Adult Education’s new website – Batemans Bay & Bega

By | Narooma and South Coast, Responsive and Mobile, Search Engine Optimisation, Web Design

Adrian Fisse Design is proud to announce the recent release of a new website for EAEC (Eurobodalla Adult Education Centre). Well known in this region, the Centre is huge and provides courses and training for all locals from their main centres in Batemans Bay and Bega. See the design here – EAEC website.

After receiving a detailed list of requirements and a good general brief, I discussed the project at length with Mark Brantingham, the centre’s operations manager. We went through a few iterations of my website wireframes and I was delighted to engage with this client – they had some great points of view and we were able to flesh out key structural changes on the site before the actual design work started. This is one of the keys to the successful design of any website project.

The website design is based on their existing brand, including their trademark vibrant green and purple. Based on the wireframes we did some iterations of the design before starting any development work, including a specific design layout for smartphone presentation.

Adult Ed use a large spreadsheet to manage courses, which is the basis for many functions internally and with other suppliers. These include a website portal for online course registration (soon to be integrated with the main site), brochure printers and more. Mark expressed their desire to somehow import the courses from spreadsheet, into a new website. In turn, we provided a solution that is completely manageable by Adult Ed staff, and does the following:

  • Creates new course pages for any new item in the spreadsheet
  • Edits or deletes courses that are changed or removed
  • Is able to assign an image from the spreadsheet to display on the course
  • Creates a window to register online, and complete the course on a 3rd party course portal they use
  • Maps key course details to specific areas in the website design developed – including course location, cost, trainer / tutor, requirements and times and dates
  • And many other conditional features to suit the requirements of their business.

After the website was developed, I visited the centre in Batemans Bay to train a small group of 5 staff, each with varying levels of experience. In the training session, we covered website editing basics – creating hyperlinks, new pages, adding images and video, as well as managing the course import feed. It was also a great session to demonstrate the site in full, and cover off on any questions about it.

In all, a good project and I really wish the lovely team at Adult Ed the best. I’ve found it immensely satisfying to help produce a site that will hopefully have a positive impact on our community for years to come.

Retail Training Australia website – coming soon

By | Batemans Bay, Graphic Design, Responsive and Mobile, Search Engine Optimisation, South Coast, Web Design

Working with Geoff Hatton of Retail Training Australia in Batemans Bay, Adrian Fisse Design is producing a revamped website for Eurobodalla’s leading, national education provider in the Retail Sector.

Retail Training Australia provide online training packages to help businesses improve the performance of their staff members. With various e-learning strategies and customised courses that are tailored for individual needs, RTA has access to Government Subsidies to ensure their professional services are not a costly burden.

To date, we have scoped out the requirements of the project, including integration of online forms for grant eligibility and easily editable course descriptions. We’ve sketched out the website wireframes and what is to be presented on mobile devices. Search Engine Optimisation concerns have been covered as well as usability on all devices with an emphasis on calls to action. Design and development starts in January – stay tuned!

New website grant from Voiceless at Sydney Awards

By | Responsive and Mobile, Sydney and Melbourne, Web Design

Here at Adrian Fisse Design, we’re proud to announce a grant that’s been awarded at the Voiceless 2013 Awards last Thursday Night in Sydney. Working directly with the Australian Animal Protection Law Journal (AALPJ), we’ll be developing a website containing extracts and archives of law journals pertaining to animal welfare legislation in Australia.

A key component to the success of the site will be making the site completely responsive, that is mobile and tablet ready, providing a customised article taxonomy (categorisation of articles) and powerful search functionality. The website will have powerful data conversion facilities allowing Word document formats to be parsed into other industry standard archival document types suitable for web publishing, and be readily updatable by the Journal’s editor, John Mancy.

While the site is primarily about law, and catering to students, animal rights advocates and law firms with an abundance of data, it will also provide other animal welfare angles such as best practice guidelines for the production / manufacture of animal based products and highlight ethical businesses in Australia.

We will be assisting AALPJ with launch materials for universities, social media and email campaigns. What an exciting opportunity – development starts early next year.

Eurobodalla Council – Moruya website workshop seminars

By | Batemans Bay, Bega, Bermagui, Canberra, Graphic Design, Narooma, Narooma and South Coast, Responsive and Mobile, Search Engine Optimisation, South Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, Web Design, Wordpress

Update – presentation materials from the Moruya Workshop – read more here, or download here:

I’m excited about the website workshop for small business in Moruya this Tuesday 17th of September. Entitled “Make your website work for you!” – Eurobodalla Council has introduced this initiative for local towns including, potentially Batemans Bay, Narooma and towns further south.

I must say I’m impressed by the Council’s efforts for educating enabling small businesses. Having operated small businesses on and off for over a decade, I’ve never seen these kind of programmes driven by councils in capital cities.

I’ve been contracted to run these seminars and looking very much forward to it.

