We Care About Your Business. Not Just Your Website.
On the surface, we design websites. We make something pretty, and put it out there for the world to see. Then maybe we complement that pretty thing with business cards, letterhead, correspondence cards, and an email newsletter. One simple, pretty little package. That’s what all those template websites do, too.
But design, real design, is so much more. It’s a process. It’s problem solving. It’s a challenge. It’s not a template. Custom design is taking business goals and turning them into tangible things no one else in the world has. Truly powerful design provides tools to propel the business forward, giving it every chance to succeed. Those who live and breathe custom work can honestly say they care about your business, not just your website.
Design is Problem Solving.
You can’t do design the right way without understanding the problem you’re trying to solve. The first question to ask at a project’s kickoff is: “What are our goals, here?” There are business goals behind every door, but to identify the issues you have to actually turn the knob and make those hinges work (i.e.: OPEN THE DOOR). And that’s a process. It takes time, discussion, cultivation and a lot of TLC; no template could ever come close to achieving business goals the same way a custom design does. You see? A template is already set before you put your name on it. It solves a problem, but probably not your problem.
Each Goal is Unique.
No two companies are exactly the same. For example, we work with several Direct Primary Care clinics around the country on their brands. They all have basically the same business model, but each clinic has different goals. One might be focused on getting brand new patients while the other is focused on explaining their transition to Direct Primary care to existing patients. One clinic might choose to speak more to physicians looking to join the practice, while another’s primary audience is patients. One might want an edgy, modern feel while the other prefers a style reminiscent of olden days. And if we do our jobs right, each clinic’s website is approached with a clean slate, even though we know the drill like the back of our hand. They each tell a different story. Their story.
Websites aren’t the only ones who get to present unique goals. The business card does something totally different than the brochure, or event flyer. That means you can’t approach them all the same way. Elements of a website don’t always translate to print; finesse is required to create real brand continuity. A human mind can imagine the piece in its real world application, and then apply it through design.
Problem Solve Right Up Until Launch Day.
The problem-solving process starts way before anything is actually designed. For websites, creating the site’s architecture is where you set the stage for solutions. Based on the client’s needs, wants, and business goals, figure out what pages you can’t live without. Next it’s time to put pen to paper – copywriting! Set the tone using tailor-made headlines and supporting content that creates a flow from one piece of the site to another. Page by page, the site comes to life in words. Then it’s time to bring it all together with visual solutions that really make the website feel tangible.
Each step has its own set of problems to solve. You don’t get to the next phase if any part of the foundation is crumbling. By putting one element on top of the other, each custom made layer of the cake adds to the impact of the final piece. Expand that to supporting collateral, and pretty soon you’re looking at something nobody else in the world has. Can’t get that with a template.
So, Templates Just Don’t Cut It.
Template design sites boast that you can have complete control over your website, have it up and running in five minutes or less, blah blah. It sounds good on paper, but once you go through the process you’ll realize it’s not as glorious as they claim. You’ll want to change things the template doesn’t account for. You’ll hate a certain part of the design that you won’t be able to do anything about. Your font choices will be limited. You’ll want to switch from this color to that color, from this page layout to that page layout – and have to wait in line for who knows how long with support to make it happen. And the thing is, the template doesn’t care. But we do.
We want you to love your site, your logo, your template paper, and even your envelopes. We want you to be thrilled with every aspect. We want you to want to shout its name from the rooftops – because that kind of passion is what drives a business to succeed.
And we care about your business, not just your website.