The design team quickly identified the challenges and the opportunities. Here the presentation we gave to Pala International.
Click an image to magnify it.
Bottom line: We needed to create a web design that is Simple, Stylish, and Mobile.
Research color schemes
With the aid of a color stylist, we reviewed a variety of luxury websites to consider how their use of color, typography, and layout might inform our proposed designs. We narrowed our proposed color schemes down to four choices we named:
Here are the color schemes applied to an early version of the search interface:
Pala International chose the Titanium color scheme which evolved to a mix of neutral grays and off-whites which nicely draws attention to the gemstones rather than the interface.
Design a new logo
We considered a variety of fonts in addition to Pala International's longtime favorite, Vivaldi.
We narrowed our proposed fonts down to four choices:
Pala International chose Cinzel Decorative Regular.
The same font is used for the Palaminerals logo.
Many months after the new sites were launched, the webmaster modified the logo as a gradient merging from a gold color to black and chose to use the wording "Pala International" on the Palagems site.
Create a new tagline
Pala International used the tagline Fine Creations From Planet Earth for both Palagems and Palaminerals. To help distinguish between the two sites we proposed developing a new tagline for Palagems. Eventually we settled upon Brilliance Discovered which connotes Pala International's wealth of knowledge as well as the value of their gemstones.
Through an iterative design process, the original dense user interface was remodeled into a simple, clean design.
Learning Squarespace's meta design principles for their templates was key to understanding how to effectively customize the Palagems site. The first step was to convert the Adirondack template's three CSS files into a readable format by adding line breaks and hand editing the results for readability. The primary CSS file for Squarespace's Adirondack template has over 35,000 lines.
Previous splash page showed a random splash image when the page loaded. Clicking the image opened the home page of the site.
New splash page rotates among a set sequence of images. Text links open key pages on the site.
Previous home page had complex top, side, and bottom menus with one long scrolling strip in the middle column.
Click HERE to open an archival copy of the previous site. Please note that most links redirect to the new site.
New home page is simple, clear and inviting. Each item in the top menu opens a new page.
The main grid of images uses roll-over text to open key articles in the latest newsletter.
Sections below include news and a featured video.
Click HERE to open new site.
Click HERE to see the redesigned Search, Search Results and Search Detail interfaces.