Feature-Rich Site for Blues Musician

March 13th, 2014


CHALLENGE Joe Louis Walker is an award-winning blues musician with a loyal, sizeable fan base. His old website was branded to the look of his previous CD and didn’t provide his fans with unique ways to follow him. Though it was a WordPress site, it had very limited functionality and features.

FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION In order to give fans a reason to stop by the site frequently, we installed a variety of new features. A header image area that can easily be changed ensures that the site will have a lifespan longer than the latest CD release. The industry-standard Bands In Town Facebook app allows fans to be alerted when JLW is performing nearby, enables them to share dates with friends and buy tickets—and streams a list of tour dates automatically into the website. A play-in-place video page lets site visitors enjoy JLW playing from whatever device they’re using—phone, tablet, website or TV. A photo gallery plug-in gives an insider view into special events and JLW’s touring life. The Shop page allows JLW to sell CDs and merchandise to fans directly using PayPal’s Buy Now functionality. The site was expertly built in WordPress by Next Step Digital.

 See the site live at joelouiswalker.com.

YouTube Can Boost Your Site Ranking

February 11th, 2014


CHALLENGE Hudson Valley Center for Neurofeedbackuses neurofeedback—a medication free approach to treat ADHD, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, sleep issues and problems in peak performance. As a little known treatment, explaining the process is critical to developing new client relationships. HVCNF’s old website used explanatory videos featuring a specialist known in the industry that lacked the compassionate, respectful manner employed by principles Dr. Dan Meyer and Barbara Monaco.

FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION Full Deck designed an animated scrapbook to quickly convey the powerful impact neurofeedback is having on HVCNF’s clients—a first family vacation with an autistic child, improved grades of a teen with ADHD. Then, Full Deck identified YouTube—more popular with people ages 18-34 than TV—as an ideal place to talk about neurofeedback. We created a YouTube channel for HVCNF branded with the same design as the website. To keep the cost of video production down, Dr. Dan and Barbara recorded videos using their iphone to explain the treatment process and how they work. The site also features case studies and news about developments in the field making it a searchable—and findable—resource for people afflicted with brain challenges.

Website Design Inspires New Brand

November 14th, 2013


CHALLENGE Strategies For Change Now (SFCN) provides strategy development, leadership coaching and organization change consultation to businesses and nonprofit organizations around the world. A broader business focus instigated the development of a new website…and ultimately a new brand.

FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION First thing’s first. The old website url did not match the name of the business. A search revealed that StrategiesForChangeNow.com—a slight twist on the previous Strategies for Change—was available. This small first step expanded the project to include the development of a bold new brand in addition to a new website. Key features of FDD’s website design are the completely bilingual Spanish and English content and a custom questionnaire designed to pinpoint management problem areas. SFCN’s expertise is clearly evident in the careful way the questionnaire was crafted which we feel will inspire site visitors to pick up the phone. Next Step Digital expertly programmed the entire custom site in WordPress allowing each component to be translated into both languages and maintained inhouse by SFCN staff.

Simple Logos Are Effective Logos

October 16th, 2013


CHALLENGE The Marist Center for Sports Communication is a national academic leader in providing education in the vast and growing field of sports communication. The Center maintains several key initiatives—a prominent speaker series, partnerships with external sports media organizations and a strong research arm led by its partnership with the Marist Poll. The Center also creates its own sports media including programming that airs on ESPN. Director Dr. Keith Strudler recognized that a distinctive logo would increase visibility for the Center as well as distinguish it as a leader among U.S. college programs.

FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION Logo design is all about reducing complicated concepts into simple, iconic form. In this case, FDD not only had to convey the technical and verbal communications aspects of broadcasting, but that it was all about sports. FDD used sound bar waves broken into small squares to lend a tech-y feel to the idea of broadcast communications and create a sense of movement in an otherwise 2D icon. The stadium base lets you know that the broadcasts are sports-based. To allow for the greatest versatility, the logo works in both vertical and horizontal formats. We can’t wait to see the logo on a mic flag held by one of Marist’s young broadcasters!

Follow Full Deck Design on twitter.

Websites Should Have 5 Year Lifespan

September 15th, 2013


CHALLENGE Vassar-Warner Home is a nonprofit adult home that’s been operating in an historic part of downtown Poughkeepsie for more than 140 years. The look and content of their website hadn’t been updated in many years. Executive Director Irene Andujar was ready to rethink it completely. In addition, she wanted to be able to make future updates easy to handle inhouse.

FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION The task of assisting aging parents choose senior living options primarily falls upon women. A small focus group of Gen X and Gen Y women helped select this crisp, contemporary design ensuring that its effectiveness will last well into the future. Visitors get a true sense of what it’s like to live in the home from the people and quotes on the home page describing every day life, the engaging text written by Rebecca Hyde and lots of photos—some taken by Full Deck. To underscore Vassar-Warner Home’s dedication to help seniors make a smooth transition from their homes, Full Deck suggested developing a comprehensive Resources for Families section. This treasure trove of information will no doubt attract site visitors from all over the country— boosting their site rank at the same time. Next Step Digital expertly built the site in the easy-to-use WordPress interface enabling staff to quickly update site content and post the latest news.

Join this lively group September 20, 2013 for Killer Karaoke, a murder mystery dinner fundraiser.

Find Out Why We Love Dutchess County

June 14th, 2013

award winning dcedc website

CHALLENGE The Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation website was developed a number of years ago and was not meeting the needs of their members or potential new businesses.

  • A free third-party real estate listing system was being used that wasn’t giving DCEDC credit by search engines for the numerous site visitors looking for property.
  • The few images on the site were of poor quality.
  • Data and demographics were presented in text format.
  • The navigation system was confusing and repetitious.

SOLUTION Full Deck Design partnered with Next Step Digital on the development of a site that DCEDC can manage inhouse with a broad range of features.

  • A five-frame home animation quickly answers the question of ‘Why Dutchess County?’ with exceptional photographs, engaging captions and illustrative highlights.
  • An impactful, creative series of infographics to depict the data and demographics section providing perhaps the strongest argument to come to Dutchess County on the site.
  • A premium plug-in displays and sorts real estate listings allowing for featured properties and detailed contact information.
  • Ads from Dutchess County businesses rotate in the sidebar along with a series of call-to-action ads highlighting DCEDC.

The site recently won the Best in Class award by the New York State Economic Development Council. Check out the site at ThinkDutchess.com.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? Our creativity and original thinking can help improve your website, too. Give us a call at 845-266-3852 or email us to see how we wake up your business image!

Impress Potential Clients with a Custom Portfolio Website

May 2nd, 2013

Optimus Architecture Website Design

CHALLENGE Optimus Architecture specializes in large-scale healthcare projects throughout the Hudson Valley. Their existing website didn’t reflect their comprehensive portfolio or their expertise in designing spaces that optimize work flow and improve the patient experience. The website had no meta data to help search engines find the site. Optimus wanted the ability to modify the site inhouse to keep it up-to-date.

optimusExisting 2

FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION Full Deck Design created a super clean, contemporary site that showcases Optimus’ impressive portfolio. A home page animation allows Optimus to quickly demonstrate the breadth of their work with quality images of their best projects. Potential clients get a real sense of their design and planning skills by reading detailed project descriptions and reviewing project photos on individual project pages. The entire site was expertly built by Next Step Digital using WordPress, a free open source content management system. The custom projects component that NSD built allows the Optimus team to easily add projects with multiple images and descriptions. Full Deck developed a focused meta data plan to improve Optimus’ site ranking on key searches and set them up with a Google Analytics Account to track future site traffic.

Step-by-Step Social Media Plan

February 15th, 2013

CHALLENGE Figuring out how to use social media has been the marketing challenge of the past few years. How much participation makes sense for your company? How much time should you plan to establish and maintain a presence?

FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION Intuit posted a wonderful 12-month plan to build and manage a social presence that I think breaks what can seem an overwhelming task into bite-size tasks spread over the course of a year. And, cool infographics to boot!

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? Our creativity and original thinking can wake up your business image, too. Give us a call at 845-266-3852 or email us to see how.


Manage Social Media the Easy Way in 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC]
via: Manage Social Media the Easy Way in 2013 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Cluttered Design Can Lose You Business

January 15th, 2013

CHALLENGE Royal Carting has been a local leader in developing recycling and waste management programs. Their innovative, community-minded business ethics weren’t being conveyed through their website. Information was overly dense on many site pages and hard to find if you didn’t discover the secondary navigation area—see the old home page below.


FULL DECK DESIGN SOLUTION Our first step was to develop a tagline that reflected Royal Carting’s environmental commitment—Planet-Friendly Waste Disposal Services. Next, we developed a new site map that broke the content into quickly readable, search engine-friendly chunks. To visually engage visitors, we created custom illustrations, shot some new photos and selected good images from Royal’s existing photo library. Two of the illustrations have interactive rollover functionality with pop up eco-tips explaining how to improve waste and energy use. The illustrations are fun—everyone loves pushing buttons—and further highlight Royal Carting’s commitment to give back to the environment.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? Our creativity and original thinking can help your business reevaluate your website, too. Give us a call at 845-266-3852 or email us to see how we wake up your business image!