As a part of our new series 5 Essential Elements of a Successful Web Strategy, we’re going to look at design to understand why it’s an essential part of a successful company website and some tips on how to do it effectively.
We sat down with Jaeda Rohner, the lead designer at Soulheart, to learn some more about the work she does.
What do you like about working on Design?
I’ve always had an eye for all things creative. I like everything — photography, interior decorating, and other types of art, but decided to focus on web design because there’s a lot of flexibility and a great market right now.
Design requires a lot of creativity because you have to account for so many different things that require you to focus on both the big picture of the website and little details like font sizing and the use of white space on a page. I enjoy the challenge of balancing a lot of different variables, and it’s really exciting when everything begins to come together.
The best moments are when a client and I are in step with each other — when it clicks and we create something that epitomizes what is best about their company.
What is design?
I like to say that there is more to design than design. Of course, design includes graphics, logos, page layouts, colors, fonts — all of the visual elements of a website. However, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes components that are absolutely essential to making it all come together. These include things like making sure that the design encourages a specific call to action, collaborating with developers, and the overall cohesiveness of the brand’s look.
I am always asking myself questions to measure effectiveness. These are some I come to often:
Does this design…
- contribute to a cohesive look throughout the website?
- direct readers to a specific and clear call to action?
- keep the viewer interested?
- work well on the development end of the project?
How does it work?
Successful design depends a lot on clear communication between the designer and the client. It’s vitally important it is approached as a collaborative effort because it will often take several tries to capture the vision of the client in a way that will lead to real results.
At the beginning of a design project, I’ll sit down with a client and we’ll begin with a discussion about what their vision is for their company. Design is dictated by the company’s end goals. It’s possible to have a beautiful website that’s a failure when it comes to design because the aesthetics don’t contribute to the brand’s mission, and that’s why these initial discussions are so important.
Once we have a clear idea of our goals and the big picture of the project, we’ll begin to work on things like the layout, colors, fonts, and other graphic elements of a page. I’ll make sure that everything is intentionally furthering the brand’s mission while also maintaining a cohesive look. There is usually some back-and-forth as we try out different ideas. In the end, we’ll have a design that makes all of us proud!
Thanks, Jaeda, for talking to us about your work! Next week, we’re going to start looking at the basics of creating compelling visual elements.
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