Website Strategy and Design for Finished Art, Inc.

FA Website Strategy Brainstorm

Objec­tive

Fin­ished Art was con­sid­er­ing cre­at­ing a blog, but the com­pany was not sure whether it was worth the effort or how the blog would actu­ally work. Dur­ing some free time, I decided to sit down and think about whether a blog could be a good idea for the com­pany and what ben­e­fits and chal­lenges it could bring.

I pre­sented the strat­egy for a web­site redesign to the Pres­i­dent of Fin­ished Art, Inc., then I began spear­head­ing the web­site redesign and the cre­ation of the new blog.

Process

I first thought about three basic things:

  • why cre­ate a blog?
  • what con­tent could be included?
  • who could con­tribute & how?

The dif­fer­ent back­grounds, inter­ests and tal­ents of each mem­ber of the Fin­ished Art team is what sets this com­pany apart from other small agen­cies. It is one thing the company’s pres­i­dent, Donna John­ston, is very proud of and fre­quently talks about. I quickly real­ized that FA’s cur­rent site did not ade­quately high­light this array of tal­ent – in fact, there was not a page list­ing capa­bil­i­ties or even descrip­tions asso­ci­ated with port­fo­lio images.

I wanted to find a bet­ter way to share this diver­sity and pas­sion with FA’s clients and poten­tial new busi­ness part­ners, as well as give each team mem­ber the oppor­tu­nity to grow and explore his/her inter­ests. The addi­tion of a blog was the per­fect way to accom­plish this.

How­ever, instead of just cre­at­ing a blog as a sep­a­rate entity, I knew it would be bet­ter to redesign FA’s entire site to improve user expe­ri­ence, max­i­mize client inter­ac­tion and pro­mote the Fin­ished Art brand. It would also improve Search Engine Optimization.

I looked at web­sites and blogs from other design agen­cies I admire in order to pin­point what ele­ments from those sites would be ben­e­fi­cial for FA. After a cou­ple months of man­age­ment meet­ings, con­tent cre­ation, and cod­ing, the web­site is now up and run­ning at finishedart.com.

Design

FA Site Before

Before

FA’s orig­i­nal site had a won­der­ful min­i­mal­ist design that fea­tured large prod­uct shots, but it just was not work­ing any­more. The site did not have any real con­tent, and the con­tact info and about sec­tion were just sin­gle para­graphs drop­ping down from the accor­dion nav­i­ga­tion on the left side.

FA Site After 1

After (Port­fo­lio Page)

The new site still fea­tures large prod­uct shots, but project descrip­tions are also included in the right col­umn. The port­fo­lio is now a sep­a­rate sec­tion of the site, dis­played in a thumb­nail gallery with cat­e­gories for reor­ga­ni­za­tion. Some projects are housed in more than one cat­e­gory because many times a project’s deliv­er­ables cross into dif­fer­ent areas of design.

Users can now leave com­ments about work, share FA’s projects, or like posts on face­book directly from the site.

FA Site After 2

After (Team Page)

Other areas of the site include:

  • a team page with bios and car­i­ca­tures that were made of each employee over the past few years
  • an about page includ­ing a brief overview of what FA does, com­pany his­tory, and an archive of images of the hol­i­day cards the com­pany sends out every year
  • a ser­vices page with direct links to port­fo­lio items cor­re­spond­ing with the ser­vice categories
  • the blog page
  • a con­tact page, now with a google map and sim­ple con­tact form

Out­comes

My hope was to give each employee the chance to be cre­ative in their down­time and be involved in shap­ing the direc­tion of new busi­ness. Ide­ally, the posts they pub­lish could intrigue a poten­tial client, then they could get the chance to work on a project related to their interests.

So far, artists are already being fea­tured on the new blog and there is a sense of excite­ment in the office. One coworker even stretched out a can­vas to paint for the first time in years because he felt inspired.

I can’t wait to see more art­work fea­tured on the site, and I look for­ward to get­ting feed­back from some of FA’s clients.

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