Greene Homes’ Prototype Site

I plan on making a prototype website for my parent’s business. It will be made with the intention of replacing their current website

Proposal

I have never been a big fan of the current Greene Homes website; the colours are dreary, the layout is cluttered, and the only way to get to some locations of the site are through links hidden within images (click the “inventory homes” picture on the front page). If a user were to navigate to the Green Homes website and then to their major competitor - Braebury Homes - I would wager their opinion of Greene Homes would not be favourable. The website needs an overhaul and it may as well be me doing it.

I propose creating a site that is professional and yet vibrant, both clutter-free and easy to navigate. The typical user of the website will be a potential customer for Greene Homes interested in seeing what their future home might look like, knowing where it might be, and gaining confidence that Greene Homes is the right choice over their competitors. The design of the site must reflect those demands and give the user a reason to take the next step and use the “Contact Information” link.

###Layout The layout of the site needs to put an emphasis on ease-of-use. The user must know - at a glance - where to go to meet their immediate needs. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Determining where Greene Homes is currently building
  • Finding the locations and times for every “open house”
  • Getting a feel for what a Greene home looks like
  • Acquiring contact information for a Greene Homes representative

Each of those major points requires a ‘one-step’ path from the home page to the information. Currently, the site has various other navigation bar links that are not as useful:

  • “The Process” and “New Home Warranty” are more technical and not something a passer-by will need to look at. These can be moved to a section about Greene Homes and the information needed for buying a home
  • “News” is an unneeded section. The Home page should be dedicated to any news as it is the first place a user will see and so the obvious place for important information
  • “Midland Park” should be moved to a section for all subdivisions currently being worked on
  • “Links.” Who ever clicks on a generic links page? Useful links should be moved to their relevant pages so that the user can see the link the same moment they might have need of it eg. TARION should be with the New Home Warranty information

###Style The Greene Homes’ logo is green-on-white and the colours of the site should reflect that. These colours - accented by dark greys - are “clean” and have a certain air of professionalism. The site will trend more towards minimalism than the current site by not assaulting the viewer with too many pictures and links. At the same time, the site can not be barren and uninviting; the current disinfected and squeaky clean look of most modern-day business sites does not give the comfortable and “homey” feeling a potential home-buyer needs to feel.

A major seller for homes is great interior shots. The current site has a photo gallery but it is unorganized and none of the photos are singled out and allowed to “pop.” It is my belief that the site should have a much stronger emphasis on photos of the homes and much less emphasis on text and information; the user is at the site to be sold and should be given just enough information to tease them into contacting Greene Homes.

The current site doesn’t even have a favicon :