Heidi Erwin
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Double Fine Redesign
Responsive Wesbite Redesign
WHEN:  October 2018
WHAT:  HTML/CSS, UX Design, Prototyping, Photoshop

A responsive (desktop, tablet, mobile and 4K) redesign of Double Fine Productions’ website integrating UX principles of learnability, usability, and memorability.

View the Github repository for the project here!
Double Fine Original Site
Double Fine Redesign

Goals & Original Site Design Analysis



My goal was to experiment with simplicity and more modern, minimalist styles that would aid in intuitive navigation of the site. The current site is cluttered and outdated, which is understandable for an indie game studio without a huge focus on web development.

Below is the current site for Double Fine Productions, a video game company that has sold millions of copies of several games including Grim Fandango and Broken Age. The Home page is primarily announcements, with several menu tabs at the top indicating different sections of the site. Photos of games and comics are on the right side.

Double Fine Original Site Screenshot 1


Wireframes / Usability Redesign



I first created five low-fidelity wireframes in Balsamiq to increase the usability of Double Fine’s site.
Home Page Wireframe
Comic Page Wireframe
Games Page Wireframe
Specific Game Page Wireframe
Jobs Page Wireframe




The navigation flow between these wireframes is shown below:
Wireframe Navigation Flow


High-Fidelity Mockup / Visual Redesign



After wireframing, I used Photoshop to create a high-fidelity mockup of a new Double Fine site.
Double Fine Hi-fi Redesign




Double Fine’s original color scheme has been preserved, but the original background of uneven stripes, which distracted from the main content of the page, has been replaced with a clean dark brown that allows interactable and featured elements on the page to stand out.

Overall, the redesign is much more minimalist, minimizing bright distractions from the site.

The news articles are now separated, graphically presented as separate yellow boxes to aid the user in comfortably discriminating which images and text accompany which article.

The two-headed logo at the top left is now no longer blocking any buttons or titles, enhancing readability of the site and reducing user misclick errors. The News section is indented from the menu to imply a hierarchy and distinguish menu from page.

The original website navigation tabs don’t employ font consistency, so I’ve chosen a single font for tabs/titles and a single font for text.

The social media icons have also been made more visible. Duplicate buttons (e.g. ‘Jobs’ appearing in two places at the top) have been removed to avoid user confusion and enhance simplicity.


Mobile, Tablet & Desktop Sites / Responsive Redesign



The next step in the project was using HTML and CSS to create a site whose usability and visual appeal was maintained across different screen sizes. To create a map of how elements on the screen should adapt to different screen sizes, I first created the annotated mockup below:
Screen Size Annotated Mockup


I then used HTML and CSS to create a responsive page whose layout changes with screen size.

Standard Desktop & Mobile (in Portrait) Interfaces:
Desktop Prototype
Mobile Prototype




4K Screen & Tablet (in Portrait) Interfaces:
4K Screen Prototype
Tablet Prototype




The mobile site has been changed to be more similar to scrolling sites like Instagram: the image and the title are the only two elements in the News preview (article text preview has been removed) to reduce clutter and give a simpler mobile aesthetic.

If the user wants to read the article, they’ll click the image (much like Youtube’s interface).

Text scales according to screen size (but becomes slightly proportionally larger on mobile) to enhance readability across devices.

The logo on desktop sites is stuck to the top left, alongside the banner, to serve as a consistent means of accessing the home page. Similarly, on mobile, the banner shifts to just below the logo for a centered appearance. Register and login buttons, along with the search bar and social media icons are also stuck to the right on desktop for easy and consistent access. On mobile, these elements are placed just below the navigation tabs so they’re visible.

Contact info is often found at the bottom of mobile sites, so the social media icons have been moved to the bottom in the mobile layout. Overall, the mobile site is simpler, including news articles just using one color for both title and image, with backgrounds of consecutive articles alternating colors to help the user distinguish between articles.

Reflections



Were I to take this project further, I would add responsiveness to the other pages of the site, including creating distinct game pages for each of Double Fine’s games. Overall, though, this project provided me with an opportunity to design a site whose layout adjusts for different screen sizes, and allowed me to apply my design skills, accounting for both usability and aesthetics, to a real game company.

"We may have years, we may have hours, but sooner or later, we push up flowers."
—Membrillo, Grim Fandango (Double Fine 1998)