Helen Suk was new to the world of WordPress and needed help improving her site.
This project is an instance where creating a brand new website sometimes isn't always the best option. The purchased theme used was solid and well-coded, we just needed to hone in on some basic UX principles to make her site standout from the crowd.
To make this design pop a bit more we began by discussing the colors she wanted to use. By using one primary pop color amongst a few neutrals we could help control the users flow throughout the page. Any where the user sees purple they know that this is a section of new content which causes them to slow down and look a bit closer.
The sidebar was also completely redesigned from something that was a bit scattered to a streamlined, easy-to-digest sidebar. While design trends have veered away from sidebars in recent years, they can still be powerful when used on blogs. To grow her following, we moved the newsletter towards to the top and made the background a solid purple. Users can't miss it. And her offer is pretty sweet there too. :)
Pre-built themes are a great option when a budget is a tight. And by incorporating solid, well-regarded UI principles, a basic theme can take on a custom look and feel while delivering a pleasing user experience.