Creation of a Small Art Business's Web Site
Freeman, Brook J.
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Carl James Freeman has been creating and selling wildlife art for over twenty-five years. At first working with pen and ink or scratchboard to create original pictures, he sold originals or prints at art fairs and gradually added bookmarks and notepaper at the stalls. The business progressed to selling wholesale quantities of the bookmarks and notepaper to bookstores and gift shops in museums and parks for resale. Since the early 1980's the business has been almost exclusively of this nature and the product line has expanded to include stationery, post card and color cards. The business has two types of customers, wholesale, who are reselling the items, and retail customers, who are going to use the items. The current paper catalog is generally aimed at wholesale customers with only some information on retail sales. The last several years have seen a lack of growth in the business and a move back towards some new originals and more art fairs for Carl. The hope for the web site was to increase Carl's customers' access to information about him and his products. We wanted to provide access to our products, policy and another way to order. Speed of download and navigation were two of the major issues for our design of the site. The people who will hopefully be maintaining the site, Carl and Ginny Freeman, are not technically experienced at web maintenance. Therefore we wanted to keep the web site simple to maintain as well as artfully designed. We also wanted to allow the greatest number of customers we wanted to keep the site usable by the greatest number of browsers and versions that we expect to be currently in use. Most people will currently be using Netscape 4 or 6, or Internet Explorer 4 or 5. However some are still using version 3 browsers, so we decided to aim at this level.