The worst was the colors.
When we decided to rebrand ourselves and focus solely on a niche market that was still vast, the F&B industry, we realized that we couldn’t use anything in our current website. We’ve been kicking for the better part of two decades and that gave us a thorough understanding of how other businesses viewed us and we wanted to change that 180°.
Of course the old projects still mattered and we were proud of our work but the website itself was completely separated from our new direction. So we took a long look at it, decided what to keep and what to throw away. And, as expected, we had to do a 360° revamp. So we got to work, just like we had for our clients in the past.
Throughout our rebranding process, we went back to the roots of the company and had focused on the core of what made us who we are. We knew what this meant for our website: it would need to follow the new colors and look like nothing else we had used before.
So began the cycle of designing and implementing, going back and forth until we decided on the right amount of creativity, orthodox layouts and fancy tech. This back and forth was much shorter than we realized, almost nonexistent, because having gone through the process of rebranding, we already knew our goals. The website had to be simple yet elegant, creative yet familiar, easy to navigate yet fully featured.
Choosing the colors was obvious from the get go. We were going to heavily use our Berry Blue and Honey Gold throughout the website. This made for a cohesive brand image that shows we understood what fine touches meant. Seeing as how it turned out, I think that was obviously the right decision.
The next thing we set in stone was the sidebar. The sidebar usually extends out from the top bar on a website, called the navigation bar. We decided to shift it from its usual place at the top of the page to the left side. But doing this still meant that the sidebar would slide out on the screen. Moreover, this decision made it easier for us to implement a responsive design as well.
After having the skeletal structure of the site in place, we quickly set about to add all the content. This was essentially the easiest part because now I could riff on about anything I wanted to 🙂 In all seriousness, the content is usually the last thing that goes online because it is the one that can be (and is) changed frequently.
After it was all said and done, we sat back and watched the animations play themselves out. However I still think there are areas for improvement. This is what makes this fun. It is not set in stone. With the basic website in place, we are now free to make any minor changes as we feel. This is how it should be.
As I am writing this, my thoughts turned to anyone who has tried to make a website without having clear goals in place. I can just imagine the indecision and amount of overwhelming options. It’s like a visual jamais vu. The more options you have, the less you know what to do with them. It’s no wonder that companies like Wix and Squarespace are doing so well. They offer a streamlined process that usually starts off with a template in place that you can then edit to your liking. Such a process may be seen as restrictive by some but the efficiency is undeniable. Starting from a blank canvas always takes longer than building on something that already exists.
That’s why there will always be a niche for a company like ours. Although one can just use an online template and build their own website, it cannot beat the process of someone figuring out and understanding the person(s) behind the website. By taking the journey from discovery to colors to design elements and motifs to functionality, agencies like us make sure you get what you want in a package that suits your needs without being too generic or over-the-top.
This has been a short summary of our process when building the website. It is also the first of many such blog posts that will be posted on our website. Stay tuned for more!