How Would You Improve This Minty Fresh Website Design?

by 4 01/18/2012

Mint Themes is a uniquely branded WordPress theme development company from Toronto, Canada.

They specialize in building WordPress themes for churches, bands and businesses.

There is no mistaking the intentional use of words like fresh, clean and minty on the website.  The branding is present in every aspect of the site.

We asked our Crazy Egg design and marketing experts to critique the header on the Mint Themes home page. Pop a piece of spearmint gum in your mouth and have a look at what our experts had to say.

And, if you feel so inclined, please leave your critique of this design in the comments.

Click this image to enlarge:

Robin Cannon, Shiny Toy RobotsI really like how the header manages to visually differentiate itself while still staying a clearly integral part of the overall page design. It makes the header, and its navigation, clear and visible without being overly separate from the rest of the content.

I’m always a fan of bold simplicity in navigation, too. The main navigation here doesn’t do anything particularly ground-breaking, because it doesn’t need to. While keeping each link to a single word, it still provides clear and easy to use direction to a user.
~ Robin Cannon, Shiny Toy Robots

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Angela Jones, Design By Ange.laLooking at the design hierarchy, the tagline “Fresh Designs. Quality Code.” is the focal point.  The tagline itself works well for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it tells you clearly and concisely the product offering – design and coding. In just two words they differentiate their product – we offer “fresh” designs and “quality” code. Aside from these most apparent qualities, the word fresh itself plays off mint in the company’s name.

The copy below the tagline is well written marketing copy that further explains why their product is different. It also explains the word play between mint and fresh, but we know you already got that. Skipping this copy will move you right to your choices – browse themes or find out pricing. This is a simple and effective way to get the viewer off of the landing page and make the conversion.

There’s nothing overcomplicated about this header. The simple, fresh design no doubt yields a high conversion rate.
~ Angela Jones, Design By Ange.la

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Econeve Design AgencyA lot of options are available for the viewer to get more information, without it looking too congested. A major plus side of the intro is the inclusion of the 4 main call-to-action buttons. In general, these are the 4 things potential customers would like to know before buying a theme; price, the possibility to view a working demo, further information and where to view the full portfolio. The colours used are bright and enticing, and the use of a screenshot is always a plus in the header of a website – it adds more depth and ultimately let’s the viewer know the quality of what they’re getting.
~ Econeve, Econeve Design Agency

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Cesar Keller, Simple FlameDesign aspects that Mint Theme’s header are doing well include (in no particular order):

1. Clean, legible, and proper contrast on navigation menu.

2. Right amount of content with good use of typography variation to make copy stand out.

3. Quick calls to action after copy to immediately browse theme or find out pricing info.

4. Large carousel area to promote the “Themes” that the copy and calls to action re-inforce.

5. Call to action to review a demo to dive in and review additional details that might influence user.

6. Overall layout matches up to a good layout standard – based on design reading principles on screen such as Z-Layout, F-Pattern, Gutenberg Rule.

Overall, it is a pretty standard layout that is simple and to the point.
~Cesar Keller, Simple Flame

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Christopher Lee, Christopher Lee Designs

I know this site is selling themes. I can tell quickly by the company name, the headline “Fresh Designs. Quality Code.” and the slider image and actions. This is important to quickly convert users to customers. Users don’t like to waste time figuring out what you do or what you offer. The more clearly and quickly you can point this out the better and they’re doing a fairly good job of it.

The branding is well handled. Given the company name, MintThemes you think of hues of green. In fact, it’s as if Wrigley spearmint gum has programmed us to associate green with mint. So why not play off of what has been set forth?

The argyle design in the background offers an excellent bit of texture and contrast to create interest in the piece. I love how they use this effect as opposed to the much played out orange peel effect with noise (guilty of that one myself! shame).

One thing I am not a huge fan of though are the call-to-actions. Each action button is roughly the same color and size and they are even roughly the same size as the primary navigation items so my eye just overlooks them entirely.

The important bit is Pricing and Browse, yet when I first looked at this all I saw was Info and Demo for one theme. Most likely I’d click those, discover the theme doesn’t fit my needs and run straight back to Google. I’d suggest using a contrasting color to the background like that blue they have in the logo for these two most important actions.
~ Christopher Lee, Christoper Lee Designs

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Sanj Sahayam, Unique ImprintsThe colour palette is very nice and soothing! The Mint Themes logo is beautiful and goes well with the brand name. The menu bar is very clear and simple and has good contrast with the menu options.

The slogan: “Fresh Designs. Quality Code” looks really good and stands out. “Clean Code” as an alternative to “Quality Code” is another way to express the quality of code and goes well with the Minty-fresh/clean theme.

The theme screenshot within the browser window looks very clean and nice.

I like the use of white space and the page is very nicely spaced out.

The text “You know that minty-fresh….” could be brighter or bolder. Currently it’s a little lost in the background. If it is made brighter it may need to be given more white space above it so it doesn’t compete with the heading.

I would prefer to see the Demo button before the Info button because as user I care about what a theme looks like before I delve into any other information.

The “Browse Themes” and  “Pricing & FAQ” buttons don’t really stand out. Some contrast might help.

