Exploring New Possibilities With The University City Swim Club Web Design & Development Project
The University City Swim Club (UCSC) site was an important project for Matchbox. It gave us the opportunity to explore new techniques and provide examples of our offerings to future clients. For one, we explored the process of design when it involves two designers and two concepts. Often we streamline our process and gave a client one finalized direction. However, with our new intern Connie working for us we were able to provide two options and explore a process of how these elements are combined to create one concept after a client’s feedback. We also were able to explore our new offering of photography with this University City Swim Club Web Design project
Our project manager, Colby, joined our team in April with a depth of experience in photography. Seeing it as an opportunity to express her talent to clients for future projects. Colby donated her time to produce photography for the new site. While we work predominantly in WordPress (for its ease of use in the backend and functionality), we decided to think outside the box for the UCSC site. Dan worked in Statamic, a content management system (CMS) that allowed him more flexibility. Overall the University City Swim Club Web Design & Development project has been both different and successful for us.
Over this past summer, Connie contacted us, looking for a way to expand her graphic design knowledge into the realm of web design. We were lucky enough to have her onboard for one short month. Around the same time, Bob Winters contacted us, seeking a web partner not only for the architecture firm he co-owned (OWH) but also for the University City Swim Club, which he helped run.
At Matchbox, we love to give our interns the opportunity to work on real work for real clients. Speaking from experience (intern in 2012), I can tell you that it is incredibly eye-opening and you have the ability to learn so much about web design and also about the process of a real firm. So on her second day at Matchbox, Connie and I sat down to talk about our first task: a friendly and fresh new website for University City Swim Club (UCSC).
Brent directed us to work on two separate style guides to show the client. Style guides represent a quick overview of the feeling behind the design. They include elements like buttons, text combined with photography, icons, and font choices. We show these to clients before diving deeper into the design of individual pages because it gives them a sense of our direction for the site and makes sure we are on the right track before we spend hours developing a design that they won’t like.
We presented the designs to Bob and head coach, Larry. From their feedback, we determined that we would use parts and pieces from both designs and work together to finalize them into one harmonious design. For the font, they preferred Connie’s large scale, fun, blocky text, Montserrat.
Our color palette drew from both style guides. I developed a brighter, more exciting yellow based on the original gold that represents UCSC. Connie brought in some crisp blues to represent water. Matchbox included a pattern from my style guide and found a way to use the overlapping shapes that I designed. We took the softness and curves from Connie’s button styles and applied it throughout. We also used her team feature, but added the circle from mine to define the team photos.
With some awesome communication and teamwork, Connie and I worked together to flesh out the rest of the design. We designed a photo gallery for parents to showcase all the awesome kids involved and a fun news grid for updates on meets, tips for first-time swimmers and coach interviews. We were able to divide up work but also have a second opinion to make the site the best it could be.
It was a rewarding experience to work with University City Swim Club. Matchbox Design Group was able to learn and explore new approaches to design and development. We were also able to feature our new photography offering. The new UCSC site will help keep parents informed and showcase all the talented kids that swim there.
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