What began as a passion project for Mel and Lance Stone quickly grew into a fully fledged mission to connect Hoosiers with the local artisans that make Indiana so, well, uniquely Indiana. To help them bring their vision to reality, the Stones found a collaborative partner in Lodge Design. To get a peek under the hood of the interwebs, we asked a couple Lodgers to take the site for a twirl and talk about the creative process for this design and build. What they told us was both bootstrappy and exuberant. Not unlike an Indiana Original.

From the Creative Team (Bryan + Ross)

Creative and UX Goals for the Website:

Clean, simple, and user friendly.

To simplify everything and make everything feel intentional. Their old site was kind of patched together so making sure that the entire site was cohesive was super important.

Working with our client in three words:

Easy, engaging, collaborative.

Enthusiastic, trusting, and collaborative.

The hardest part of the build was:

The planning involved in creating a site that does so many things. Local business owners can sign up under different levels & payment plans, create their listing, sponsor a blog post, buy advertising space, post events to the community calendar, all through an intuitive front end dashboard. The site also features a forum for members to discuss all things local.

Finding good local photography on stock sites that wasn’t for editorial use, haha.

Favorite part of the build:

Planning out and building the membership experience. Our goal was to create a simple and intuitive process for local business owners to join the Indiana Originals community and create a listing for their business for fellow Hoosiers to discover.

Working with Bry-Dawg. He built an awesome framework for the site and did a great job making this bad boy work.

Through this project I discovered

How many cool and interesting local businesses there are in Indiana.

That pushing a client a little in the direction they might not think they should go is worth it. So glad we pushed them to update their identity while we were at it. It really puts this whole refresh over the top.

Most excited for Web Visitors to:

Discover local Indiana businesses.

Experience the site the way Mel and Lance have always wanted it to work.