I recently got the opportunity to design the landing page for a magazine website. While working out the details of the assignment my client told me, “I just want to see what you put together without a ton of input from me. I want you to go ahead and design what you think would work best and we can go from there.”
This is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is I have complete freedom. The bad news is that without the back and forth and asking, do you want this or that? it’s hard to figure out what the client really wants.
We already run the Twitter account for this business. She was very happy with the Twitter background I created for their Twitter profile page and she wanted to see what I could do for her new website.
After doing some research I had some good ideas for this webpage but was having difficulty fitting ideas together. Then my client sent me a message, sort of an outline of their plans for this new website. It had a list of the different sections they wanted on their website, the type of content they wanted on their page, but nothing about what they wanted for a design. However, at the end of the document there was a section titled Brand Personality with a list: Friendly, Fun Creative, Inspiring, Imaginative, Informational, Educational, Savvy, Good Clean Fun, Social.
I wrote this list down. After reading the words a couple of times I knew how I was going to design the site. I knew how it would look. I knew this because I now knew how the site should feel.
After spending a few days developing the design I submitted a first draft mock-up to my client. They had some minor changes for me, but overall they loved it. They really liked the overall layout I set up. They loved how I integrated social media. They loved the feel the design achieved, saying that it was friendly and warm and still clean and organized.
I got to talk to another employee, whom I’ll be working with to get the site live, and he shared with me the joy my client had for the design I put together.
Apparently, they formerly had a full-time graphic artist who’s esthetic didn’t match my client’s esthetic. It was hard for them to reach design solutions that made the client happy. After getting it right on the first attempt my client has a lot of faith in me and has hired me on to help get the site live.
It can be hard to tell what a client wants. By paying attention and putting myself in their shoes, I was able to get some good ideas. Then, with the help of a few simple words, I knew how I was going to put it all together. It’s a design that I’m proud of and that my client is stoked about.
Now it’s a mad dash to get the site up and running to stay on the schedule. It’s going to be a busy week! Stay tuned for the finished product when the site goes live.
If you are interested in getting customized websites designed for your business, contact Lacey Welborn at (909) 973 – 9088.