Author and illustrator Simon Murray needed a new website for his children’s book character ‘Icky Doo Dah”. The existing website was out of date and used a legacy technology, ’flash’ which no longer works on phones or tablets.
We did not want to loose the fun feeling the original website had, so it was vital we incorporated and animated characters from the books.
It was important that the website design reflected the characters and book style. It needed to be fun and interactive helping to encourage children’s creativity and imagination through writing and drawing.
The gallery and school visit pages not only needed to highlight recent visits, but they also allow children or parents to safely upload pictures of Icky Doo Dah. The parents and children can then also see images and teaching tips from recent school visits.
Data privacy was a key concern, every step was taken to ensure the website collects minimal data, for example, the gallery upload only asks for an image and a related school.
We created a neat way for Simon to direct parents and children to their unique school visit. Simon would leave a postcard for each of the children, the postcard would contain a short URL to their class visit page.
The new ‘fun stuff’ section gives children drawing tips, advice, desktops backgrounds and images to colour in.
The ‘who is Icky’ page introduces the character, his diffrent body parts animated in fun ways.
Lots of small design details were introduced, where appropriate many elements animated to bring the pages to life. Wanting to avoid slow page load times and heavy use of video, we came up with a range of innovative ways to deliver animations that loaded quickly and works of all devices.
Throughout the whole process of working with Matt and Paul - from initial ideas through to seeing actual web pages - I felt that the online area of my business was in safe hands. Matt and Paul were always available to offer great advice and deliver work to agreed dates both professionally and promptly.
We arranged a photoshoot and took lots of photos of Simon in his studio, we filmed the first ‘how to video’, entitled ‘it starts with a dot’. The video gives viewers a unique view into the way Simon delivers his drawing tips to classes during his school visits.
We created new email address’ @ickydoodah.com and setup of social media accounts including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. All of the social media accounts had avatars, backgrounds and colours added to ensure they supported the books style and branding.
We preformed lots of on-page S.E.O. adding custom content and images to every page to help encourage people to visit Icky Doo Dah!
The initial reactions Simon has had from schools, children and parents have been amazing. Hours after the launch we saw users submitting their drawings to the website and leaving comments on Facebook.
We will update this case study once we have more data and results, in the mean time here’s Simon's thoughts…
Since the launch we seen a significant increase in book sales as well as new customers being able to make contact through our website and new social media platforms. The lively and engaging website has taken my work as an author and illustrator to a new level. The professional and engaging website has successfully augmented the profile of our existing business.
It has been a great pleasure working with both Matt and Paul. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the online side of my business develop in the creative and innovative ways Matt and Paul delivered.
I would thoroughly recommend Nine Four's services, please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.