Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The MarthaStewart.com Web Redesign . . . A Critique

The original Marthastewart.com was one of my favorite web designs. It had an uncluttered look with creative color pallettes and clear, expressive photography. It was clean, airy, inviting, and original. Well, in the name of progress, the entire Martha Stewart line of websites and logo has undergone a major redesign that, in truth, has left me yearning for the past.

marthastewart.com redesign web design

I do not blame the marthastewart.com designers for my lukewarm response. The redesign reeks of talent and creativity. However, I can sense that every high-level executive in the Martha Stewart conglomerate of companies fought tooth-and-nail for a piece of web-page real estate and had to be accomodated somehow. They made the designers job a nightmare. The end result is a cluttered, confusing web design that feels more like K-Mart than Martha Stewart. Gone is the clean elegant design, replaced with a pastel urban jungle littered with too much stuff.

I understand. I've worked as a web designer for conglomerate companies in the past. It is difficult to create good design while trying to satisfy the needs of numerous competing corporate interests all trying to be seen on the homepage. I suppose that is the price paid for corporate success. Marthastewart.com has paid that price with a visually confusing design . Ironically, the new website has a feature article entitled "100 Reasons To Get Rid of Clutter" . . .

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