Last week I sent a speculative design to Bristol Car and Van Hire. I’d used their website when looking to hire a van recently, and it was so awful, I thought it couldn’t hurt to mock up a new homepage, send it to them and see what they thought.
Their website is here: www.bristolcar-vanhire.co.uk
My mock-up is here: bristolcar-vanhire.weebly.com
Why I did it
There are a few reasons:
- I think their site is out-of-date, and breaks a lot of usability rules. Let’s be frank, it’s not pretty.
- I honestly thought I could do a better job.
- I like supporting small businesses, particularly those in Southmead.
- It only took me a couple of hours to put together.
- I was itching to do something creative.
Did it work?
In a word, no. I called them up today and they said they wouldn’t be interested because they have a member of staff who is already responsible for their website.
Perhaps it’s just a matter of having no design skill.
Would I do a speculative design again?
I was having an interesting conversation about this with my friends over curry last Friday. They reminded me that small businesses often have family members or friends doing their websites, and you never know who you might be offending by telling them their website is rubbish!
I was wondering whether perhaps it would be better to create something more generic and print it, to actually go into a small business with a portfolio of options for them to consider.
As for whether I’ll do it again – I might. Targeting small businesses is a viable business strategy for me – I just need to find out what works.
What do you think? Have you ever had any success with a speculative design?