Redesigning Headless Greg

Welcome to a whole new Headless Greg! Whilst neither me or the little version of Headless Greg has changed at all, this website has undergone quite a bit of work. Throughout July, I was working behind the scenes on bringing the website up to date with a bit of a design refresh. To celebrate today's grand relaunch, I thought I would share a little bit about the process of redesigning...

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1. Gathering Inspiration

Like with any design project, I started with a bit of research. To gather some inspiration for what I wanted my website to look and feel like, I stopped by some of my favourite sites and had a gander. I am on these websites all the time but when you visit to specifically to look are their structure and how they work, you notice different things. 

Here are 3 which I found particularly helpful...

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CREATIVE BOOM

As one of the biggest and best design blogs around, Creative Boom naturally has a gorgeously slick design scheme. The way the "Creative Boom" header transforms into a pair of eyes which follow the cursor as it travels around the page is probably my favourite piece of web design ever! Whilst I didn't have the budget or know-how for something quite as fancy, there was plenty elsewhere I loved too. In particular, the three-column grid prompted me to install something similar with mine so visitors could see more content at once.

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EMMA JANE PALIN

Emma Jane Palin's design scheme is completely unique and quite rightly award winning. Throughout the process there were a few ideas I had which made me question "can I do that?". For example, I wanted to ditch my header text and just have my little logo in place instead. Most sites have some sort of text at the top but seeing that Emma's didn't I knew I would be in good company so went ahead with the ditch.

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FURRY LITTLE PEACH

I want my new site to be equally about sharing design inspiration as it is about my own creations and process. Furry Little Peach's site performs this balancing act beautifully as it holds both her exquisite illustration portfolio and a blog for her to share her wisdom on. Having watched Sha'an's YouTube videos, I knew we both used Squarespace. It was useful to know a site I loved had been created using the same platform I use and I took a few tips from her inviting homepage.

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Illustration by Greg McIndoe (that's me!)

2. Out With The Old, In WIth The New

With the redesign, I was essentially building Headless Greg a more contemporary new home. And just like when you are moving, I had to decide what I wanted to keep and what had to go. Headless Greg's original HQ hadn't changed much at all over the last 2 years but my taste in design definitely has. In order to for my new home to fit in with the designs and articles I would be filling it with, I realised I had to strip it back to basics and start again. Everything from the design elements in my about and contact pages to the entirety of my old design portfolio has now been deleted from Headless Greg history. 

Once I had finished clearing all the old out, it was time in to bring in the new. Most important of all - my brand new illustration portfolio. As a huge part of the reason I chose to redesign the site was that I wanted the space to be a more even split between sharing my own creations and writing about other people's, I had to get this bit right. My new portfolio is now a much better representation of the type of thing I am creating at the moment and want to create in the future.

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3. Planning The Layout

Once I had decided what I did and didn't want included in the new site, the time came to plan how it would all piece together. Web design wasn't something I had ever done much of before but luckily Squarespace is so simple to use it wasn't really any different from layout work I had done before. This post is (sadly for me) not sponsored by Squarespace but I would definitely recommend using them! Once I had done a few initial sketches, I basically just played around with the different templates and features until I had everything looking the way I wanted.

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4. Setting Deadlines + Finalising Designs

Knowing myself, I knew that if I didn't give myself a strict deadline to get the site finished I would continuing playing forever. So I set my self the firm deadline deadline of the 1st of August and stuck to it. Despite the deadline, I took time to make sure every aspect of the site just the way I wanted it - redesigns take a lot of brainpower and I am not willing to do another one any time soon! The most exciting part to finish was my shiny new homepage, a space which now neatly summarises exactly what it is I do and love.

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Illustration by Sandra Dieckmann

5. Sleeping On It

I made sure that, even after finalising designs, I still had a couple of extra days before the official relaunch day. Like with big decisions, I think it is always good to sleep on important new designs. I gave myself a bit of time away from the new site before returning with fresher eyes to make any final tweaks. Headless Greg isn't the only thing I have redesigned recently as I also gave my bedroom a bit of a revamp. I now sleep under a massive print of the gorgeous bear illustration by Sandra Dieckmann above. You can read about my plans for that redesign here.

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Pattern design by Greg McIndoe (that's me!)

6. Launching!

So I had gathered inspiration, cleared out my old site, planned the new one, set deadlines, finalised designs and even done the post sleep tweaks... all that was left to do was relaunch! Clearly, now I have set the new design live and I am over the moon with it!

Whilst working on this project, I have been pretty much silent on the blogging and social media front. However, I am back now and more excited to blog, instagram and tweet than ever! With the blog especially, I have lots of very exciting posts planned and there is one last addition to the site coming very soon. For now though, I am very happy with my new headless home and hope you like it too. Please do visit again soon!