What follows is a selection of my work.
This was a complicated project because we had to enable customers to select from hundreds of different lens variations for each product. Each product page had hundreds of variable outcomes to add to the basket. Since we had to include all of these options on the product page I designed the add to basket function to move as the user scrolled the page — we nicknamed this “the elevator”!
The concept behind this design was a transformation from a cold winter feel in image 1 to warm and cosy feeling inside the hotel in image 2. The words over the images (and inspiration for the design) are loosely based on the famous romantic duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, popularized by Nat King Cole and Nina Simone.
This landing page was designed as a place to view 30 hotel breaks on one page, as part of 3 landing pages for the Christmas period. The brief was to portray the feeling of the break on each of the three pages.
This design was featured on the internationally known CSSmania.com, a show case of the world’s best CSS based web design.
Email marketing is a great way to subtly and fairly unobtrusively remind web users of coming deadlines, holidays and important dates. I believe emails shouldn’t just sell but should also be very useful to the end user. In this case, it’s just a quick, helpful reminder for anyone who hasn’t yet purchased Christmas presents for everyone on their lists, that they still have time to purchase a gift voucher online.
By using data analysis and email marketing software to see who showed an interest in a product but didn’t purchase, we can ‘remarket’ to those customers, reaffirming previously communicated messages, while leaving out the details they’ve already digested – so as to be helpful but not annoying. In this case we had already sent an email detailing our variety of gift vouchers and this follow-up email was sent to subscribers who had clicked but not purchased. Remarketing can also be a highly effective method of marketing with Google Adwords.
This was the first design in which I combined the use of a grid with ems and a ‘vertical rhythm’ (AKA a baseline grid). It means that whatever content you add to the HTML, the baseline of the content should always line up (in all columns). When you couple this with the horizontal grid I’ve used here, what you get is content that is easy to follow and digest without needing to use borders to show regions.
It’s a little more advanced still because this design is responsive, which means that if you load the page in a small device, such as a small laptop or mobile phone, you won’t need to scroll horizontally — the design will detect the user’s screen size and alter the CSS accordingly — in other words the web page responds to the user’s device. This is also a fairly advanced CSS/HTML technique, that is probably only being used by the top 10% of the world’s web designers (as at August 2011).
I’ve written the HTML in the most logical order and purely used CSS to arrange the content in to the layout. This means the content is in the perfect order for visually impaired web users and for search engines. It also means that it’s easier to make the web page responsive and future amendments are far easier to make, meaning the web page is very flexible.
The website is optimised for search engines. I use the image alt tags to describe images using the exact language of searches. By researching keywords using Google’s keyword tool I describe images using the most popular long-tail keywords in many variations. This helps for pay per click and SEO. The images are optimised and the code is clean making the web page fairly fast, which helps with PPC and SEO.
This landing page has been featured in the prestigious web design gallery, cssmania.com:
The challenge with this landing page design was displaying images, prices, local attractions and calls to action for eleven hotels. I wanted to put a lot of information on the page so that everything visitors would need to get a good overview of all the hotels and their local attractions was there in one place. This makes the page a good reference point for email campaigns, banner ads and social media marketing. It’s also useful for agents who work on our behalf and need a quick reference point for all the hotels in each of the hotel sets.
Because there is so much content on the page we used jQuery to hide much of the content, only revealing the content on click. We also added some script that enabled us to link to an anchor on the page and display some previously hidden content automatically. So if we linked to an anchor from an email we could display all the images and details for one particular hotel, while all the comparable hotels remain a short scroll away. This helps give visitors plenty of options without overloading them with information — they are able to digest details at their own pace.
We featured culinary events local to the hotels that attract sufficient attention from people who would be interested in such attractions and may also require accommodation. We linked each event in with a special break at the nearest hotel and linked the email up with these special breaks. The email is informative and interesting to the target audience, to the extent that it’s worth reading whether the target audience is planning a hotel break or not. Therefore they’re are likely to have an interest in the content of the email whether they are in the research or buying phase or not. Either way the offers and events are attractive enough to peak the interest of the reader.
Although it is fairly time consuming researching the events, writing the copy and linking them to the most suitable and available special breaks it’s well worth it. After creating these ‘demand generator’ based emails, I create a tweet for each event and schedule it to post at a suitable time using Tweetdeck. These tweets also feed through to our Facebook page using an RSS feed. We therefore saved time by creating content for our email and our social media accounts at the same time.
Although this email features large images at the top of the design, if you view the email with images turned off, you will see styled headings and text because the images are contained in span elements, which contain inline styles that style the alternate text on the images. Emails for a luxury hotel brand need strong emotion provoking imagery, but using the styled span tags and the alt text helps get around the problem of seeing nothing when you first open the email — instead you see the email headline, which is a key hook to catching the readers attention.