Keeping discussion open and working through various activities, I’ll be taking attendees through these key topics:

  • Your Website’s Potential – some illustrated examples summarising the how’s and why’s of making money online.
  • Website Strategy – Fundamentals for website beginners, planning what a website is actually going to do, why and how.
  • Driving Traffic to your Site – SEO, Pay Per Click advertising, Social Media and Offline Marketing
  • Maximising Conversions – Examples of good and bad sites, user experience essentials and tips for max conversions.
  • Measuring Success – Analytics and the importance of benchmarks, goals and measuring what works.
  • Maintenance and Performance Optimisation – The importance of content, keeping sites up to date and goal orientated changes.

Of course, throughout I’ll be providing interesting statistics and some humorous examples. :) If you’re local and reading this, look forward to meeting you there!

Cheers,
Adrian

Top 5 considerations to self-check your e-commerce startup

By | Canberra, e-Commerce, Responsive and Mobile, South Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, Web Design

Many people come to me and say “we should just open up an online store, and…”

Even though I’ve been immersed in online shops for over a decade, it’s now, everyone I talk to, they want a piece of the action. And with easy, automated recurring business and online payments, why not?

Well, it’s easy for me to assist and the cost barriers to opening up a good looking, functional e-commerce site are well and truly broken. The thing is though, I want my clients to be successful and not be deflated with any hidden surprises down the track.

So for anyone out there reading, here’s some things you really need to consider before employing any kind of web designer:

1. Who else is doing exactly the same thing?

Google it, you may be surprised.

It’s not the end of the world, competition is healthy…. however you do need to consider how exactly it is you’ll out-do them at their game. Is it customer service? Competitions? Tempting loyalty programs? Amazing viral social media campaigns? A convenient app to penetrate the younger market? A better product? A cheaper product?

Some niche markets and products are obviously going to be easier. But really, if you have an idea like “we need to setup some kind of online computer parts store” – you need to can that thought, pronto! You’ll have an easier life and more returns working at a supermarket.

2. Warehousing concerns

Are you holding stock? Or entering into a drop-ship programme?

You need to think about this. Especially if your market is highly competitive, there are so many costs and issues around stock, warehousing and delivery. First of all, are you required to hold stock? Do the models change frequently or does the product go off – in other words do you have to worry about stock rotation. If so, are you across the costs and time in managing this? How much product do you think you’ll need to hold, and if you’ve borrowed money for stock, are you able to remain competitive while ensuring your products have enough return to keep up with that interest?

Many successful online stores use drop-ship programmes, where giant distribution warehouses offering popular products handle all of the delivery and warehousing concerns – you just need to sell their product for them online. This is a great way to go, but once again, you need to do your research on the numerous suppliers available and go back to my first point – how will you differentiate yourself from hundreds of other stores?

3. Product selection and marketing

So you’ve selected a product or product range. Is it the type product that sells itself through a redeeming feature, such as its uniqueness, quality or price point? If you’ve nailed one or two of those, you could be on a winner. Have you examined how other people are doing it online? Are there cheap nasty equivalents for sale on eBay at tempting prices? Are the websites selling similar products a bit dodgy? Make sure there’s an opening there for you, where consumers can easily recognise you have a point of difference.

4. How are you reaching your market?

Is it the web alone (ie good search rankings and an effective store) that will do it, or have you considered other avenues for your marketing mix? Who is your market and are they web savvy? Do they prefer to use mobile phones, apps and social media, or are they the Baby Boomers sitting at a desk?

These questions will determine your best approach to your marketing and what service you present online – you may opt to go for a traditional e-commerce site with good search rankings, or mobile optimised site getting traffic from Facebook and Google+.

5. How are you handling payments?

Payment Gateways and Merchant Bank Accounts

If you’re expecting large volume sales and frequent, high value transactions I would  definitely suggest going for a dedicated payment gateway solution through a merchant account at your preferred bank. St George Bank and Westpac use decent services such as eWay and PayWay which have excellent APIs for Australian website developers. It is a solution that is larger scale and has additional security concerns. Transacting in this way requires PCI compliance to avoid being banned or restricted by any of the leading credit card suppliers (Visa, Mastercard et al) and being subject to fines.

On the other hand, those transacting less than say, 100K a year online, simple PayPal solutions are available. They are easier and quicker to setup, and while the transactional costs are high, the setup cost is much lower. Since eBay has adopted it as a payment method for a decade or more, consumers are familiar with how it works and trust it.

New Narooma Website Design for the Chamber of Commerce

Narooma tourism website re-development

By | Graphic Design, Narooma, Responsive and Mobile, South Coast, Web Design

I’m excited to announce that the Narooma Chamber of Commerce have selected my proposal to redevelop their tourism website www.narooma.org.au.

It’s a big site, loaded with information and fantastic photos, and it gets an impressive amount of traffic – over 7 million hits a year. While it’s served the Chamber of Commerce well, there is a new goal to update the site with subtle design changes, improve navigation and make it responsive to mobiles and tablet devices. I’ll also be bringing it over to a content management system so that it can be easily managed by their staff.

While we’ve already started nutting out some new design ideas, I officially start next week – kicking off with revisiting the structure of content and navigation.

Following this, I’ll be working through my standard process of getting design wireframes prepared (for desktops, mobiles and tablets) before embarking on finalised graphic designs. Really looking forward to this one, the team I’m working with are very enthusiastic and it represents a great opportunity to me being a South Coast local. Watch this space!