Processes and PageRank
When we were developing the youlove.us web site, our decision making was guided by some simple tenets; we wanted to create a presence that would showcase our business in the best possible light, and become a talking point within the wider design community.
As the medium has grown in stature in recent times, the bar has been consistently raised for the graphical presentation of information online by some seriously talented people, and we were looking to become a part of that happy band of individuals (and of course, agencies!).
We figured that if we could hit on that elusive “X-factor” with the front-end, then the rest would follow as regards inbound traffic and the potential clients that might bring.
So we set to it, working around some of the initial ideas we had, in anticipation that the mythical lightbulb would (hopefully) burst into life, and inspiration would take hold and lead us on our merry way.
Simultaneously, we had had been playing about with concepts for our business’ identity, and once we had fleshed out the logo design, we started to cogitate on how it could best be deployed. Spencer had a fantastic cityscape image (of Seattle, WA – we’ve had a fair few enquiries about this since!), acquired from a stock library, that he thought might fit the bill in some way.
Shortly thereafter, we had a meeting with our accountants, to discuss some of the finer points arising from the company formation, and it was here that Spencer announced to us that he’d had a truly Pythagorean “Eureka” moment – couldn’t we use the cityscape in conjunction with a transition between day and night, with a side order of parallax thrown in for good measure? We were pretty excited by this revelation; the lightbulb was now burning bright, and we were ready for the challenges ahead.
As Spencer has already mentioned on this blog, the skies were entirely generated from scratch in our weapon-of-choice, Photoshop, with no third-party source material involved other than the Moon, which was the result of some fiddling with the excellent Lunarcell from those original doyens of the plug-in, Flaming Pear.
The other major decision we made, was to employ JQuery as the architecture that would sit behind the design and make the magic happen.
A by-product of the whole process was the realisation that things weren’t going to pan out in IE6 to our satisfaction, so we made a conscious decision to reduce the site’s level of support for that browser. This is something that has subsequently gained us a fair bit of exposure in the realms of the Blogosphere, and ultimately, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?
To cut a long story short, the site went live on the 11th June, 2008 – and almost immediately was picked up by some of the bigger design/CSS showcases, and we started to receive some very favourable feedback from other designers, which of course pleased us no end – thanks guys and gals, we really do appreciate it!
To date, we have had over 30 features, and these have helped start the ball rolling on the traffic front. For the statistics lovers amongst you, we have pushed over 40GB of bandwidth since going live, and served over 75000 page views (not bad for what is essentially a one-page site!).
Perhaps one of the achievements we are most proud of is the fact that we went Google PageRank 6 within 6 weeks of the initial live date – this has knocked our socks off, and should hopefully serve as a salutary example that a considered approach to design can really pay SEO dividends in the long run.
So, where do we go from here? The answer is simple – we will try our hardest to adhere to our Mission Statement; “We will make the Web awesome!” – We’re excited by what we do and by the direction online design is taking, and wouldn’t do this if we weren’t! We hope you’ll tag along for ride …watch this space.