New Visual Design Released

April 18, 2012

by Charles Parsons, Product Manager

Today we're pleased to release our new visual design for Salsa's headquarters. It represents another step forward for the Salsa platform and continues building off what we started with the release of the new interface. This is more than just a facelift, though - we've solved a few problems along the way while setting up features that we'll be adding at a later date.

First, a backstory. The design we released with the new interface was... well, it was kind of blah. No one was particularly happy with it, least of all the interface team. Many moons ago we created a couple of mockups, examples of where the design could go. As time went on, we dramatically changed the layout and focus of our attention, but we never really had a chance to revisit the design. Instead, we kept taking the elements of those concepts and pushed them into the new layout. But the result was like trying to fashion pieces of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" into an image of the space shuttle.

Excited by our progress and not wanting to deny you the goodness of the new interface, we opted to release the new interface and work on an updated visual design behind the scenes. So, while the new interface team worked on bugs and adjustments based on your feedback, a couple of interface and graphic designers got to work on a new look.

What you have before you is the beginnings of that new look. We've listened to your feedback and a number of adjustments:

New colors and updated look

Donations Screenshot

We've added a full range of colors from Salsa's palette and incorporated a new look and feel more in line with what you'd expected from us. The new colors are bolder and cleaner, and make finding buttons and other action elements clear and easier.

We've also introduced a new scheme for indicating where you are within Salsa. Despite the range of options available to you, all of Salsa's packages and features revolve around the four key areas of organizing, communicating, advocating and fundraising. The new color scheme reflects this as well, with orange, teal, red and green indicators corresponding to those for areas.

Consolidated sidebar and updated dropdowns

We've reclaimed some vertical space by pulling the sidebar up and moving the dropdown options to the left. We've also split the dropdown options into two groups. The first group, Settings, includes account-wide settings, such as managing tags, adjusting your Salsa configuration and submitting tickets to our Support team. The second group, User, pulls together your various user functions, such as updating your profile, changing your password, or switching between roles, users and chapters.

These changes will also help us down the road as new functionality is introduced. The same division exists as before, with the new dropdowns containing system-wide options, the sidebar holding package-specific options and the main canvas being devoted to the task in front of you.

Bug fixes

Many of the change we've made are a reflection of the feedback we've heard from users. Underneath the pretty new exterior are a number of changes designed to alleviate your concerns and issues, as well as flat-out bug fixes for things that didn't work right in the first place. The changes are too numerous to list, but things like changing text size or introducing a better-looking button aren't just about making things look better - they help address and fix issues as well.

And soon...new iconography

We are not done, of course. The new style will stay with us, but we'll continue to tweak and refine as we go along. In the next few days and weeks, we'll be updating the icongraphy around the site. Beyond that, we've started tackling the big bear - our package workflows. But we'll post more on that as we begin.

We hope you enjoy the new look!