In our initial client meeting Tower Hill representatives laid out a series of requirements including the use of WordPress and the Bootstrap framework, and plugins that they wanted incorporated into the site. The key goal was to make the site as responsive as possible in order to replace Tower Hill’s current site, which lacks any kind of responsiveness at all.
Our team looked at different sources of inspiration for our Tower Hill website proposal. A major source was the current sites of major competitors such as State Farm and Allstate, as well as those of other insurance giants such as Progressive, to see what elements were consistently present and which ones worked best when incorporated into our Tower Hill site proposal.
Based on our secondary research we decided to cast a wide net throughout Florida and in markets Tower Hill is targeting in its expansion into other states. Our target audience centers around homeowners, business owners and renters of various ages and financial demographics.
Who was the client (and a brief description about them)?
The client was Tower Hill Insurance, an insurance company headquartered in Gainesville, FL. Tower Hill was founded in 1972 and has grown into a company with over 400 employees and with 700 certified agents through the state of Florida. They have written over $1 billion in policies.
As a team we called upon all the skills we had learned since the beginning of the WDOC program as well those we all had learned through previous education and jobs such as advertising copywriting and branding. Because Tower Hill required the use of WordPress we used a barebones Underscores which allowed us to expedite development. We then incorporated Bootstrap into the theme per another Tower Hill requirement. During development we used MAMP or similar local server programs to install WordPress locally to make changes to code and test plugins while minimizing any risk of issues with the live install.
The team began the design process by researching the client’s current site as well as competitors’ sites. We then laid out simple wireframes followed by mock-ups which incorporated design decisions such as navigation and colors. In order to allow all team members to use the skills learned as we progressed through the WDOC program we divided the work based on page/templates required by the client. Discovery and testing of plugins was also the responsibility of each person based on their assigned pages.
Favorite Aspect of Project
I enjoyed designing and coding a site for not only a real client but a well-known and established
one in Tower Hill Insurance. Being forced to really learn WordPress and Bootstrap was another
bonus considering both are integral to the present and future of web design and online
We brainstormed an incredible site that would be informative, dynamic, and engaging, and we were able to bring it to life, from scratch, and the help of each other.
My favorite part of this project was getting to work with a real, established client. I had a good time of putting all the tools I had learned into practice with Tower Hill Insurance.
My favorite aspect of this project was learning more about WordPress and all of the features it offers. It was a great challenge and learning experience and one I will definitely be able to use in the future.
learned how intimidating it can be at first when you’re working on a site for a real client. Even
though I’d worked as a copywriter in advertising agencies before starting this program, this felt
much different that creating an ad or billboard because of all the moving parts. I also learned the
importance of working collaboratively and remotely which is a skill that is increasingly necessary
given the current global working environment in many industries.
There’s always someone on the team who can help. We all had different strengths and used those to assist the others when they hit a bump along the way. We were able to take our best ideas, weave them together, and create something incredible.
I learned that good communication is key to any major project. My teammates and I had all different schedules, so working as a team could feel difficult because we were often working at our own pace. It wasn’t always easy, but with enough effort in communication it was possible to create a strong finished project.
Throughout this semester-long project, I learned what it takes to work in a group setting for an important client, and just how crucial communication is. Living across the country from my teammates while working on such a large scale project was a factor a lot of us had never been faced with, so constant communication was definitely something we maintained throughout the semester.