Creating a new website for your small business can be a daunting task … what sort of look/type of functionality is going to work best for you, what is your budget and how do go about selecting a web design company? Generally, the first step is to take a look at what other similar business are doing…just to get some ideas and your own creative process rolling. If you find a site you absolutely love, it doesn’t do any harm to contact the web design company who created it – many design companies include a “designed by” link at the footer of the site…these are often quite small.
This is exactly how we connected with one of our newest clients, The Dance Workshop, a dance studio located in Monroe CT. They had seen a site we created for a Chicago based dance studio and reached out to us, the rest is history!
This week sees the launch of their new WordPress website.
One of the main things they wanted to achieve with their new site was the ability to update it and this was easily achieved by building on the WordPress platform. We created a completely new look which offers and engaging experience to the user with plenty of photographs and information and is of course mobile friendly.
It is always interesting to look back and see the improvements..here is their original site.
Redesign projects are always particularly satisfying for me, giving an old dated website a new lease of live with better functionality, is very pleasing all round.
One of our St Louis clients, The Fountains of West County, approached us needing a revamp of both theirs and a sister web site.
The first of these went live this week.
We gave the site a fresh new look and took advantage in the redesign process to improve the site architecture making it easier for users to find exactly what were looking for easily. The site was built on WordPress and is mobile friendly.
And for a peep back in time because who does love a good before and after, here is the original site.
As a graphic designer I have always been drawn to patterns and this fascination ultimately led to a fantastic job designing anti counterfeit patterns for currency. It was the ultimate in technical design – the patterns had to not only look good but offer serious anti counterfeit protection too. Working in the security printing industry opened my eyes to all the secrets a design could hide and a new fascination was born!
Over the years I have been dabbling in these “secrets”, albeit on a much larger scale that you would typically see on a bank note and have brought the first round together in a new web site – Secret Messages for Kids!
The site offers 4 types of secret message, all with easy to follow instructions and plenty of fun!
It has been designed to appeal to kids with bright colors and hand drawn cartoons.
As a web designer, one of my most satisfying projects are fixer uppers – sites that have usability issues, lack a professional feel or are missing out on creating that great first impression.
When David Cohen, a Chicago Addiction Therapist, contacted us, his site could definitely be classed as a fixer upper. It lacked that professional feel, made the user work too hard to understand his services and on top of that, was performing poorly in the search engines.
Time to work some magic!
My first objective was to improve the user engagement and I did this by completely reworking the content. On the home page I added a slide show with well defined call to actions, encouraging users to schedule an appointment. It was also really important that the home page offer a snap shot of the type of help David offers with substance addiction and copy was added to that effect.
The inner pages of the site were given a similar content and engagement make-over, including the News page…David is very active in the media and has regular mentions in the press.
And with all good make-overs or re-designs to is always interesting to take a look back to see what we started with.
If you have a website that needs improvements please don’t hesitate to contact us for a hassle free no obligation evaluation.
Launched today is a new website, Interior Designs 2GO – an online interior design service. The site is the brain child of HGTV kitchen Crashers designer, Suzanne Falk.
Users need only measure and photograph their space, answer a room specific questionnaire. A professional designer will interpret it all and create a new custom look for their room.
The design of the site was kept clean and simple and the process of purchasing the service, short and sweet.
The site was built on the WordPress platform and is mobile friendly.
I am always thrilled to have repeat business from a client and was delighted to be given the chance to redesign the website for Fair Market Inc. The site went live last week. Visit it at http://fairmarketinc.com/
We recently launched a new website for a Naprapathy doctor, Dr Daryl Newman – www.chainreflex.com
Based in the North Shore area of Chicago, Dr Newman offers unique treatments and programs to help patients move better and feel better. Naprapathy is a non invasive method for treating and managing pain, everything form back aches to carpal tunnel and Dr Newman combines treatment with custom exercises unique to a patient’s problem.
He also offers customized fitness training – Chain Reflex, and wellness programs including weight loss, pre and post natal and sports nutrition.
Given that most people do not have a clue (me included when I first met Dr Newman) what naprapathy is, we approached the creation of the website based on how treatment could help specific problems. The home page features a slideshow with distinct patient scenarios leading to targeted call to actions. We also included a section titled “How can we help you” with more scenarios such as ” I am in pain and looking for relief”. As the visitor delves deeper into the site a better understanding of what naprapthy is and what to expect are gained. The site is sprinkled with an amazing set of testimonials that speak volumes of the skill Dr Newman offers.
The design is clean and uplifting reflecting how patients feel after a treatment session. It is built on the WordPress framework which will allow Dr Newman to easily update, he is also going to be writing a regular blog – a great way to market a site.
It is also completely mobile friendly.
Visit it a www,chainreflex.com
Last week we launched is a brand new wordpress web site for Chicago interior designer, Suzanne Falk.
Suzanne works with a wide range of clients, from homeowners, to businesses and she is also currently focusing on a project for the DIY/HGTV network.
The websites launches her new product “Kitchens 2 Go“, a shopping list to DIY your own designer kitchen. She is offering complete shopping lists for traditional, transitional and urban chic styles, in both warm and cool color palettes.
It also features a selection of her TV work, including episodes of HGTV’s Kitchen Crashers’s
Many of her stunning interior design projects are showcased in a large portfolio.
We are really excited to be working on a new web site for a fabulous interior designer based here in Chicago. Suzanne Falk has a fantastic portfolio of work and has done extensive work with HGTV on Kitchen Crashers. The site will be live in a few weeks.
It was time.
Our previous brand image has served us well but we have been wanting to shake things up and redesign it for over a year now. Finding time has been difficult but we have finally rolled out a new brand image for The Chicago Web Designer, Indigo Image.
Lets start at the beginning with the first thing we tackled … an update of our logo.
We have dropped our rectangular icon replacing it with a circle but the “pathway” shape remains the same, the color indigo is now complimented with a fresh blue. We also updated the typeface to a less boxy font. While the logo is not a million miles away from where we started it is definitely fresher. The circular icon is nicely compatible with the size and shape restrictions for many social media profile icons ( see what we mean by checking out our Google + page)
One of the main drivers behind the redesign of our website is the fact there has been a huge surge in traffic from mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. The growth is so massive it is actually predicted web traffic from these devices is set to pass traffic from desktop computers this summer. While we had coded our previous design to react responsively ( see this blog post), time constraints meant that we didn’t redesign …just recoded. It was a good stop gap but needed fixing!
Both the design and the code has now been optimized for viewing on any device.
The re design gave us the opportunity for some content re-organization. The main area we reworked was the portfolio section. It is now split into four categories
We used chunky tiles to navigate portfolio items and finger friendly navigation buttons to switch between portfolio galleries.
Our re-branding has been carried through to our social media profiles
Here is our Facebook page
and our Goggle + page
and a new look for our Twitter profile