June Manning Thomas • Web Design Project
June Manning Thomas is an author and Professor Emerita of Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, promoting her latest book, Struggling to Learn (UofSC Press, 2022).
February 2022 – April 2022 (2 Months)
To create a website to promote her published works and help secure public speaking events.
The DESIGN Process
It was a great pleasure working with Dr. Thomas to set up a more complete online presence in anticipation of the release of her newest book, Struggling to Learn: An Intimate History of School Desegregation in South Carolina (2022). This included creating a brand new website, creating new social media profiles, consulting about social media posting, and setting up a business email address, among other things.
1. Ideation & Research
The first step was to determine the client budget and scope of the project to choose a suitable web framework.
2. Image Collection
I took headshots, collected and edited all of the author’s cover images, and searched for appropriate stock images.
Every design choice was made with accessibility in mind so as to attempt to avoid excluding anyone.
4. Site Creation
The site was created with DIVI, a WordPress site-building platform, because of its utility and flexibility.
5. Social Media Consulting
I also consulted and assisted with the setup and implementation of a social media content strategy.
6. Business Card Design
Business cards were designed and printed for Dr. Thomas to promote her new book at in-person events.
Ideation & Research
Based on the specific needs of the client and their budget, it made sense to go with a pre-made theme with a site builder like DIVI (by Elegant Themes) for this project. This allowed for drastically less development time, with virtually no need for code, and the flexibility of in-the-box creating and editing of content.
In addition to other design work, I also managed all of the images used during this project. I collected and edited all of the author’s book cover images to be featured on her site, searched for additional stock images, and set up a photoshoot at her residence to take her author headshot, which was used on her About page.
There were a few instances where text color values in the original WordPress theme needed to be adjusted to pass WCAG standards to have sufficient color contrast. This included the gray body text, the gray field text labels, and several other colors. I also made sure that all images had the proper alt text markup.
The site was created with DIVI’s block editor functionality within WordPress, requiring very minimal coding, which saved time and helped keep the budget low. Some of the key benefits of working in DIVI are its built-in features, like animation settings, easy-to-use responsive design settings, and contact form functionality.
Social Media Consulting
With regular meetings we were able to discuss challenges, set goals, make plans, and see significant growth in the reach of her four main social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also created her social media banner graphics, as well as several other graphics designed to promote her latest book.
Business Card Design
Made to match her newly created brand identity of her new website, these rounded-edged business cards were designed and printed with an elegant suede-like finish.
Since the launch of her new website, Dr. Thomas’ latest book has been published, and she has been attending both in-person and virtual events in the promotion of it. With her updated online presence now established, she has been able to promote her events to a growing online community, and has been able to share the highlights of her experiences with them.
“Calling out thanks to Nehemiah Harmsen who did a wonderful job creating a web page for my book publications! He and Jean Harmsen, in business together for several years, offer excellent design skills as well as careful attention to detail.”
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