smart passive income – mockup alternative

This post is in response to a great case study that Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income ran just recently. It was about the trials one of his guest authors (Vik Tantry) was going through in deciding on his new site design. The article is “Blog Redesign Exercise: What Do You Think?

Having just finished a site redesign myself, I know how difficult it can be to find the right theme. As a freelance web designer on the side, I chose a premium theme and customized it to my liking. Theme customization is great, especially when you can’t find that exact theme for your site. It’s also one of our specialities (shameless plug…).

Understanding that his #1 and 3 choices were almost identical, there were really only 2 designs to critique. It was a shame that Vik’s VA (virtual assistant) didn’t give him a 3rd design that was somewhere in the middle. #1 and #2 are extremes…

Number #1 was just too busy. The header was “over the top” and there were other ways that he could have conveyed “money”. The globe and the money – I just don’t care for it…

The only problem I saw with #2 was that it was too bland. The biggest thing that it was missing was one or two highlight colors. My rule of thumb is to use 3 or 4 colors in your color scheme. The main and secondary colors are quite similar, though the highlight colors should be complementary to them (more opposites) to draw contrast to their usage. If the Facebook and RSS Feed buttons are your only other color on the page, your page will always appear bland.

That being said, this can all be compensated for with a good use of photography. There are several excellent royalty-free photography sites that offer web-sized files for only $1 each. This is where the “money” theme really shines through. It also draws attention to your articles instead of having your header take away from them…

I’ve mocked up an alternate version of #2 for comparison, that has a color change in the header and a few images compliments of istockphoto.com. By no means am I saying that this perfect, but if you had to choose from the options provided, #2 could look much better with a simple facelift. Let me know what you think?

For those of you that are putting together their own site right now or considering a blog re-design, you may want to check out some of the great premium themes available. You might find that there are more options available to you than you think.

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