Ben Preston

Renaissance Man in Training



Consultant Services Portfolio

2/4/2013 5:20pm - First Share

Click that link to look at my entire project so far. I made it on Axure and found the easiest way to post was to publish it to their online service. I only made a few of the pages that I thought would be important and require the most development in the future.

I also wrieframed a few dynamic functions like a "resource navigator" "bio viewer" and a an interactive "Services" infographic. So please be sure to click on certain items to explore more and leave feedback on the dynamic layouts as well. 

Just in case you don't see/get everything, here's my legend:

- Stick Figures/Dotted lines demonstrate the "fold," what a user can see without scrolling.

- Red Brand: Logo / CO. colors are maroon, so this was a shot at using color on the homepage.

- Home 2:  The page I like better than the other homepage I made... This layout reflects my importance scales more than "Home." Click the links to: Services | Consultant Bios | Resources to explore from this page.

- Home: First concept of a homepage.

- Services: Clicking the buttons works differently in my mind than the prototype. In my mind I'd like to have a quad of services with short descriptions, then when one is clicked the longer explanation should dominate the screen/quad.

- Resources: Clicking Blog Posts or Resources will lead you to new windows. Also, clicking any of the bold text on those pages will lead to one more dynamic state, then click any available "back" buttons to go back.

- Consultant Bios 2: Clicking the first two consultant bios will show layout examples of the bio generator.

Just to reiterate my main goals are to 1.) Engage the user for as long and as deep as possible 2.) Encourage the user to contact the company directly. 3.) Demonstrate the expert power and experience of our brand.

My questions: Am I leaving room to get my message across? Emphasizing things correctly? Also, is my wireframe working for others? As far as a draft goes, I get it, but does it make sense to you all? If not, what can I do better? Am I going too far with Axure, it is quite complex, and could I be learning more about myself/the project by using something even simpler like PPT or Balsamiq?

Thank you so much for any and all feedback!

On second thought.. I may have to trim some of this stuff from the project log..

1/31/2013 6:30pm - Partial Entry

Homepage V2

My first ever gig doing what I"ve always felt I would be good at! Problem is, I've never really done it before. It, is redesign a website (at least I haven't done it since Geocities). Their website is currently very... dull, and easy to get lost in. Also, it doesn't do much to call the user to action or encourage sales. 

I'm working for a very small company that is capable of providing a large variety of services in the realm of IT Consulting. I know, super interesting... But it is to me! They already have so much content I just feel like it requires a very streamlined website that emphasizes a few facts about them:

- Our consultants are the best consultants. Ever.  *expertise*

- Our company has already solved your problems in the past. *experience*

- Easy button. Yeah, we can do that, we can do that right now. *sales*

I want to craft an experience for the visitor also. This is where I'd love the most advice. Because we have so much great content already in the form of blog posts, podcasts, whitepapers, etc.. I think it is a missed opportunity not to try and drive engagement with the user and give them a comfortable place to learn about what it is we actually do. 

Is it crazy to seperate sales and content? I think I want to. I'd like to have the homepage have a clear and direct sales page, but once a user has "declared engagement" I kind of want to back off and let them explore. Yet, the option to say hello to consultant should always be available!

We already have a great developer, so I wanted to take more of a marketing approach than a developmental one to this project, and wireframing it makes the most sense to me. I'm familiar with what the capabilities of most web developers are, but it can be tough to put what's in your head into something that others can understand so completely that they can create it. That ability to communicate is the skill I want to takeaway from this class.

1/28/13. - 12:00pm


1/28/13. - 5:00pm

After doing some online research at a website my friend recommended ( I've thought it might be a good idea to find a process for outlining my wireframe (because "outline my outline" would make me sound like a dork). The content on hackdesign includes the "Design Hierarchy of Needs" which is a theory based off of "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." I don't think that Maslow's thoery is necessarily a 100% valid argument after reading into it some more, but as long as I don't apply it as the only law and review my work holistically I think it could be a cool place to start.

So, here's what I'm going to do, in order:

1.) Reliability / Speed ---- Consider the max number of elements per page in terms of how many of them will lead to other pages. This requires you to consider how many pages there will even be and start to imagine WHY you would need each one of them! The goal for me (since I tend to brainstorm... clearly) is to limit the number of pages and elements to the bare minimum that can communicate my  website's message. Come out of this exercise with a pool of elements organized by page.

2.) Organization / Order & Structure ---- Take these pages and arrange them for depth and flow. Where is the sales path? Why would it include the about us section? Consider the structure internally as well, how will the organization I create today impact others trying to develop or maintain the website in the future? Come out of this exercise with an ordered list of pages and their relationships.

3.) Interaction ---- This is like step 2 but for webpages on an individual level. What does the user expect to see when they click element x? What do they want to see? Come out of this exercise having arranged the elements from the pool created in step 1 on the pages in step 2.

4.) Aesthetics ---- Fine tune, get the locations and sizes down in pixel numbers, make it easily importable to to a developer.

This was all kinda stream of consciousness and I'd love an opinion (be it pro or amateur) or two! So, please leave some thoughts, comments, tweaks, any other ideas for getting started?


1/28/13. 9:30pm

I'm just going to resolve to never delete anything from this. I'll start dating stuff too I guess.

Decided to revise some statements from earlier in light of the first lecture video. Here's the new plan:

What do you want to get across to viewers of your portfolio site?

-We have experience with your problems and are available to solve them.

Potential Structure divided into Most Important (*) vs. Least Important and data, Brand References, and core messages (sorry, I see now that skillshare doesn't support multiple level lists, please bear with my brackets).

  • Home >
  • Service Portfolio
  • Call to Action
  • Our Story >>
  • Group Pic
  • *Story Title
  • *500 Word story - text block (or infographic?)
  • *Call to Action
  • *Next link.. to Consultant Bios
  • Logo
  • Resources Link
  • Blog Link
  • Podcasts Link
  • Twitter Feed/ share buttons (LI, FB)
  • Consultant Bios >>
  • Detail Page
  • Resources
  • Blog
  • Podcasts

I'm going to jump into word now and flesh out these content lists for each lowest level page, then work my way up.


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