Fire Shield West sells fire proofing products in Arizona. Their retail location is known for excellent service and knowledgeable staff. It was important that the website continue that same level of service by presenting readily available resources and easy to find contact info. It was also important to the brand that we not employ the fear-based design tactics that are common in their industry. The website needed to be approachable, with balanced visuals.
This was Fire Shield West’s first website. They wanted to expand their business by offering products nationally. Before diving into building the website, I met with them to discuss their goals and what they needed from the website. They needed something that would allow them to sell their products online, provide up-to-date information to the public, and a landing place for marketing their business online.
During our initial meeting it was clear that in addition to the website design, FSW would also need an updated logo. We were going to be spending lots of time and energy developing a website that reflected their business, which would be wasted if Fire Shield West was not branded consistently.
After our first meeting, the first step was to layout all of the content pieces and identify what pages we would need. I sketched up a concept of the website which served as our blueprint.
Once the wireframes were finalized, we moved into design. During the research process, I noticed that many of their competitors used scare tactic imagery. That approach did not align with what FSW is known for, informative service. Often FSW customers are already familiar with the need for fire retardants, so it was not necessary to approach selling the products in that way.
Most of the competitors in FSW’s space also have websites that are very difficult to navigate, especially for homeowners or property managers. Most of these websites inundate users with information, most of which was overly technical and poorly organized. In order to uphold the Fire Shield West standard we needed to approach the website differently. Visitors needed to feel comfortable and we needed to provided the right information to the right audience.
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