Designing A Business WebSite And The First Lesson I Learned

My buddy Anthony (on the right) wanted me to create a site for his insurance broking business, which he will offer to his clients on top of the main stream business he has.

Of course, it’s a paid project and He is fully aware I am doing a live case study with it.

Actually this is my first time building and designing a website for an offline business. Scary, but exciting! And I can only thank Him for this rare opportunity!

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

1.) If you’re running an offline business and you prefer building your own website, then this will surely save you time.

Or.

2.) If you have an existing website that you want to fix yourself and you’re running low on $$$, stick with me as my journey unravels. I assure you won’t regret it!

I’ll be using Optimize Press as the framework for this project (more about this on a future post!). Yes, it’s the one! But what has transpired so far is a learning experience greater than using such a powerful theme.

If you’re good with that, then let’s knock this one out!

First let’s get you the details…

* Domain: noriskinsurancedotcomdotau
* Status: home page layout subject for revision.
* Duration: 3 week project (3.5 days till the deadline).

AN IMPORTANT ESSENTIAL LESSON!

I’m currently on my 3rd week working and I’ve done all the necessary preps including research, design and content creation. Yesterday, July 16,2014, I’ve finished the first layout and presented it to Anthony.

Here’s how it looked:

Felt so good I find it hard to keep myself under control! Trust me, those “butterflies in your bellies” do happen. No I’m not a Photoshop professional but I think I nailed this pretty awesome.

But!

That is to my eyes only…

When I presented this to Anthony, he said THESE…

“Doesn’t look corporate enough or clean enough mate”

“Decent but not a big fan mate.”

“Talk about it tomorrow ”

I could only mumble…

“For real??Why? I really worked hard for this! I feel so great and now… S&*t!”

Excuses for the language. :0

Broke my heart, I feel like another 3 weeks is on the line. But instead of having a bottle of beer (or six bottles!) and get wasted, I figure to leave it till next morning (this morning).

THE FIXING PART

Trust me. One way or another you will deal with frustrations. But no need to fret, they are a given.

Just keep asking questions. And so, I did!

Earlier today I asked Anthony to detail why HE DOESN’T LIKE the layout and stuff. I mean, yeah some fixing needs done especially with that background image, but WHUAY?!

I mention variables one by one (the elements, and places and color and headlines) and what he thinks about them. Piece by piece I’ve decipher the code… and after an hour of chatting, here’s what I came up with:

* Make it corporate like allianceinsurancedotcomdotau
* Headline too big and overkill. Remove it
* Smaller text for footer Navigation.
* do not splash phone number. Too cheap.
* Make feature boxes a bit smaller. No orange strip. Maybe BG change would make it better.
* Smaller opt-in box. Align right.
* More white BG and change color theme to black white and blue.

> LESSON LEARNED: BEFORE YOU START BUILDING/DESIGNING YOUR OR YOUR CLIENT’S WEBSITE, IT IS WISER TO 1.) DEFINE WHAT YOUR GOALS ARE AND 2.) DETERMINE WHAT VARIABLES TO MEASURE SO YOU KNOW YOU’VE REACHED THOSE GOALS!

Obviously, we were not on the same boat. And as always, lessons are learned after it happens (IMO).

You can spell questions like…

“Who this site is for?”

“How do they look like and what do they need?”

Then follow it up with…

“How can this site help them?”

“How can my solution be their best option”

“how can I tell them that they can trust my site and services, and how can I make them take action base on that idea?”

I trust that you are more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to your business. If your not, and you needed help, feel free to tap me on the shoulder here and bring it on!

What are the variables that you will measure? Variables like opt in form, number of downloads, likes or follows, cold calls or quote request. These are some of the variables that you’d want to measure.

In my case.

My target audience are businesses and individuals looking for an insurance broker.

My key metrics to measure are 1.) the number of subscribers requesting for a free quote; and 2.) Direct calls to Anthony’s hot lines.

I can also detail this further like increasing your number of subscribers by designing a clean and easy to understand home page with a corporate touch, or by positioning opt in forms and contact details on selected hot spots across the site.

I bet, our web design savvy folks would agree on this 100%. Would you? WOULD YOU? Then let me know in the comments below!

Right now, it’s 11:47AM ( UTC +08:00) in case you’re wondering. And already, after my initial quick fix, I’ve been struggling to figure out how to deactivate full site wide width in Optimize Press.

Will I fix it today? Will I finish it today? hmmmm… let’s find out.

For now, let’s discuss your questions below (if you have any) or leave your 2 cents for the world to see… or hook up with me on twitter  (I really like twitter!).

— —

This has been Rienzi. And again, I’m a bit of an expert!

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