One of Plymouth Software’s first and longest-standing customers, Mark at Vistas de Murcia approached us for a complete revamp of his website promoting his landscape photography and calendars.
As well as promoting his photography and painting portfolio, Mark also wanted to sell the Vistas De Murcia calendars through the website. After a chat about his aims for the site, it was clear that Mark needed something running quickly to maximise sales of the fresh-off-the-press 2011 calendar. We immediately got to work, sketching out a few design ideas and prototypes to get a feel for the site.
Phase 1 – Calendars
The new site needed to take a back seat, and focus the reader’s attention toward Mark’s stunning photography. After a couple of rounds of revisions, we settled on a very dark color scheme with off-white accents.
The charcoal background frames Mark’s bright and vibrant photography which makes up a continuous slideshow on the front page, instantly capturing the reader’s attention. A subtle purchase link sits within the slideshow bounds, whilst the rest of the site gradually reveals more about Mark and his work.
“One of the strengths I would recommend in Chris’ work is his ability to interpret the essential information from the client and create designs and solutions to match.&rduo;Mark Stocks Vistas de Murcia
The other two pages that made up this release, promoting Mark’s paintings and contact details, contain more general body text. To ease their contrast and differentiate them from the home page, they sit on an off-white background. Lowdamoor Consulting primarily work with clients through face-to-face meetings.
The website needed to support this by allowing customers to find out a little more about the business before getting in touch.
Phase 2 – Online Gallery and Sales
With phase 1 launched and Mark taking online orders for his 2011 calendar, the next step was to build a gallery for Mark’s complete archive of photos. Mark wanted to integrate a simple online ordering service such that customers could order several photos (at web or print resolution) and have them delivered via digital download.
We discussed with Mark the need to keep the ordering process simple; the process should be as fast as possible to complete. Photos would be delivered through a zip-file download, but would only be valid for one download. Payments were to be handled by PayPal Express, whilst Mark needed a way to manage and organise his growing collection of photos for sale.
A simple administration interface was built that allowed Mark to upload and tag his photos. The application also watermarks full-resolution previews automatically. Mark is able to rate each photo to dictate the order in which they will be displayed in the gallery, whilst premium photos are always promoted to the top of the list.
The administration area also lets Mark see a list of received orders, and re-activate any used download links.
“I could not be happier with the design and function of the website throughout, but especially the new gallery section that far exceeds what I imagined would be possible for the promotion of my work.”Mark Stocks Vistas de Murcia
On the public side, we built the gallery using an infinite paging technique. As the reader scrolls down, the next row of available photos is displayed, allowing Mark’s portfolio to be viewed in its entirety on one page. I’ll be publishing technical details of developing the gallery on my development blog.
Just a few days after launch, Mark’s gallery is already attracting people to his photography. Mark is now promoting his new site throughout the Murcia region, and is planning phase 3 for launch in early 2011
“The final result delivers on every level and looks fantastic.”Mark Stocks Vistas de Murcia
For more information about Mark and his work, visit markstocks.com. To have a chat about how Plymouth Software can help your business develop with our custom web and mobile applications, please contact us.