We’re proud to announce the launch of the newly redesign Nanahood, a “grandma” blog focused on everything related to being a grandma. Teresa Kindred is the grandma behind Nanahood, but in addition to being a blogger and a grandma she’s also an author. Setting up blogs of this nature isn’t the kind of work we normally do here at MWI, but Teresa won us over and we decided to make an exception. One of Teresa’s favorite blogs is The Pioneer Woman and we took some inspiration from it’s Pinterest-like layout in the lower area of its homepage. But getting the design right for Teresa’s website didn’t happen overnight. Here’s a look into the process.
When Teresa approached us we asked her for some of her favorite websites, which is always one of the first questions we ask a client interested in a site redesign. It’s not that we ever copy websites, but we want to know what the client is looking for in terms of web design, content, messaging, and layout. We can learn a lot from looking at the sites a client likes. We also would have done some research on the “grandma blogging industry” but unlike with mommy blogs, there’s aren’t many grandma blogs to speak of. So we jumped in and got to work creating designs. Our primary criteria were that the site had to work as a responsive design, it had to appeal to the target audience, and mostly, Teresa had to love it. Here’s what the first design looked like.
Teresa seemed to like this one…sort of. But she wanted to see something else, so we came up with a slightly modified version. Here’s v2.
But this still wasn’t hitting the spot, so we did another, this time changing up the color scheme to something a bit brighter.
But we still weren’t getting it right. Teresa wasn’t thrilled, and neither was I. I thought this design was good, but that we could do something a lot better. So we went out on a limb and I asked our design to come up with something completely different in terms of color and style. How different? Well, how about channeling a little Dolce & Gabbana?
That turned out to not be the right direction. But that didn’t stop us from trying a second time.
But no, this definitely was not what Teresa wanted, and we knew it before we ever showed it to her. At this point we decided to try something completely different yet again, and we came up with this design.
This seemed to be getting closer to the goal, but it was still not as refined as we wanted it to be. So yet again, we tried something a bit different. Now, when I say “different” you’ll notice I’m talking primarily about colors and design. We had nailed it when it came to the basic layout of the site, which did make subsequent designs a bit easier to manage since now it was just a matter of colors, fonts, and other design flourishes. On the 7th attempt, it finally all came together.
This time Teresa loved it, and we were pretty pleased with it as well. We sent it to code, integrated it with WordPress, transferred over all Teresa’s posts from her old site to this new one, and now it’s live. We’ve used several plugins to get the site right, including MailChimp for email list management, Yoast for SEO, and a host of others. Now begins the truly fun part of optimizing the blog and coaching Teresa on how to make the most of her new platform. Speaking of platforms, the first reading assignment I gave Teresa was to read the book Platform by Michael Hyatt. If you’re a blogger, knowledge expert, or anyone trying to promote anything, this book is a must-read.