For my 2nd year multimedia project, I set out to create a new website for the consultancy business Genchi Genbutsu ltd. They currently use a free website theme created on Weebly which doesn’t leave much room for creativity and a unique website. It also didn’t work very well across devices, giving a very unfulfilling experience. Usability and making use of the limited space on touchscreen mobile devices, combined with new HTML5 technology was a big aim for the project, along with providing a low maintenance, easy to update website for the client.
One of the most important this was the responsiveness and availability across devices. I made extensive use of new responsive technologies which allowed the elements on the pages to shift around when the size of the window/device changes (In the same way this blog does). This means that the information is inputted once and changes made to one design, instead of spending the time creating each page separately. Most importantly, this means all the same information across every device.
In the original site, there were also various interactive elements, to meet the criteria of the brief. Hovering over the logos made them glow, whilst clicking made them colour and showed the testimonial of each business.
The business also asked me to include an easy to update blog feature. I decided that for this, a separate, externally hosted blog system was a better option in comparison to building it directly into the site. For this, I decided to use Tumblr, mainly because they don’t charge for using your own domain (blog.genchi.co.uk) and using custom themes like wordpress do. I decided to use an adapted version of a theme created by someone else. This will allow any changes to be made by the business but also allows them to to revert back if something goes wrong.
Another benefit of Tumblr is how easy it is to post new content. The business will be able to update from a computer and from the free mobile apps available on their iPads/iPhones. Social elements allow potential customers contact the business. Whilst tumblr perhaps isn’t them most professional blogging platform, used in this way, the ease of use and cost to the business outweighs this.
The way in which tumblr helps the user to post a wide range of content is also an advantage to the business after the site is handed over.
The final element that was requested by the business was a way for them to make additional revenue from the site. This was done through selling additional, downloadable content, created exclusively for the website. Similar to my reasons for using tumblr, based around ease of use for the client, I decided to ‘outsource’ the distribution of the content and payment to a company called ‘Sellfy’. Even though they charge a small percentage per transaction to process the payment, I figured this was a small price to pay to make the business’ lives easier. Sellfy allows them to upload the various documents, set a price and start selling pretty much straight away. The file options range from PDF through to .mov files which would allow training videos etc. to all be uploaded, hosted and sold.
Overall, the site met all the criteria given in the module brief (To create something interactive) and with the various specifications given by the business. It incorporated a blog, various about/what we do pages, digital downloads/pay-wall, contact pages and space for the future development of the ‘Genchi Network’, a network of consultants and businesses. This is a future venture that the business is hoping to develop.
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