Holly Taylor was a navy seal preparing for her retirement with a new journey in coaching and blogging.
To create a blog that allowed her readers to follow along her journey, and learn through the unique experiences she has had from traveling all over the world.
Personally, I wasn't a blogger, and I didn't spend a lot of time on blogs, but I didn't want that to hinder my ability to give Holly an exceptional product. So, I quickly got to work in studying many other blogs and what they offer. I found that many had the same base, but they also had a lot of variety. Holly and I met several times to talk about what exactly she was looking for in her blog.
In doing my research, I realized that no blogs had a homepage. After chatting with Holly, I convinced her that giving the consumer a place to land to understand who she is and how they can take in the information would be a crucial point to easing the consumer into the blog. It would make it a little less overwhelming.
We started with the wireframing blog via the desktop view because it was the easiest way to start. After framing the desktop site, we could quickly eliminate or condense features to fit the mobile device.
Since Holly was short on time, I needed to speed up the wireframing process. I did this by looking at 2-3 blogs as a basis for the frame, and I customized them and added the features she was looking for. This allowed me to give her a unique experience without spending hours starting from scratch.
Key features Holly was looking for was:
- An interactive Map where the consumer could click on and find all articles from that location
- A featured article(s) that she could feature at the top. Most likely current events.
- Articles broken down by categories: Travel, Beauty, Navy, Healthy Lifestyle
- Email sign-up, so she could stay in contact with her readers.
Branding & Visual Standards
Holly had two passions, being in the Navy and helping others build a healthy lifestyle. My husband was in the military, so I understood the commitment and sacrifice these men and women take. I was very familiar with the look and feel of all the service branches, so I didn't need to do a lot of research. The challenge here was how to take those two ideas and combine them into one picture that represented her. It took me many sketches to incorporate into one, but she was pleased with the outcome.
- Rope and anchor to represent the Navy
- Weights and Fork to represent a Healthy Lifestyle
Equals Holly Taylor- a Navy Health Coach!
Holly and I had a few conversations about the colors because she wanted to stay grounded in her Navy roots but didn't want to be overly red, white, and blue. It was a delicate balance of colors so that not all of her marketing looked like an American flag. So, I used red and blue as part of the primary palette, but I relied heavily on the beige neutral color to be her main a.k.a primary color. I felt that the beige color would give her brand an extra level of sophistication and a notch above the red, white and blue.
Since I created a strong foundation for the wireframes, creating the mockups flowed so easily. It came down to just adjusting the colors, adding elements from her brand, and photos.
Holly already had such amazing photography to use for the site. It showed that the branding represented her and who she was and what she represents.
I continued to keep the red and blue as accents and touches to the website so that it was overpowering.
© Crystal Sullivan 2021