Not too sure about the placement of the Info and Demo buttons. Currently they obscure the users view of the theme. Maybe position these under the theme.
~ Sanj Sahayam, Unique Imprints

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Brian Schwartz, Spoke MarketingThe color palette works well. Monochromatic color palettes can be tough to pull off, but using the texture, shadows and insets for the menus makes this work. Using similar colors helps pull your eyes right to the screenshot / rotator (as a big white section in a sea of green), which I assume is the likely first call-to-action they want the visitor to take.
~ Brian Schwartz, Spoke Marketing

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Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing InstituteI think there are 2 reasons that Mint Themes are having success with this design.

First, the use of the varying shades of green mixed with the interesting texture patterns are really eye catching. What is interesting is that the shades of green are from the same area of the spectrum, but can differ enough to show a great variance in color without changing the tone. For example: Look at the great contrast between the buttons across the top and the “browse themes” button. Plus the monochromatic color usage really makes the logo and the theme imagery really pop off the page.

Second, Mint Themes uses one font throughout the header. Sometimes this is a fine line to walk, you can either pull it off or the design can look completely overkill. Mint Themes does a great job pulling it off by the subtle use of varying font weights and minimal copy.
~ Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing Institute

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Demian Farnworth, The CopybotThe design reflects what they claim: their themes are clean and crisp. Fresh, meh. Dozens of other theme providers could adopt that distinction, which brings me to my main complaint: what makes them different than the hundreds of other theme providers out there?

Whatever their distinction is–pricing advantage, proprietary code, award-winning designs, superstar designers, customer service, etc–they need to spell that out.

And if they don’t have a distinction they will have a very short life. By the way, pricing is the

WORST thing to have a distinction on because everyone can go a penny lower. That’s a war you don’t want to get into.
~ Demian Farnworth, The Copybot

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Kristi Hines, Freelance WriterI like how the most important areas of the site that I would be looking for are in the top navigation menu.  Browse Themes and Pricing & FAQ is a great call to action to the products.  The only thing I am not too fond of is the Info and Demo buttons on top of the theme slideshow.  It takes away from my first impression of the theme displayed.
~ Kristi Hines, Freelance Writer

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Naomi Niles, ShiftFWDThe color and layout is pleasing. It’s fairly standard, layout-wise, which is a good thing for people who need a good universal solution.
~ Naomi Niles, ShiftFWD

 

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Danny Iny, Firepole MarketingAesthetically speaking, I like the way that the navigation panel flows into the rest of the page (background pattern), but is still visually distinct and easy to find. Likewise, the buttons at the top are very visually distinct, and jump out at you without being in your face.

With regards to the copy, they do a great job of speaking to the key benefits that matter to serious webmasters and bloggers, and despite the multiplicity of buttons on the page (12 buttons), the two main calls to action (“Browse Themes” and “Pricing & FAQ”) are clear, and the page doesn’t look busy. I would experiment with darker colors for the buttons, though.
~ Danny Iny, Firepole Marketing

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MintThemes has a fresh, almost invigorating color scheme which lends itself well to the name. The Call-to-Action buttons could stand out from the layout more in terms of possibly using some of that crisp blue color in the logo. I’d also suggest that the slider arrows be a more prominent color.

The copy doesn’t really get the point across very well. Why choose MintThemes versus a competitor? All of them claim to have quality code and great designs. What makes MintThemes different?  That basic statement could be improved with better keywords as well.

Overall the site is crisp and clean. It looks easy to navigate and the large “hero shot” image with the overlaid info and demo buttons makes it straightforward and simple to learn more.
~ Sherice Jacob, iElectrify

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Russ Henneberry, Tiny & Mighty MediaThe copy corresponds well with the brand.  “Do you know that minty fresh feeling right after you brush your teeth?” The copy gives the brand a physical attribute that makes it very tangible.  Clean and fresh are attributes that make us feel positively about a website theme design.

The calls-to-action are clear and easy to find in the website header.  I actually like the approach they took with the single color of green for all design elements.
~ Russ Henneberry, Tiny & Mighty Media

We know that many of our readers are experts in design and marketing as well. We would love to hear your critique of the Mint Themes website header in the comments!

About 

Russ Henneberry is the Editorial Director at Digital Marketer. He's worked on digital marketing projects for companies like CrazyEgg, Salesforce.com and Network Solutions. You can connect with Russ on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or on his blog.

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4 COMMENTS

Adam @ Mint Themes

Thanks for all of the comments regarding the Mint Theme site, i’m the co-founder of the company and lead designer. Thank you for all the great critique of the current site design, coincidentally we are in the process of re-designing our site to include some new ideas, including a members area, freebies section, showcase of customers using our themes and so much more.

You can see some of the design process here: http://dribbble.com/adampickering/projects/28131-Mint-Themes-Re-Design

Thanks!

January 18, 2012 Reply

    Demian Farnworth

    No problem, Adam. And thanks for letting us pick on you and taking it humbly. That earns some serious respect, sir. Keep it up. ;)

    January 18, 2012 Reply

    Russ Henneberry

    Adam, thanks for taking the time to comment. I look forward to the new design but the current one is really outstanding. Any criticism in these analyses was really nit picking. I think we would all agree that the site is very well branded and designed.

    January 18, 2012 Reply


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