Client Spotlight: GCAR

A lot of hard work and collaboration goes into creating and launching a new website, and it’s always exciting when a project goes live. At Papercut, we learn something new from each website we complete, and one of our most recent launches, the Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS® (GCAR) site, is no exception.

Who is GCAR?

GCAR is an organization that unites realtors in the Chattanooga area and assists potential homebuyers and commercial investors looking for additional information and resources. The organization’s reach extends through Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in Tennessee, as well as three counties in northwest Georgia.

Why They Needed Papercut

GCAR needed a website that would position them as the authoritative resource for everything related to real estate in the Chattanooga area. They wanted a site that would help them stand out in an industry where many websites are “cookie-cutter” and look strikingly similar. GCAR made it clear that they were looking for a custom web design that would distinguish them from other Chattanooga area organizations. “Forward-thinking,” “modern,” and “uncluttered” were just a few of the words they used to describe what they were looking for.

Developing a Custom Web Design

Not surprisingly, a website’s design is crucial to how it is perceived. Is it authoritative? Is it trustworthy? These are questions that can be answered just by looking at a site. For the GCAR site, we created a custom web design that answers these questions (with “yes,” of course) but goes a step further.

To illustrate the organization’s reach beyond Chattanooga and into northwest Georgia, we stayed away from using specific Chattanooga landmarks in the design. Instead, we chose an abstract view of mountains in lighter tones and hues of the dark blue from the GCAR logo to serve as the site’s background.

Because GCAR’s internal design resources are limited, we knew that we would have to create a design that showcases their content. The overall look and feel of the site is clean and airy, placing the words front and center and adding emphasis to the content. The fonts used are the same ones the organization utilizes in its print marketing, marrying the site perfectly with GCAR’s existing collateral.

Pushing the Boundaries of Responsive Website Design

In addition to having a sleek look and feel, the new GCAR site also needed to convey that the organization takes advantage of the latest technology. To help them do this, Papercut utilized responsive website design, ensuring that the new GCAR site is accessible on any device, anywhere, at any time.

Some elements of a site are easier to make responsive than others. However, at Papercut, we don’t back down from a challenge. We take our clients’ requests into consideration and do our best to accommodate them. One feature that was essential to the GCAR site was a classes and events calendar, and calendars are not easy to make responsive.

Through creative coding, we developed a responsive calendar design that adapts beautifully to various screen sizes. Users can select a month, sort events by type, and even show or hide event details. Events can be displayed both in a list and on an actual calendar. In the calendar display, event days are highlighted by larger, aqua-colored numbers. When a user clicks on an event day, the details appear. And yes, all of this functionality is available when the site is displayed on a mobile device.

The calendar is crucial to helping GCAR connect to and interact with its members, so we added it as a persistent element in both the main navigation and the site footer.

Preparing for Future Challenges

At Papercut, we learn something from every client project we complete. After creating and launching the GCAR site, we’ve definitely got some new knowledge to use on future projects. Every client is different, and every project brings its own unique set of demands. We’re excited about the challenges that lie ahead and even more excited that we were able to provide GCAR with a modern, responsive website design that connects them to Chattanooga and areas beyond.