In 2013 the Wenatchee Valley Visitors Bureau was merged into the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce to form a new organization that would take care of both promoting the Valley to visitors and taking care of businesses in town. Apt Design had a great working relationship with both of the previous organizations, so their decision to continue using Apt Design was a natural extension of a successful partnership.
We first set to work defining a new look for the new Chamber, and indeed creating an all-inclusive brand for the entire Valley. A composite of organizations in the Wenatchee Valley contracted with Arnett Muldrow to help them create a brand for our entire area. AM flew to town for a few days and in a short time delivered most of a comprehensive brand statement for the Valley. Apt Design then stepped in to finalize the assets the organizations’ would be using. While that focused heavily on creating a variety of separate yet unmistakably parallel logos, I also created a visual design style for the Chamber for use across all their materials – including online and print ads for visitors and internal flyers and brochures for local businesses.
Next we turned our attention to tackle the biggest project – the merging of the two old organizations’ websites into a single destination on the web.
Information architecture was critical on this site redesign. We pored over Google Analytics reports to see what visitors were doing on both old sites, and strategized how we could best get every user group what they wanted as quickly and easily as possible. Weeks were spent reviewing and reassessing the content from both old sites to make it easier for visitors to find what they were looking for.
In the end we made the main emphasis of the website centered on visitors to the Valley and separated out the Business and Relocation sections of the site into entirely different areas. Each area was then given it’s own distinctive look and feel to subtly notify visitors that they were viewing a completely different set of information.
Because there was simply so much content in each area of the site we focused on a ‘listings’ model that applies to most of the site’s content. A listing is a place of interest, business, restaurant or hotel. Each listing is easily populated with things like title, photo and description but can also store information like website, location and Facebook page. Because each listing can then be categorized and tagged, they can then be dynamically resorted and cross-linked based on what you’re looking for (example: explore all the Kid-Friendly places in Wenatchee!). This became the true power behind the new website, and one that continues to be built upon.
In keeping with the “fresh” theme of Wenatchee’s new branding, we knew that this site needed to keep content updated and current to maintain a strong presence in the Valley. Since the homepage is by far the most-visited page on any website we paid close attention to keeping it up to speed. The giant lead images let the Chamber promote the greatest parts of the Valley, and 3 easy-to-update callouts underneath are the perfect place for preeminent seasonal topics and links. Featured Calendar events get you to the action straightaway and a blog connects you to the latest thoughts and opinions in the area. Lastly a dynamic footer finally integrates the Chamber’s rich social media experience in an easy-to-view digest.
A comprehensive tutorial gave the Chamber the power to update and edit every single part of their website. Task in hand they have been diligent to keep new content entered and keep the energy of this site alive and active!
One of the main foci for the Chamber was having a fully-featured, comprehensive calendar that would be populated with everything happening in the Valley. We used Modern Tribe’s Event Plugin to get things going, then completely customized the design to make it fit beautifully. Filling in hundreds of events would still be taxing to the Chamber’s staff however, so Nick custom-built an events aggregator that pulls in events from other participating calendars in the valley to truly create one calendar to rule them all.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce
Brad is a consummate professional for sure and as you can see others agree with that wholeheartedly. One of the best things about Brad is that I have not known of anyone that has worked with him on a project that has not been 100% pleased with the end product but also with the process. From the beginning of our very large project through one project after another he has been terrific. Re designing and reworking our new website seemed like a pretty daunting task but Brad expertly worked the plan. His skills in time/project management are as exceptional as his eye for design. Love having the opportunity to work with him and look forward to more.
This site was built with mobile users in mind from the very beginning, which is good because the site’s mobile traffic is already above 25% and growing! The mobile site delivers up the same powerful experience, but in a simplified manner. This is where our time spent on the information architecture showed itself advantageous – users are still able to access all the site’s content easily via the responsive menu. And since mobile users are often out and about looking for something to do we made sure the Calendar button was always available.
Brad was always extremely prompt and professional in turning around what we requested. And Apt Design brought top quality design elements and ideas to the table for our consideration.
Brad made the process of developing my web site not only painless, but positively enjoyable. His enthusiastic, “can-do” attitude permeated every discussion we had. I would recommend him to any writer looking to develop a web site!
