Fore and Aft: A simple website makeover

Unlike many of his peers, Artur Ciesielski was decidedly unhappy with his web presence. ‘Settling’ was not part of his vocabulary.

Unlike many of his peers, Artur was not proud of how cheap his website was.

Unlike many of his peers, Artur was not complacent about his Web presence. He longed from something more substantial than his frills-laden template.

Unlike most of his peers, Artur decided to do something about it.


While we typically work with large brokers and technology companies, I could not resist helping Artur out. He was serious. He meant business.

screen-capture This is what I saw when I received Artur’s first email. Issues with his site jumped at me immediately.

  • His brand colors (black and orange) looked out of place against the blue and white Realty Executives palette.
  • A riot of branding components (Realty Executives, CCIM, Phoenix Market Trends and Artur and Joanna) created confusion.
  • Home search was buried.
  • I could not search the blog.
  • The layout made it difficult for me to know where to go or what to do first on the site.
  • The stock images in the header drew my attention yet served no purpose other to inform me that Arizona has cacti and golf courses.
  • There was no welcome text, no positioning text, no value proposition.

What followed was the creation of a wireframe, which is a visual representation – something like a blueprint – that defines the structure of a website.

The process requires us to account for every component of the site – tools, content, navigation, copy – and weave it into something that is first and foremost usable, but also compelling. For larger projects this process can take weeks.

Artur’s project only called for a home page and a few internal pages.

Once the wireframe was complete, we met with Artur and made adjustments based on his needs and our recommendations. We then handed the wireframes to our designer.


Here is the final home page comp:


We shipped this design to Artur in early March, our job completed.

I received an email from Artur yesterday informing me that Phoenixmarkettrends is now live with a few changes made by his webmaster.

Like many of his peers, Artur finds himself in a marketplace filled with short sales, foreclosures and fear. He has to rethink his game plan constantly.

Like many of his peers, Artur is well aware of his income to expense ratio. His appetite to invest in his business must be balanced by wise choices and hard scarifies. Clearly, there was more Artur could have done to his site. He’s not done yet.

Like many of his peers, Artur wants more business. He wants more traffic. He wants to convert more leads. He wants to grab more market share. And position himself ahead of his competitors, who also want those things but for whatever reason appear unwilling or unable to take do what it takes to make that happen.

Personally, I was inspired by Artur. He’s among many we know who continue to reach for their faucet of creativity and vision and, as a result, are not only surviving this market — they are killing it.

– Davison Twitter: 1000wattmarc