We were delighted to be approached by Communication Arts to feature our brand spanking new website within their Web Picks series – honoured!
To prepare, we set some time aside to discuss the process involved in getting our new website up and running and what we’re most proud of.
Describe the purpose of the site and its target audience in three or four sentences.
The designdough website was created to be a true extension of our brand and to give site visitors an immersive experience into what it’s like to be in our studio, work with us and go through our design process. Our brand is built upon the relationships we form with our clients and how we passionately feel that getting to know them the best we can, will only end with the best results possible. Our target audience, that is, our potential future clients, are people just like us, with vision, who are passionate about their businesses and are looking for new ways to use design and brand to inspire and get others on-board.
What do you think are the site’s core features and design elements/style?
Our focus for the website was to not only to show off our work in it’s best possible light but also to inject our brand personality and communicate our core values and beliefs with potential clients. To do this we worked with a talented local videographer to create a video that captured an insight into the way we go about our daily business and put some faces to our names. We also needed to create a site that users can navigate quickly and easily on any device whilst ensuring it remains surprising and visually appealing wherever you land.
What was the most challenging aspect of the site?
One of the trickiest elements of creating the site was our portfolio. We worked for months on the refinement of these different case studies, as we wanted viewers to be immersed in the showcased brand, yet still be aware that designdough was responsible for the aesthetic. We didn’t want to go for the ‘standard’ portfolio layout of text, with a bit of imagery, some more text, and then some more imagery like we had adopted before. Our layouts were a lot more about the text and imagery blending together seamlessly so that the concept was able to shine through. It was also a fine balance on the back end of the website, as we wanted to make the portfolios easy to update (so they aren’t hardcoded at all), but also look stylistically unrestrained.
What details you are you most proud of and why?
We are particularly proud of our portfolio layout. It’s hugely important for us to show potential clients the breadth of our skills, application and attention to detail so we needed a site that would communicate this to our visitors in a clear and impactful way. We also needed to create a system which is highly customisable to allow us to tailor each case study to show off their individual brands, quirks and features whilst remaining quick and simple to update on a regular basis. The result is a portfolio we are extremely proud of that shows off what we can do and sets us apart from our competition.
One of our mantras at designdough is ‘constantly evolving’; we like to take stock and analyse our processes and ways of working quite often in order to better them and therefore attract the people that we want to work with to us. We had only just redesigned our website 18 months before this current design, but we knew it had to change as our brand and business had evolved so much in that time frame, it didn’t feel right to have a web presence that reflected our old style. We’re definitely proud that we didn’t HAVE TO change our web design, we could have happily trotted along with it for the next few years, but for us, it just didn’t feel right and we had to do something about it. We encourage our clients to promote evolution in this same way – to constantly be looking at how they could be doing things better and improving, and then acting on what they’ve found.
How did time constraints affect your final solution?
Our client work is always the top priority, so the website, although very labour intensive to design and build, has given us a finished platform that is easily editable and fun to update. Constantly juggling our own marketing efforts and those of our clients has always been something that we really enjoy as a creative agency. We find that when we’re working on our own creative projects, the outcomes for our client’s projects are much richer. The web industry is ever-evolving with new techniques and technology, so we make sure we give ourselves time to keep up-to-date and lead by example for our clients.
Did you learn anything new during the process of creating this site?
Rather than learning something new, creating our site really reinforced what we already thought about having designers and developers working together from day one really adds up to a more cohesive and visually exciting outcome. We’ve worked on many a web design that is then passed over to a web developer to build without proper consultation from the designer, and doing things this way, the final outcome always ends up a little flat or just missing the mark somehow. The best results come from when designers and developers build a website from the ground up together; it’s like having the left-brain and right-brain working in tandem together – magic is made!