03 Concept Development
04 Visual Design
When challenged to redesign my hometown, Camden, ME’s, government website I first took a look at my primary users. In a town filled with small, locally owned businesses, farm-to-table restuarants, a tightly knit community, and a population that triples in the summer for tourist season my target audiences were easy to determine: the residents, the businesses, and the visitors.
Waitressing in Camden for many years gave me insight that was beneficial when beginning this redesign. This experience allowed me to converse with business owners, a multitude of visitors from all over the world, and of course interact with locals like myself. Through these conversations and my own life experiences I was able to start understanding my different users' needs for this webpage.
Brainstorming the desired content for businesses, locals and visitors within Camden helped jumpstart my design process.
When beginning my sketches I was focused on finding the correct flow of information on this page, specifically how to start and which user base to initally focus on. I thought that by focusing first on events and activities to do within Camden I could satisfy some needs of all my users, giving locals and visitors ideas on what to do and highlighting the events of local businesses.
Most of my iterative process was with my visual comps. Once I knew what information I believed my users would want on the page I moved towards visual design and exploring my options with the order and heirarchy of the design.
The visual approach to the landing page of this site, and the header and navigation in particular, was to immediately set the mood and feel and introduce Camden as the quintessential coastal community it’s known to be.
Introducing users almost immediately to the highlights of the Camden experience and later offering them upcoming local events allows both residents and visitors to reap the benefits of this site.
Camden is a town filled with small, locally owned businesses and proud of it. The town and it's community does it's best to fuel this small business economy so it's no surprise that their town website should do the same.
Users can easily find updates on town news, contact information of the town officials and business hours of the town office at the bottom of the landing page. This offers easy access to this information while still dedicating another webpage to this information.
This redesigned challenged me to balance the need for information and information design with the visuals and aesthetically elements that make up my hometown, in other words to balance the needs and wants of my different users. It was easy to pull towards a tourist focused website but much more rewarding when I pushed to ensure that all three users, tourists, locals and businesses, were addressed. By doing that I found I was able to find elements to include beyond just the information these users would want to find on this page to things that could mutually benefit the site and it's users, such as their businesses highlighted on the this landing page.