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Neil Tortorella is Creative Latitude's Chief Copywriter, as well as being responsible for the day to day wrestling of important bits that enables CL to operate.

Neil is also a veteran graphic designer with over 25 years' experience in developing identities, collateral and web solutions for both large and small companies. Based in Northeast Ohio, Tortorella Design has received numerous awards for design excellence.

If you are new to design or the business of design, don't forget to drop by Neil's newbies.

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www.tortorella
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Experience Kathy Lamancusa - Before
by Neil Tortorella

Experience Kathy Lamancusa

Kathy Lamancusa is an internationally-known consumer trends analyst, as well as an inspirational speaker and author. She came over to the Tortorella Design fold seeking better use of her web space.

Using my Web Needs Analysis questionnaire during our intial meeting, we reviewed her positioning and branding goals, as well as where she's been and where she'd like to be. After that, I rolled up my sleeves and starting researching the competition, audiences and reviewed her current site. While looking over her existing site, it became obvious that we were dealing with major brand confusion. That put her at a distinct competitive disadvantage.

There's a bit of a chasm between consumer trends and inspirational books and presentations. But, the previous site had both of these diverse ends of her business lumped together into one site. The audience came away thinking, "Huh? So ... like what is it you do?" Beyond that, the images weren't clean, color balance was off and much of the important information fell "below" the fold.

After the prelimiany research into the audience and competition, along with the material gathered at out meeting, I drafted my proposal.  This contained my understanding of the project's scope, and goals, along with my strategy to reach them. The proposal also contained a preliminary site map, development schedule and budget.

After the proposal was accepted and we had an agreement, I began sketching out home page designs. These were simple pencil roughs on paper. I roughed out a few dozen ideas and edited them down to three I felt were most appropriate. These were tightened up on the trusty Mac and made ready for presentation. My initial web design presentations are printed out and shown on all-black Foamcore® boards. I do this because it gives the client a sense of ownership from the beginning. It's something they can hold in their hands. Although there are slight color differences between what's done in ink and what's done in pixels, I explain this to the client and, so far, it hasn't posed any problems.

From the three designs (showing the home page, the navigation scheme and two typical interior pages) Kathy and I selected one design for further refinements. A development site was also created to show the progress of the project along with design notes, and status reports.

BEFORE:

'before' web site design


See the AFTER results»


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