Braithwaite and I reviewed the websites of other writers, such as Dani Shapiro, who also offered writing workshops to prospective students. A notable finding was that other sites were essentially personal portfolios that included information about the workshops each author offered; the focus was not primarily on the available services, which Braithwaite wanted her site to be centered on.
PROJECT: THE INNER WORKROOM
CLIENT: PATIA BRAITHWAITE
Patia Braithwaite, storyteller and founder of the Inner Workroom, requested a website that allowed prospective clients to sign up for group writing workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, domestic and international retreats, as well as subscribe for weekly announcements about the programs she offered.
With her background as a writer for such publications as The Huffington Post and Sonima, and her blog Men, Myself, and God, Braithwaite had already established quite a following. However, this was her first attempt at reaching out to those followers in hopes of mentoring them in their own writing endeavors. Therefore, it was essential to create a website that invited her clients into a trusting environment, one that would allow them to share their writing processes.
IDEATION: WARM, WELCOMING AND MODERN
Braithwaite and I decided upon a separate website specifically for The Inner Workroom that would link to her personal portfolio and vice versa. We also wanted to include a brief summation of each workshop on the home page so visitors would be able to decide which offering was best for them before clicking for further information. I asked Braithwaite to provide a few adjectives to describe The Inner Workroom as an exercise to help her reflect upon what she envisioned for the website. This information also helped me to decide upon font pairings and a color palette.
Visitors of The Inner Workroom were expected to be primarily women in their 20s and 30s with or without blogging experience.
To ensure the website looked modern, I suggested sans serif fonts for the display font and body text. There were some restrictions, however. I was working with a small budget, so the fonts had to be free or inexpensive in order to leave enough room in the budget for the photographs we wished to license for use. As a result, I searched for fonts on Google Fonts and Font Squirrel, knowing that these fonts fit the financial and digital license criteria.
The selected colors are soft to convey a sense of warmth and comfort. A brighter color palette was also suggested, and though it was inviting, it did not create the appropriate mood for the site.
I built the 3-page, continuous scroll website using the website builder Wix instead of WordPress or Square Space since I had prior knowledge of the platform. I was also aware of the limitations I would face when building this site and had experience working around those limitations.
Rather than create a traditional navigation menu, the home page allows viewers to hover over circular images to view the menu options. After clicking on the circles on the home page, visitors are taken to the designated anchor on that page. When an individual visits a subpage, such as The Soulful Blogger page on the website, the circular menu links to specific pages.
This poses a problem, particularly on the mobile site, because the circles are too small to see the menu options within them. Therefore, if I were to redesign both the desktop and mobile site, I would find a way to incorporate a menu in the header and move the social media icons to the footer.
A mobile site was created once the desktop site was completed. The original iteration of the mobile site employed the use of two columns. However, upon revising this site, I stacked the body copy since the text was too small and illegible when the copy was separated into more than one column.
THE SOULFUL BLOGGER BOOK
In the midst of completing the website design, Braithwaite also enlisted me to design a workbook for her class: The Soulful Blogger. The workbook utilizes the same color palette and fonts of The Inner Workroom to create consistency across the brand.