A large part of RedTree’s Discovery Phase is learning about who our clients are. We’re not talking about scratching the first layer of paint. We want to dig in through all the layers of paint and old wallpaper to get back to the foundational materials that make our clients unique and different from their competition. We don’t want to only know how they’ve dressed up their brand over the years, we want to know why that brand was built in the first place.
This approach surprises a lot of new clients because they’re expecting us to come in and immediately start asking them what they “want” or to show them different ideas we might have.
Really though, your website should be an extension of what your company is. It should mimic what it feels like to interact with your organization in real life. How would you feel if you went to Coca Cola’s website and suddenly you felt like you shopping at Tiffany’s? Or better yet, what if it was the other way around? Both brands are top-notch, but we’ve come to expect certain, but very different, things from each of them.
It is our job to make sure that your brand culture carries through to an online experience for your users.
Here are just a few examples of ways my team and I have helped brands reinforce their company culture through their website using nothing more than web design elements.
Web Design for Lean Companies
Lean companies thrive on providing everything their customers and employees need without the baggage of additional services or overhead. Being lean and agile has really become popular in the start-up culture over the last 5-10 years where companies are interested in attracting top talent but also maximizing their KPIs for an eventual sale.
Websites for lean companies should showcase minimal design elements and bold impactful statements that highlight what they stand for and why.
When you’re focusing in on messages that cater to human beings instead of to the bottom line, every decision, including your website design, should feel intentional.
Web Design for Unconventional Companies
One thing we’ve seen a lot more of in the past few years, especially with small businesses, is the purposeful incorporation of humor and a little bit of quirkiness into company culture and customer experience.
These are really fun websites to work on because, as a designer, I can let my creativity run wild and try some really fun things. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t use humor and fun while still looking professional. Fun doesn’t have to equal using Comic Sans. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and say it should never mean using the Comic Sans font.
It’s often accomplished by using playful photography or content that can be whimsical, casual, or draws the reader in with a refreshingly light-hearted approach to subjects that are normally more technical and boring.
Web Design for Companies Offering Personal Services
It’s not appropriate for every company to make bold statements or use imagery that makes you laugh. RedTree works with a lot of clients and industries that offer sensitive services that provide solutions to needs that not a lot of people like to think about.
Hospice services, In-Home Healthcare, Funeral Homes, or even Estate Planning are all companies that need web design but sometimes struggle to find a balance between being appropriate and finding ways to stand out among the competition.
In such cases, I find it best to keep the color palette soft to neutral and human elements front and center to invoke feelings of safety, care, and genuine concern.
What Design Elements Do Your Company Demand?
Every company is different. Every industry has different demands and expectations. Sometimes those expectations are set by governmental regulation. Sometimes, they are just begging for someone to stand up and say, “What if we did something completely unexpected?” One thing I’m really proud of is that RedTree takes the time to get to know each client individually before leading them through the process of executing that vision.