This contest is more about design inspiration than development. The development part can come later. I will consider hiring the winner on an hourly basis to develop the website, or to coordinate the design of the website in conjunction with a developer. For now it's about developing a space that feels good, provides the necessary information and is easy to navigate. I'll tell you what I like, but you can break the rules. Make me fall in love with your design.
Bergeson Nursery retail nursery and greenhouse in Fertile, MN. My grandfather established the business in 1937 and it has grown. We have a reputation for quality and straight talk. We sell plants in April and May, and plant display gardens in June that start to look really lovely in late July and August. Those gardens don't make us any money directly; the benefits come indirectly, by building our reputation, gaining publicity, and giving back to our customers.
Current temporary website: [url removed, login to view]
Our site was irretrievably corrupted last summer. Please take a look at our old site by searching [url removed, login to view]
I think you can download our current catalog here: [url removed, login to view]
Some photos for you to choose from: [url removed, login to view]
You can submit as much or as little of the website as you'd like. A classy one-page entry might win, and we can go from there to develop the rest of the site. I'll describe what I want the website to do, but remember you don't have to create the entire website. If, for instance, you want to make a functioning blog page, or a static mockup, or skip it altogether and focus on other pages of the site that's fine.
(I welcome submissions and comments from those of you with a more technical/development angle, too. Although you might not win this contest, I'll consider hiring you for the development process. I'm lost in terms of development strategy. Note: we're considering integrating our Filemaker plant database with the website in the future.)
Why people go to our website:
We're not an internet business. I don't care about general internet traffic at all. Our website is to serve the local people to drive out and buy plants, or might be inspired to do so. I would imagine most people go to our website:
1. To get our hours.
2. To find out about the Spring Seminars, dates and topics
3. To find out the date of the annual garden's Open House.
4. To dream about plants.
5. To learn about plants.
6. To find our contact info.
7. To check up on the Nursery News...a blog with photos that can be humorous.
I want our hours to be on the front page, easily spotted. You can get the hours from the front page of the catalog linked to above.
Look at the attached [url removed, login to view] file for a very rough mockup I made when starting to think about the website. You can see the categories/pages that I think we should include. Please don't take this mockup too literally; do your own thing. I had been thinking about a static header and large buttons on the home page.
Simplicity and elegance. Classy, but down-to-earth. Very simple and easy to navigate. No need for fancy bells and whistles.
I've been using Trajan Pro for our business name. I like the gravitas. Probably I'll want that, but again there are no rules here.
Most websites, to my eye, try to cram in too much information and end up confusing. Many of our customers are older with less experience on the internet. So I like the idea of larger buttons for them to press, rather than a list of links. Simple.
I don't want any mouse-over pop-ups.
We tend to prefer serif fonts. If you download our catalog you'll see some sans-serif fonts...they all came from the marketing company and I let them through to save space. All of the catalog pages I designed use Garamond.
OK...I ran over the 4000 word limit, so the rest of this is attached.
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