September 2011 ~ Year at a Glance
Our highlight in September was the fruition of Journey Jottings’ new website.
The design and development of Journey Jottings website
I made contact with Simon of Line In Web Design in July. He and his partner Erin are digital nomads who travel the world and work on the move. The project was initiated in England and was completed in Kyoto, Japan.
I initially crossed paths with them on Twitter, both of us being part of the travelling fraternity there.
I was drawn to their travel blog Never Ending Voyage, which Simon had both designed and developed. I was amused that he too used a sailing ship as part of their brand design and found it even funnier when I saw his surname… Fairbairn, the same as mine (no relation!) To add a further sidetrack of synchronisity Simon’s partner Erin’s birthday is the same as my partner’s… One has to smile!
Simon put together a comprehensive proposal whilst in England (where I posted him some samples so he could get a feel for our products). We exchanged numerous emails in which he drilled me for information as to what the primary and secondary purpose of the site was, who my users were to ensure the design would connect, engage and hold them, and what I wanted them to know or do during their visit.
While he started work behind the scenes, I started work on the Menu bar, which forms the site map for the visitor – Poor website navigation is a personal bane of mine – so I was keen any information be no more than two clicks away, and that it would be findable more than a fluky first time! I therefore asked him to incorporate a Menu bar with double drop downs.
The visual design needed to convey our ‘Why’. Why we do what we do here at Journey Jottings ~ Our essence… the fun of highlighting holiday adventures for future reminiscing with tactile holiday memories… spending time with travel memories is like taking a mini-break.
Our hand-drawn pictorial maps are printed on uncoated textured paper, which Simon scanned in to use as the site’s background and incorporated our signature travelling trails of dots and footprints ‘walking’ under the main section of the page, and on the blog ‘walking’ over the right hand column.
He created three main focus areas on the Home page clearly pointing the way for first time visitors -
- Did they need an Introduction to what we did?
- Want to get straight down to business and simply Buy Now?
- Or need to get in touch and Contact Us?
He also developed a number of plugins for managing sales and freight that allow for postage rates to be calculated for both our local domestic market and international destinations.
To read about the behind the scenes ‘geeky’ stuff Simon wrote up a post on his Line In site ~ Check out his Line In Portfolio.
Each month I notate on a Map Journal a highlight so at year’s end 2011 will be simply summarized on a single sheet and as I scratch my head and say…
“Where did that year go?”
I can peruse my Year at a Glance and go…
“Oh yes, I remember now!”
What was your September highlight?
Do share in the comments below