Design Choice Communications

 

Web site: Orange County Piano Lessons

OCPIANO.COM

Overview

Orange County Piano Lessons is a small business Internet site for a Southern California piano teacher. The client wanted a unique, fun and attention-getting Internet presence. The instructor's students are comprised of children and adults. Consequently, the site was designed to appeal to a wide range of ages.

Process

The site was created using Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Fireworks and Dreamweaver. It incorporates technically flawless HTML and customized Cascading Style Sheets as validated in 2000 by the World Wide Web Consortium, “developer of specifications, guidelines, software and tools to lead the Web to its full potential”. The style sheets designate typeface (font), point size, and other page characteristics such as the absence of underlining under hyperlinks and the change of color when passing over a link. More importantly, by carefully crafting META tags by which to provide a brief site description and relevant key words, OCPIANO.COM has been successfully indexed by web crawlers and robots — automated programs used by search companies to add Web sites to their databases.

Design Influence

Design-wise, the octave, as illustrated by the piano keys I created in Photoshop, triggers JavaScript rollovers, which tout the mental and educational advantages of music training. Every key corresponds with a brief text rollover, including a description of the qualifications of the instructor. Because the information is triggered by a rollover rather than a mouse click, viewers may obtain a quick site overview with minimal effort, which is key because very few Internet users enjoy repeated mouse clicks to obtain essential information. Concurrently, the photograph of the grand piano accompanied by the black and white theme reinforces the piano theme. Similarly, the orange and orange accent color in the site border and button text represents and reinforces Orange County — the region in which the piano instructor works.

Outcome

OCPIANO.COM has garnered in excess of 7,000 hits and many compliments from visitors worldwide. Because the META tags are informative and accurate, the site has been well received by search engines — an essential behind-the-scenes promotional step that many webmasters and design companies fail to offer their clients. Because the prerequisite site description and keywords must be entered into the site source code and are not visible or readily understood by the casual Internet user, it is an easy step to omit or overlook — but an essential for site holders who hope their Internet site will attract new customers and clients. By designating a brief description within the META tags, it also ensures that the site description that appears in search results will convey a desirable message rather than a random assortment of words detected on the site.

Orange County Piano Lessons provides succinct and effective in advertising for the instructor. Since its introduction in 2000, the teacher has received numerous inquiries from would-be students despite no other form of printed or Internet-based advertising upon which the OCPIANO.COM URL appears. Finally, I was able to save the client money by drawing upon eight years of prior experience as a webmaster and Internet site creator to suggest a reliable, Canadian-based Web hosting company that neither requires banner advertisements nor charges hosting fees. As a result, this self-employed businesswoman pays nothing more than the annual domain renewal fee — which are also among some of the most price-competitive domain renewal fees on the Internet.

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