website project – a Zero-Gravity Solution
Project: Business (technology) transformation
Client: CincinnatiModern.com – a real estate company’s website
“From old school blog to integrated web services site”
Project analysis, scope and development overview with detailed customer insight, feedback and assessment.
In their words: Cincinnati Modern
“Architects see things on a different level than we mere mortals do. The re-design [of] our our website was no different. We may be really good at researching and selling houses, but I’m no web designer. And we didn’t know it, but we needed professionals who could see our website from the inside out, and see what it needed to not only look better, but to be better.”*
– Susan, founder, cincinnatimodern from post: “when it’s time to change”
Business Strategy / Branding / Graphic Design / Web Design & Development / Organic MLS / Social Feeds & CRM / CMS Training
Foundational Design Elements
“Our old site was on a very basic platform, and packed with way more content than it could handle as I just kept adding modern projects and research. …but our passion for architecture was not always enough. As the popularity and appreciation of Midcentury Modern architecture has grown, we felt like we were at risk of losing touch with our peeps if we didn’t change with the times and evolve the website into a more interactive and definitive resource.”
“Pam and Geoff spent countless hours digging deep about the purpose of our business & the mechanics of our website: what we wanted it to do, what it could do, and perhaps most importantly, how to earn clients for life from it, not just people looking for information after they buy a modern house.”
During our discovery phase, Susan shared that as a child, it was the space and the experience of being outdoors even though you were inside that ignited her passion for mid-century Modern architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright described this as “human scale” – relating to the proportions of a building that opens up to the outdoors.
So we approached the design of their website like the modern architects they represent.
The old website including the name “cincinnatimodern” – was viewed as a blog which grew as a resource of their research, properties they sold and links to other sites: Property listings, their curated list of moderns and articles and resource materials.
It was important in the assembly phase to elevate the vision of their “blog” to be seen as the engine of their business. A modern website is the storefront of your business AND your virtual employee – it greets your visitors, provides them with the information they need and relays their questions and inquiries to the manager or owner.
For the organic IDX feed we selected Realtyna** for it’s granular customization that met the requirements of the cincinnatimodern team and was compatible with Divi by Elegant Themes. PDF Embedder Premium Secure was used to embed and watermark their research material, while freely available, they would be attributed as the source. And we selected Smashballoon’s Facebook Feed Pro and Instagram Feed for their social feeds solution.
The design foundation – we used their excellent logo that has stood the test of time – the clean lines, font and the use of green is where we started. You can see the roof angles of the logo repeated throughout the site. Where it made sense, lowercase text was used in titles.
The other imperative was to showcase the images of the beautiful homes so that they are center stage.
“Human Scale” – we wanted to bring space into the layout and the organization of the content, make it “human” scale, user friendly with the structure of the menus, navigation and content so the visitor has the leisure to explore.
Bringing the “outdoors” in – through connecting to social media pages (Facebook and Instagram feeds) and most importantly giving visitors a one-stop shop to view listings using an organic IDX feed, resource materials and Susan’s lively and informative posts.
Visitors can contact cincinnatimodern via contact forms, sign up for newsletters, chat and specialized inquiry forms for those properties that caught their eye. Capturing leads in these varied methods, allows for a tailored way for cincinnatimodern to communicate and interact with the modern community.
Make it “Mod” – tiki torches, bongo drums, Brady bunch, the mod/hip-ness of modernism has a bit of snap, crispness and playfulness that we wanted to capture with the icons for the blog post categories.
It was a collaborative process in defining the new title for the blog, now called midmodtalk – with plans to expand to a podcast!
The owners are “hands-on” so the approach of “just-in-time’ training on the platform was built into the project design. While the content was imported from the previous site, Susan wanted to orient herself to the CMS architecture by formatting it herself – not a small feat while running a robust real estate company!
*All quotes by Cincinnatimodern originate from their Aug 2 2020 post, “when it’s time to change”
**Disclaimer: we were so impressed with the Realtyna WPL Pro plugin, that we became an affiliate.
Our Design Services
- Logo Design | Refresh
- Business Cards
- Email Signatures
- (Design, Management, Hosting options)
- Corporate Branding
- HTML Newsletters
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram covers
- Brochures & flyers
- Exhibit Booth Design
- Digital Ads