Nic approached me in 2012 to see if I could help him with a trio of wildlife websites under his business umbrella.
The first of those to tackle was the most recent of ventures, Whales Worldwide, a site created to publicise global wildlife adventures which was combined with a more general wildlife blog.
Luckily, the current site was built with WordPress and was functioning relatively well. I was commissioned to improve the design, user experience and also the back-end functionality, while integrating scope for future enhancements and addition of larger volumes of content. It was great working with Nic on this project, as right from the outset he provided the most thorough brief I’ve received to date, all was very clear, right down to the nuances of colour preferences.
With such a strong base to work from, the website design soon took shape, the initial wireframes were approved, leading to the presentation of full colour homepage mockups created in Photoshop. These were approved after some minor colour scheme tweaks and I moved swiftly on to converting the design to HTML & CSS. With a basic template created, I then applied this to a WordPress theme. I always build these from scratch, it keeps things lean and you’re not relying on anyone else’s framework for updates and so on.
The test site was soon ready for presentation, I had enhanced every element of the existing site, but one feature that I was keen to develop was a live map of the world with pins marking each and every adventure Nic and his team would take people to. I wasn’t keen on having an ugly big splash of Google map permanently on the homepage, I wanted a way of having it there, but hidden. My solution was to code up a button that, when clicked, would reveal the map slowly, almost as if it was in a drawer being opened. The effect is pretty cool and it keeps the homepage neat and tidy, which was a priority for me personally.
The final site launched in January 2013, take a look and see what you think – naturally, this site is responsive and performs well on all platforms.
Paulo grasped what we wanted immediately and offered some great tips on how to improve on our idea. He covers everything from SEO to a detailed manual on how to take control of your own site once it’s up and running. He delivers everything you expect and more from a web designer.