A freelance Project: Orca Wild Adventures
Orca Wild Adventures is a tourism business located in Tauranga, New Zealand. They take tourists out on a day trip to locate, view and swim with wild dolphins. Most of their customers where attained through word of mouth, iSites/campsites and sites such as Grabone. Their online presence was lacking, they had a website but it had been poorly designed and poorly managed.
My job was to completely redesign and re-implement their website, they wanted to keep their domain and hosting service but wanted to integrate their online booking system; Bookit. We discussed SEO and they stated that the only thing the past developer had done was use AdWords we decided to change that.
I started off by drawing up some concepts in Photoshop, they decided on a flat UI with some dynamic elements to accent the design. A straight forward navigation system was decided upon with a nav bar up top. The home page would have screen height sections with a high res image as the background. Then a transparent box with the information would be displayed inside the section, these "info boxes" would be aligned to the left and right hand borders of the screen in an alternating pattern to stop the site from becoming too monotone. We also decided to add a title section in the same format. The title and info boxes would react to users scrolling through the page, the info boxes would "slide" onto the screen as the user scrolled down.
The about and wildlife pages would use a grid pattern with two columns of images and text to display information, image and text alternating from left to right, the faq page would just have a static background with scrollable sections which would reveal the image as the user scrolled and the bookings page would be a simple page with an email form, some contact numbers and a widget from Bookit. I kept the current color scheme and logo and went with a very graphical image based approach, a picture is worth a 1000 words.
FAQ & About Pages
Along the Way
I then got started on the base framework of the website, I began to layout the pages and added all the raw text and images, at this point we decided to add a slideshow to the title section of each page. I then began work on the home page's css and started to get quite a nice theme going, so I added some java-script to help position and size the elements properly. The clients loved it but wanted the info boxes to be responsive and clickable, I changed this and then began work on the nav bar. It was a relatively simple job of positioning the various page links and the logo. I showed them this and they approved. The website was going wonderfully and the clients where happy. I begun to work on the slideshow and it presented a couple of loading issues etc, once I remedied this, however, it took a couple of iterations for the clients to completely lock it down. I then moved onto the grid for the about and wildlife pages, this went pretty smoothly as I just floated some divs to the left and right and I already had most of the framework etc complete. I then styled the booking and faq pages. At this point the website was nearly complete so I sent it to the clients and they wanted some things altered, after that however I hooked into the SEO side of things.
Once published the website shot to the top of most of the related searches coming in the top 4 listings 80% of the time. Traffic had increased by 7x and users were spending twice as much time on the site. I think I'd consider this a success, the clients where great and pretty satisfied, I loved it and it led to a hugely boosted web presence for the company.