One of my aims for this academic year was to attempt to rekindle my relationship with web-design as this has always been a struggle to me due to the technical expertise required to make it happen in reality which would prevent me from designing effectively.
For this live brief, the guinea-pig was my Mum and her new bridal boutique that had just opened in Holmfirth as she needed a website to promote the shop and develop an established reputation.
Since last year, I have become very close friends with a guy called Chrish Dunne. Chrish graduated in Graphic Design last year at Leeds Metropolitan and has been freelancing since then for clients such as Relentless Energy, Fox News, and more independent businesses in the local area. Chrish focused his practice predominantly on web work during his degree and has developed impressive skills in back-end development thanks to it. I spoke to Chrish about the project I was going to complete for my Mum and asked him if he'd be interested in developing it into a fully functioning responsive site from my design. He was happy to help and we negotiated a reduced rate in the promise of more work in the future for site updates and development as the business grows.
This was the moment that made this project very enjoyable, I was able to fully disregard the area of web-design that I was not yet at a professional level and out-source it to a friend of mine, leaving me with the part that I find most enjoyable and that I am best at.
I had several meetings with my Mum and as each went by I realised more and more how terribly frustrating it can be to work with family members or loved ones. I was doing all of the work completely unpaid as it was for direct family and it's the least that she deserves for everything my parents have done for me in my life, however because she wasn't having to pay for it, this lead to many issues along the way. These involved changing her mind every few days (or hours while I was working on it), agreeing to my recommendations on content and layout and then challenging it, but the worst of all was the time pressures due to her not understanding the extent of what I was doing for her.
This project developed a lot of patience in me while working at the same time as teaching me how to deal with difficult clients.
The design itself was very enjoyable to complete as it is a market and target audience I have not worked with before, this meant the research process was very interesting such as the styles and themes of well established bridal shops and websites and how the quality wasn't much to work above, yet the prices were extraordinarily high. This issued a lot of confidence in my abilities and that I would produce something effective, easily navigated and visually beautiful and it would be built to that standard too thanks to my friend Chrish.
The final website has been live since the beginning of December and has attracted many customers from all over the North of England to visit the boutique. Mum makes a point of asking people that come in how they found her so that she knows what advertising is the most effective and they almost always say through the website and how beautiful it is. This is always a great thing to hear, especially as my Mum likes to text me every time it happens, I am really happy that I was able to create a product of work that I am very proud of at the same time as helping a loved one kickstart her business in a market thriving in competition.