We need a refreshed header with a refreshed logo for our german IT-News website WinFuture.de. WinFuture is one of germans leading computer news websites, with a focus on software (especially Windows and Microsoft software), internet and hardware news since 2001. Our editors write and publish about 700 news stories per month, maintain a huge download center, a video archive and write product reviews. We publish 365 days a year. We also supervise a huge community with more than 160.000 registered members who write in our forums (helping each other) and comment beneath our news stories. All our services are free of charge; WinFuture is ad-funded and profitable.
In the last couple of weeks we worked on some design/layout improvements on the teaser boxes on the right hand side of the page, on the page-headline graphics (page title e.g. "News", "Downloads") and some enhancements on our code. These changes will go live within the next couple of weeks and we need to adjust the header. So, we want a refreshed header which suits better for our revised design, looks state of the art and solve some long time usability issues (e.g. no search on the upper right yet). The current header and logo are basically unchanged since 2004 - this is a long time in web.
This project can be virtually divided into two pieces: Logo and Header.
Male (78%), under 39 (65%) and affine with technology. Consumers
We don’t want to change our logo drastic cause people know and recognize it. We also use the logo in our software and with partners. Our logo consists of 2 parts: the 4 balls and lettering. We’re satisfied with the 4 colored balls and don’t want to change them - at least not much. We’re not so satisfied with the lettering because it’s hard to read. Please don’t change the letter design drastic, rather refresh it. Keep the balls mostly unchanged and be creative on the lettering. The current logo on our website isn’t the full logo, the balls are cropped. Full logo is attached to this post. We need the refreshed logo (balls + lettering) in a full, not cropped version, too.
Users have to recognize our brand and which page they are visiting right away. It is important that the header isn't jumbled so that it will not distract users while reading an article. The current header has clouds in the background, this is not a requirement - but you can use subtle clouds as well. As you see on DesginChanges.png we killed the clouds in the headlines and replaced it with a fade. The header contains user interaction elements (see requirements). The search should be placed in the upper right.
The goal is not to design a completely different header rather than refreshing the current one and make it go well together with our new teaser-boxes.