new web sites
In terms of copy, we went for slightly more casual, friendly tone of voice, since the business at hand is often a very personal matter - a vocation more than just another job - and the client wanted to communicate clearly how well the company understands the specific needs of the veterinarian community.
GB Electrical Installations Ltd came to us he already had a website but felt it didn't reflect the nature of his business as well as it should. The site was too wordy, difficult to navigate and placed too much emphasis on the domestic side of the business, whereas in fact, the company does mainly commercial work - mostly in schools and larger firms. We kept some of the look and feel of the existing site - horizontal navigation, same logo (though re-done in a more modern, flat style) and a similar colour scheme, but opened the design up, made it properly responsive - so it works well on smaller devices like mobile phones and tablets - and added some funky masonry portfolios which are able to incorporate photos of different shapes and sizes. The result is a slick, simple, easy to navigate modern website which didn't cost the earth.
Walker Brown, a firm of accountants based in Southwick but serving Brighton, Worthing and the rest of Sussex. The company had run their own website for a while using an online website builder, but had discovered that it didn't allow them to produce something that looked good, got their message across and was mobile-friendly. We used the Foundation framework as the basis for the site, added a simple slider with some compelling message text animated on top and then linked the site to a specially created Tumblr blog. In addition we added a small, friendly content management system that allows the company to add useful links to go alongside the blog in the sidebar. The whole site was delivered on time and to budget.
Tumblr, while his CV is presented in the form of an innovative timeline. The website build went quickly and easily and on-budget, at least in part because Hamish had all the materials he wanted to use pretty much ready to go; and as the site developed he was very good at providing feedback so we both knew we were moving in the right direction. Here's a link to the new Acme Museum Services website.
Wisdomlaw is a solicitor based in Hove which specialises in dental negligence claims. Since it's probably not a good idea to show images of dental disasters it was important to get across the three main planks of the company's offering as quickly as possible - hence the banner photo montage showing a library, an open mouth and Brighton Pavilion; this establishes the company as authoritative, local and tells visitors very clearly that the service is associated with dentistry. The centrepiece of the site is a relatively complex form which allows visitors to provide the background to their potential claim and which is designed to respond with an automatic email outlining the next steps.
Maison de Beauté, an exclusive beauty salon right here in Hove. The brief was to create something simple that matched the brand's existing marketing materials - especially the printed brochure which gets handed out to clients and prospective clients. We used the Elite theme as well as a great little price list stack which performs really well on small devices - there are a lot of prices on this site. The client chose photographs from iStock but going forward hopes to get personalised shots of actual clients to use on the site. The result is a professional-level site, produced on a budget in less than a week from start to finish. Sometimes these short jobs are among our favourites because you're able to really concentrate on the getting things done, making design decisions quickly and still delivering a great website.
We've just completed a complete overhaul of Fraser Nimmo's website. This Scottish singer, songwriter and actor came to us with a brief to modernise his original site, to make it more expansive, while preserving the majority of the content. And of course, to make it responsive so that it works well across all devices and won't be ignored by Google if someone searches for it on a smartphone or tablet.
We used the Strata theme from Nick Cates Design - the first time we've used one of Nick's themes in a while - and were impressed at how easy to use and flexible it was; and how light on its feet. At a time when some themes seem over-burdened with 'stuff' to the detriment of their overall performance, Strata is a positive midget and damn well flies along.
Elsewhere we used Doobox' Montage stack for the gallery and Yuzool's Cart stack for the online shop - still the nicest, simplest implementation of a Paypal shop we've seen.
Bensleys Timber Maintenance. The brief was to produce a modern, responsive website that emphasised the benefits of looking after all aspects of timber in your house, while demonstrating Bensleys' experience and technical expertise. We used a series of thumbnails and light boxes to show different forms of damp proofing, treatment and timber maintenance in action and the client provided all the technical details for the associated captions. We used simple candid snaps of the three principals to emphasise the friendly, family nature of the company and how it prides itself on personal service. We used the Boutique theme from Themeflood for this site, together with the Masonry stack from Seydesign and the Hunter stack from Doobox.
Brighton Happy - Connecting people through play. It's a remarkable new business based here in Brighton which is designed to help teams of people within organisations large and small, work together more harmoniously. Is it team building? Yes Jim, but not as we know it. Instead, Brighton Happy uses a carefully tailored selection of group games to help people understand and relate to each other more effectively in ways that are fun and challenging. We built the website using a heavily modified version of the Solstice theme from Themeflood and it works well across all platforms and screen sizes.
