Web Design & Development

Simon Keith Website Project

1 The Client

As a motivational speaker it’s important for them to be able to share their message. Getting that message in front of people is the goal whether it’s coming from the stage or the web.

A remarkable story, Simon beat the odds by recovering from a heart transplant and going on to play soccer for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas just a year later. Three years later after several collegiate athletic awards he was drafted first overall to play in the Major Indoor Soccer League. Through his experiences and perseverance he founded The Simon Keith Foundation which helps raise awareness for organ donors and educating transplant recipients.

2 The Project

Simon came to us in need of a website - essentially we were starting from scratch. He had his foundation website but wanted his own personal website dedicated to his story and his speaking. The speaker industry is a competitive one, having a website is just the first step in being able to differentiate yourself. We were more than happy to accept the opportunity to help him with his foray into the digital space.

3 The Solutions

Anytime we start a project we want to take the time to immerse ourselves in the industry the client is in. We spent a lot of time researching the websites of other speakers and came away feeling that a lot of these were generic or “cookie cutter”. We felt there was an opportunity here to make something cutting edge that would help Simon stand out.

Once we established a good supply of inspiration our designer Jordan set out to turn our ideas into pixels. Often the design process will begin with us tossing around some thoughts on treatments that will fit together well. From there sketches on paper will be turned into wireframes as you can see here. These will portray each layout and show the skeleton of the website.

When Jordan completed the wireframes he jumped right into his code editor. Some places might take these and render high quality comps that are just like pictures of what a website might look like. When we design it’s right in the browser so you’re able to interact with it as we go. Here’s a look at the design index where you can visit each unique layout:

To make the website pop off of the screen we utilized a mixture of vibrant photography, animating color overlays and semi-transparent backgrounds. What this allowed us to do was portray what is typically rather static content in a lively and fun way.

It was important to us to structure his content in a way that was easy for people to read but also easy for Simon to maintain. Beyond your basic web pages such as the homepage, about page, etc. we provided sections for keynotes, a blog and media such as photos and meeting planners.

Utilizing WordPress, our content management system of choice, we were able to provide an incredibly easy to use interface for Simon to change or add content to his website. Here’s a look at making modifications to the homepage. Notice carefully how sections are broken up into tabs and fields are carefully labeled to be self explanatory.

Simon had purchased hosting from DreamHost and we were more than happy to launch his finished website to their platform. After completing launch we installed an SSL certificate as every website these days should have one for security and SEO reasons.

4 The Outcome

We feel that we were able to provide Simon a website that went above and beyond his expectations. Now, not only does he have a website, he has a tool to help reach more people and build his business.

Some of the highlights of the new website:

Not only were we pleased with the outcome but Simon was as well. Here is his reaction upon first seeing the finished design:

"Wow guys that’s pretty impressive. I mean really really cool. I’ll try to find some more awesome words to use in a later email, but that’s exciting to see."

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