Apprentice Blog – Issue #5
Case studies aren’t exactly cutting edge, or especially innovative, but a case study done well is a superb way of showcasing the work you produce.
One of the tasks I inherited when I began my Northern Foundry adventure was to create and manage the case studies on our website. This sometimes includes updating existing case studies with more recent work and other times it’s about developing them from scratch, like nurturing a newborn baby bird and giving it the ability to expand its wings and find new horizons.
Show us the merchandise!
Case studies can play a huge part on your website, demonstrating to any visitors the work you have produced. Almost like a try before you buy, if you will. If the merchandise reveals the skills quality and quality of the end product, you’re more likely to capture a new customer.
Here’s how we display ours:
If someone is directed to our website, they’re going to want to see some of our work and that’s where ‘The Workshop’ comes in. Our case studies are vital for us. Essentially, they show that we can walk the walk and talk the talk. On top of that, it shows that we take pride in our work.
While case studies act as both a great insight for potential customers and proof of your quality, they can also aid you and your company. Case studies are a timeline of completed projects and organising them keeps you fully updated with all ongoing projects, as to what stage they’re at and which tasks have been carried out. They’re also a great advert and nice to show to your clients once they’re finished.
Craft of the case study
A case Study is what you make of it. Squeeze it like a lemon and get as much out of the it as you can. A case study is only one page on your website, but as soon as you start thinking of ways to maximise the case study it takes on new life and becomes so much more!
One way of doing this is by having a CTA (call to action) on your case study page so that when people are browsing your work they can contact you quickly, or leap to another section on your website (relevant blog or service), or even the clients website for a closer look.
A good case study should balance the amount of content, imagery and interaction you supply your audience. Make it visually engaging but remember to keep it relevant and accurate.
Using mockups to showcase your work in a familiar manner is definitely something you should be doing if you aren’t already. There are plenty of sites where you can acquire these mockups, my personal favourites are GraphicBurger & Free Design Resources.
A testimonial: the icing on the cake. What better way to top off some of your finest work than with a quote from the client saying just how pleased they are with the quality of the finished product. Always include a testimonial if you can, it acts as like a reference on a CV.
Maximise the merchandise!
The way we maximise our case studies at The Northern Foundry is through the inclusion of them on our monthly email (Fresh From The Foundry).
When I first started putting our email together, I looked at ways of including case studies in the email without losing any of the design elements we worked hard to implement. This resulted in me coming up with the idea of using a ‘case study tile’. Here I was able to use a full image from the case study as the background and snippets of text for the title and intro.
The tile is followed up by a mock-up graphic I created for the case study and a button that signifies the end of that section.
Another way to spread the word is to share our case studies across our social media platforms. Tagging in our clients and using hashtags to compile the content of the work carried out is another way of reaching more people.
Case study closed
So, if you haven’t realised already that case studies are important, they are. That’s why so many businesses and industries use them, and not only on their website; they can be used in written proposals too.
Personally, I love creating case studies. I get to add our work into our ever growing portfolio, giving me the same sort of satisfaction as hanging up a brand new picture in a shiny frame.
Hopefully you’ve learnt something after reading this, but if not, or if you have anymore questions, then feel free to get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org