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Stories on Webdesign

The Birthcard Company

01 February 2004

small screenshot of the website of Special Collection This was my first "commercial" project. At least, it was for a commercial company, but I still did it for nothing! A good friend of ours, who had worked all his life in the printing-business, wanted to do something new. And the idea came to him to start up a birthcard company. In the Netherlands it a custom to send a card to family, friends and relatives when a little one is born into the family. For many parents it's an agony trying to find just that one, special card for their new offspring. So also for our friends Lisa and Marino. They spent weeks trying to find the card that was unique, not often used and artistic enough for the both of them (Lisa is a clockmaker - one of few left in the Netherlands). In the end they did like we did for Casper and Robin - make your own! When Marieke was born we got a very nice card in our mailbox. It looked a lot like this one, and the design is now part of the "Special Colletion". Both due to their long search for a birthcard and Marino's wish to do something new, the idea arose to start up their own birthcard company. But it should not be just another collection of other people's of company's birthcards. No, this had to be a special company with a special collection. It had to stand out among the many players in the field. And looking at the current collection I must say that they have succeeded. Go have a look at their website!

As for myself and for the design process of this site - it was tough. Marino called me one day and asked me if I'd like to help him create a website for his newly started company. Of course, I said, do you have ideas, scetches? A standard question I always ask, usually expecting a firm NO. But ot my surprise he not only had ideas, but he had scetched the whole website, all the pages, even the flow! Gimme more! So we got together and worked out the ideas and scetches. In the end we came up with a design he liked and one I could create in XHTML with CSS.

In the end it has been a hard course we've travelled to see the website go live. Why? Well, XHTML and CSS are great, but with this design I quickly discovered the limitations of todays browsers. They may all say that they are CSS-compliant, but the truth is far from that. Things that work according to CSS 2 (yes, even CSS 1), just don't seem to do what you expect. It got so frustrating at times I considered returning to a good-old table-based layout...

But, I finished the design, worked some magic on the sidebar (fading into the white background thanks to gradients) and the site is now live. Hopefully it will be visited by many people, and hopefully those people will finally find what they have been looking for in a birthcard!

Valid XHTML! Valid CSS 2!

Updated 10 June 2004, by Sebastiaan Naafs - van Dijk

This site is growing fast. The number of salespoints has increased exponentially with time. You now even can get the birthcards in Belgium! All pictures have gotten a vague transitional border, so they don't look so square. The site looks an feels more complete and round now! Furthermore the orderform is under development. It will become interactive, meaning doing calculations as the order is being filled in and the possibillity to send the order by email to Special Collection with a receipt/confirmation to the customer. Gotta find out quickly how I can turn the webmaster tasks over to the owners themselves, or this might end up taking more of my time than I hoped for!

Posted by Sebastiaan Naafs - van Dijk | top

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    ... on 27 May 2024 @ 12:32