Communication is Key

I’ve noticed that the world often falls victim to falling for stereotypes. Meaning, I have seen the way specific work fields have specific labels. It’s because of these labels I felt gravitated towards the industry of Web Design and Development. I wanted to break the binds of stereotypes. One of the most common stereotypes I wanted to conquer was the stereotype of the introverted Web Developer. To discuss things I’ve done to overcome the stereotype, I want to go over a recent project I’ve had the privilege of working on as a contracted Web Specialist team of one for Bonnie Peterson and her company, Our Play House

Meet Our Client: Bonnie

Bonnie Peterson is an extremely lively and loving person who operates out of Kaysville, Utah. Her passion is hand-making incredible things such as cloths, custom jewelry, and “silent books”. Her dream is to be able to take these things that she has made and sold successfully locally to friends, family and others, and be able to share her products across the world. Her only problem is that she is a little older and doesn’t believe that she is tech savvy, but she is confident she could achieve her dreams with a little extra help. This is when Bonnie and I made contact as she was referred to me through my brother in-law. 

Before I knew it, we had made contact and she told me her story; and I wanted more than anything to help her turn her dream to reality; and so, our partnership begun! Because I knew how important this dream was to Bonnie I wanted to make sure I did everything exactly as she hoped, and that she could stay in the loop at all times. So not long after she reached out to me over the phone, we scheduled a time and I went down to Kaysville to meet with Bonnie to create and set expectations, discuss the greater picture, and go forward on the same page.

Bonnie Peterson, Founder of Our Play House

Setting Expectations

As mentioned before, this may have been a project to me, but this was Bonnie’s dream; and it deserved to be taken care of and respected as such. So to begin our meeting, we talked about Bonnie’s overall vision. Our Play House had 3 main companies she wanted to have launch and take off; Bondlets, Chatty Que, and My Quilt House. She had the assets and her prices all figured out, and she purchased the domains on Shopify, but she didn’t know how to carry things out from there. So we talked about what she had in mind, and a lot of the design aspect she left up to me to decide for her, but she wanted websites that were warm, inviting, and as user friendly as possible. “Easy enough for someone like me to even navigate with no problem”. Lastly, she also wanted an easy way to gather customer data and invite more customers to subscribe to her newsletter and be able to text and email customers promotional deals.  Our objectives were clear and I was given access to her Shopify logins and her assets and it was time to get to work. The process was generally the same for each website, so I’ll focus on the first; Bondlets.


Bondlets is a custom jewelry storefront. As mentioned before, I was essentially give a blank slate beyond what Shopify template she wanted to use, and her expectations for UI and UX. So, to start, in order to help optimize site speed and thus the user experience, I optimized and compressed assets. Once those were taken care of, following along with the template and my understanding of good user flow, I was able to create the website with relative ease and a good amount of time. 

Now that the site was built out, it was time to give it more life for the user experience. After I completed the build I sent the link to Bonnie so she could look it over, I could update her on what was done and gain her approval. She loved it. So now we had to add products and a way for users to subscribe to her storefront. Creating products and organizing them wasn’t the most complicated challenge as Shopify offers a fairly simple way to add and organize products, it was just time consuming.

Upon completing the product uploads and confirming with Bonnie the right images were with the right products, not only was the project coming along smoothly, but Bonnie was thrilled. It meant a lot to her, and means a lot to clients in general when they are kept in the loop. This project is their passion, and I firmly believe that clients should have the right to be just as invested and in the loop on the project as you are. With this in mind, it was time to tackle the final obstacle in the Bondlets dream project, user retention and managing subscribers.

Bondlets landing page

Discovery for Subscribers

The final obstacle we faced was the idea that Bonnie wanted a way for users to be able to sign up for texts and email promotionals providing deals and savings offers for people who signed up. This is a feature not provided by Shopify, but offered by other third party services. Bonnie asked for me to research and give her an update; and after doing extensive research and discovery, I was able to give Bonnie the update that the solution for her problem was to implement the software, Klayvio. So, I gave Bonnie the instructions for getting her Klayvio account set up and once everything was set up I was able to sign in as an admin and create the text and email subscriptions she was hoping for, utilizing her custom logos. Klayvio is a great resource for creating those forms that you are then able to easily embed on your website, and then manage those subscribers all in one user-friendly platform.

Bondlets subscription popup made with Klayvio, when a user escapes the popup, they are able to easily access it again if whenever they want if they decide to subscribe.

Hiding the easily accessible Newsletter subscription on the Bondlets Mobile Page, allowing users to subscribe whenever they want.


Before we knew it, Bondlets was ready to launch and launched in no time since Bonnie was involved every step of the way. There was never any kind of doubt or uncertainty at any point of the process because I made it a point to make sure to send her email updates and show examples to her whenever I worked on things or made progress on bringing her dream to life. Bondlets as well as her other websites, are now live and thriving and Bonnie couldn’t be happier!

My biggest takeaways from working this contracted opportunity were of course, the importance of communication. I’ve seen through class projects, this example as a contractor, and through working with clients as a web developer at my job today, that the more people are kept in the loop, the less uncertainty and the less room for error. People are happier when they are engaged and aren’t left in the dark wondering what’s going on. I have also found that not only does it make the client happier, but it makes your life as a developer easier! This is because if there are ever any questions about how things are supposed to go, or if there are missing content or materials, you can regularly touch base with the client and they will provide what you need because they see the importance of them being on your team just as much as you are on theirs. 

So, whether you’re a developer, designer, or wherever you are in your work industry, I implore you to step out of your comfort zone and communicate. Keep everyone in the loop. Increase your reliability and your clients accountability! I have never had a negative experience as a developer when I’ve gone out of my way to always be communicative and keep my team (devs, designers and clients alike) in the loop, and am certain that you won’t either.

A small snippet of the testimonial Bonnie wrote for me from our work together on Bondlets and her other storefronts. View the whole testimony on my website