Travis Isaacs

Father of two. Fitness & food junkie. Co-founder of Front Desk. Creator of Keynote Kung-Fu. Grapevine, TX.

Blinksale.com Outtakes

07 Jul 2009

This post is ancient history. My apologies for any dead links or broken images.

After weeks of late nights sitting at my computer in the dark, the new Blinksale.com finally launched. Of course, I can’t take all the credit, Brian Oberkirch, Jason Seifer, and Mr. Dan Benjamin all played critical roles in getting us to launch.

This new design marks the changing of the guard from Josh Williams and the guys at Firewheel design (now, Alamo Fire), to it’s new owners, DoubleWide Labs.

I have to admit – I was (and am) extremely nervous to touch Blinksale. Josh & the Alamo Fire crew have such a distinct and recognizable style to everything that they touch. Who am I to try to follow their brand of design and style? Blinksale is beloved among the design community, and I didn’t want to screw that up.

Good designers imitate?

I literally spent weeks trying to understand and copy the design language of the original Blinksale. We wanted to refresh the homepage a bit just to let people know that the things are happening.

Version 1

blink_draft1

As you can see the original look and feel is mostly preserved. Overall the changes were minor – The “tour” images were expressed in a carousel (so we could grow them), the footer was tweaked a bit, and I tried to make the sign up more prominent.

Version 2

blinksale_draft2

In version two I experimented with simplifying the top area down to just a tag line and one product image. I moved the sign up button up to be more prominent, and used the area below as a secondary place to message the DoubleWide Labs acquisition. While the top was simpler, it just didn’t say enough to keep your attention, and only showing one product image at a time was very limiting.

Version 3

blinksale_draft3

In version three I wanted to take the boldness and simplicity of version two, but incorporate a more expanded product tour area like version one. I also prominently featured the Blinksale bulb, which I was always loved. I liked the idea of not having any navigation at the top, but not my execution of it. And it also meant that the navigation would be in a different spot for secondary pages.

Design is hard, lets go ride bikes

After a few weeks of noodling, I was seriously starting to feel defeated. All the comps were good, but not great. The changes were too subtle to communicate the right message. Thankfully, Brian stepped in, and with one sentence helped me free myself of the Blinksale’s past:

> “dude, I’ve seen your work, it’s bold. GO FOR IT.”

Apparently I needed my ego stroked, because that night I started with a blank PSD and went for it.

blinksale_final

The site you see now is the very next comp I produced after the conversation Brian and I had. Inevitably there will be people who liked the old site better. Fair enough. I miss it too, and for the record, there was nothing broken about it. But, we’re turning the page, and hopefully making Blink better along the way.