Home Page
The old home page was a mess. The navigation and hierarchy were unclear. Announcements shouted over critical site navigation. The new design enforces a conventional, comforting visual order. Navigation on the left, a short intro on the right, followed by news and updates. I provided an easy interface to allow the site owners to edit the announcements without being distracted by the surrounding ASP.
Live page location: www.rrgifts.com
Store Entry
The page contained nothing but a dizzying array of links to store categories. The site owners were unable to control the presentation of the categories. Some categories contained products, others were announcements. In the new design, the categories are gathered together into groups. Clicking on a group reveals or hides the categories. (On browsers that do not support CSS, all categories are shown.) Client side JavaScript, cookies, and ASP work together to keep the state of the category groups the same across pages. The main area of the page is reclaimed for important store information and secondary announcements.
Live page location: www.rrgifts.com/store.asp
Product List
The top of the old sites' pages was dominated by the same array of links as the main store page, only smaller. The products were shown in a low-density layout; a 1024x768 screen would only show 2 products. The new site has the new, convenient category navigation, and handily displays 9 products at 1024x768. A special category group, “Arrivals & Departures” calls attention to new, seasonal, and closeout items. The page sports controls to let expert shoppers quickly add items to their shopping cart.
Live page location: www.rrgifts.com/store.asp?dept=19
Individual Product
The old site did not have a page for each individual product. I changed that, with the following advantages:
  • Customers can more easily find a product from a bookmark or external link.
  • Search engine query results are more targeted.
  • Product page listing is more compact.
  • Individual product page has richer information.
Live page location: www.rrgifts.com/product.asp?num ...
Railroad Information
Smith-Thompson publishes a newsletter of railroad-related events. They solicit new events and publish a sampling of events on their web site. The old site had both of these functions on one page, hiding the sample events on the bottom. I split the event solicitation off onto its own page, and reworked the formatting of the events. Of course, I also created a redirection page at the old (.html) address, so as not to break any existing links.
Live page location: www.rrgifts.com/rrinfo.asp
Railroad Information Submission
This is a fairly straightforward form. It's included for comparison with the original. In reworking the original event submission form, my primary goals were to reduce visual clutter, and to present appropriate prompts to users. I resized the input fields to suggest the desired input format, without resorting to examples. Also, I wanted to preserve enough introductory text for the page to make sense on its own, but to trim enough that the form was immediately visible when the page loaded.
Live page location: www.rrgifts.com/rrinfosubmit.asp