When it came time to design my website choosing Apt design was the best decision I could have made. Apt Design is always on time with all projects and the quality of work is second to none.
Working with a new designer can be overwhelming – but through Brad’s organizational systems and resources, we were able to work through various projects in record turn-around timing. Additionally, our latest posters and designs have captured the hearts and attention of the community. We increasingly receive requests such as “how can I get one of those posters?!”
I have not known of anyone that has worked with him on a project that has not been 100% pleased with the end product but also with the process.
Working with Brad was one of the best decisions our organization made. He is a consummate professional and delivers a beautfiul product in a timely fashion. He strives to make the website easy to navigate, practical, and visually appealing.
The design work is flawless, the content is accurate and always within the project budget. He is consistently able to be reached, is open to questions and comment, and each project has been completed on time.
Communicating design concepts can be tricky, so when you find somebody who can consistently understand your abstract needs and ideas and translate them into creative designs that actually work, you latch on to them. That’s why I latched on to Brad at Apt Design at the very beginning and have stayed with him ever since.
His ability to grasp an organization’s goals and translate them into images is pitch-perfect. With his upbeat attitude and timely delivery, he is a real pleasure to work with.
As an author, I wanted something that would showcase my books, but do so by telling a kind of story. And that is exactly what Brad accomplished. The finished product is beautiful, evocative and efficient, just like a great novel.
Brad provided very clear and understandable (for those of us who are tech challenged) directions on the process, explaining the steps he would take to build and design the site, as well as the input he wanted from me, and the training involved once the site was complete. Brad, who has a sharp eye for design, ran with it and produced a great site. He does good work.
…finding Brad was the answer. He listened, researched, welcomed honest responses to drafts, adapted, educated us, stayed on deadline and delivered a first-rate creative website that continues to draw rave reviews.
He is very easy to work with and very reliable. He is always willing to come up with some great ideas and to educate us to do some some things on our own to save us money which is greatly appreciated!
He has solid ideas and is willing to listen, which in turn makes him an extremely effective communicator. His ability to organize the creative and administrative side of his business sets Brad even further apart from anyone
Brad always seems to find new and exciting ways to convert ideas and client direction into beautiful and unique website designs. The quality of his work, turnaround time, and attention to detail are all top-notch.
His design work and attention to detail is impeccable. He’s also pushed me, and our team to become better designers. When I look at finished work from Brad – I don’t see his face all over it. It’s not about him – it’s about the design. When I look at a finished project and see a happy client, happy budget and happy timeline – well Brad’s face is all over that.
I have always found his creativity, professionalism, and work ethic to be outstanding. He consistently meets deadlines, and is honest and up-front as to his timeline when scheduling my projects.
The thing that I have always appreciated about Brad is his timeliness in turning around great new designs even in the face of looming deadlines. Creativity is at the heart of good design and Brad is blessed with an abundance of creative DNA. Brad’s professional, straightforward and timely approach to design creation and implementation will make your life easier.
What I love about Brad is that he can capture the vision of what I am wanting designed and make it even better than I imagined. To top it all off, Brad is just a really nice guy and he’s easy to work with!
Brad came up with a powerful visual look and graphic design that tied together the various “chapters” in my story. What’s more, he is a pleasure to work with—a great listener and highly collaborative!
I still get compliments every other week on my site design and I think a huge reason my conversions are through the roof is because of the stellar work you did on that site. That project was by far the smoothest experience I’ve ever had with a contractor and I wouldn’t hesitate an instant to work with Brad again.
I really can’t recommend Brad highly enough. He’s come through for us time after time, and always delivers outstanding work. His sites are beautiful and functional works of art. Brad has designed the websites for some of our biggest authors. You know he’ll deliver an amazing site, right on schedule.
It was a pleasure to work with Brad at Apt Design. On the design front, his concepts were spot on, so we never got started on false trails. And he easily and accurately incorporated my feedback in a comfortable back-and-forth dialogue that resulted in a strong final product. I remain extremely pleased with the result.
We’re proud of what the public experiences when they come to our Run Wenatchee website. The site is clean, well-organized and lively, and for good reason. Brad Fitzgerald took the early design concepts we had in mind and made those come to life in a singular fashion.