Indian River Direct
Website Refresh Project
In October of 2021, I was approached by Angela Doyle, representing Indian River Direct, about helping with their website refresh and a few other marketing pieces. Website design isn’t something I was advertising at the time, but fortunately I had more experience in it thanks to my volunteer work with the Treasure Coast International Film Festival.
As I consulted with Angela about their projects and learned more about the business, it became all the more clear to me that their website was their primary, urgent need and it needed some new style and reorganization to be more competitive in the marketplace.
Fruit, Nuts, & Berries – Delivered Fresh
Initially, after reviewing the IRD website, I was under the impression that they were a wholesale fruit company and that their customers were other businesses. After Angela educated me, I came to understand it was very different business than what I was familiar with here in Florida.
IRD picks fruit, nuts and berries from their family and partner farms, then delivers them to northern states, including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. They partner with other businesses with large parking lots at each location to able to sell the produce from their trucks. The partner locations and times are advertised in a delivery schedule that is both printed and made available via their website well in advance of the deliveries. These deliveries are made in the Winter and in the Summer, each time featuring seasonal produce available in bulk.
Pretty simple, but the idea was foreign to me and to Angela when she first began working with IRD. A goal that developed out of our conversations was to attract a new generation of customers, which also required that we educate them on the business to have an understanding of how it worked.
GoDaddy Website Builder
The IRD website was built on a platform from GoDaddy. Up until this project, I have only worked with WordPress, Weebly, and Wix as all-in-one platforms. GoDaddy was new to me, but I found it very easy to use. As a designer, however, it’s very limited in it’s customization options. Essentially, it’s built to be fool-proof for inexperienced designers, but that limits the end product quite a bit. Despite this, I believe that an experienced designer will continue to work something, even if limited, until it pushes past basic to something unique.
Website Refresh Aesthetics Final Choice Guide
After we agreed on a style, I began implementing it and discovered additional limitations in the website builder. For example, the color palettes I offered included a minimum of three colors, but the website builder would only allow one color to be selected as an accent. Black and white were default 2nd and 3rd choices.
Additionally, unlike Wix, the mobile version of the website was unable to be edited. The program automatically resized and adjusted images and texts. This required up to 12 rounds of trial and error to get the hero image just right.
Crafting An Aesthetic Style
Website Refresh Aesthetics Choice Matrix
Prior to starting work on the website, when I believed I had an understanding of the website builder’s limitations, I comprised a style sheet for IRD to make selections. The stylesheet was based on those perceived limitations, imagery that fit IRD’s unique personality and goals, and a refreshed color palette, each grouped together for emotional impact, but capable of being interchanged.
Since IRD is a small business and had not developed a branding guide, the style sheet helped to direct branded marketing materials in the project and I’m sure will assist in future efforts.
A Homepage Story
One of the major changes made to the site was a reduction of pages. The then-current website had eight pages, including the homepage. I was able to reduce this to four pages, with the homepage encompassing most of it.
Whenever I work a project, I answer six basic questions:
These questions help prioritize design solutions and copy writing. In the case of Indian River Direct, they directed the order of appearance of information on their new website. Above the fold, the hero image and text answer who and what, the schedule answers when and where, and the why and how are answered by the remainder of the page, including the fruit, a recipe blog, and the family farm’s story.
Website Refresh Innovation – A Digital Calendar
The Tour Schedule Is Connected To IRD’s Calendar Database For Automatic Upload and Updates
One of the greatest improvements to the IRD website was the adoption of a digital calendar that lists up to 100 of the truck tour stops, updated automatically every 24-hours. This innovation was brought forward during the consultation phase of the project. Angela and I agreed that a digitally managed tour schedule would improve accessibility for many of their current and future customers.
I implemented the calendar with priority on the homepage and assisted the IRD team in setting up the connection between their database and the online calendar.
Website Refresh Project Testimonial
Nolli The Creator was a pleasure to work with! I received answers to my questions in a timely manner and received honest feedback and suggestions on how to make the website looking and working at its finest. The turnaround time on changes and requests was very helpful in getting the website live as soon as possible. Nolli is very professional and developed an amazing, refreshed website product for Indian River Direct. I would highly recommend the company to any of my family or friends.Angela Doyle, Indian River Direct