Before I even think about sketching out ideas, I like to ask a lot of questions. I want to know your story. How did you get here? What’s your mission? Who’s your audience? What is and isn’t working well for you and your audience right now? How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Where do you see yourself at the end of our design collaboration?
I’m here to listen, learn and immerse myself in your and your audience’s way of seeing your organization. My goal is to hear your story and to help you tell it visually.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
Next, we’ll distill all that we explored during our research conversations into a plan of action. We’ll solidify your requirements, map out the structure of your new website, plan for content that needs to be written or revised, and finalize a Creative Brief document, which encapsulates our project goals and objectives, our thinking around your audience and competitors, and a detailed description of your organization’s personality and values. This concise and important document serves as our project road map — it summarizes the details we discussed and insights we uncovered, provides criteria for evaluation and critiques, and helps aid against off-target creative and scope creep.
For complex websites, I may take the extra step of sketching wireframes for some or all of the website components that we’ll design, craft copy for and build. Like a schematic or floorpan, wireframes help to visualize content placement, layout hierarchy and information flow, without the often distracting design layer.
Universal Design Brief
Express the essence
Create emotional impact
Deliver the gift of delight
Compel people to think
Inspire people to act
Susana Rodriguez de Tembleque, SYPartners
Although I appreciate the value of a beautifully designed website, in the end it’s the words you choose that really connect with your customers and ultimately win them over. Content is queen, while design is her robes.
Many of my clients feel comfortable crafting their own copy, while others are daunted by the writing process and look to me as their editor or copywriter. Larger projects with a broader team may include a dedicated content strategist or marketing specialist who plays a more extensive role in the research, planning and content phases.
Content development happens in parallel to the research, planning, design and build phases.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
With all our collective research and planning in mind, I’ll explore color, type, photography and illustrations that visually evoke your organization’s ethos. I’ll often put together a mood board, explore design ideas in galleries, books, magazines and other websites, and sketch, design and ruminate over several days.
For logo projects, I’ll often show many concepts. For websites, I’ll start with the homepage and work towards showing three or more concepts that push us in different visual directions. We’ll review, discuss ideas for refinement, and I’ll iterate through design ideas and additional concepts until we have a solid design framework.
What delights us in visible beauty is the invisible.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
It’s here that designs really come to life. I’ll build out your full website framework, configure your content management system, lay out your content, and rigorously test on modern browsers and mobile platforms. You’ll review your website-in-progress in a stage environment, provide feedback, refinements and content edits. Finally, after polishing with care…
Hope is a verb with its shirt sleeves rolled up.
Some clients prefer to manage their content via a content management system, while others prefer to be entirely hands off and send me changes as needed. In either case, I’m here to provide training, support, minor refinements and updates beyond launch. And should you need future feature enhancements I’m never more than a call or click away…
Design is thinking made visible.
I collaborate with individuals, artists, non-profits, small businesses, law firms, design firms and development shops. I love to work directly with my clients wearing many hats, but I also enjoy collaborating with larger teams on bigger projects.
My clients are my friends, my neighbors, my community. Just as my clients look to me to help them grow, I look to my clients for opportunities to learn something new, see a product or service from a different perspective and to experience a connection as partners in business and as companions on a journey.
Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.
good work takes time
With every project I take the time to listen, analyze, formulate and execute solutions with care. As the principal of a small, boutique firm, I work on a limited number of full-scale projects at any given time. If you’re interested in collaborating, please drop me a line to check my availability.
Already hope is stirring at the edges of the day.