The Practical Man Creative Website Design

This is a very unusual website: users will probably wither love it or hate it. The design is very stiff, reminding us of the '90s design when we used tables and little-to-nothing would break the pre-defined grid.

In what looks like a Piet Mondrian-inspired design, the designer used different shades of green and yellow to create content color blocks, bordered by a strong black stroke. Even though this would make us believe that the content would be perfectly aligned, we realize that what happens is actually the opposite: there is left aligned text, center aligned text, the search box and the dropdowns have different paddings. The login button also reminds us of a text box, is "wrongly placed" (at least according to typical usability), and the banner space is occupied by a "Recent Purchases" slider.

However, I believe all these elements were created consciously by the brand and the designer, which makes them a choice and not an error. This is what I call thinking outside the box (or "not aligning elements to the box").

The Practical Man Creative Product Page

The Product Detail subpage is very cohesive with the homepage design -- it even keeps the theme "wrong placement of the elements."

For some reason, the placement of the thumbnails looks slightly odd. Also, the fact that users can get rid of the product information when you hit the zoom button (Gallery) is confusing. The Overview and Details are side-by-side with other products; this is a way of saving spacing and fitting it all in the least amount of space possible, but doesn't really make sense.

The calls to action and the Share links looking nothing like they are supposed to, unless the user is super familiar with this design -- it may take users a while before they are comfortable with navigating.

On a positive note, I really like the way the Add To Bag call to action turns into a success message and then into two new related calls to action -- View Your Bag or Continue Shopping. This way, the user knows his request was submitted without being thrown an intrusive success message.

The Practical Man Creative Blog Page

This website covers different aspects of the life of, well, the practical man. Not only does it sell products like clothing and accessories, but it also had a journal covering lifestyle, gear, fitness, and city guides. The blocks of content contain sliders, so there are actually various sliders on the homepage moving at the same time.

The City Guide area is a more intuitive one: Pick your city from one of the options in the dropdown (or on the photo grid) and then choose in the tabbed navigation what you are most interested on: Eat, train, sleep, outdoor, or all. This loads related content -- photo on the left, text on the right, an available map, and website links. All the elements are displayed in a very simple and user friendly way, which leads me to think that I actually may like this design... I'm just not used to it yet.

The Practical Man is a creative website design in the E-commerce & Retail and Fashion & Beauty industries.