The Creation of MavArts.com
This was a unique and fun project. As I have mentioned before, I often speak to the advanced web design class at Westwood College. Westwood set up a live project with artist Monte Moore. Monte is a well known Pin-Up and Comic artist who has won numerous awards and is widely recognized throughout the industry. I was brought in to manage the project and build the application.
Monte wanted a content management system with eCommerce capabilities. His old site had limited capabilities, bad navigation and no CMS.
The Westwood class was charged with creating the look and feel of the site. After meeting with the artist they had a pretty clear idea of what he was looking for. Five students submitted their ideas for the look and feel and the rest of the class were in charge of content, usability and HTML / CSS. I submitted a design of my own and gave the class one of my old style sheets to work off (way too difficult for them to attempt from scratch).
About the Re-Design
The new site is managed running MODx. It is completely customized for the business. There are a lot of custom fields (template variables) that get inserted where and when necessary. These fields can be used in various sections of the site.
The site also has a completely custom eCommerce solution. The store - with 8 categories and over 200 products - is built right into the CMS (using FoxyCart).
There are also 8 galleries (using MaxiGallery) for older art that is not for sale. The beauty of the galleries and store is that they are extremely easy to use. (I tested the site on my 12 year old!)
As you can see from the links below, the class used a lot of my design in the final result. In the end, they decided on a two-column layout instead of my 3 columns. This was just a matter of preference, but my thinking was with so much information in the site it would be a good way to communicate to the user everything available.
A side note: we are NOT supporting IE6 with this site. Monte's fans are very sophisticated and very few of them use IE6.
The final User Manual for the site was 10 pages long. It includes step-by-step instructions to create / edit the various types of documents and each section includes a lot of photos to instruct.