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Business Info

Business Name

Mills Properties

Do you have a desired website screen size?

Website width should be either 960 or 1024 pixels.

How many pages do you need designed?

7 total page layouts required. See below for page details

Target Audience

What is your industry?

Property management (specifically apartments and condominiums)

Describe the target audience for your website design

Mills is a real estate development and property management firm that owns and manages a range of apartment communities throughout St. Louis, Missouri and the surrounding suburbs. The website should target prospective renters, current residents and anyone else interested in learning about the Mills brand. Properties in the Mills portfolio include everything from affordable housing to upscale urban apartments to active adult living.

Target audience is:
* Middle-class needs to appeal to both blue and white collar
* Focus should be on the lifestyle experience that makes them feel important, sense of community, goes beyond just service requests
* Mostly mid-20s to mid-30s
* Small proportion of older people, some families
* A person of any age/style more important to show experience, not person
* Show people communicating online, tech-savvy

What 3 things would you like to communicate to your audience through your website design

* Modern and fun
* Excellent service
* Feel the lifestyle experience through the site

How is your company different from your competitors?

Most real estate websites are "ego" pieces that focus on the company and the owners. We want to focus this website on the people and the community.

Style and Concept

What website design styles do you like?

* Modern, but timeless
* Not too standard (but should not sacrifice usability)
* Different than other apartment communities' sites
* Professional, established, but doing it differently
* Good use of white space
* Strong, easy to find calls to action

What colors do you want to see in your website design?

* Brighter, lighter colors, warm
* Green is the primary color, also use blues bold colors, with a warm, inviting vibe
* See the attached logos for examples of the primary green and blue to be used on the site

What colors do you NOT want to see in your website design?

* Avoid just red and black
* Our color is similar to a local competitor, so we need to avoid looking too similar to this site: http://www.villagegreen.com/

What adjectives should best describe your website design?

* Fresh
* Welcoming
* Fun
* Compelling
* Stable, established
* Reliable
* Friendly
* Warm
* Comforting
* Flexible

What content must be included in the website design?

* Homepage
* Secondary page (both full-width and a two-column option with a sidebar incorporated as a design element)
* Apartment search page (with ability to search in several different ways ... e.g. http://www.redoakproperties.com/apartmen...
* Apartment search results page
* Individual property detail page (at minimum, this should include property name and contact info, prominent call to action, photos, bulleted list of features, property description, pricing information, embedded map and blog feed from their local community blog)
- Property page may include sub-navigation if done in an intuitive way. (Examples: http://www.archstoneapartments.com/Apart... and http://www.resideliving.com/community-de...
* Blog
* Landing page

* For the primary audience (Apartment hunters):
- Primary calls to action should be the contact info/form and the apartment search
- Search: From the apartment search page, the visitor should be able to search for an apartment in several different ways, including by location (city or neighborhood), by price, by number of bedrooms or by several key features (air conditioning, pets allowed, utilities included, etc.). This search should be able to be completed by drop-downs, with the property locations visualized on a map. (Examples: http://www.forrent.com/; http://www.redoakproperties.com/apartmen...; http://www.trulia.com/; http://www.archstoneapartments.com/; http://www.prometheusreg.com/?page_id=3)

* For the secondary audiences:
- Condo shoppers: A much smaller part of Mills business is condo sales. This needs to included somewhere on the homepage.
- Current residents: Residents will need to be able to quickly get to pages where they can pay rent, make maintenance requests and otherwise manage their account. For Residents or My Mills should be included in the main site navigation.
- Employees: Employees will have access to a secure company intranet My Mills. The link to this section does not necessarily need to be included in the main navigation it could work in a footer navigation.
- Investors: Mills actively seeks investors for their real estate projects. They will need to have a section of the site dedicated to providing information to potential investors, and there will also be a login to a secure area where current investors can access financials and other relevant information.
- General information: This includes things like career information, the Mills company blog, company culture/news/history, management information, new developments, ways for vendors to reach the company, etc. The blog should be featured as a separate option in the main navigation.

* Incorporate social elements into the site keep people on the site, rather than steering them away.
- This site will feature at least nine community blogs, and the company is active on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare. Mills would like to feature the most relevant blog content on key pages throughout the site, as well as elements such as the Facebook Like button, ShareThis button, etc.



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