The website for a Chicago wedding officiant I gave a sneak peak to a few days ago is now live.
This was a re-design project of an original site that had been created on Wix…an easy to use website creator but lacking in functionality and true¬† internet marketing (SEO) capabilities. Here is a quick snap shot of the site prior to redesign, note the mobile version looks completely different from the desktop version.
Client, Toni Maddi , was very keen to keep the ability to update the website herself but really wanted a site where she could have full control of SEO. WordPress was the natural answer and it was this platform we used to build a fully responsive website for her wedding officiant business.
We created a very clean looking template design and updated the color palette a little. Toni had lots of fabulous photographs of wedding ceremonies she had conducted and these were used liberally throughout the site. All the pages were optimized for the search engines and we built specific landing pages for the locations and areas she serves.
The template was coded to respond to whatever device was being used to view it giving the visitor a consistent experience regardless of device they were using.
Here it is on an ipad
and again on an iphone
The site has been live for less than 24hrs but I have just heard from Toni that she has already received an inquiry through it!
Read more about this wedding officiant web site on our website design portfolio
in Before and After, Chicago Web Designer, Responsive Web Design
There is something very satisfying about looking at before and after transformations regardless of the medium.¬† Think about the TV shows ” What not to Wear”,¬† HGTV’s¬† “Devine Design” and even “Hoarding-Burried Alive”¬† They are all about transformations – making something or someone look and feel better.
Now as a website designer I can’t make a site “feel” better but I can make the user experience more enjoyable and less fraught.
Amateurish to Professional
Site visitors will form an opinion of your site within the first 3 seconds of looking at it. It is important to make those seconds count with a professional look/feel.
Drab to Fab
A simple shift in color palette and a few graphic tweaks can make a site go from drab to fab. This site was transformed into a more fresh and invigorating experience, which was much more appropriate for the products it promotes.
Getting the visitor to do something
A call to action or getting a visitor to engage and do what you want them to,¬† in this case donate.
The bigger the site the more important it it to have a well thought out navigational system ensuring your site visitors can find what they are looking for quickly and with the minimum of effort.
Don’t Make Me Think
If your visitors have to work too much when on your site, then you have a problem-they will be hitting that back button.¬†¬† The same is true if they don’t understand what you are offering as was the case with the original Paper Shower web site.
We have¬† work with businesses all over the country on web and graphic design projects, but it is especially rewarding working with¬† businesses based in our local vicinity.¬† Our newest client, Paper Shower, is located right here in Lincolnshire IL .
Launched yesterday was a redesigned version of their web site papershower.com
Paper Shower offers a range of unique body wipes which combine a large wet wipe with a dry towelette and are great for active people who are looking to freshen up on the go – bikers, runners, while camping, hiking and traveling¬† or even on the golf course.
There are several reasons for the need to redesign a web site and the old Paper Shower site fulfilled quite a few.
Firstly the site was making the visitors work too hard to understand the product, it was only after clicking through from the home page that the concept of the product having both a wet and dry towelette became obvious.
Secondly, almost no consideration had been made as to who the product was being marketed towards – it was too generic.
Lastly the site was not at all optimized for the search engines, the home page itself was a collection of images and as a whole had very little keyword rich copy.¬† Ranking in the search engines was poor and¬† traffic was minimal despite¬† great PR coverage the product has had over the last few years.
Our Web Re-Design Approach
Understanding the issues facing the old site helped us create a strategy for the¬† re-design and re-launch of the new site.
Any SEO project needs to kick off with a through understanding of¬† the online competition. We took an in depth¬† look at other body wipe websites and our analysis¬† resulted in the compilation a list of favorable key phrases.
We wanted to address several things with the web content
- Communicate the uniqueness of the product in a simple format that did not require the user any effort
- Engage with the target market of outdoorsy / active people
- Add more call to actions to purchase product
- Enrich it with target key words and phrase for SEO benefits
We started with the creation of a set of web banners that incorporated the product and an outdoor scenario or an occasion where the product would be useful. Each banner also carried the phrase Wash > Dry > Done, which was elaborated on with keyword rich copy underneath which quickly and easily explained the product.
The home page was updated to include more details of the product range and examples of who may find the product useful. We used video and client testimonials throughout the site for easily digestible communication.
For better engagement with the target audience we created a set of landing pages
- Post Workout Body Wipe – for athletes and sports men/women
- Cleansing Wipes for the Cyclist
- Body Wipes for Camping
and also added a blog
We are in the process of completing the internet marketing of the site but are confident that the¬† re design and optimization will result in increased traffic and sales.
Read more about Paper Shower in our web design portfolio.
¬© 2013 Chicago web designer
in Before and After, Blogging, Chicago Web Designer, Internet Marketing, Web Design Projects
Launch today is a freshly re-designed website for AED Battery Exchange aedbatteryexchange.com. Located in the far north suburbs of Chicago, they are leading the way in re- celling batteries for Automated external defibrillators and wanted a web site which truly matched their innovative product.
Also on their want list was a professional looking site which was easy to navigate and appealing to their target audience.
