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.
Here is a fun little project you can make for Halloween…a pop up haunted house card
Full instruction, including a Free template are available at CreativeinChicago.com
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 honored that so many of my clients come back to me for repeat work, even moving from St Louis to Chicago 5 years ago ,did not destroy the relationships I have built up.
I have been working with Cynthia Reeg, a St Louis Children’s author, since 2007 and was delighted recently see an announcement that she had got a new book deal for a trilogy. It had been a while since her website had been updated and she contacted me looking to take her site to the next level. She wanted to not only update the content and promote her new book but to have the ability to self manage the entire site and develop a fan base which she could market to. The new site needed to be mobile friendly too
I am always up for a challenge and love it when a client comes to the table with a well thought out list of wants!
Her old site was static based but incorporated a Blogger blog. Moving forward with Blogger was not ideal so the decision was made to move to the WordPress platform as the content management capabilities are far superior. I built a custom responsive template based loosely on the look and feel of her old site (why change it when she was happy with it) and imported all the posts from blogger.
The pages were given a fresh more modern layout and a prominent call to action was include. It encourages readers to sign up for her blog and in return they receive a free writing lesson. The call to action is tied in with an email blast program so her fan list can be easily managed and marketed to.
Check out the updated site at cynthiareeg.com
A client recently contacted me with a problem they were having with their site. They had understood the need to be mobile friendly but had taken the approach of having all mobile users directed to a stand alone third party app. The problem was it had been built for them by a company that had now gone out of business and they were unable to make any changes. Mobile users visiting their site were be directed to an app which had outdated information, including that all important telephone number! Considering now that mobile devices make up for more traffic than desk top devices, this was turning into a huge problem for them.
My solution to their problem was two fold.
- Firstly I stripped out all the code in their site that was causing mobile visitors to be directed to the defunct app, better to reach a site with correct information even if it isn’t mobile friendly..
- Secondly I did some major “under the hood” work on their WordPress template, converting it to a template that responds beautifully whatever device is being used to view it.
The design of the desktop version of the website stayed almost identical …they were more that happy with that aspect of the site and didn’t want to change it.
Mobile friendly problem solved! Check out their new mobile friendly responsive web site
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 I launched three new web sites… and they were all related to food., what more I have another three foodie websites in the works. Is this why I always seem to be hungry at the moment? I have already blogged about new mobile friendly web site for a Deerfield personal chef, but today it is the turn of a pair of wholesale food distribution site, School Lunch Solutions and University Food Source.
Both sites act as online catalogs for an inventory of wholesale food, one is geared towards the schools and the other the University market.
We built them on the WordPress platform which will allow the client to easily update products and nutritional information, up to this point it has been a cumbersome process!
The look and feels were similar.
Here is School Lunch Solutions
and here is University Food Source
Both sites are mobile friendly.
I was recently contacted by a personal chef looking for someone to update her website, she had been let down by her previous web designer and was now looking to work with someone local.
Her website was clean and nicely designed but needed some content updates and to be converted so it would be mobile friendly.
Keeping the look and feel almost identical we did a lot of “under the hood” work recoding it so it is now more friendly for the search engines and performs beautifully on mobile devices.
We also added a gallery of the type of food she prepares which is definitely worth checking out! Visit http://its-dinner-thyme.com/
Here is what Joan had to say
“Please know how grateful I am for your help in updating my website”