Well, I’ve officially come full circle.
My cousin Alex runs a brilliant podcast called Think Like An Owner, whose weekly episodes feature high-profile SMB operators and investors talking shop in in-depth interviews. Over the past four years, Alex has been able to grow Think Like An Owner into a veritable media empire, recently surpassing 500,000 downloads.
I owe the success of my business, at least in part, to Alex. Dozens of my favorite clients have come as fans of his podcast, and most assume we’re brothers. Honestly, I can see it. We’ve both got the sort-of-red hair.
Alex is the proud owner of the very first Pink Robot Studios website (alexbridgeman.com), and let’s just say I’m happy it’s being replaced.
A New Website
Alex got in touch with me last year about a new website for Think Like An Owner. He was looking for something much more robust that could support his growing business. Gone were the days of a new blog post for each episode of the podcast. Think Like An Owner had outgrown Alex, and the domain needed a change to reflect that. Thus, tlaopodcast.com was born.
The focus of the new Think Like An Owner site would be the backend systems. Alex needed a scalable, database-driven design that would serve as an endless library of knowledge for its users. To accomplish this, I utilized a dream team of plugins that communicate with each other like…well, a dream.
Advanced Custom Fields! Ajax Search! Elementor! Custom Post Types! These are the stuff nerds like me love. Not to drive the word into the ground, but…this is the stuff of web designers’ dreams.
The Think Like An Owner website runs off an incredibly robust backend system that allows administrators and users to pull in any piece of data from any episode of the podcast, including transcripts and clips. Here’s an example of the admin interface for adding a new episode:
Each piece of data for the episode is saved as a separate field within the episode, making searching and sorting incredibly easy for admins and users alike. For example, the “links mentioned” section within each episode is its own field, meaning it can be brought in as its own slice of information on any other page on the site. This also lends itself to futureproofing – when the time comes to redesign the site, we can easily move the “links mentioned” section anywhere else on the podcast page, and it will immediately take effect on all episodes without a hitch.
The search feature on the frontend of the site is the real centerpiece of the experience. It’s capable of bringing in any of the fields from any podcast episode, and even searches within transcripts. This was the central piece of the puzzle in creating this “endless library” of information. The in-depth backend tagging system makes searching even more intuitive.
Alex’s goal was a sleek, minimal design that utilized color sparingly. The design we ended up with hit the nail on the head. I’m particularly proud of the text shadow effect on all the headings across the site – adds a little bit of color where you wouldn’t expect.
The key with these types of designs is to make it minimal without being boring. That’s the real tough part. I think we got it right, and based on the user retention figures we’re seeing, other people do too!
A New Brand
Alex wasn’t just looking to make a new website – he wanted a total rebrand of Think Like An Owner. The old visual philosophy was to come across as a little rough around the edges, old-fashioned, and amateur, but the podcast had outgrown its “underdog” status and needed something more fitting.
Keeping consistent with his vision for the website, Alex wanted something minimal and polished. After several iterations, we eventually came up with the final design. I think we both knew it was the right choice as soon as I sent it over.
You know what? I kind of feel like this speaks for itself. Just take a look:
I like this one.