The challenge with this email newsletter was finding key demand generators based on calendar events for ten different hotels, selecting the most relevant/interesting ones, while also weighing up which hotels needed featuring more than others based on booking numbers – and then organising these attractions into an attractive and useful email. One of the keys to hotel marketing is understanding where demand is in the surrounding areas of the hotels and marketing around these demand generators. You’re then able to plan email campaigns, social media marketing and SEO around these demand generators.
I was briefed to design a one page website that listed all the spas in the von Essen hotels collection, including photos and the facilities at each spa! It was quite a challenge to get all that content on one page in a very short time frame. We decided to use jQuery to reveal content when it was activated by either a click or by use of a search filter.
This email was sent to a database of parents who had registered on a new mothers website. I decided to use a question as the headline/subject line in order to invoke curiosity. The website the subscribers had registered with is more about the practical side of parenting and less about leisure time. So I developed a headline and concept that invokes curiosity about something that might provide a welcome break from practical thinking. When opening the email the subject line is repeated with an image that invokes further curiosity and develops the feeling, with a call to action over the image simply saying “find out why”.
I was briefed very broadly to design an email to increase autumn bookings for 6 specific hotels. I developed the concept, headline, content and design. Having studied copywriting that sells online, I chose to base the copy on an easily digestible list of ideas for readers to sieve through. Lists work well in web copy because they’re easy to quickly digest; and list based headlines tend to perform well because they’re straight to the point and tell the reader exactly what to expect.
I strongly believe in writing a compelling headline before writing copy body. This is particularly true in email marketing, where the subject line is extremely important. This email achieved a remarkable 40% open rate, most likely because it gave readers some quick snappy ideas for things to do on a weekend with no major national social calendar events. All six featured hotels were fully booked this weekend.
This is a very large email newsletter for a luxury family hotel brand. The email encourages interaction with the whole family, with games for children and recipes for adults. The look and feel were designed to be friendly and informal and give the feeling of interactivity, with paper, paperclips and sticky tape. I experienced some difficulties with keeping the email highly graphical, while also including a large amount of text. At the time of this email campaign I was also introducing the brands Twitter and Facebook profiles to web users.
This is fun, vibrant email to a regular subscriber base. This group of subscribers are very good when it comes to opening, reading and clicking through, so we’re able to experiment with designs that might not work so well if sent to a less patient subscriber group. That means we can try larger headers and low content – image heavy emails.
Bupa, a customer of The Consortium, kindly gave us lots of activities ideas they had collected from their care homes. We decided it would be a good idea to use them as a free resource that we would give away online, helping attract links and start the development of an online community for carers, looking for materials to help them in their jobs.
We had already done a lot of research on keywords in this area and found to our surprise that the domain name elderlyactivities.co.uk (based on a top keyword) was available. In two days I had the website online, having found the domain name, designed the website around the content and built the WordPress theme.
We’ve tested a lot of variations in the emails I design at The Consortium. We’ve gained a lot of insight from the split tests we’ve conducted. We’ve tested different subject lines, different positioning of calls to action, button calls to action vs. text calls to action, different names in the from field and more.
In this email we split tested an image heavy email (pictured left), against the same email but with text instead of images with alternate text.
We found that the image heavy email worked marginally better in this particular niche, but the test results were not significant enough to draw solid conclusions. So we continue to test. This is an effective way of continually improving your work and the brands ROI. It has really helped build my knowledge of what works and what doesn’t in email marketing and other areas, such as Pay Per Click.
I designed and built this website from start to finish from logo to forum build. Initially the brief was to build a blog for early years practitioners, to help promote our early years websites and to learn more about our customers’ needs. However, after I had completed the website I was told to make it more like a forum; so I used a WordPress plugin and changed the structure of the website making it function as a simple forum.
This is an example of a simple static website I built for the Tru-Green brand, a green envelope producer based in India. I used several layered Photoshop brushes to create a slightly crumpled envelope look for the background of the website. I designed and built the whole website from start to finish in one working day.
I was asked to design a Business to Consumer website for ‘at home early years practitioners’. I designed the logo and the website for an external web development team to use on an eCommerce platform they had previously created. My design was restricted slightly by the need to make it compatible with the eCommerce platform.
The company were extremely happy with the result and the quick turn around. They went with the first design I produced.
I’ve designed and hand coded all the emails for Pea Green things. All the emails I design and code are written to display correctly in as many email clients as possible, including Outlook 2007.