Wow! Wait! Whaaaaat!?.... That feeling you have when you notice an email in your inbox from THAT business you've admired for a while now. (You know the feeling right?)
The butterflies in your belly and disbelief all in one moment.
That's exactly how I felt when I saw the inquiry from Sue Keogh in my inbox about the redesign of the Sookio website...
I'll be honest, I was totally sweating and heavy breathing as I read the email from Sue. To share a little background, I've admired Sue and her business, Sookio, for years now. We were both nominated for the same award at the Cambridgeshire Digital Awards 2016 (Sookio won by the way!) and to think Sue,the founder and director of one of Cambridge’s most influential businesses, was emailing me...My mind was blown.
As I processed the email and replied to set up a consultation call I couldn't help but want to thank my lucky stars - I should have been thanking my buddy, the amazing Kelly Molson, but I didn't know that at the time.
Sue Keogh wanted me to redesign the Sookio website.
Even as I think about it again my heart starts beating that tiny bit faster!
I wanted to nail the consultation call. I WANTED this project.
The consultation call
Being on maternity leave I was scared that Sue would think I was unprofessional, I remember thinking she's not going to work with me - I'm working odd hours and at odd times in the day, and sometimes in the evening, plus I have the baby (Little K) with me most of the time.
Despite all the reservations I ignored the silly imposter syndrome feelings and put my KSD business brain into gear and faced my reservations.
why Sue felt like she needed to redesign the Sookio website (Sue was already using Squarespace so already had plenty of knowledge about the platform),
My offering, and the bit that scared me the most,
My working hours.
The call went well. It was all positive...
Once the contract was signed and the paperwork completed, I set up the Project Checklist in Asana (my chosen project management tool) and supplied Sue with the homework tasks.
I could instantly see the style, and look and feel that Sue had in mind for the revamped Sookio website based on the pins that Sue collated. They were bold, colourful, stylish, and Sue’s vision was really clear from what I could see. Fantastic!
The pins also mirrored the adjectives Sue used to describe the future style of the Sookio website:
Everything was aligning perfectly. After a chat to discuss the homework and answer any last minute questions it was time to get designing!!
Squarespace website design
As with every design project, I always refer back to the homework (Pinterest task and Workbook) to ensure I am capturing not only the vision but also the key requirements of the website. It’s important to ensure the design works and supports the main focus of the website. Understanding what the purpose of the website influences the design massively.
It's also important to mention that as with any design element I create, I provide revision rounds. These are key to ensuring the designs meet your requirements but also work for you - no matter what medium; print, web, digital.
Building the new Sookio Squarespace website
As previously mentioned, the Sookio website was already using Squarespace.
This meant the new site development needed to be planned properly, without having a negative impact on SEO and with minimal disruption to the live site.
Sue also required additional pages to be designed and built and so these were added into the project before going live.
Being a Squarespace Circle Member I get extra benefits which allow me to ensure my process and offering always benefit my clients as well. Using these benefits, I was able to seamlessly develop the new Sookio site and switch templates without any disruption to the live site.
The idea was to keep the existing site up and running until we were ready to press the “live” button and publish the website to the world!
On the week running up to Christmas 2018, I pressed the LIVE button and the website was LIVE.
Since the Sookio website has been live, Sue and team have “had a continual stream of glowing comments from people telling us they love the bold colours, the clear content and the overall confident look and feel”.
I have received a huge amount of compliments from small business owners through to agency owners.
Not only does the website look amazing (if I do say so myself) but I also ensured that the backend of the website was built efficiently and was easy to replicate custom coded pages as well. SEO played a major part in the setup and this was key, as was providing a suitable handoff document for Sue and the team so that they are confident in being able to maintain the site.
The award - Website of the Year 2019
Another amazing outcome of this project was that Sookio won Website of the Year 2019 at the SME Cambs Business Awards 2019.
Still can’t believe it! What an amazing project, opportunity and more!