Maximum Bob
Nigel Sleaford wanted a simple, one page design for his Moray-based function band, Maximum Bob. The rules of engagement were obvious immediately: push the audio samples up front and give the user the basics to make up their minds in that critical minute and a half period.
Project Description

Given the simplicity of the proposed site there was no need to build any complex backend application. This kept costs down to a minimum. I offered the client an entry-level package that included managed hosting for a year and unlimited pop-email accounts for band members. This came to £90 per annum (free for the first year).

As the customer prepared page copy for our approval I set about ripping the audio from the disc provided. The audio consisted of a set-list that Nigel and the band had recorded live to 8-track. Out of the sixteen tracks available I narrowed it down to seven. The criteria were pretty simple: the songs needed to capture the spirit and atmosphere of the occasion and appeal to a broad range of demographics. The sound quality also had to be first class, so I normalized the volume and eliminated some of the pops and clicks.

MP4 might be the format of choice amongst offline users, but it's not sufficiently well supported on the Internet. Nigel's idea was to have tracks available to download via separate page links but users prefer instant access to audio and waiting for lengthy downloads was likely to have prospective customers clicking out of site very quickly. The solution was audio-streaming and the most low-cost option available was a Plug-in called JPlayer. Ripping the songs into two distinct formats, .mp3 and .ogg ensured that users were able to listen the songs whether they were using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or tablet devices like iPad.

Whilst there are options to stream video without ads on a pay-per-view basis from corporate streaming providers, the cheapest solutions available are media-sharing websites like Vimeo and YouTube. Given the scope of the budget, these were clearly the right choice. The band already had a performance uploaded on Vimeo and were keen to embed it in their new website. I advised against this on two fronts. Firstly, the duration of the current video was a little long. Secondly, Vimeo were not supported by several major browsers and devices. A large percentage of users would not be able to view their performance.

After getting approval on a design and carrying out the work required I set about adding some finishing touches. Word of mouth appraisals and personal recommendations have always been a powerful marketing tool. With half a billion users and thousands of online communities the influence and reach of Facebook cannot be ignored. Adding Facebook like widget allowed users of Facebook to engage and interact with the band's new website.

Project Details
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