Professional Services – Derek and Thor
Genre: Professional Services
Website: Foodz Catering in Seattle
- All three websites have logos in the upper left corner
- BDA and Fuse both use motion graphics on their home page
- Foodz and BDA, inc. have top, horizontal navigation
- Foodz and Fuse Design have white backgrounds with black text
- All three sites use large images prominently on the home page
- Foodz and Fuse have links to their “social” media sites in the top right corner
- Foodz and BDA have horizontal sub menus just below the main navigation on interior pages
- All three sites have a portfolio section to showcase previous work
- Foodz and BDA display testimonials from satisfied customers
- BDA uses Flash in their home page to describe their services to customers
- BDA has a black background with white text
- BDA has drop down menus as part of the main navigation to open more of the site
- Fuse Design’s main navigation is vertical, down the left side
- Fuse Design’s sub navigation is vertical, down the left side below the main navigation on interior pages
- Fuse Design uses frames to separate content from navigation so the navigation stays put while content scrolls
- Foodz is a food catering site while BDA and Fuse are design/marketing sites
Fuse Design is a graphic and web design firm located in the U.K. Fuse uses a simplistic design with a minimal amount of content to describe their services particularly on their home page. The main navigation down the left side is not particularly noticeable as it is small and the user’s eye does not naturally go to that area of the page, especially with the motion graphics that are taking place in the main content area of the page. Because the site is so minimalistic, perhaps it gets away with the placement and size of the navigation because there isn’t much else on the page to distract the user from the task at hand.
BDA, Inc. is a global company that helps organizations showcase their brand on merchandise (i.e. mugs, shirts, etc.). The site colors (black background with lime green graphics and white text) sets off the Flash animation that tells the user about the company. The navigation across the top is clear and obvious for the user to find their way to the various sections of the site. A content heavy site, the design segments the content in a logical manner that keeps the user from being overwhelmed by the volume of content. The Flash animation is a creative way to draw the user in, although it precludes the site from being viewed from prominent mobile devices.
Foodz clearly identifies their brand with a fairly large logo in the top left corner of the site which clearly lets the user know what the site is all about. The main menu makes it clear how the site is set up for the user to navigate through, and social media icons located in the top right make it obvious to the user that there are other mediums in which to get information about the company. Beyond the links to social sites, Foodz Catering’s website is basically a digital brochure in which the user can navigate through multiple pages of static information about the site. It uses professional photography to showcase their work and the types of events they cater.
Jody is a 38-year-old business owner specializing in charity events involving silent auctions and galas with ‘live’ entertainment. Jody hires professional services companies for high-end events she publicizes through social media and dedicated web pages. Jody also provides guests with branded merchandise featured in their gift bags.
Jody’s first goal is to hire those companies whose sites are easiest to navigate and fully comprehend. Reputation is at a premium, so credible recommendations appearing in accessible places are critical. Loyalty trumps locality and, as a perfectionist, Jody appreciates and notices passion and high quality work.
Fuse Design: Jody would like to set up a dedicated website to the event as well as a Facebook page for users to be able to R.S.V.P., get event information and post comments and images afterward. These are the steps she takes with Fuse Design:
Hello > About
After determining that Fuse does, indeed, do website design, Jody decides to go further.
Jody is encouraged to see work performed for another event planning company. The work done is impressive, so Jody decides to continue on.
Jody is disappointed that other than the logos for their various clients, Fuse’s client page provides no links to the work done for said clients.
Jody is further discouraged by the fact Fuse is located in the UK. She decides to look for another web design firm.
BDA, inc.: Jody needs merchandise to advertise the event’s sponsors’ brand. She plans to give merchandise out to each guest’s gift bag. She visits BDA’s site:
Jody clicks on the Flash animation that is front and center on the home page. She likes the creativity shown as she thumbs through the virtual book describing the company’s services. Also part of the Flash animation, a video shows samples of the merchandise BDA brands and decides they are the perfect company for what she is looking for.
>Why BDA > Customer Service
Being a communication specialist, Jody likes to speak with people personally. She notices there is not a way to order services online, so she finds the Customer Service section of the site to find out about ordering. After reading about the company’s call center, she decides to contact a customer service representative for more information about ordering.
Jody notices the corporate headquarters is located in Redmond, WA and uses the phone number provided to get information about ordering merchandise.
Foodz Catering: This is a fancy event and it needs spectacular food. Foodz Catering was recommended to Jody, so she went to their site to see if they could handle her event.
Jody went straight to the menu page to see what kind of food Foodz specializes in. She was pleased to see they have a special menu for fundraisers. There she found three options:
- Flavors of Latin America
- Set Sail for the Tropics
- Somer Solstice
>Flavors of Latin America
Jody feels this is the perfect menu for her event.
>Catering >Fundraisers & Auctions
Jody wants to make sure Foodz has plenty of experience with catering fundraisers. She is happy to see they are.
Jody would like to see what others have to say about Foodz. She discovers the “Reviews” page is really a controlled testimonials page with nothing but positive comments. Unfazed, she decides she will have to check off site to find unbiased customer reviews.
Jody decides she’d like to contact Foodz and at least set up an in person meeting and perhaps sample some of their offerings. She finds a phone number and makes the call.
Do’s and Don’t’s:
- Provide upfront information about their services
- Provide relevant samples of past work
- Provide simple design and clear navigation
- Provide links to past clients and detailed accounts of worked performed
- Link to full websites done
- Provide obvious information including where they are located
- Offer aesthetically pleasing design and graphics
- Provide easy to understand, clear, concise navigation
- Show’s creativity with clever Flash animation on home page
- Offer the ability to contact customer service online
- Offer online ordering
- Redirect mobile users to a mobile friendly site or landing page
- Offer elegant, content appropriate graphics and design
- Offer simple, easy to understand and find navigation
- Segment the site into logical categories targeting specific users
- Provides clear links to social tools and review sites
- Provide real time user generated reviews
- Provide online scheduling or calendar showing upcoming availability