On the surface, we design websites. We make something pretty, and put it out there for the world to see. Then maybe we complement that pretty thing with business cards, letterhead, correspondence cards, and an email newsletter. One simple, pretty little package. That’s what all those template websites do, too.
But design, real design, is so much more. It’s a process. It’s problem solving. It’s a challenge. It’s not a template. Custom design is taking business goals and turning them into tangible things no one else in the world has. Truly powerful design provides tools to propel the business forward, giving it every chance to succeed. Those who live and breathe custom work can honestly say they care about your business, not just your website.
Design is Problem Solving.
You can’t do design the right way without understanding the problem you’re trying to solve. The first question to ask at a project’s kickoff is: “What are our goals, here?” There are business goals behind every door, but to identify the issues you have to actually turn the knob and make those hinges work (i.e.: OPEN THE DOOR). And that’s a process. It takes time, discussion, cultivation and a lot of TLC; no template could ever come close to achieving business goals the same way a custom design does. You see? A template is already set before you put your name on it. It solves a problem, but probably not your problem.
Each Goal is Unique.
No two companies are exactly the same. For example, we work with several Direct Primary Care clinics around the country on their brands. They all have basically the same business model, but each clinic has different goals. One might be focused on getting brand new patients while the other is focused on explaining their transition to Direct Primary care to existing patients. One clinic might choose to speak more to physicians looking to join the practice, while another’s primary audience is patients. One might want an edgy, modern feel while the other prefers a style reminiscent of olden days. And if we do our jobs right, each clinic’s website is approached with a clean slate, even though we know the drill like the back of our hand. They each tell a different story. Their story. (more…)