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How AppropriateSolutions started their web page design journey
We are a web development company focussed on web standards, usability and accessibility. Our aim is to supply simple and easy to use websites that fulfil the needs of the target audience and the business objectives of the client.
The client is a well established but rapidly growing supplier and installer of domestic and commercial Solar Power systems with several high profile projects. They have an existing website which is in need of updating to reflect their enhanced status.
The design should reflect their professional competence together with their experience, while at the same time providing an accessible and friendly front to potential customers.
This is an exciting and fast moving market sector with some very passionate customers. The design will need to appeal to a range of visitors who may be motivated by a belief in the product, a desire to invest in their home, or a professional interest in the sector.
Tell us a bit about who you are and the people you reach
The client needs to communicate with several client groups including:
- Residential Home Owners
- Owners of Commercial premises
- Farmers and other Landowners
- Bodies responsible for Schools and other Public Sector buildings
- House Builders and Housing Associations
- Charities and those responsible for Community Buildings
- Architects, Specifiers and other professionals
Their core group is Residential Home owners, who may well come from an older demographic. For this purpose the design should emphasise competence and the feeling that the work will be carried out professionally, and will be supported and maintained in the future.
Another group that is important is the smaller Professional Solar Installer who will use the client as a source of components. The site will contain an e-commerce area that will sell a wide range of components to this group.
The other groups will largely be motivated by either professional interest (e.g. Architects) or by commercial and business factors. It will be important to balance the softer more human level feel of the Residential elements with the more level headed fact based feel of the other professional elements.
Designs will be required for 2 pages:
- Home page
- E-commerce home page
The other interior pages will be created from the designs provided for these.
Although the wire frame has borders on all elements these are not defined in the brief. The wire frame is signed off in terms of layout and structure, but we are looking for a creative interpretation of the elements.
The colours should follow the supplied logo, and the layout should follow the supplied wire frames. The font in the logo is Square 721 BT Roman though no licence is held. The design should be 960px wide with the left hand column 200px wide and the right hand column on the Product page 160px wide.
The final design should be delivered in a fully layered .psd file with all images at full size and in place. The final size of the design should be greater than the final website to allow for adjustments without serious degrading of image quality.
Number of pages
The Home page
These wire frames for this page are: Home – Home Owners, Home – Commercial, Home – Landowners and Home Trade.
This page will allow each of the main groups to easily move to the most relevant area of the site for them. The main tabbed area in the centre will allow each group to quickly access relevant introductory text and follow the actions expected. The tabs areas on the right can increase in size to fill the height of the panel as no more tabs are expected to be added. Each tab should have a distinguishing colour or shade which will be reflected in the border of the panel to indicate which is active.
The interior of each tabbed panel will change over time so no designs are required for each tabbed panel content, though a guide to typography and spacing would be beneficial. Examples of alternate views of the Home page with different panels active have been included in the wire frame for reference.
The 4 main call to actions above the tabbed area will provide links to the most popular content, and should be relevant to the content to which they link.
The main menu will not need to expand as a contextual menu is created on interior pages for sub-pages.
The left hand call to action is to a sister site http://www.sundog-power.co.uk which is currently using a temporary design while awaiting a full redesign and build.
The E-Commerce Home page
The wire frames for this page are Products Wholesale and Products Wholesale – Logged Out.
The e-commerce system is designed to sell to wholesale customers. As such it will only display prices to logged in visitors, there for care must be taken as some elements will be missing or may change size when the visitor is not logged in. A logged in and logged out version of the page has been provided in the wire frame.
A category and product page has been included in the wire frame though designs are not expected for these.
Image dimensions for the product images are: Featured Product image 130px x 130px and for the Latest Product image 90px x 90px.
The layout works well but there is a lack of consistency to the design. The website has grown over time with elements being added by a variety of designers. It is now time to get an overall corporate feel for the website, with elements working well together.
Please just google the phrases "Solar Power" and "Feed in Tariff" for some examples of the sector. The client is quite open minded to designs but a clean look may be preferred.