THE DESIGN BRIEF
Where There Be Dragons sought a website redesign that would reinvigorate their online presence with a profound design that conveyed the rugged travel abroad experiences they offered. Impressive imagery of daunting adventure complimented by an intuitive UI would revamp their websites visuals and performance, while restructured information architecture aimed to provide seamless site navigation. Where There Be Dragons also requested a new logo that would draw visual parallels from the antiquated map ornaments seen on historic oceanic maps.
In the client meeting, Where There Be Dragons outlined their project task, deliverables and design objectives. They were seeking a website redesign accompanied by a rebranding of their company. They had an array of imagery that they wanted implemented into the website design, so they transferred those assets to be incorporated into the new revised website. Where There Be Dragons already had an existing target audience, so user profiling was conducted to validate the intent and objective of each user group. Competitive research was also conducted to understand the market aesthetic and standards, so the ultimate redesign could stand apart and above from this standard.
Following the asset handover and research, I began system blueprinting with wireframes and sitemaps. I also began sketching concepts and researching for the rebranding. Once I came to a satisfactory system design, I began refining these designs on Illustrator and implementing the assets Where There Be Dragons provided into this design. The Logo during this phase was also completed. Once I had concluded my design, I passed my work to a development team who then worked to create a mid-level interactive prototype to show some of the website functionality and structure. During this phase, I communicated with the dev team to tweak and refine my website design to improve usability and flow. The final interactive design was then presented and handed over to Where There Be Dragons.
For inspiration for the logo concepts, I initially looked at old nautical maps to note the particular quality of the illustrations within the map corners. The etched style can be seen below. Furthermore, I looked at Asian dragon designs from different Asian cultures. Depending on which culture you observe, the dragon can mean a variety of things. While Chinese dragons are benevolent and well spirited, European dragons are evil and dangerous. Designing a dragon from specific cultures that saw dragons as brave creatures of good was my intent in my logo design.
preliminary concept sketches
Before designing digitally, I wanted to refine my interface design and information architecture. I knew that I wanted the website to be a single page scroll website, so a simple site map was all that was needed. I wanted a top primary navigation bar, and a potential side bar to have supplementary navigational items such as contact information, the blog page and social media to be immediately accessible at any point.