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Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup Presentation June 2015

We had a few clients come to us after they had selected a website theme for their business and it wasn't working out the way they had anticipated. We put together a basic talk about how to go about your website strategy and selecting a theme.

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Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup Presentation June 2015

  1. 1. C2 CREATIVE CONSULTING, LTD. // WWW.C2-CC.COM CHICAGO WORDPRESS MEETUP :: 06/03/15
  2. 2. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 2 Show of hands... - How many people here are WordPress developers? - How many people here take on the content/marketing role? - How many people here are designers? - How many people here use WP for their business but aren’t the primary developer, designer or content creator?
  3. 3. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 3 A brief, brief on my experience - Background: Design and Creative Direction - First Commercial Website: Associates National Bank (now Citi) in 1997
  4. 4. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 4
  5. 5. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 5 We’ve come a long way from the 90’s.
  6. 6. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 6 A brief, brief on my experience - My background is in design and creative direction - Designed my first commercial website for The Associates National Bank (now Citi) in 1997 - Worked at a variety of traditional agencies including JWT, FCB, and GSW - Have been working in WordPress since 2011 with a variety of teams including Helio Interactive - Currently have a boutique creative agency called C2 and we work on everything from startups to established B2B brands
  7. 7. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 7 Our Objective Tonight
  8. 8. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 8 Our Objective Tonight Illustrate why CONTENT FIRST is the best approach when working with a ready made theme.
  9. 9. Let’s take a step back...
  10. 10. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 10 What happened to the art of planning and content development? Websites are expensive and complex. Websites cost next to nothing and are easy to produce. - Now that we can start with a functioning ready-made theme, the website workflow process has been inverted. Quite often we skip the planning stages. - Now we can build a house before we know where the walls, carpeting and furniture goes. Back in the “old days” we couldn’t create a website at an agency without having clear objectives, existing content and assets. WordPress Launched May 27, 2003 The first iPhone Launched June 29, 2007 Envato/ Themeforest Launched WIX Founded 2000 2016200720062003 C L I E N T E X P E C T A T I O N S
  11. 11. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 11 Our Objective Tonight Illustrate why CONTENT FIRST is the best approach when working with a ready made theme.
  12. 12. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 12 You have a choice
  13. 13. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 13 You have a choice “I love this ready-made theme. I’ll make it work for my business.”
  14. 14. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 14 You have a choice “I love this ready-made theme. I’ll make it work for my business.” I need a process in place so I can strategically select a ready-made theme that supports the needs of my business.
  15. 15. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 15 “I love this ready-made theme. I’ll make it work for my business.”
  16. 16. Problems with going theme first: Putting format before thinking through the purpose of your website.
  17. 17. Problems with going theme first: Your customers need to understand the story of your business. Don’t sacrifice that story by retrofitting it into a ready-made theme.
  18. 18. Problems with going theme first: Think about your customer experience first: Will the theme format seem appropriate for your business category?
  19. 19. Problems with going theme first: We get distracted.
  20. 20. We get distracted.
  21. 21. Problems with going theme first: What are you really buying?
  22. 22. Problems with going theme first What are you really buying? Cutting out the design phase doesn’t save you time in the strategy or content creation phase.
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  27. 27. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 33 If you’re buying a theme based on “feel,” that is often a result of the photography.
  28. 28. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 34 If you’re buying a theme based on “feel,” that is often a result of the photography.
  29. 29. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 35
  30. 30. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 36 Great color designEmotional and interesting subject
  31. 31. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 37 A lot of color correction in these stock images
  32. 32. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 38
  33. 33. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 39
  34. 34. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 40
  35. 35. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 41
  36. 36. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 42
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  38. 38. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 44
  39. 39. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 45 Will your photos go full screen?
  40. 40. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 46
  41. 41. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 47 Does the mood of the theme change if you use color or BW photos?
  42. 42. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 48
  43. 43. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 49 Do you have high quality portraits?
  44. 44. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 50
  45. 45. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 51 Do the icon styles make sense with your logo and content?
  46. 46. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 52 *
  47. 47. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 53 Does your logo work in one color? *
  48. 48. What usually happens when you go down this path?
  49. 49. What usually happens when you go down this path? The Six Stages of Theme-First Execution
  50. 50. Infatuation OMG, I just purchased the perfect theme and I can’t wait to see how my business looks in this format!
