Following on from the recent redesign and rejuvenation of our website, we’ve continued to make modifications as the dust has settled and we’ve seen what worked and what needed to be changed. Our first stop was a small modification to our search criteria that should have a big impact on usability. When the redesign was launched we suddenly allowed all of our members to select a job title from a predetermined list and this was then searchable on our search pages. This didn’t work as the majority decided they want to just be called an illustrator, so now the job title is no longer searchable, but is displayed in their portfolios next to their name. What has been added to replace the search aspect are two searchable job descriptions. This should allow members to add the terms that help people find them without feeling they need to keep their options open by not committing to a specific title. This change in the options available to our members and within search system inspired a blog post I wrote about job titles for the LCS a few days ago. Read: Finding your niche as an illustrator!
As a side note: Since the redesign had been a longtime coming, I decided early on I would try to remove as much of the 9 years worth of bloat as possible. I may have gone a bit too far. Information about our postcard printing and mailers has now been re-added to the members’ administration along with a viewable archive of all the previous member-only updates. A new addition though is a series of downloadable and useful content that should be in every freelance illustrators’ digital toolbox. If you’re a member, login and have a look. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
We’re always making updates on the site and with the service for members of Hire an Illustrator, but when it comes to adding or removing the categories our illustrators use to define themselves on the site it’s actually quite a big deal. We never add new categories lightly and normally only when there’s enough demand from clients for them. Over the last 12 months we’ve found there have been more and more job requests asking for the following three areas:
Dark & Otherworldly or Surreal
Anime & Manga
Retro, Vintage & Antique
So from today, our illustrators can add themselves to one of these categories if that’s what their artwork fits into and clients can now do searches based on those areas.
It wasn’t a quick job, but we’ve finally finished it. The hire an illustrator website has been rebuilt from the ground up… and we’re very happy with it! I’ve been testing it live for a week now and I’m pleased to consider it officially launched as of today. So tell your colleagues and friends as we would love to know what they think. Whether you send us an email or leave us a comment via Facebook or Twitter, get in contact!
Visually this wasn’t a redesign, as we wanted to keep the look the same, but we’ve made some big improvements in leaps and bounds as far as the underlying code is concerned. Have you checked out our new search pages yet? I’m hoping you’re impressed with the ease and speed at which you can now find our artists and illustrators. We now list additional links on behalf of our members, so you can now see if they have an online store or have a Google+ or LinkedIn profile along with the usual suspects. Also we’ve made improvements to allow artists or animators to have video galleries in their portfolios. There’s more brilliant new features to announce, but I think that’s enough for one blog post… 🙂
We hope you enjoy and have as much fun using our new site as we do! For the latest updates sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.