We created a very clean look and feel, the home page featuring an eye catching Call to Action banner to “Find your AED battery”.
They batteries were categorized in terms on manufacturer and featured images which can be enlarged so the user can clarify the correct battery.
The site is definitely a step up from their old one
in Before and After, Chicago Web Designer, Web Design Projects
There is something very satisfying about redesign projects.¬† We were contacted recently by Chicago based Quadra Applications & Technology, who were looking for a new logo design. They already had a new website in the works and felt the time was right for a revamp of their identity- their main request was¬† something that looked more professional.
In redesigning a logo it is not uncommon to work from some element of the old logo, whether it be the color palette, style of font or icon.¬† In the case of Quadra we adopted the cube of their original logo, reworking it to encompass a sphere and connective framework. Teamed with a modern open typeface the new logo is much more fitting for the IT market they serve.
and here is the logo on the new website www.quadra-ati.com
Interested in some other logos we have designed? Check out our Logo Portflio
in Before and After, Chicago Branding, Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Logo Designer, Logo Work
Launched today is a re-designed web site for Solon Gershman Inc, a St Louis commercial real estate company.
We completely reworked their old site, creating a fresh new professional look which is easier to use and consistent throughout. The home page features a slide show of properties with easy access to property search tools and the latest company news. The¬† site¬† integrates data from a 3rd party property listing service and offers the site visitors a seamless experience.
¬©: 2011 Chicago web designer
in Before and After, Miscellaneous, Web Design Projects
I am working on a couple of branding projects at the moment, one is creating everything from scratch ( see the start here)¬† and the other is a brand consistency project.
Is your brand image consistent? Do your customers have the same experience however they interact with you. From visiting your web site, to paging through a brochure or even receiving and invoice, all these interactions offer an opportunity to convey your unique message. Lack of consistency creates confusion and sends conflicting messages to your clients.
For example your web site projects an air of professionalism and trust through design, a well thought out color palette, fonts, imagery and excellent copy. Does that image carry through to your brochures, folders,¬† flyers or whatever other marketing pieces you use, or have they been hastily put together with no thought as to what they communicate?
Here is brand consistency in action, from web site through to presentation folder and DVD labeling the client is getting the same message.
Interested in how we can give your collateral material a more branded and polished look? Checked out our Branding Services.
¬©: 2011 Chicago web designer
in Before and After, Chicago Branding, Chicago Graphic Design, Chicago Web Designer
Who doesn’t love a before and after comparison, I do them for web sites quite a lot, ( here here and here)¬† to showcase how a few design tweaks can make a huge impact on the appeal of a site. But today I am going to show you how I used my graphic design skills and tools to transform a very dingy, quite disgusting Chicago basement room into a light and airy teenage “penthouse” hang out.
My canvas for this room was horrible wood paneling which has the texture of drift wood but nowhere near as pleasant. I primed then painted everything white, it took 3 coats before it looked good.
Then came the fun bit.
To be certain the skyline idea was going to work in terms of scale and look/ feel, and what colors looked best, I did a little Illustrator and Photoshop mockup.
First I designed the skyline in Illustrator. It was then imported¬† into Photoshop and superimposed¬† a photograph of the wall I intended to paint. ( I used the multipy function and distorted the illustrator graphic to fit the wall dimensions) After a bit of color tweaking, playing around with different shade of gray we settled on a simple black and¬† gray color palette.
Because of the rough nature of the paneling my initial plan to carefully tape off and paint the skyline failed so I ended up painting the whole thing free hand. If you look carefully I did not stick religiously to the illustrator design but it was enough to point me in the right direction. It turned out pretty well.
I have a bit more work to do on the furniture on the other side of the room… more painting which I will share soon!
¬© 2011 Chicago Web Designer
in Before and After, Chicago Graphic Design, Design Snippets, Miscellaneous
Switching out an old logo with a new one can sometimes pose a few challenges.
- The footprint is substantially different, wider or taller, and the allotted logo area can’t accommodate.
- Color issues. Too much or too little contrast, color clashes.
- Look and feel – is the look and feel of the logo in keeping with the rest of the site.
In this particular logo switch we had an issue with color contrast as you can see below, the new logo just did not pop against the background.
Adding a dynamic star burst solved the problem.
¬©: 2010 Chicago Web Designer
in Before and After, Chicago Branding, Chicago Logo Designer, Logo Work
There is something very satisfying about a web redesign project. Take a look at this site we seriously revamped for Zagros Robotics.
This is the before
and here is the after
The site not only looks more appealing and easy to use but has the advantage of some major under the hood improvements too.
The original site incorporated a shopping cart (PDshop.net) and while this had been well configured in terms of categories¬† it was embedded into the static site with frames (yikes!…. a SEO nightmare). The shopping cart software was the basis of our redesign. We created and implemented¬† a unique template and used the custom page feature within the software to add all the “static pages” of the site. The frames were stripped away leaving a site that is much more friendly towards the search engines and is also a lot easier for the client to manage.
The end users win, the client wins and the search engines win! Success
2010 ¬© Chicago Web Designer
in Before and After, Miscellaneous, Web Design Projects