Home Client Work Website & e-Commerce Sri Aurobindo Ashram

The Challenge
Sri Aurobindo Ashram is a community in South India with a large organisation and a diverse set of activities. crossroad was approached to design a website that would reflect this diversity in a friendly and navigable way, while maintaining a serene and subdued atmosphere. The website was also to be its portal offering online shopping services for its Publications Department. It required several iterations before we came up with a unique three-level menu system to structure the complex information architecture.

The Process
crossroad had gone through several redesigns before it became obvious that a standard two-level menu system would not suffice. We even explored designs that used dynamic pulldown menus but gave that up considering the needs of a wider audience that might still be using older browsers. Finally, we found a unique user-interface scheme that allowed three-level menus while still maintaining a clean design.

The new masthead with the primary and secondary level links.

The first level presents the major sections of the site, immediately followed by the secondary level links within each section. The third level links were introduced a little lower down in the page with interesting images breaking up the plain heirarchical structure. This design also allowed collapsing lower levels of links in sections that did not require them and also completely diverge from the main design grid wherever more creative flexibility was required.

The Result
The new site, with its masthead dominated by the welcome note and tabbed buttons, presents in an unambiguous manner, the major areas of the website. The subdued color palette creates an atmosphere of calmness and high aesthetics. Meanwhile, the large amount of content is well-organized, and presented in lower menu levels. The result is a site that is easy to navigate and useful to quickly access relevant information.

The redesigned home page.
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