too sparse a use of images. The new version still needs some tweaking, but includes a photo randomizer for the front page and a script that lets the owners specify photos for interior pages. This provides a bit more visual variety and helps promote the course's hook (golf next to cranberry bogs) and the club as good place for weddings and functions. Plus, it's pure XHTML and CSS. Golfers appreciate that.

I tried to make the site feel lighter without losing the friendly feel and organic aesthetic. A quick look at the site of the bigger courses in town reminds me that we're in pretty good shape.

There are 3 Comments


13 Apr 05 at 07:34AM alison said:

it looks great, ryan.


13 Apr 05 at 12:36PM Shaun said:

As Alison says, it does look great, but, as a golfer, I have just one little suggestion. I think you're missing the floating-head-over-landscape element that's central to the golfing experience (c.f. Pine Hills). If you could find a way to incorporate a photo of a disembodied head, say, over a cranberry bog (work that hook), I think you'll find it really finishes the page--and indeed the golfer's browsing experience--off.


14 Apr 05 at 09:46AM alison said:

obviously, you are not a golfer.

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