Building a website is construction

Building a website is construction

The last building I built is called the Hotel LeSoleil and it’s the reason I think building a website is construction. It is located in downtown Vancouver on Hornby Street at the corner of Dunsmuir street – right in the heart of the financial district. I was one of only two assistant superintendents. I worked from the start to the very end. I was the only one to work on it to final hand off. I was responsible for organizing large building sequences, following a schedule and finishing on time. It all completed with a final walk through and educating the staff on the building’s maintenance.

If anyone has the opportunity of stepping into the Hotel LeSoleil they will immediately notice the amount of detail that has gone into the interior design. It’s easy to see that this hotel is like no other in Vancouver. Take a look at the pictures on the website. This interior was my responsibility. On a project of this size, one superintendent looks after the overall project and rarely has time to leave the on-site office. An assistant superintendent works on the exterior and the other assistant superintendent works on the interiors. Once the roof went on, I was looking after finishes and what an opportunity it was.

First and foremost was the opportunity to work with interior designer Louis de Araujo. This man is amazing.

I was one of the only people in the project management who would have to open and study the design drawings with regularity. These plans are completely different from the architectural and engineer drawings. Occasionally I came across something not specified in the design plans or specification book. For example, the elevators had not been described in design. One call to Louis de Araujo fixed that. He simply came by the site, took out a large blank sheet of paper and drew the design mock-up right in front of us – standing in the middle of the lobby – still under construction. All the interior finishers working on this building had the same kind of raw talent. From the finishers to the wall decor, all could create on their feet. It was an honour to help manage this kind of talent and I use it as a standard today when deciding who to work with when building a website or creating a brand.

All buildings are roughly the same when it comes to structure. Building codes assure us of this. It’s what goes into a building’s design and finish that gives it character, feel and ambiance.

All websites start from the same thing: Clean code that has to work on all standard browsers and platforms. On page SEO and CMS we have grown to expect. Like the hotel, it’s what goes into it as creative content that makes it stand apart from all others. You have heard the phrase “content is king”. A great website needs excellent photos, amazing copy writing, amazing video and it needs to be married together in such a way with design so it will generate conversion.

Building websites requires the same type of management, talent and discipline as building a fine hotel. So who do you know who needs a hotel built – or a brand or website?

About The Author

Paul McEwan has a background rich in education and experience. A strong set of transferable skills have laid a path for a variety of creative outlets, careers and business interests. The short list includes live performance in improv and music, professional recording, event management, promotions, graphic design and publishing. You have seen his creative design work all over the internet, in major newspapers and magazines across Canada, and as interior commercial space for presentation centres and trade shows


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