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Re-design of Dolphin Bar and Café Site

There have been numerous changes on the ground for Dolphin Bar and Café on the tropical island of Koh Phangan in Thailand. Not the least of which is that the owners want to change the name of the business. I have been busy working towards a re-branding and at the forefront of this has been a major overhaul of www.dolphinbarandcafe.com.

The owners have decided the confusion of there being two businesses using the word ‘Dolphin’ in their names on the same beach should be addressed. They have decided to re-name their bar ‘Siam House’ but to keep the same website address as it has good ranking. Moreover, Dolphin Bar and Café have numerous glowing reviews on Trip Advisor that they want to preserve.

The way forward has been to re-brand the website giving prominence to the new name but at the same time to acknowledge that the place was formerly known as ‘Dolphin Bar and Café’. It has also been important to stress that it is the same people behind the business, as much of their glowing reviews are connected to their great customer service.

A professional photographer happed upon the bar and got talking to Kim. One thing led to another and Myscha agreed to take a series of photos of the bar.  They are great shots and so I decided to give them prominence to them on the website. I gave each page a different photo in the background. The text was placed in an opaque box on the left-hand side.

Rather than use vertical navigation or drop down navigation I opted for a very standard horizontal nav bar but used tabbed browsing in the opaque box to cover details of such things as menu, about, and reviews.

The front page keeps it to the minimal – video, trip advisor top quote, big picture and branding elements. Less is more in this case and the page clearly communicates a unique and stylish garden oasis café.

I was not only helped by Myscha Orea but also another friend of Kim’s who designed the logo and stamp in the header as well as the location map. I still have to try a few different sizes for the map as the chunky text distorts on the image when reduced.

The drawn map is a nice personalized touch to the site but it also sacrifices the SEO advantages of using google maps. And Google if you are reading – fly over Koh Phangan again because a lot has changed in the 10 years since you were last there.

Anyway, I feel the new site is a major improvement on the last one. The branding and feel of the site is more professional. While the name change process remains in the background it is moving in the right direction.
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