Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Alexa's site essay

Alexa Wirth
May 6, 2013
Web Design

The overall look and feel of my site would be functional organic. To start, the color scheme stayed within shades of green contributing to that organic feel that is attractive to the eye. Anyone who comes to the site is interested in purchasing a new lawn but because of the easily navigable layout and subtle greens, the audience may find themselves wanting to redesign their whole yard with beautiful plants and trees. Users will be satisfied with the site because it provides lots of helpful information. I made sure to incorporate many pictures that show examples of what a transformed yard can look like. After fully navigating their way around the site, I am confident that my audience will feel that they have obtained all the information they need about what they want and how to get it.

When one first opens the site they will see a rather large introductory slide show, which consists of 5 photos that represent what Home Turf is about. Just below you can see a small portion of additional photos, which will draw the user in and make them scroll lower to view the rest of the information on the home page. Each photo I used is directly related to some sort of text right next to it so the result is that they compliment each other in both content and size. I managed to maintain a cohesive green pallet besides my usage of colorful plants, which still fit perfectly.

As for fonts, I decided to stick with the default one provided by Wix because it is smooth and easy to read. I used the same font for everything on the site and I changed the size, coloring, and bolding, depending on whether it was a title, body, link, etc. Our competitor site www.parkavenueturf.com also has a smooth fluid font but their site feels almost taken over by photos. We also share a main large photo which I feel is a necessity to a sod / landscape website because it draws the audience in. They have drop down menus, something we do not have but our site is still very easy to access the information one would be looking for. Something else I noticed is that they only have their phone number up top and on our site we have it posted many times, almost enough that someone would have it memorized by the time they’re done looking at the whole site. Overall, Park Avenue Turf has a lot of good and professional aspects but my site has that and is engaging to the audience.

The first major problem I encountered was that text was not aligning right. Nothing looks worse on a site than when the text is off. Every time I tried to justify the text it would look fine in the editing mode but once I looked at the published site the text would be totally off. I ended up justifying all the text to the left, which seemed to solve the problem. There are still a few areas that have gaps but nothing compared to what I was dealing with before.  The second issue I encountered was the navigation bar. When in published mode it read “Gallerv of Grasses” when clearly I had wrote Gallery of Grasses. I was baffled how and why Wix was changing the y to a v. I initially shrunk the sixe of the font and that seemed to solve the problem but now the navigation bar looked off balance and ugly. I changed the font back to its original size and by accident I adjusted the size of the inner box. I brought dragged it down just a hair and sure enough that was just what I needed!  I did have to deal with a third issue, which we all know was my mother. Thankfully, her and I have finally come to some agreements and the product is this new lovely site.

Now that we have a visually appeasing and informative site I have to get people to come to it. My plan is to link it to a Facebook site, Yelp, and utilize the ad vouchers that Wix provides us paying users. Since this is a landscaping and lawn site it doesn’t have to be available to the whole world, we need it to be available to just our area. (Which is the greater bay area and Sacramento valley) Thankfully, Google and other search engines are becoming more advanced and determine search results for users based on their location and previous sites visited. We were able to transfer our domain name of www.hometurfsod.com, which is still on all business cards, invoices, and letterheads. So hopefully with all these social sources and our great new site we will see an increase in sales! 

Thanks for another awesome class, Chris! See you next year.

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