Portfolio and References
Website Design and Development
- Real Estate Broker: Goddard Real Estate
- Commercial office building: The Chocolate Factory
- Single-page website: The Hidden Jewel
- Beauty salon: Salon Sabéha
- Attorney: Attorney Jake Megowen
- Professional services: Curran Nonprofit Consulting
- Professional services: SEAS, Inc.
- Campground: Gulf Shore Camping Park
- Non-profit organization: Hartland Historical Society
Herb Goddard Real Estate
Realtor® Herb Goddard lists and sells unique homes, commercial property, land and estates in Dutchess County NY. While his site had a lot of content, and a pretty good appearance, it was difficult to navigate, out of date, and not very "user-friendly". The fellow who had created his site had lost interest and was not being responsive to Herb's requests for changes. As a result, new listings were not getting to his site for a long time, a dreadful problem for the fast-paced real estate business.
I was working with Herb to create a web site for one of his clients and things were going very well when we started talking about his site's problems. He was impressed with my focus on the marketing aspects of his client's web site, which is what his site lacked. Herb's site had most of the material needed, except for the newer listings. So I re-organized the material, created consistent navigation, condensed 75 separate pages on local information into two well-structured sections, and did a lot of re-writing and editing. Herb tells me, “I couldn't be more delighted with the results!”
The Chocolate Factory
After years of abandonment, The Chocolate Factory in Red Hook, NY has begun a new life as commercial office, retail, and industrial space. The owner wanted a website to promote the vacant space and to promote the current tenants. He wanted a site that reflected the character of the building and its tenants, so we went with a background and masthead featuring the brick and signage on the building. One of the features of the site is a set of floor plans with pop-up logos for the current tenants.
The Hidden Jewel – Single-page website
Bernadette at The Hidden Jewel Giftshop knew that many of her prospective customers customers used the web to find places to buy gifts, and she wanted to provide them more information than just a directory entry provided. But, she wasn't ready for a multi-page website. She just wanted visitors to know what kinds of products she offered, the major brands represented, where she was, and when she was open. She also wanted to communicate the friendliness of her unique store.
I suggested she pretend she just got on an elevator with a very important potential customer who asks her what her store offers. She has only until they get to their floor to answer. What does she say? (This is called your “elevator speech”. If you don't have yours ready, start thinking!) We surrounded her elevator speech with the logos for the major brands that she carries and that customers might be searching for. The site has been getting between 50 and 100 hits per day since it was loaded September 2007.
Curran Nonprofit Consulting
With more than 12 years experience, Matt Curran helps nonprofit organizations improve their effectiveness through membership development and retention, sponsorship recruitment, prospect targeting, and board reorganization.
When he decided to offer his services on a consulting basis, he needed a web site to show his prospective clients his credentials and experience. He wanted a site that expressed his personality: professional and easy to work with. He wanted to emphasize his strong relationships with business leaders and nonprofit organizations.
Matt is used to communicating the value of effective member, sponsor, and board management, so deciding on the site's content was easy: just take what he tells his clients and summarize it for the web pages. We went for a simple design and color scheme so that the tone reflects his no-nonsense approch to his client's needs, while expressing his friendly, easy-going manner. The combination is the key to his success so it was important to communicate this through the site's design.
Gulf Shore Camping Park
Gulf Shore Camping Park is a facility for tent and RV camping in Nova Scotia near the picturesque village of Pugwash. It provides casual camping to visitors from all over Canada, the US, and other countries. The owners wanted to ensure that travellers researching camping alternatives would find their facility and choose them as their home base while visiting the area.
We decided to do the site in English and French, which was quite an expreience because I don't speak French. We got creative and found a willing French Canadian to do the translation and I learned a lot about handling special characters. Unfortunately, the site was so successful it ruined the owner's summer fun!
“Brad, Action at the GSCP was up 50%. Really ended up being a pain in the arse. Poor Rocky (my youngest at 18) and I had to work double to keep up. We had less time to play. The good part – we met many nice folks and the web site was complimented. Good work!”
– Dr. George Verrilli, 12 December 2007
Salon Sabéha is a small, family owned hair and nail salon in Portsmouth, NH. The shop has a total of four stylists and a manicurist. The building was built for the salon, with state of the art equipment and an appealing décor. Three of the stylist stations and the manicurist station are leased to independent stylists. The business prides itself on customer service, a friendly atmosphere, and talented stylists.
As they were preparing to open in August 2004, I worked with the owner to design a site that expressed the selling points of their salon: new, modern, customer-focused, by using lots of pictures of the salon and their clients. (Initially, we used pictures taken of the stylists' clients from their previous locations). We also focused on getting the salon and its website listed by the major web directories and search engines.
Now in its seventh year, the salon is doing well with many new clients and some shifts in personnel. We did a total redesign in 2011 to update the look and improve the content to reflect the salon's changing style.
Safety and Environmental Assessment Services (SEAS)
Safety and Environmental Assessment Services (SEAS) is a consulting firm specializing in safety and security in the shipping industry. They wanted a place where their prospective clients could view details about the company, the principal's qualifications, and their references. They wanted a nautical theme while maintaining a professional appearance. They also wanted a site that was easy for them to update and maintain.
I worked with the staff at SEAS to define the appropriate content and establish a plan to create it. I created the site look based on a photograph of islands off the N.H. coast which I modified to retain the nautical feel without overpowering the content. Just as work got started, the owner was recalled to active duty in the US Coast Guard, putting the consulting work on the back burner. While the company continues to operate, and has retained several on-going contracts, work on the site, other than the home page, was suspended. It remains an effective, single-page web site, meeting the company's goal of maintaining the company's presence on the web until it restarts its full operations in 2008.
Hartland, VT Historical Society
I first created the Hartland Historical Society web site in 2003 and have been maintaining it ever since. Working with current Vice President, Bev Lasure, Brad defined a simple design that would be easy to update in the future.
The front page content changes monthly, highlighting current activities, the latest newsletter, or other content developed by this volunteer organization. Other pages include an archive of previous newsletters, historical documents, and articles written by Society members. In 2006, we redesigned the site and upgraded its hosting package to give us more functions. We have added a MySQL/PHP cemetery database and a PHP-based photo gallery, which are both getting a lot of attention.
Attorney Jake Megowen
Attorney Jake Megowen has been an attorney for more than 20 years. While his business has traditionally come from referrals and the "good ol' yellow pages", he was finding that these methods, particularly the latter, were not working like they used to. He was also finding that once he was contacted by a prospective client, they expected to be able to find more information about him at a website.
Jake was referred to me by one of my other clients, a carpenter ... so the word of mouth method should NOT be discounted. He is not very technical, so he was hesitent to do a website. This is a common fear, but I explained that just because he doesn't like computers much, that doesn't mean his clients don't.
We kept his site simple, focusing on providing prospective clients with information about what he did and why they should choose him for their attorney. We also, of course, put emphasis on ensuring that his site positioned well with search engines (SEO).