Topic: Biola University redesign

I think Biola University just redesigned their undergrad site: http://www.biola.edu/undergrad/

Interesting visual theme....

"I was blind, but now I see!"  John 9:25

Re: Biola University redesign

Definitely not what I would expect to see on an undergrad site. It almost looks like a surfer's blog or something. Waves and kind of a grunge-wave texture and font theme. And that red... that red...

Re: Biola University redesign

I kind of like the layout and hippie beach bum graphical treatment, but you said it first F(r)og: that red just kills it. it would be way awesomer with a toned down blue or blue-side green shade IMHO. certainly is interesting...

-Rhino

Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for tomorrow we may have to eat them.   -Rep. Morris Udall

Re: Biola University redesign

I'm straight-up in love with the entire thing, including the red.  Different strokes...  smile

One life, it will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last. (Studd)

Re: Biola University redesign

I'm with Nate. It's calming but the red, orange and other warm (but still neutral) shades give life to the site. What I love most is the images that are transparent and remain there with styles turned off. It's a nice touch that, though planned or not, ties in the feel of the site to an unstyled version so you still feel like you're looking at the "beach bum" theme even without the CSS.

Re: Biola University redesign

To be honest, I really like it. It certainly isn't like any other University site I've seen, it's unique like that. smile I don't know much about the school, but the design of the site kind of makes me want to go there. It makes it feel like a fun and interesting place to be.

It would be really interesting to hear more about the decisions made and inspiration for the new site design.

Anyone has an image of what the site used to look like?

Exercise your faith!

Re: Biola University redesign

I love the red... it offsets the dull grays and blues quite nicely.... besides, the red in question is Biola Red. Take a look at the rest of the site and you'll see that red everywhere.

Ninjas and pirates both agree: cowboys suck.

Re: Biola University redesign

Thanks for the great comments, everyone. I was/am the web developer for the project, so I'm really enjoying the attention it's getting and love hearing feedback.

Larry: you're right, it's Biola Red (can't remember the actual Pantone right now). smile

Yannick: What would you like to know about the decisions and inspiration? I can tell you that the base illustration was done by a third-party group, but our in-house designer did a lot of work to craft a web design that kept the feel of the print work but worked for the web. We've since hired the illustrator from that third-party company, so I could probably get answers to most any question.

Also, the Wayback Machine has some captures, but the CSS isn't available anymore so it's mainly unstyled. I probably have a screenshot around here somewhere if you're still interested.

Re: Biola University redesign

Btw, I wasn't saying I didn't like it! tongue It just surprised me a bit, mostly in a good way. And after I've looked at it a while, the red has become less harsh on the design then when I first viewed it, plus if it's Biola Red I mean what can you do.. Michigan Tech's yellow is pretty hard to work with too!

Makes me want to go surfing... sad

Re: Biola University redesign

The more I look at it, the more I want to enroll at Biola (which I almost did 5 years ago smile. It's certainly growing on me. It's definitely not something I expect from a higher-education institution, but it shows me that it's not a crusty place that doesn't know how to change. It basically invites me to surf the waves of SoCal right before class... Not sure if the profs would allow students with soaking wet suits into the classroom, though smile

Ninjas and pirates both agree: cowboys suck.

11

Re: Biola University redesign

I really dig the look of this site.  I definitely like the colors and think the red really is striking.  It fits into the color scheme of the site and helps make that connection back to the Biola site.  It's a bold design choice, but works well in this case.  The hand-drawn elements are fantastic and the illustrations mixed in with photographic images are awesome.  You can definitely tell the time and effort that went into creating this design and how that was carried over throughout the site.  It's tough when doing a style like this to keep it up across so many pages.  I commend the attention to detail!

Re: Biola University redesign

Thanks Larry and kob. smile

Hey everyone, we just added a new feature, a virtual tour, to the site. Would love some feedback! (But go easy... that thing took years to make (don't ask), and was supposed to be done back in November).

Re: Biola University redesign

Dave: Man, the virtual tour is great!  Much better than those Quicktime VR/iPIX style 'tours.' I'd suggest maybe reshooting some parts of it (in particular the guy talking about the fountain, Sub, and whatnot) and if possible with better lighting. I know that due to the nature and style (handheld) it may not be possible, but it really would make the tour all that much better.

There's really only one big thing I didn't like, and that was the 1-2 minutes about the Christmas tree lighting. Being that it's the end of June, I didn't really see the relevance of that section and it seemed like a bit of a waste and out of place.

Keep up the good work!

Ninjas and pirates both agree: cowboys suck.

Re: Biola University redesign

davelowe wrote:

Yannick: What would you like to know about the decisions and inspiration? I can tell you that the base illustration was done by a third-party group, but our in-house designer did a lot of work to craft a web design that kept the feel of the print work but worked for the web. We've since hired the illustrator from that third-party company, so I could probably get answers to most any question.

Also, the Wayback Machine has some captures, but the CSS isn't available anymore so it's mainly unstyled. I probably have a screenshot around here somewhere if you're still interested.

I guess what I'd be most interested in finding out is what was the inspiration for the design (also the print design since the website was based on that)? I'm guessing the fact that the University is in SoCal had something to do with it (correct me if I'm wrong) but the design is certainly unusual for a school website. Also what was the message/feeling that you wanted people to get from the design of the website. Did the principal and other administrators give you and your team free reign over the design? Did they play a roll in giving ideas for the design?

Also I noticed that you were using Cold Fusion. Is the site running a custom built CMS or one already out there on the market?

Regarding the screenshot of the old site, sure I'd love to see it to compare the old vs. the new. smile

Exercise your faith!

15

Re: Biola University redesign

The virtual tour is really nice and the editing on the video is smooth!  I can tell that was a fairly in depth process. 

The couple of comments I would make are that when viewing one of the sub videos, the "return to video" image that appears at the top left portion of the map is squashed vertically.  I doubt everyone would notice, but it's something I saw and I think would look better if it were kept in proportion.  If it's a space issue, then maybe crop in on a part of the video.  My other comment is about the pins on the map.  I think they're a fantastic way of navigating through the video, but I would suggest adding more of a "hit" area on the pins.  A few times as I rolled over them and they moved up, my mouse would slide off the pin and therefore trigger the "off" state.  I had to make sure my mouse always stayed on the pin in order to see what the link is.  I would suggest adding a transparent hit area to the pins, maybe a rectangle that extends beyond the shape of the pin.  I would also suggest speeding up the animation of the pin lifting up off the map and the "tooltip" title box fading in.  I think it's a nice transition, but it could go a little quicker and create more "snap". 

Nice addition to an already great site!  Congrats on finally getting it rolled out.  I know all too well about projects that should have taken a shorter amount of time than they did.