Refined Design. Patagonia

For this blogpost I am choosing to speak about the website layout and concept for the retailer – Patagonia. I previously had never visited their site, but upon viewing, was struck by the beauty that lies in the simplistic nature of its layout. I hope to use elements incorporated in their design when I go on to create my own website

Let me explain:

Patagonia is a clothing retailer, which has taken a more minimalistic approach to the design of their website. The background of the main page cycles between 5 photos. When you hover over the photos and click you will be taken to the place where Patagonia sells the clothing being depicted in use in said photo. In terms of the opening 5 images, some are embedded with video links that house pertinent information. Much of their product is geared towards the avid outdoorsman, or woman. As such, the pictures help illustrate some of natures beauty.

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The top left of the site has “Shop Clothing & Gear”, and “Inside Patagonia” tabs. The top right houses a search bar and a space to view your cart, sign in, or sign up. The “Shop Clothing & Gear” tab is of particular interest to me due to its location and content. We read from top to bottom, and from left to right. Since this is the case my eyes draw me to clicking here first. Under this tab you can find all of the different things they sell broken down into highly descriptive categories.

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Under the “Inside Patagonia” tab you can read testimonials, find information about their corporate social responsibility, view their blog, and links to all their social media accounts; among other things.

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The drop down menus are white with black lettering, which is a stark contrast to the images of the natural world being displayed behind them. Navigation through the site is extremely easy, and I feel as though this works for Patagonia and the overall brand message they are trying to convey. Thankfully they do not have an overly complex user interface, because their cliental would likely not appreciate it. The people buying their clothing would much rather be out enjoying the world – Patagonia’s clothing and site help facilitate that enjoyment.

When reflecting on what I want in my website, I can’t help but be torn. A flashy and complex website, while aesthetically pleasing, detracts from my ability to display important information on it. I really enjoy the outdoors, and have recently taken up some ‘extreme’ sports. I hope to use drop down menus to increase the ease of navigation, while also making use of beautiful pictures of the natural world in my design.




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