Cleftune.ca was founded on a story. Andrew Harris was looking for some good drum lessons in his area. He received a glowing recommendation from a friend, only to find after his first lesson that there was no chemistry between him and his tutor.
Harris did some investigating online and found that it was actually quite difficult to find other teachers in his area. He sat down with his friend and owner of Awesome Web Designs Guillermo Figueredo and together, they came up with the idea for Cleftune.
Cleftune seeks to resolve two issues faced in the industry. First, the lack of chemistry between students and teachers, and second, the high cost on teachers of maintaining their business. This includes scheduling, billing, bookkeeping, marketing, and other responsibilities associated with running a personal business.
To tackle the problem of student-teacher chemistry, Cleftune acts as a business directory and social media platform combined. Music teachers make their own profile with information about themselves and their services, allowing students to browse profiles until they find the right teacher for them.
This is made navigable by the various filters Cleftune offers for a user-friendly experience. Starting with the choice of instrument, users can filter by location, availability, learning goals, age, and certification. Once the user has filtered their selection, they can browse through potential tutors until they find the perfect teacher for them.
To take on Cleftune’s second goal, it provides tools for music teachers to handle all of their business responsibilities quickly and efficiently. Everything from scheduling to student management can be done on-site. Nobody else uses Cleftune’s hub-like approach to business management for music teachers.
By centralizing so many resources, Cleftune saves teachers the hassle of having to find them elsewhere. Paired with the efficiency the platform offers teachers for taking on students, Cleftune has proven itself a successful concept that is ready for more.
Developing site's architecture with a user experience priority
To create Cleftune, we used WordPress for its robust, customizable platform. We knew WordPress would streamline maintenance and scaling for Cleftune in the future. When it comes to web design, it pays to plan ahead.
We also used the various WordPress plugins available to us to implement features for our teachers such as scheduling, messaging, reviews, and social media interaction.
At first, Cleftune was an ecommerce site. It was great for teachers to be able to do their billing and payment through the site, but ultimately, the owners found they weren’t able to dedicate the time involved with running this aspect of the service every month. They both had other businesses they were focusing on at the time, so they decided to disable the ecommerce on the site. Even though the ecommerce was disabled early on, it was virtually complete and was already seeing results. In the end though, there was no issue with teachers conducting business and being paid the way they had been in the past, so for the time being, ecommerce wasn’t a necessity for Cleftune. The one of a kind directory tool the site offered was enough to stand on its own as a business.
All together, there was only six months from idea to launch.
Conceptualizing the foundation for the site
For any successful business site, planning is the first and most important step. Cleftune was no different.
The first thing we focused on was brand and identity. To kickstart the project, we put together the logo for the business. We started with a combination of a geotag and a bass clef because it was a simple image and it represented the combination of music and location services. It serves as a perfect representation of music near you. We used a font for Cleftune that mimicked the motif of the initial symbolism. We wanted it to be curvy, smooth, and simple, that way we would have a logo that was friendly and approachable. We also chose red-orange to be the identifying colour for the brand because it instills that very feeling of friendliness and approachability. Paired with a complementary shade of grey, Cleftune’s logo was complete.
Naturally, we designed the theme for the site to mesh with the design principles we used in the logo. Our goal was to capture the impression it gave the viewer and implement it throughout the domain.
We used a lot of images of kids playing instruments because the main demographic of students would be children and parents. We wanted them to know this was the site for them.
More importantly, we used images that showed kids having a good time. One thing we wanted to tackle in our design scheme for Cleftune was the stigma people, and especially children, have with music lessons. You can see this challenge reflected all over the site.
The goal of Cleftune is to provide the right teacher for every student. With Cleftune, music lessons aren’t supposed to feel like a chore. Working at its best, every student is supposed to look forward to their lessons every week. The perception of music lessons as a negative experience comes from strict parents and teachers, and we wanted there to be no pressure to perform at Cleftune. The reason Cleftune started offering their service was so people could find the right teacher that suited them, so obviously student experience was going to be a key performance indicator. Students can even rank their teachers on the site, letting others know the kind of experience to expect from them. As such, we incorporated this sentiment into the very core of the sites design. In a world where first impressions are everything, Cleftune sets itself apart.
Another major aspect of the sites design was simplicity. It was important for people to be able to quickly and instinctively navigate the site, so we only put a handful of prompts on the first few pages the viewer would encounter. Once they get a little deeper in the site, they have a few more options available to them, such as the ability to narrow their search, look at a map of teachers near them, browse tutor profiles, and more. Visual identifiers such as thumbnails and instantly understandable visual icons play a huge part in the easy navigability of the site.
In fact, the site makes it so easy for the consumer that many pages offer the ability to book lessons directly while viewing a teachers profile.
We also wanted everyone to feel safe using Cleftune as a service. We primarily considered parents and any concerns they might have had about the people they would be leaving their children with, so we implemented background checks for any teachers offering lessons to kids.
We also put appointment security precautions in place for both teachers and students. If a teacher cancels a lesson with a student, the student isn’t charged and they can contact Cleftune for a quick, easy replacement lesson that fits that same time frame. If a student cancels a lesson, teachers receive a cancellation fee as compensation for lost time.
We designed all these features not only for the direct purpose they serve to the end users, but also because they create a unique impression of the site. People who visit Cleftune and see these protocols in place are reassured that this is a professional business they can trust. Ultimately, we didn’t just want people to visit the site, we wanted them to come back again and again. We wanted them to share it with their friends and family. We wanted to create a user experience that resulted in repeat customers who would create traffic over an extended period of time.
Everything on this site has been thoughtfully incorporated to create an approachable and intuitive interface. Cleftune goes above and beyond a simple business directory. We created this site to represent the kind of service users could expect from it, whether they’re a teacher or a student. At first glance, it’s clear exactly what you’re going to get out of Cleftune.
What they say about us
The Results / Future Plans
The future of finding local music lessons online
As a brand, Cleftune has been a huge success, and it’s largely thanks to its skillful web design infrastructure. At Awesome Web Designs, we know a thing or two about creating a website for start-ups.
At this early stage in its development, Cleftune has reached a pretty big audience. With over 300 teachers already signed up, it’s clear there is a need for this business in the industry. Every teacher who talks about their experience with Cleftune praises it for its ease of use. It basically plays the role of secretary with none of the costs.
The main key performance indicator Cleftune aims to improve on now is activity. While there are plenty of teachers on the site, there needs to be a huge amount of prospective students in order for it to become profitable and sustainable. Unfortunately, this necessitates the kind of marketing campaign Cleftune’s founders don’t have the time to manage. As such, Cleftune’s future is uncertain right now. It’s possible the service will eventually be put into the hands of people who can push to make it synonymous with music lessons in Canada, but for now, it will continue to support students and teachers with its irreplaceable service.
Cleftune has been a huge accomplishment. At its very conception, its founders knew they weren’t going to be able to run this entire business alongside their current ones. The success of this business was always going to be measured by how effective it was at playing its role in society, and in that regard, it has been a great success.
The goal was never to make money, but to prove the concept. Cleftune serves as an intermediary for teachers and students. It has succeeded in every regard it was supposed to. The business model has always been tailored towards teachers, which is why Cleftune never demanded any money from them. Now, moving forward, there will have to be a focus on securing students as well. Once a large enough user base is achieved, this business can start turning a profit.
Thanks to Awesome Web Designs, Cleftune has everything it needs to succeed. It has a solid business model, an expertly crafted site, and a brand you can trust. For us, Cleftune has been one of our most promising clients. Everyone at Awesome Web Designs looks forward to seeing this business grow and evolve in the future.