This website should be a walk in the park for any experienced designer.
Schoolyard Puck is a website where not-so-professional hockey players go to get hockey tips, equipment advice, and read the experiences of others who are in a similar situation.
The absolute biggest way Schoolyard Puck differs from other instructional hockey websites or magazines is this: It asserts that hockey skills can be developed outside of formal ice rinks. There seems to be a misconception in the hockey community that in order to play hockey (and become better at it) a player needs expensive ice time, brand new gear, and professional coaching. Hockey doesn’t just happen on the ice and it isn’t just a game for Canadians. It can be played by anyone on the pond or the street, on rollerblades or shoes. Any time of year. For free.
If Schoolyard Puck could promise its readers anything it would be: You don’t have to be rich to play hockey and get better at it.
If Schoolyard Puck was an actual person it would be Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez from the movie The Sandlot. While Benny is no pro, he certainly knows his game. He’s good, but not arrogant about it. He will lend you equipment and teach you how to be better. His ability to acknowledge his own shortcomings is what drives him to be excellent. He loves the game and doesn’t play for the fancy uniforms or fan recognition.
The primary audience is mostly made up of men 18-30. The type of person willing to play hockey is usually someone who takes risks and doesn’t mind getting physical. Players wear brands such as: Bauer, CCM, Mission, and Easton. They drink Gatorade and listen to AC/DC and Metallica. They stay up late. They get in fights, but when it’s all over they shake hands and say good game. They follow the NHL. They are always trying to improve and they hate losing.
Follow the wire frame (see attachment).
If you really feel the need to stray from it, that's fine, but please use it as a foundation. It should be viewable on a 1024 x 768 monitor.
The current site can be found at http://www.schoolyardpuck.com There you can see the type of content this blog provides, along with some of the pictures used. It's a generic template and it must go! It does not reflect the quality and magnitude of the articles. There isn't much about the design I want to keep. It's time for something new and fresh.
Sites I like the look 'n feel of:
Sites that have good content organization:
Use the (attached) logo as a guide for color palette. Orange represents a classic street hockey ball and the gray/silver represents the chassis of inline skates or the blades on ice skates. The font used in the logo is called Onani. I am not dead set on that font so if you see one that works better, go for it!
You can use stock images or Flickr, just site the source so I know where to buy them. I will likely use images from the photographer found on this page: http://www.rinkshots.com/eic
Like a hockey team, the website should look professional with matching colors. It should be well organized and clean. It should also be a little gritty, explosive, and exciting.
The ultimate goal of the redesign is to lower the bounce rate by organizing the content better. If visitors can easily sort through the articles, they will be able to find more information that will be useful to them.
One last piece of advice: do not use ice as a background texture. It's been done too many times.