A Journey Through Design

Well it has been about a week since our new site went live. And what a week it has been. I thought it would be a good idea to share some thoughts on how we got here, as well as some of the great feedback we have recieved in response to the website.

In the Beginning..

We started this new design over 6 months ago. We identified the need early that it had to be clean, sleek, and memorable. There are a fair amount of web design companies in Arizona, and we wanted to stand out, and leave no mistake in the minds of the consumer what our capabilities are. The design essentially went through 3 iterations, until finally settling on the black on black.

Markup Madness

We spent over 5 weeks, off and on, just building the first page. We were determined to build a XHTML Valid, table-less layout. Not always easy considering the variations between Internet Explorer, and everything else. Search Engine Optimization is also a primary focus of our business, therefore the order of the markup was especially important. The extreme left column with the logo is actually the last thing the search engine spider sees. Instead it crawls from the top of the “middle� column, then to the right, and back to the left. This order was used to ensure that the spiders picked up our headlined copy as soon as they hit the page.

The endless bug squashing and css hackery was tiresome at times, as like all designers, we bemoaned Internet Explorer’s complete lack of CSS goodness.

The Media is the Message

As part of our new positioning, we determined that it was best to streamline our service offerings, and therefore came up with the “3 things� message. Too often I believe web design companies (yes we did it too) try to be everything to every client. We asked ourselves what our strengths were, and what components are really needed in every website for the client to achieve positive Return on investment. We strive to ensure that all all our clients win.

Get Crafty

We are not ready to quite let the cat out of the bag yet on the development framework used to create the new website. Some will be able to guess, yet we can tell everyone that we are about 90% complete developing some killer additions to an already great product. More on that when our development dept. is ready to spill the beans.

The Debut

The new launch happened to coincide with the May 1st Reboot, and the Spring 2006 CSS Reboot. We participated in both and had a very strong showing. There were some voting problems on the may1streboot site, and for 3 days people were unable to vote for our company. Regardless we are/finished in the top 10% of both showcases. It was a great experiance and we enjoyed it very much.

The Reaction

  • “There’s always a place for clean lines.” – Adam Howell
  • “..the ones that had the most impact and interest to me” – Tammie Lister
  • “A very sleek design. This is what color “black” does when done right.” – CSS Drive
  • “Stunning” – Shanti Braford
  • “Wow, Really great work” – Aaron Post

What’s Next.

We have few design related things left to do on the website, but mostly we will be refining our CMS enhancements. The new website is a launching pad for our new positioning. We feel now that our website conveys our strengths, and showcases our talent. Time to get out there and shake some hands, the next deal of the decade is right around the corner. obu is coming, and we are coming in hot.