Once we have identified strategies and requirements, we can then embark on the design process. Design encompasses much more than just picking colors and creating a cool 'look'. Direct Knowledge can help you create web designs that complement your existing branding and marketing materials, or we can help you create an entirely new look. We will help you design websites that look good and communicate well. We will help you design web applications that are easy for your audience to use and easy for you to manage.
Web Design Process
Design represents a challenging, subjective, compromising part of every website project. Your marketing people may be looking for a bold 'out-there' sort of design with a focus on a few calls to action. At the same time, your technical/product people may be looking for a more straightforward, informational look. We may need to work within the framework of your existing brand/image while simultaneously breaking new ground with your web design.
Our design process solves these challenges. First, we inventory your existing designs, both in print and electronically. We interview people in each department who have a role in the project. With these inputs as a starting point, we then get creative. We create a few design ideas, including colors, layouts and outlines. Some of these ideas may represent variations on a similar theme; some of them may be quite different.
We then begin an iterative process of refining the designs. We present our design ideas to you along with the rationale behind them. Based on your feedback, we will target one or two ideas for further development. We use your ideas and opinions to modify the designs and then you give us more ideas and opinions. Ultimately, we arrive at a final design that satisfies the project requirements, and hopefully most of the people involved as well.
Your 'look' matters. A lot. A potential customer's briefest glance at one of your website's pages can be enough to keep them reading or chase them away forever.
Our designs are compelling, intriguing, professional, eye-catching, and sometimes, even cool. Always, we are focused on designing for a purpose. You need to attract attention, to stand out from the crowd. You need to establish and maintain your brand/image. You need to communicate that you take your web presence seriously. You need to tell your audience a story, to guide them to and through information, to encourage them to act.
Our designers will work within your 'communication strategy' to create a family of designs, that can be applied throughout your website and across all of your electronic and print communications.
Whether you offer a simple website or a sophisticated web application, it must be easy to use. Navigation (e.g. menus, links) guides the audience through your website to let you tell your story or to let them answer their questions. The pathway must be clear, intuitive and fast.
We are experts in information design, that is, organizing collections of information so as to be easily searched and browsed. We are also experts in software design, that is, organizing all of the functionality of a software package or web application to make it easy for users to accomplish various tasks.
Our designers will create a navigation system that is both attractive and useful. It will also be designed to evolve along with your business structure and capabilities..
From your listing within a search engine, to every nook and cranny of each page in your website, to each and every marketing email you send out, content is king (OK, we know it's a cliché, but it's a good one). Whether you are allotted only 25 words to describe your web offering, or you can fill a page with marketing verbiage, you need to weigh your words well. And, you need to select pictures that are indeed better than a thousand words.
Our designers will help you craft all of the messages that you need to communicate to your audience. We will design a web page layout that provides the right places for the right messages, whether brief or lengthy. We will help you compose a cohesive set of messages ranging from page titles to search engine descriptions to page & section headers. We will select and create imagery to help enhance the look, flow and meaning of your words.