Website & illustrations

Sometimes there is a hard deadline to have a new website up and running. The founder of Utility Classroom came to us needing a site that could promote the workshops he gives. Because he had the initial classes scheduled, we knew the site had to be live on a certain date. In cases like this it’s important to prioritize what’s mission critical, what’s pretty important, and what can definitely wait till later.

In one sense, it’s a simple site, in that it is basically doing one thing: allowing people to browse workshops and then sign up and collect payment. But there were a lot of subtle complexities, and we worked to give people a smooth, simple user experience, as well as make it easy for staff at Utility Classroom to edit and maintain themselves.

The basic e-commerce piece was up and running first as registration opened, and over the next few weeks we rolled out the less critical pieces: the blog, a coupon-discount system, an email-list sign up, a more complete map of all class locations, etc.

We tied the site in with a MailChimp list so that everyone registering for a specific class gets automatically put in an email group for that class. So it’s easy to communicate with each class. We also integrated the site with Google Maps, so the class locations would automatically appear with minimal setup for the Utility Classroom people who update the site. And it is easy for site visitors to see at a glance if a class is schedule near them.

As far as the visual design, we wanted to keep the site lively, to reflect the fact that Utility Classroom teachers try to make their classes relaxed and engaging. Tony created custom illustrations to give the site a fun, consistent look throughout.

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