I created a website for my Tai Chi instructor. I was surprised at how useful a website would be. For example, there are a collection of a sequence of forms that need to be practiced and memorised. These sequences are the basics for Tai Chi. Normally, before the website was created, these forms would be typed out on paper, photocopied and handed out to students. The presentation was tacky and cheap. Students would often lose the sheets, and it could end up being costly for the school. Not to mention that it is not great for the environment. Post website, and these forms are now given their own pages on the website. They are beautifully designed, and can be printed off at the student’s own costs. The logo for the school has been watermarked on to the list of forms, and at the bottom is the name, location address, website address and phone number of the school. These sheets have in effect also become leaflets that the students have circulated around to their friends. An unintended but beautiful marketing tool.
This lead to the Instructor then giving us more information that she felt would be useful and interesting to her clients. She loved the idea that her website could be a valuable point of information for everything Tai Chi. There are articles on the different schools of the Art, and history of those disciplines. We didn’t stop at written articles. We also included pictures taken in China of friends, family and students of the Tai Chi Sifu.
We then went even further and filmed videos of Josephine performing Tai Chi forms. At first she was reluctant to create and then upload the videos on to YouTube. The worry was that students would not turn up to the lessons, and just watch the videos instead. However, we were very discriminatory about what to film. Our judgment proved good, as what happened was that students would watch the videos to practice at home, to commit to memory sooner. However, everyone appreciated the attention to detail and the profound effects you get when tutored directly by Sifu.
Not often, but every now and then the timetables for the classes would change. This is because the hall is shared by other martial arts classes. Now, however, instead of sending texts and making phone calls – emails were sent out. There was a page dedicated to class timetable as well. So the students were always up to date with the classes and other events.
This brief was a real joy to work on. The budget started off very small. As per usual, the client wanted ‘just a simple site.’ However, with a bit of imagination it grew, and proved to be of great importance. The school was very small, but did grow. The client graciously acknowledged that the site had a lot to do with this. Originally, we were asked to place the website at the top of Google. However, with a better understanding of budget and resources, we were able to encourage the use of a Facebook campaign strategy. The instructor already loved Facebook, she just needed to be advised on some techniques.