Our Custom Fit Website is Getting a Redesign
This past week has been a very exciting one for Custom Fit. One of the most prominent projects we announced this week (as it pertained to us) was the redesign of the www.customfitonline.com homepage. This redesign was the latest in our string of efforts to refocus exactly what Custom Fit Online is. I'd firstly like to take you through a bit of the redesign process.
We are a huge advocate of goal setting. Just like in life, by setting clear, defined goals, one is able to hone in on an achievable endpoint; it may not be crystal clear, but at least by aiming for something tangible we can continuously work our way up and make minor revisions (as opposed to complete overhauls or starting over) along the way.
Like any project we take on, we begin by evaluating who, what, and why. Forget about how the product is going to be made, that comes into play a little ways down the road. By determining a business/organization's brand values and purpose (read more about brand values in "Crafting Emotional Brand Identities" and "The 4 C's versus the 4 P's of Marketing"), we can work out a development plan and workflow.
Creating CFO 2.0
One of the challenges we have been up against in the area is to differentiate ourselves from the other web design companies. Today, it is quite easy to have a quick website up and running with the help of Wordpress or a similar service. Buy a template, buy a domain, and you're off running. This is also (unfortunately) how many design firms and shops work; they simply pump out template websites and alter the colours and fonts to "complete the branding." And this may have worked in the past. Obviously it has been working if these shops are able to stay in business. However, this template swapping process isn't design at all, it's decorating. Design is (simply put) about solving problems. Which is exactly what we do here at Custom Fit Online.
Custom Fit Online has never worked in this "pump out sites" mentality, nor do we have any intention of starting. Unfortunately, that was something we felt the previous iterations of the website was not conveying properly. We are not a design shop. We do not build sites, collect our cheque, and split. That is not beneficial for either party. That said, that doesn't mean we cannot design. Actually, all of our products are specifically designed and handcrafted alongside our partners. What "we are not a design shop" means is that even though we have the capability, it is not our brand focus. We work alongside businesses small and large, and come up with solutions on how to better their online presence. We build revenues, increase traffic, and establish long-term plans for business success. And we can achieve this by following our data-first approach, sticking to manageable objectives, and working alongside our partners at each milestone.
Once we determined what we were trying to achieve, we set out laying out elements. The wonderful thing about shooting for something tangible you've already worked out is that pieces seem to naturally fall into place. So we hit the sketchbooks!
It was important to maintain a similar feeling as the previous iteration of the homepage. But this time we divided the site into three distinct sections as opposed to two slightly mashed together. These three sections set out to answer questions a viewer may have coming to the Custom Fit site: "What do these guys do?", "Why do they do it?", and "Who the heck are they?".
Full-width carousel is a trend popular today on many sites. It is aesthetically beautiful and tremendously functional. It is a fantastic method of displaying some of our work in an elegant manner. With a focus on results and success, a visitor that scans is quickly able to determine that we make online presences better (increase in traffic, better revenues, etc.), and a visitor that reads more in depth will get the same knowledge and the ability to explore further is they'd like. Our previous carousel, built with rectangular panels, did not do the best job for the scanning visitor. There was not enough differentiation between panels. Now, even if you do not read the text on the carousel slides, you can determine that Custom Fit Online builds technology for various devices, and makes things better. An excellent start to the homepage.
The viewer instantly has an idea of what Custom Fit does because of the carousel, but what if they want more? "What do these people do? What drives them? Why do they do it?" We use this area to show off a little bit of how we work. Showing process shows motive. We are very passionate about getting successful results, and this area explains so in a little bit more lengthy manner.
Finally, we use this area to invite the visitor to explore more of Custom Fit. We have really started to develop a community, and invite the visitor to take part if they'd like. By showing photos of the team, we let the website visitor know that we are indeed a team of real people. Adding a human touch is an important element in the Custom Fit Online brand values, as we believe in being an accessible, personable, friendly team.
Another feature we are beginning to roll out on the Custom Fit Online website is our Minibook downloads. We will be speaking to these whitepapers more in-depth in a future article but in the meantime all we will say is there is fantastic and unique content available for download. Feel free to explore further.
In conjunction with our website launch earlier this week, we were also honoured to have been nominated for Small Business BC's "Best Online Marketer" award. We are very happy to have been nominated, but now we need your help; if you feel our work generates the results that make for a company deserving of "Best Online Marketer" we would greatly appreciate your support.
Exciting Times Ahead
So that's what is new and exciting with us! We want to make it crystal clear that we help build up presences. Not templates. This is how we've always worked, and now we're shouting it from the mountain-tops. This is the new Custom Fit Online. CFO 2.0, if you will. Where we get results.