Making Pink Lemonade
About this project
As a survival of lightning strike, Carolyn Lim decided to write a book, hoping to share some encouragement with others who face adversity. She needed a website to help promote and sell the book online. At first few student-volunteers offered their help, but they couldn't carry through the work. When William (Carolyn's husband) first contacted me, he clarified up-front that they were high and dry, they had very little budget, and they were hoping for a miracle. But guess what? They got the miracle.
In the original design [fig. 1], the navigation menu was presented as graphic image that didn't offer much clue on where does each link lead to. Chances were, a user has to click around in homepage to figure out how to move on to other pages. In the world of web design, we call this bad usability.
I was never a big fan of “splash” page. Therefore the homepage was the first problem I had to fix. I reused most of the design elements to reconstruct the new layout. Also, to make it more useful, I added to home page several direct links to selected contents, such as link to latest blog entry, announcement, news mentions, and of course, direct link to the order page.
The original website was built by using static HTML pages. To update information, a web page authoring software was required, which was a challenge to Carolyn since she was not trained in such area (she was formerly a school teacher). Not to mention she did not have the extra budget to buy the software.
I rebuilt the website on content management platform — Drupal. By doing so, she is now able to easily update content of her website without any technical skill [fig. 2].
What client says
I was at a loss when the one who was supposed to help me with my website left me in the lurch. God heard my prayers then and sent me Dean. From the very beginning, even though this is a pro-bono project, Dean has never tried to cut corners or skimp on his contributions to my website. Instead, he has gone above and beyond what I'd hoped for and given me a website that I am very, very proud to call my own.
To begin with, all I'd had was a design, some content and an idea of how I'd like my website to “operate”. When the date for the launch of the website got moved up drastically at the last minute, Dean voiced not a word of complaint. Instead, he worked overtime (and then some!) to produce a miracle. I'd been thinking that with such little time left, I would be lucky to settle for a temporary “shop-front’ but Dean presented me with a honking, gorgeous, fully functioning website!!!
Since then, Dean has added on to it, making enhancements and updating content. I love how he's always very positive and prompt. Although he took this project on out of the goodness of his heart and he's working on a voluntary basis, he has never, ever made me feel that this is his charity, or beholden to him etc.
I am very thankful that Dean bailed me out when I desperately needed help. Beyond simple gratitude however, I have utmost respect and admiration for Dean, the professional. He really does know his stuff and delivers what he promises and more!
Carolyn Lim, Author of “Making Pink Lemonade”