This past weekend, I re-launched the website for a local live-action role-playing chronicle called Sang Nordique. I had a hand in building and maintaining the previous versions of the site, and though I haven't played in the game itself in years, I still like participating by way of some donated web development time. Not only does it give me the opportunity to add to the game's flavour and mood, but the project lets me scratch at some creative itches.
I started redeveloping the site sometime last year, but like the Raccowrimo project, I was finding the "blank page" aspect intimidating. But then I started experimenting with CSS transitions and transformations a couple months ago. I'm surprised how well supported they now are across browsers! They allowed me to make some really fun layouts using tilted angles, heavy text, and bold colors. Things came together quickly after that, with the new website being defined by the content available online and the chronicle's vampire/horror themes.
I worked with one of the game's administrators on the transition to the new design. Though he's a good friend, we made the decision to handle this project somewhat professionally... We defined a realistic scope for the project, figuring out which parts were must-haves and which parts could go on the back-burner. We did a review of the existing website, focusing on how the site was updated through the content management system and how portions could be streamlined to better fit the administrators' workflows. We agreed on what content needed to stay, what was being dropped, and what was going to have to be overhauled. Finally, we set a realistically comfortable schedule.
This all may not seem like a big deal to anyone who's done freelance work, but for me, it was invaluable in keeping what was a hobby and a side-project moving along.
As a disclaimer, I'm not nor do I claim to be a graphic designer… having said that, though, I'm pretty proud of how this turned out! There's still a lot of rough edges; some of the responsive elements aren't yet scaling well and some of the cross-browser stuff is still misbehaving, but overall, I think its a great improvement over the previous version.
I hope you take a moment to visit the site, poke around, and let me know what you think! Not only would I appreciate hearing feedback, but I could use the gathered analytic information to improve the site :)