I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m the son of a mechanic. I didn’t really learn a lot from him – to me fixing cars as a kid was just boring – but I did spend a large part of my childhood at my dad’s garage helping out. It was mainly on a Saturday and sometimes during the summer holidays from school that I’d be there. My goal was to earn a little extra pocket money, so my jobs consisted of sweeping the floor, making tea – only tea in the UK in them days, coffee was for rich posh people – and learning new vocabulary such as the f-bomb from my dad’s employees. And, I’m pretty sure I was exposed to a variety of rudey-nudey Snap-on calendars by the time I was 9.
When I look back now I think my dad paid me about 50p an hour – that would’ve probably been about the equivalent of 75c an hour in those days, maybe? Either way it’s a pittance. But what are you spending priorities when you’re a kid? Comic books, candy, and… well, that’s about it. Your folks would take care of the rest – food, clothing, vacations, etc.
For most kids who grow up watching what their folks do, the tendency is to follow suit – but not this kid. I can honestly say I learned nothing – I just wasn’t interested. When I got a bit older I did get to do more fun stuff like driving a car in and out of the garage for services – although I’m pretty sure the customers never realized this – and I did enjoy getting covered in dirt and oil, so I changed a few oil filters now and again, but that’s it. Would I be able to do any of that now? No.
WeldCor Supplies, Inc. Website
One of the many jobs that would occur quite often at my dad’s garage was welding. On one hand it would terrify me because of the heat, but I was also really intrigued by it too. I think it’s because you aren’t supposed to look at the light that it emits, but you do – similar to a bad accident. You want to look, but you don’t, but you do anyway. I never welded anything – imagine a kid of 9 or 10 with a welding torch? But I would watch my dad or one of his employees do it. There would be sparks and that acrid smell. My mum (mom) would panic in case I got too close and damaged my eyes, but as long as I “didn’t stick my face in there” – my dad’s words – I’d be fine.
So why all this talk of my childhood at my dad’s garage? Well, we recently worked with WeldCor Supplies, Inc. – a consumer direct supplier for welding materials and equipment based throughout North America – on the redesign and redevelopment of their website. Looking at WeldCor’s newly designed product catalog and recognizing the different welding materials and equipment they sell brought back a few of those memories.
Request for Quote
The previous website was, by their own admission, hard to navigate and the organization of content was confusing for their users. In order to rectify this issue we decided that the new WeldCor Supplies, Inc. website would be built using a custom CMS. Although we could have provided them with an open-source solution, due to some of WeldCor’s requirements – customized and specialist functionality – a custom CMS was the right choice.
An example of one of WeldCor’s unique and specialized requirements is the Request for Quote feature. Each of their products in the product catalog has been implemented with an “RFQ” button. When clicked on it adds the product to the RFQ “cart”. When the user is finished “shopping” for products they can head to the “check-out” where they are required to submit their contact info and their order. Once submitted a member of the WeldCor Supplies, Inc. sales team will calculate the quote and contact the user.
Responsive Web Design
Another requirement of the new website was to make the website easily accessible on mobile devices, especially for those users who are ordering equipment and welding supplies through the website – which is even more efficient now with the new product catalog and Request for Quote feature! In order to provide WeldCor a solution for this requirement we have designed the new website using responsive web design technology. Now when the website is viewed on various mobile devices, the website will adapt itself according to the screen size.
For more information on this project, you can view the WeldCor Supplies, Inc. case study. Also, let us know what you think about the new WeldCor website – do you like it? What’s your opinion about responsive design?