BMW US Manufacturing Gets Redesigned

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Working on a brand as prestigious as BMW really makes me excited to be a designer. While I was involved in the last BMW redesign process, this time around I played a much larger role in the overall direction of the website.

One of the biggest challenges with the new redesign was the number of orphaned pages throughout the site. When the site was in flex it allowed us to add a lot of useful tidbits of content without having them actually live in any particular section. When moving out of flex, we wanted to create a more structured navigation. The JMG team worked very closely with the client on minimizing the amount of clicks the user had to make to navigate around the site.

Once we substantially cut down and combined a lot of the content I was able to design three new grid layouts, based on a 12 column grid, that would encompass almost every page of the website.

Lead Role

The 3/7/2 grid layout did the majority of the heavy lifting for this site. This layout was designed with the intention to be able to have or add a lot of content to a particular section without having to restructure navigation or make new sections that would require additional layouts.

BMW layoutBMW grid layout

left: 3/7/2 layout. right: 3/7/2 layout with grid overlay.

Supporting Cast

The 8/4 and the 6/6 grid layouts make up most of the remaining pages. The content and imagery predominantly dictated the layouts, which was a very refreshing way to design a webpage. Once I had a strong grasp on these three grid layouts, all of the content really fell into place.

BMW layoutBMW layout

left: 8/4 layout. right: 6/6 layout.

Variations in your layouts can definitely make for a much more enjoyable user experience. There are many grid resources out there that can help you setup your CSS so that you’re able to adjust your layouts on a whim. Grid based layouts can also make things easier on the designer/developer relationship. Nobody likes to do things multiple times and when you have clients, creative directors, and account executives changing their minds it can really make you want to pull your hair out. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and grid based layouts make it easier every time.

For a few more photos, check out the portfolio section.

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