Design Methodology

Creating digital marketing assets requires focus on two, sometimes competing, objectives:

  1. Creating something artistic that is pleasing to the eye

  2. Understanding the problem that the asset intends to solve and creating a solution

In support of those two objectives, we believe that every project is unique. Our responsibility is to understand your objectives to the best of our ability and create assets that serve your goals and are visually interesting. This is what we mean when we say "custom".

Why the heck do you keep saying "Custom"

Custom is a bit of an overused word in creative services, but its intent is to capture the huge variety of options there are when it comes to design. There are a wide array of companies that prefer to use pre-built, pre-designed assets that are intended to speed projects up, but the reality is that the needs of our clients are unique and can be complex. Our philosophy is that your assets should serve your specific goals and be tailored to your customers' interests.

How do we create custom designs?

Our design process begins in the strategic onboarding phase. Since we are creating something specifically to meet the needs of your company, our strategic onboarding documentation will be provided to the designers working on the project so they understand the problems they should solve.

Creative Brief

At the start of a project, we want to learn as much as we can about your business, your goals, and your customers. Our strategic onboarding processes are intended to inform our creative briefs. A creative brief provides the designer on a project with the information they need in order to create bespoke solutions.

Sitemap

For website projects, we always start with a sitemap. A sitemap helps us to visualize the content architecture of the website and guides us on how many pages and re-usable templates we will need to design and develop. At this stage, we'll be thinking about what content your customers need in order to feel comfortable purchasing. This can include product/solution pages, landing pages, general information about your organization, or any specific resources that they need.

Wireframes

Before we provide any art direction, we always start with wireframes. Wireframes are very low-fidelity versions of the website pages that indicate where content and images will go, what order they will be in, and where we may use multi-column layouts. Creating wireframes before designing a website gives us a quick and iterative way to get feedback on the priority of content on a website.

Art Direction

After we know the order and priority of the content on a website, we are ready to start designing. Art direction is the first stage where you'll see full color designs and images that depict the look and feel of the website. At this stage, we won't be designing the whole website. Instead we'll design just the homepage and a single additional page. This prevents us from spending too much time working on an art direction that you simply may not like. Since this step is very subjective to taste and preference, we like to ensure that the direction fits your organization.

Template Design and Content Placement

The last stage of the design process is to create a complete website design from everything we've learned so far about the site structure, content priority, and art direction. At this stage, it is important that the content that will go on the pages is complete. Before we hand off the website designs to our development team, we'll want to make sure that "real" content has replaced placeholder "Lorem Ipsum" content.