New in This Week: A website for The Oaks Vet
The Oaks Vet is a mobile veterinary practice run by Anna White. Nicknamed 'Jane Herriott', Anna spends her days whizzing around Sevenoaks in her 4x4, treating all manner of animals. From cats and dogs to horses, ducks and sheep, Anna is one very capable and totally approachable lady - the sort of person who can put you at ease. In fact, while we were working on her website, my mother in law very sadly had to have one of her elderly cats put to sleep and Anna was, 'absolutely wonderful'. If you're an animal person, you'll know that it's incredibly important to be able to build a trusting relationship with your vet - Anna delivers a brilliant service with the continuity of care which you only get with someone who knows your pet well. This is how Anna's website looked before we began working together:
And the challenge?
Anna had a website already, a perfectly functional one. It had been a little neglected since it was launched almost two years ago and needed a bit of love to update it and reflect Anna's direction and approach. We spent considerable time talking about who Anna's clients are and why using a mobile vet is beneficial - we always find it's crucial to get a real in-depth understanding of our clients' businesses before we get started so that we can deliver designs which really work. And judging by the Cheshire cat-style grin plastered on Anna's face when we unveiled the first working of her homepage, the time we invested paid off big time. Fuelled by cups of tea and plenty of chocolate biscuits, we worked closely with Anna to craft google-friendly text which would not only perform well in terms of SEO, but also be appealing to read. The gorgeous images used on her website have all been sourced from a stock photo library; often the most cost-effective way to access professionally shot, beautifully lit images. While you have to pay for the rights to use them, stock photography plugs the gap between using photos you've taken yourself and employing a photographer to do the job for you - and if they're well-chosen, they can render some really lovely results.
The design and why it works
Taking inspiration from Joules, Country Life and Farrow & Ball, the colours and fonts absolutely hit the nail on the head for the look we wanted to achieve. I particularly love the way that the colours work on the 'Pets' and 'About Us' pages - just gorgeous! We re-worked Anna's logo from royal blue to some lovely, muted blues and sage greens (which Anna loves so much that she's now using this version in preference of her existing logo!) to fit in with the colour theme, and the images we used were carefully chosen to fit with the overall look while conveying the right feel. This is a simple but effective design; Anna's clients don't want an all singing, all dancing website with loads of features and flashy bits to click on - just a clean, easy to navigate website which tells them about Anna's service and how she can help. And this website delivers just that.