  51. 51. Infatuation OMG, I just purchased the perfect theme and I can’t wait to see how my business looks in this format! Anger Bargaining When frustration gives way to anger, you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the purchasing this theme on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion. Shock Denial You realize that your imagery and copy doesn’t fit this theme with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the imagery at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks. Depression, Reflection Loneliness Just when your friends think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. Pain Guilt Shock is replaced with the suffering. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully. Do not avoid it or try to escape from it through drugs, alcohol, or internet shopping. You may feel guilt or remorse over things you did or didn’t do to prepare yourself for this theme. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
  52. 52. Infatuation OMG, I just purchased the perfect theme and I can’t wait to see how my business looks in this format! Anger Bargaining Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the purchasing this theme on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion. Shock Denial You will probably react to realizing that your imagery and copy doesn’t fit this theme with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the imagery at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks. Depression, Reflection Loneliness Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. Pain Guilt As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs. You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn’t do to prepare yourself for this theme. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase. Surrender You call a developer, designer or copywriter for help.
  53. 53. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 59
  54. 54. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 60 Content First I need a process in place so I can strategically select a ready-made theme that supports the needs of my business.
  55. 55. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 61 I need a process in place so I can strategically select a ready-made theme that supports the needs of my business. Start in analog and plan with a pencil
  56. 56. Define Objective Map Content Identify a Structure Select a Theme Key steps
  57. 57. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 63 Key steps Define Objective Map Content Identify a Structure Select a Theme
  58. 58. Key questions to answer: What is the purpose of the website?
  59. 59. :
  60. 60. :
  61. 61. :
  62. 62. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 68
  63. 63. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 69
  64. 64. :
  65. 65. Key questions to answer What does my customer want from this website? Make it simple for them to get what they need. :
  66. 66. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 72
  67. 67. :
  68. 68. PENCIL DIGITAL TOOLS
  69. 69. :
  70. 70. Key questions to answer What kind of copy content do I already have? What else do I need? Create a copy outline of key messages, core details and calls to action for each section or page. Identify any gaps to tell your complete story. You don’t need to get every word perfect before you go to development. :
  71. 71. Key questions to answer What kind of visual assets do I already have? What else do I need? Create a spreadsheet with a column of existing assets and another with outstanding needs. :
  72. 72. Key questions to answer What type of ready-made theme would best support my existing brand or business? Good news! There are more and more niche categories, so finding the right theme is getting easier. :
  73. 73. :
  74. 74. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 80 Define Objective Map Content Identify a Structure Select a Theme Key steps 4 44 4
  75. 75. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 81 ANOTHER APPROACH TO PLANNING CONTENT
  76. 76. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 82 RED FLAG APPROACH
  77. 77. If anyone ever says: “I NEED A NEW WEBSITE” stop and clarify what this means.
  78. 78. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 84 YES NO Have client provide in writing YES NO Have client provide You can strategically select a theme based on the clients objectives YES NO Have client provide in writing YES NO Client needs to identify baseline visual/verbal approach Do we need a photo shoot? Do we need video? Does copy need to be generated or editied? Does a strategy session need to happen before development so resources aren’t used inefficiently? Should a designer be involved? Should a writer, UX or SEO person be involved? Should a writer, UX or SEO person be involved? YES NO Client needs to content map and asset requirements based on site map YES NO Have client develop the brand before selecting a theme YES NO Client should go through content and asset refresh What does the client need besides a website? Content first path. Assumes the client has been in the service business for 10+ years and has an existing website that’s dated (5+ years). Are the website objectives clear? - Target customer(s) identified? - Goals(s) of the website are defined? - Is there a site map and/or user flow? - Are technical requirements defined? - How is success being measured post launch? Are the business or marketing objectives clear? - How does the website fit into the larger context of their business? Is there an existing client site or other marketing materials that content and visual assets are being pulled from? Is there a basic brand established? Logo, color and type standards? Is there a marketing campaign or theme that will drive the content? Is the content/assets current with the business/brand or customer needs? Is there an approved copy document along with production ready visual assets that can be provided?
  79. 79. No ready-made theme is perfect Setting expectations Most themes will get you to about 80% of what you actually want.
  80. 80. No ready-made theme is perfect Setting expectations Keep in mind you are trading the design process for speed and cost.
  81. 81. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 87 Closing the gap YOU ARE HERE
  82. 82. Chicago Northside WordPress Meetup :: June 2015 © 2015 C2 Creative Consulting, Ltd. 88 Closing the gap YOU ARE HERE VALUABLE WEBSITE
  83. 83. Take aways... It’s great to begin with the end in mind but START WITH strategy and content first. You can cut corners on design by selecting a theme but cutting corners on strategy and content development IS HARD.
  84. 84. Take aways... Put your customer/audience first when selecting a ready-made theme Set objectives for each page and organize your content with basic outlines Don’t overwrite. Less is more. It’s easier to add later than try to take copy away.
  85. 85. Take aways... Think through the assets you’ll need and what it will take to produce them. Photography matters more than you might realize. Really good photography costs. The more you go through a process the better you’ll become.
  86. 86. Take aways... Theme shops we like • www.woothemes.com • www.organicthemes.com • www.themetrust.com
  87. 87. There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
  88. 88. How we can help your brand? THANK YOU www.C2-CC.com

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