Realmac Software and our development app of choice, is rather good at getting a website out of the door - fast. Take Mint Corporate Clothing. The company came to us needing a corporate clothing website that integrated two existing stores and created a simple but compelling visual brand; and the clock was ticking. Thanks to the excellent Solstice theme and one or two nifty stacks we were able to put the site together in days and have it up and running shortly afterwards. So if you need good value corporate logo clothing, you know where to go.
Freestack Responsive theme. Rather than behaving like a conventional Rapidweaver theme, Freestack is a blank canvas onto which you can drop the various elements that go to make up a page design. This means it offers fantastic flexibility when it comes to custom design - you can essentially achieve any 'look' that you like. This site was for an educational consultant who specialises in making language learning an integral part of the primary school curriculum. It features a blog hosted on Blogger but designed to fit in with the rest of the site's style, together with a Mailchimp signup form which allows subscribers to access to regularly updated content to help with lessons in the classroom.
Bowden Property Consulting. The brief was pretty simple but we needed a way of presenting lots of information in an easy-to-navigate, friendly way. We chose a nice accordion - decked out in the company livery - to go through the different services on offer (and there were a lot of them) and a montage effect for the various portfolio photographs. The site's responsive so it works well on the smaller devices that everyone's using these days, and uses one of our favourite themes - Solstice from Themeflood - tailored to suit Bowden's requirements. The blog is based on Google's Blogger platform but styled to work as part of the website so the client can update it whenever they like without having to come back to us.
We’ve just finished a new site for Speakeasy London, which specialises in accent reduction. The owner, Emily wanted a simple, contemporary site which emphasised the location of her business - hence the choice of logo - and also the use of .london as the URL. We added a private client area courtesy of a PHP script which allows her to upload lessons for each individual client and manage their preparation for ongoing lessons; the section requires a user name and password login. The site took about a month from start to finish and is up and running at Speakeasy London.
The cobbler’s children are always the last to be shod so they say, and it’s certainly be true for us. Nevertheless, we’ve finally made it and Hove Web Design has a brand new look. We’ve re-designed the logo to give it a contemporary feel and made the site full width so there’s more of a sense of space. Most important, we’ve made it responsive so it’s easier to navigate on mobile devices. Since more and more people are going online with phones and tablets, it’s important that websites follow suit, adjusting their content to suit the size of screen that they’re being viewed on.
We’ve just completed a new family history website - a bit of a first for us over at Hove Web Design. The client was keen to present the different parts of his family history in book-style chapters rather than using a conventional family tree so we came up with a way displaying each one in a pop up lightbox that allows visitors to scroll through each chapter. The text and graphics are prepared in PowerPoint which the client is comfortable using and then saved as PDFs which sit on the server and are ‘called’ whenever a visitor triggers the lightbox by clicking on an image thumbnail. The index on the last page is actually an Excel spreadsheet which is called into the site and styled using a bit of jiggery-pokery, and is also searchable so visitors can find family members easily.
Paint Pot Men, interior and exterior painters and decorators working in Brighton and Hove and beyond. We were asked to design a website that reflected the boys’ sense of fun as well as their professionalism and attention to detail. The site is small but beautifully formed (well, we would say that) with a slideshow and testimonials on the front page, before and after examples on page two which work on mouseover (or by tapping on a touch screen device) as well as a Tumblr blog, integrated into the site that they can update whenever they like.
We’ve just finished another new site for a designer in Newhaven. Andrew Easton is a well-established designer trading under the name of Ummagumma Creative Design. He works extensively with a wide range of quality book publishers and also does a considerable amount of corporate work, designing all kinds of print materials, stationery, logos and letterheads. Andrew felt it was important to have a site that let his work speak for itself so we put together a simple design with portfolio pages that showcased a selection of his designs. By minimising the graphical elements elsewhere on the site we were able to make sure that the designs themselves were the focus of attention.
We’re delighted to have just signed off on Helen Watson’s new web site. Helen’s one of the country’s finest jazz-blues singers with a back catalogue and track record to match the very best. She tours as a solo act, part of a duo and with both Burden of Paradise and The Lovenotes. She wanted a site that showcased her music and the ability to update gigs herself using a simple content management system. We added a carousel effect on the Music page that helps us fit more content into a smaller area without things feeling cramped; we also used a natty MP3 player for the music samples. Helen Watson’s web site.
Here’s a new site we’ve just built for Fraser Nimmo, a Scottish singer, songwriter and actor. Fraser was keen to update his old web site with something more contemporary that he could use to promote his live appearances, sell CDs and generally keep fans - and promoters - in touch with what he’s up to. The launch of the site was time to coincide with the release of Fraser’s new CD - The Best of Five and a Wee Bit Live. The site incorporates a couple of nice, simple features - a shopping cart that works with PayPal and a music player which lets visitors hear snippets from Fraser’s last two albums.