Work Notes launched in January 2019 as a series of articles about freelancing. The project grew dramatically in its first year and the existing site didn’t signpost users to the different areas effectively.
On top of this, two new projects were launching: The Freelance Guide and the Pricing Guide. The Freelance Guide needed a different structure/series of layouts and the Pricing Guide was a paid product: time for a rebuild!
Improving the site’s signposting was the main challenge for this project. The articles are the core of the site, but other sections of the site needed to be highlighted, too.
Unusually, the site features two top bars – the first of which displays vertically on larger screens. These bars allow two pages to be permanently featured in a fairly unobtrusive manner: one of these is permanently reserved for the search bar: useful for quickly find specific articles.
The redesign introduces other signposting features, such as call-to-action boxes and a better-considered footer. One other new feature is the footer’s call-to-action, which randomly pulls content from a pool of options.
I was also keen to explore pairing the categories with illustrations to give the site a unique feel. Colin Lewis, a great designer/developer/storyteller/illustrator/everything, did a wonderful job of these – successfully avoiding all of the freelance clichés.
The original site had a strong visual aesthetic and typeface choices: Interstate (sans-serif) for headings and Caslon (serif) for body text. This worked well, but the new site has a different serif – Minion – which breaths a bit more, leading to better readability.
The site features oversized headings – drawing attention to the serif’s details – and text columns to give some pages a more editorial feel.