A full redesign for a nationwide supplier of machine tools.
I accepted a three month contract with GMS (Graham's Machinery Sales), a trade supplier of machine tools nationwide, in mid 2002. The brief was to completely redesign their website, get it visible on search engines, and build it in such a way that they could later integrate an e-commerce solution.
Development proceeded as follows:
Consultations with two of the owners, the IT Manager, main sales staff and an MBA to develop a picture of the business and a feel for the industry. This was then honed into a set of technical, design, marketing and information requirements. This took about a week.
Information Architecture / Graphic Design
With a large amount of information on the site, and the likelihood of expansion, the content had to be organised in such a way as to be easy to navigate and find. This was immediately followed by production of three designs for the site, followed by iterations of the chosen design until a final design was agreed. The UI of the site was dictated by the IA, and heavily influenced by Hillman Curtis' site of the time. The whole process took about three weeks.
HTML, CSS and Flash development, building the entire site. This was the largest of the stages of development.
Once approved, the site was launched and made live.
Search Engine and Directory registration
In 2002 there were many search engines and directories to register with: Yahoo, Yahoo Directory, Open Directory and Google were very important, as were a host of others (if you remember these names, you're old): Lycos, AltaVista, MSN, AOL, Excite and Ask Jeeves plus a few more I don't even remember. It took about a week to create descriptions and keywords/key phrases and do the registration.
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