Now Live: A Comprehensive Overhaul for Central Park Laser
Zahra, owner of what was then Central Park Aesthetics & Laser, now Central Park Laser, got in touch with me this spring about reinvigorating her company's website. She had a clear vision as to what the tone was she wanted to send: professional, medical/scientific, and approachable. And, she also wanted a system that was easy for her to manage, as their offerings change regularly as new technologies and techniques emerge. Finally, Zahra saw an opportunity to make add online sales of products that were already doing well in the bricks and mortar business. Any, like many of my clients, their website was built on a tough-to-update Wordpress installation with a template that was a bit outdated.
It was time for a change, for sure.
Because Zahra wanted an entirely new look and feel (basically, what I call a "lightweight rebrand"), we started with a Pinterest board where I collected little nibbles of inspiration to influence the work.
I find using Pinterest to be a great way to get a top-level view of the general design direction of a project and it's incredibly useful when it comes to sharing with collaborators as well. Since so many of my projects aren't just websites, but rather comprehensive creative endeavors, this makes it easy to share my thinking and ideas with my team.
Initial Design Direction
Originally, Zahra and I had discussed using blues for her website but then when I found a stock photo with some sage greens and rusty oranges (a photo we ended up not using, actually!), there was something about that palette that just felt right to me, so I presented her with a couple of options. Like me, my client agreed that the green palette felt more appropriate and current--needless to say, I was thrilled!
Click to enlarge the items to see details of the initial concepts/elements.
I think of design as an evolving thing, and because of that, as we built out the website based on the initial concept, we made some changes to the design.
Namely, we removed the tagline from the header and moved it onto the banner images and zoomed in the stock image croppings a bit. Additionally, because Zahra liked the icon I created for her laser services so much, she decided to use it for her logo, so I created a fresh icon to represent their laser services.
Additionally, rather than multiple testimonials on the homepage, we decided to scatter them around the site, creating a cleaner, narrower band at the bottom of the pages that felt more visually harmonious.
Finally, I added a semi-opaque announcement bar to the site that not only helps anchor the pages visually, but also provides a space for specials and more.
This is one of those projects that's truly a collaboration between myself and the client--and that's the way I love to work. My client had great ideas for flow and organization, but was also incredibly open to ideas and advice on how to best make her site meet her business goals. For example, my original concept didn't include services photos because to my aesthetic eye, they disrupted the visual flow. However, Zahra explained to me that they are actually a critical tool for her staff, as they use those photos to help people understand treatment results and progression.
Final Site Design
The Central Park Laser project is definitely one that's perfect for the Squarespace platform (and not all are). The ecommerce needs were simple, with no need for complex shipping algorithms, and Stripe is a perfectly acceptable payment gateway for this business. Design and content are front and center, as is important for many small businesses and the ease of editing will make their workflow easier down the line.
Additionally, this project also speaks to the importance of taking a hard look at your content when you're working on a redesign. When we looked at the original site, the content was fairly wordy and didn't have a consistent voice. So, I was able to enlist one of my favorite team members, Kath O'Malley (who also helped on the Hui project), for help in aggressively tightening and streamlining CPL's content. This made all the difference in the world!
Have questions about this project and the design process? Drop a note in the comments and I'll do my best to answer! If you're interested in talking about your website or my comprehensive design/strategy services, get in touch--my fall calendar is filling up!